Who am I?

"Why did you adopt me?" 
" Who am I?" 
" Why didnt you leave me there?" 
"No one loves me...
No one wants me...
No one cares for me" 

The visceral gut wrenchingness of these questions 
hit me like a burlap bag of sand square in the chest 
every time she cries them. 

They are the age old adoption questions. 
The unspoken...

" Hope my child doesnt think them", 

"Hope my child is spared these thoughts" questions.

These are the protestations every adoptive parent 
never wants to hear, 
cannot seem to erase, cannot seem to escape,
cannot seem to get away from. 

How could a little girl so damaged, 
so hurt, 
so cognitivley unable to worry 
about such existential things 
understand these abstract questions? 
And yet she does.

She does.

And she brings these questions out 
like they were her banner, 
her poster, her advertisement. She wears them and announces that 
she is the unhappy adopted child. 
The one that everyone theorizes about. 
The adopted child who wants to be birthed again. 
Who cannot picture herself in her own shoes. 
Who cannot put the two mirror images together 
in her own mind. 

Can she extrude abstractions 
through the concreteness of her perceptions? 
Can she wonder about what might have been? 
What...? who...? she could have been 
if her world had been perfect? 

She does.

When her life is bottomless, 
and the dark damp heavy fog of depressed thinking 
has taken her over 
she cannot see the new lightness of her existence. 
She is unable to see the bigger picture, 
the picture with hope and love and reason. 
Her life with a family who cares for her, 
wants her, needs her, 
will go to the end of the earth for her. 
She cannot see these things 
for she only knows she was unwanted. 
She only feels the tears in her psyche 
which will never be mended, 
scars that will never be smooth. 
Angry red ripped scars of her memory
that will never have a happy ending, 
no cosmetic uplift, 
no artificial disappearing.
They will forever be there, 
waiting for her depression, 
her anger her pain to resurrect them. 

Does she know she is loved now? 
that her adoptive mother and father 
are the ones she was supposed to have? 

She does. 
But when she is lost...
she doesnt care.

by Carol Echternach, February 14, 2004
Grieving the Loss of the Dream