Mooching Purpose

The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose – Richard Leider

Thank you Jenna for the writing prompt. It has  been sitting in the back of my mind as I have been stewing over this and debating if I wanted to share this, and if I did, could I do it with the appropriate amount of erm, respect.

Your recent post about life's purpose reminded me of a conversation I had very recently with a member of my family.

Family member and I were at a McDonald's. My two sons and several of their cousins sat at a table behind family member and I.

We were discussing some friends of mine, facebook additions, and other recent happenings. During the conversation, I checked my facebook via my iPhone to show family member the profile of someone we were discussing. Much to my surprise that very person had messaged me and was inquiring about a page I posted (The Girls That Went Away). Facebook friend was asking about the book as get this, she is adopted and recently in reunion. I had no idea friend was adopted (I have known her since she was about 7) and I gasped when I read the message.

This leads into family member and I discussing how I seem to find adoption around every corner and people are drawn to me (or me to them). Additional discussions were held regarding the work I do and have done and the incredibly high number of strange coincidences that have occurred in my life since I lost my daughter to a baby broker.

Family members states that in family members opinion these odd messages, coincidences are proof that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. They are messages from some higher power enforcing my efforts and urging me to continue (even when I want to run as fast as I can in the other direction).

This conversation content leads to a discussion of life purpose and having ones life make a difference.  Family member believes that we are all put here for a reason and in their opinion I was put here to help those torched by adoption.

I was not able to agree with that for a multitude of reasons, most notably that the argument might imply I was put here by someones god to have a baby and give it away, and well, homey don't play that thought game. Regardless, I let family member statement stand and did not debate. I did however say that I am confident that my life HAS made a difference. I take pride in those that I have helped. How many people at 40 can say they know, without a doubt, their life made a marked difference in the lives of others?

I can. I am not bragging or tooting my own horn. It is fact and that makes me feel good.It makes my pain somehow oddly worth it. I made lemonade from lemons and used the pain and horror of losing my first born child in a positive manner.

Family member agrees and in speaking of the value of their own life, they say that their life made a difference because they are related to me and since I do what I do, they can essentially take credit and comfort in that as well.

WHOA!  Hold the freaking phone here and insert huge screeching tire noise or the sound of a needle being dragged across a record.


Did family member just say that their life is worth more because of what I did or do?  Is that legal? Can you mooch off of someone else's life work and claim it your own?

I choked on my diet coke at the sentiment but did not question the family member. I was disgusted, annoyed, etc.

For this statement opened a world of wounds to me. Family member contributes to the loss of my daughter to adoption then stakes claim to all I do to prevent it from happening to others?

I will take one serving of WTF please. 

Better yet, make it a double.

9 Thoughts.

  1. I’m going to hope that Family Member was *really* trying to say something like “Watching you cope with this terrible violation and loss has had a profound effect on me, changed a lot of my thinking about reproductive rights issues, and generally made me much more of an activist than I would otherwise have been”. If that’s not reflective of Family Member’s thinking (poorly communicated to you), then I hope Family Member gets a good smack from whatever’s facilitating your Life Purpose stuff at this point in time.

  2. Hmmm…not knowing how they said it exactly, but I will say this: Your pain and therefore your resulting work, makes ME and others better. Because of the hard work you’ve done, I can say I look at adoption through a different set of eyes than I did a few years ago, and will probably change my lenses a few more times as times go on. I’m pretty sure that will mean my son will benefit from your work, as will his mother. So though I am not claiming the work that you did, know that my thoughts, words and actions have been impacted by it pretty directly.
    It is interesting to think about–maybe we don’t have a preordained purpose in life, but once we’re where we land, we have some choices as to whether we’re going to follow a certain purpose or not.

  3. Lula – Baha! Thank youl Made me chuckle Love it.\
    Mama2Roo – Good stuff as well. I could go on and on about my thoughts on life purpose.
    I believe the measure of a man is not what happens to him or what he is given, but what he does with what he is granted.

  4. Hm.
    Are you sure it’s safe for Family Member to be operating a car or using major appliances? Family Member doesn’t seem to be inhabiting Reality as it currently stands.

  5. I’m hoping your family member did not mean that comment the way it came out, but good for you for handling it so well.
    On a slightly different note, how did you go about becoming such an advocate in helping to try and change laws or just help people in general? I’d love to be able to get more involved since being a first mom has formed so much of who I have become.

  6. “I believe the measure of a man is not what happens to him or what he is given, but what he does with what he is granted. ”
    Hmmm… that is very similar to my father’s pov. More often stated by him as “What you’ve got is not as important as what you’re doing with it.”
    As a teen, challenged by the philosophical issue of life’s purpose, I arrived at the conclusion that my purpose in life is to have fun. 40 years later I’m still working with it.

  7. OMG Suz… double serving of WTF. Sorry for giggling but that was brilliant.
    Sorry about the experience. Hopefully Family Member meant something like what Lula or Mama2roo said. If not… WTF indeed!!!

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