I have always loved to dance. As an adult adoptee, a bio mom, and an adoptive mom, I dance between love and loss regularly. I dance with joy over small victories and small signs of acceptance. I dance to escape pain and to avoid obvious rejection from my family(ies). Let me continue to dance with the pain, the understanding, the surrender, His plan, and not faint.


I haven’t even stopped yet to see if this is a real word.  I don’t really care I guess. I like the definition.

My daughter Naika has “hypophrenia.”  How to explain . . .

There is a pervasive loss in her heart.  Her birthmom is in Haiti.  Doesn’t that explain it pretty well?  I almost feel like I don’t need to say anything else.  I am here, yes.  Her dad, her siblings, her school, her gymnastics, her food, her dogs, her room, her toys, her friends, . . . we are all here.  So, how could she be sad?  Her sadness is “seemingly without a cause,” but I know from where it stems.

Her mom is in Haiti.

The mom who carried her in her tummy is in Haiti.  We don’t know where.  We don’t know how to contact her.  We don’t know what she does every day.  We don’t know where she lives or if she is OK.   It’s very different from my birthfamily situation; I could call any number of my birthfamily members right now if I had the guts to jump through their “don’t call us, ever” ultimatum.  And some of them, I talk to regularly–via email, mail, facebook, telephone conversations, and lovely overnight stays.  Even the ones who choose to not know me–at least I know where they are, what they look like, and kind of what they are up to in their lives.

Naika’s mom and dad, . . . well, it’s just way different.  They are in Haiti.  It seems impossible to me to be in touch with her mom.  Maybe I am just lazy in my attempts to find her.  Maybe it’s easier than I think.  But things are terrible in Haiti.  We don’t have her mom’s phone number, don’t know if she has a phone, don’t have her address and most likely she doesn’t have one, don’t know the name of her youngest (Naika’s baby sister) or what she looks like,  . . . .  Naika cannot look at her mom online, catch glimpses of her here and there.  We have just a few pictures from when we first brought Naika to our home and that is it.  And Naika’s dad?  We have no idea who he is/was.  So half of her genetic identity is  . . . ?

As Naika’s mom, I’ve got somethin’ goin’ for me, I think.  I know what hypophrenia is.  I can put a word and more words around it.  I can define the pervasive sadness that we both feel.  She is only eight.  She doesn’t know why she needs a thrill sometimes, or something to numb her heart, or to feel superior in comparison to others, or why she is so driven, etc.  I do.

And, through counseling I have learned that it’s OK to just sit with people when they hurt.  I can’t fix her, don’t need to fix her, and can’t convince her that being adopted fixes being relinquished.

Instead, I can just recognize that sometimes, she is just sad.  Same as me.  Even amongst all the blessings that we both have in our lives, we feel hypophrenic.  Something is always missing.

I am fairly certain that the loss of a loved one leaves a person hypophrenic, too.  When we lose a spouse, a loved one, a friend to death, life goes on with all of its ups and downs and many blessings.  Still, there is a pervasive sadness of just plain missing someone.

Hypophrenia.  Interesting.

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