Now and then I have to take a break from my adoption issues. I need to feel that I’m alive, happy and content, even though my life is like a roller-coaster ride.
There are days when I have lots of energy, I’ll be baking and doing the house work like a tornado. Then I can do what I love the most, to go fishing, find myself a nice place to relax, watch the waves, feel the warm sun and listen to to the ocean and the seagulls. Those are moment that I treasure, that I feel like I am one with nature, and feel really alive. To be there by myself, enjoy my tea and sandwich, maybe listen to music on my mobile. Sometimes others come to try their luck with the fishing, and we’ll have a chat about the weather or whatever springs to mind. But mostly it’s me and my thoughts, and I will think of my dreams for the future.
I really wish for a new place with a garden, where I can work with flowers of all kinds, from roses, marigold and daisies to Japanese lanterns, grow strawberries, rhubarb and herb plants, and have fruit trees with apples, pears, plums and cherries. And in one corner I want a big magnolia. I plan to have a bunny who can graze on dandelions and clovers, a little dog to follow me everywhere with its tail wagging, and my cat will be climbing the trees.
Other days I just have no energy to do anything at all. I just want to sleep and forget about my past. Those days are like dark tunnels, and I can’t see any light at the end. Even something as simple as taking a shower seems almost impossible, let alone doing housework, or facing other people.
I’m diagnosed with severe depression, as well as post traumatic stress disorder due both to being adopted and to having a difficult childhood. I’m prone to mood turns, and can go from cheerful to deep dark with little or no warning. I have this sore and unbearable empty feeling in my heart, which makes me restless and temperamental. If I was alone I would slam my fists on the walls and scream and howl with despair. I am so sad that my heart could break into thousand pieces over the painful past that keeps coming back to haunt me over and over. It’s more than 40 years since I came to Norway, and I still struggle with being adopted.
What did I inherit from my biological parents? My looks and personality, my sense of humour, compassion for others, some of the ways in which I see and do things. And what did my adoptive parents give me? Anger, hate, despair and depression.
It’s said that we are shaped by the environment in which we grow up. I’ve had to grow protective shields against the verbal and physical abuse during my childhood, shields that now lock me in and make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to relate to people around me. I hope to peel this protective layer off again, like an orange, to allow the real me to emerge and take control of my own life; to be a person with lots of energy, spend time with friends and family, have barbecue evenings, cook and bake, talk with like-minded people about the big questions in life, from stars, planets and the Universe, to closer matters like adoption; to be myself, and know that I am good enough and appreciated for the person that I am.
It’s time for my inner child to come through, to shine and feel that she has accomplished what it takes to be free. Then she would be brave enough to say that “I can do anything, and I am good enough!” Then her handcuffs would at last come off, and the smile on her face would shine like a million stars.
In Norway, foreign adoption is still seen as the old cliché, that it is a beautiful, generous and noble act, and that adoptees should be grateful for having been saved and given a good life here. Even in 2012, Norway is old-fashioned when it comes to adoption issues. We need raise consciousness about this, and learn from people like Nancy Verrier, Paul Sunderland, Joe Soll and others who know what kinds of issues foreign adoptees struggle with every day of their lives.