If you haven't read the post and comments, you'll need to for context. One commenter asked a really good question about my analogy and the logic I used to get there:
But I do wonder, from the side of a first/natural parent - when a aparents do understand and grasp the "other" feelings of adoption that exist for adoptees and first/natrual moms, can they ever truly really turn off that light with no reminder of the other truths that exist.The commenter is absolutely right that I can never really escape the reality of adoption pain. The fact that I'm still here talking about adoption after all the ups and downs I've experienced in adoption-blogland kind of proves it. But for me, anyway, there is a switch, so let me explain in a little more detail how it works in my life.
I live adoption two ways. I live it through my own adoption journey: the story of how my husband and I decided to adopt, how we chose to adopt from Korea, our homestudy, the legal process we followed, the waiting, the arrivals, and parenting. That journey is one that is marked by sadness and joy, sometimes for reasons that really have nothing to do with adoption itself, like infertility. But given the outcome - my two incredible kids - adoption has been and is a joyful experience for me, one that has completed me, rather than causing division and separation.
As a parent always feels what their children feel, I also live adoption through my children's experiences. When adoption brings them pain, there's no question that I feel it. I try to understand the pain adoption has brought my children's parents, too. But in both cases, I feel this pain second-hand, maybe even third-hand in the case of my children's parents, because I have no access to them and can't even hear them tell their own stories. No matter the degree, the point is that I can talk about what I think they are feeling, write about it, and even experience it - but never the same way they do, never in the context of a personal experience.
For example, I can go to the doctor and fill out a medical form without a thought. If I don't know the answer to a specific question, it's only because someone in the family doesn't know, not because law and practice have blocked it from me. I can therefore choose whether or not to acknowledge my children's pain at having to write Unknown down the page, or I can tell myself it's really no big deal. I can make a conscious decision to flip that switch one way or another.
Same thing about my children's parents' experiences. When someone asks me how many kids I have, the question doesn't cause me pain and I don't think twice to answer. I can choose to remember how hard it must be for someone to have to weigh that answer, or I can downplay that pain. Again, I can choose whether to flip the switch or not.
Like I said before, I can escape. Which is why I shouldn't.
Hope this clarifies rather than making it all murkier. It is, after all, Monday morning and I'm only on my first cup of coffee.