Gonna Cry

He does not weep who does not see – Victor Hugo

For many years I have been on a quest to find a way to cease the constant flow of adoption related tears. Like a beaver building a dam, I spent years looking for the right wood to hold back the stream of water that regularly flowed from my heart and soul.

To support this goal, I have done all of the following and more.

  1. I have been in therapy on and of for 22 years.

  2. I have read what feels like a bazillion books on adoption trauma with the hope that at least one of them holds the key to happiness and healing.

  3. I have formed support groups.
  4. I have joined support groups.
  5. I have left support groups.
  6. I been on forums and left forums.
  7. I started a community for those traumatized by the Kurtz network of agencies.
  8. I have written and spoken and shared and written and spoken and shared some more.
  9. I found my daughter.
  10. I found the mothers and children of at least fifty others.
  11. I attempted to put together the pieces of what happened to me and why by writing to my caseworker, the agency, legislators and more.
  12. I have attempted to discuss, to the best of my emotional ability, the situation then and now with my parents.
  13. I reunited and healed my relationship with my daughters father.

The list is exhaustive. I could go on but I wont.

I realized this past week that I don't want to stop crying. I really don't.  I always want to be affected by adoption. I want to cry every time I meet another mother or adoptee who has that wound in their heart. I want to cry when I hear of good reunions, stalled reunions, bad reunions or no reunions.

I want to cry.

I want to cry because to me it shows I care and I am human and I empathize and I feel for my sisters of loss and our children.

For what is the other option?

To be desensitized like the caseworkers, social wreckers, agencies and baby brokers? Do I want to be like them? Do I want to have no emotion and see our children as objects to be bought and sold  to infertile adoptive couples?


I want to feel. 

For if I don't feel, if I don't cry, I become one of them.

Did Mother Theresa act happy and disconnected when faced with the agony of the poor and helpless?  When she visited hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis did her heart not ache for the afflicted or was she unphased?

Did Mandela fight apartheid with no emotion?

When Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, for expanding women's rights, for building religious and ethnic amity did he do it with no feeling?  Did he not shed at least a few tears at the sight of starving children?

Does a fireman leaving a burning building with a charred body in his arms do it with a chuckle in his heart? I doubt it.

To fight the pain, I believe I must feel the pain.  While I don't dare suggest I am in the league of the individuals I reference, I am inspired by their work and suspect that to do that type of work you must have empathy and you must feel the pain. It is unavoidable.

My tears are the fuel to the engine that works to stop the industry. My tears are what gives me the energy to reach out to that mother in pain and pull her close and cry along with her. My tears are the Gatorade of my soul.

Unlike those who took our children, I am human.  I have empathy.

I cry.

I feel.

And I want to stay that way.

My tears are not a sign of insanity but instead a sign of my humanity.

6 Thoughts.

  1. I have often fantasized about doing a play somewhat along the lines of The Merchant of Venice but about adoption with a birth mother giving the famous Shylock speech because I think all the people you have referred to – I mean the caseworkers, etc. not Ghandi – have dehumanized us in their minds.
    I think one of the worst things adoption teaches relinquishing mothers to do is stop feeling. Reclaiming your feelings is a very important step as you have so eloquently said.

  2. Did I ever thank you for the gift of your friendship? For going through the search, the scams, the reunion, the lack thereof and everything else. In case I didn’t, you have been through it all with me Suz, and I love you for that. If I could sit beside you and cry for all of us, I would. One day I will.
    Your humanity is what has kept some of us sane when it was all falling apart.
    My love and friendship always,

  3. cry indeed and will the tears ever stop?? It is Thanksgiving in Canada and a week-end that was supposed to be spent with our son was veto’d by his amom and even though it is my favourite holiday simply because of the time of year and the fact it is a secular holiday all I want to do is alternate between crying and killing people.I am so fucking angry today and this is scaring the shit out of me because I fear this is what will ultimately make me lose my son a second time. Tears, they may make me human, but they make someone i am not too. And I don’t much like this person today.

  4. This is a beautiful post. And yes, those who can cry, who are “sensitive,” or maybe have been called “too sensitive” (I’ve been “accused” of that myself), I think are the ones who make the world a more human, more humane, more compassionate place.
    I am grateful for people like you, Suz. Very grateful.

  5. Oh, Suz, of the tender heart… you are a good role model for me, the non-cryer. I’m so glad you’re in my life. XO D.

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