(February, 2001) -- For the second day of Adoption School our social workers lead us in a Family Sculpting exercise. Each of the 12 of us in the class has a role to play – one is the expectant mother, another the expectant father. There is the adopting mom and the adopting dad. Others are parents and family of the bio- or adopting couple. Finally, there is the baby –- my assignment.
“Piece of cake,” I think, “Of course I’ll be eager to join my forever parents and we’ll live happily ever after.”
The facilitators take us to various points in the adoption process, like finding out about the pregnancy; deciding to parent, terminate, or make an adoption plan; choosing adoptive parents; the match meeting; the birth; leaving the hospital; and the 1st birthday. At each point, everyone in the class is to get in a position -- in relation to the others -- that shows how we feel.
As the baby, I am surprised at how cozy I feel being inside my mother’s body. How I don’t want to leave her. How her sadness touches me. How it feels somehow wrong for everything to change once I am born. And finally how I fall in love with my other parents.
I don’t right away lean to the adoptive parents. In fact, I cling to my mother and feel sadness and loss. I am surprised at these emotions – I hadn’t expected them.
Who knows what feelings any of us would really have? This experience gives me a perspective I hadn’t had before. I think that in adoption, the more you can see from other points in the triad, the more comfortable you are with your own position in it, and the more compassion you have for the others.