I was conceived in secret, born in secret, and kept a secret. Shhhh . . .
We teach our children, “don’t tell secrets.”
What do we mean when we say that? What I mean with my own children is don’t tell secrets about other people. Don’t hurt other people by telling secrets about them. Don’t make up secrets about others. Don’t put your hands up over your mouth, around someone else’s ear, and whisper something about someone else–something that might be hurtful. Don’t tell secrets.
Why? Well, would you like it if someone were whispering behind your back about something you said, something you did, something you wore to school, something about your hair or your shoes? No. We don’t like discovering others have been telling secrets about us–whether the stories are true or untrue.
You know what else, children? Don’t keep secrets. Why?
Most people have said or done things they regret and wish they could hide or undo–myself included. But keeping secrets can hurt you; they hurt and change you–inside and out. This little nugget is maybe more for your own benefit little ones. The very important secrets you try to keep–the ones you think No One can handle (a bad grade, a lost ipod, a misplaced phone, money thrown away, property you stole, a chore you didn’t complete)–turn into imaginary monsters that control your life. Before you even realize it, you are spending an exorbitant amount of energy, thoughts, and concentration on keeping your secrets in the dark. You might bury your secret successfully for a while, and then “Ahhh!”–something happens in your day that reminds you of what you must vigilantly hide. Secrets keep you in fear of anyone ever finding out about . . . ?.
While I was in the womb, a decision was made–a decision to keep me a secret. I can only imagine the feelings my birth parents experienced as they watched my birth mom’s tummy growing, struggled to keep life at status quo, explained why my birth mom was dropping out of college in her senior year, talked of returning to “normal” plans to marry once I was born and placed for adoption, tried to hide my presence in her body. The stress of it. I cannot imagine. And then, once I was born and gone from their lives (so to speak), they were the only two (supposedly) who knew what had just happened.
I had happened. The baby in me wants to say, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for the trouble and pain I caused.” The adult in me knows . . . I have no ownership in my conception, my birth, nor the effect my birth had on my birth parents.
Today, like them, I make my own decisions regarding my life. I make some good ones, and I make some bad ones.
I make some decisions that seem like good ones at the time, . . . and then sadly hurt others around me.
One decision I have made is to not be a secret. My adoption search and reunion journey kind of goes like this: being a secret, choosing not to be a secret, being asked/threatened to retreat again as a secret (like a monster–no less). This has damaged my heart and my soul.
As a child, my parents didn’t keep my story as a secret from me. Thank God–they told me my story every day, whispering it into my ear; therefore, there was never a big scary secret monster revealed to me. I simply assimilated the truth day by day.
My life and existence is well-known by my Creator, my extended family, and my friends. My story, which began with my conception–not my adoption–is not a secret I keep, nor does anyone else in my family (including birth relatives who share their lives with me as just that–a birth/biological relative).
I am not a secret. I am me–alive and well. I went on . . . to live . . . my life.