Dear Julie

Dear Julie,

I don’t know what it’s like to live your life and I never truly will. All I know is the words you write that I, in turn, quietly read. Sometimes they hurt me. Sometimes they empower me. Sometimes they make me feel so sad for you. Sometimes I share them with my relinquished daughter and she says, “I didn’t think I thought about adoption much growing up but now I know that’s what it is. I’m sharing this on my Facebook.” She’s newly turned 17, newly thrown into “adoption speak” and is finding her voice. Thank you for helping her with that. 

I’m not here to tell you what to write or how to do it. Even if I may disagree with things you say. I can’t call myself a “champion of adoptee rights” and tell you you’re doing it wrong out of the other side of my cheek. That would be hypocrisy. 

I can’t give you a list of all my “accomplishments” in adoption land or a number of years I’ve been working for reform because that would make me an asshole who thinks I’m better than you. More important than you. And I’m not. No one is better than anyone. I don’t care if you’ve been in it 20 years or 20 days. 

I can’t tell you not to lump all mothers into one category when you write about your feelings because I can’t tell you how to feel. That would be discrediting your experiences and your reality and, well, I think we’ve had just about enough of that already. Don’t you? 

I can apologize for what some of my “sisters” have said to you. I sit in shock reading their words and really don’t know what to say. I could make excuses about how they are hurting and see their children in your words. But I know you know all of this. And it doesn’t excuse bad behavior. Besides, if they see their children in your words isn’t it even more crucial that your words are spoken so they can be what their children need? For them to learn? I know some of them just aren’t ready to get past that guilt and hurt. Me, personally, I own it. It’s the only way I know I can be. Truth is what I’ve always been seeking when I began tiptoeing out of the fog and I can’t reject truths I don’t like to hear. 

Does every adoptee feel like you? Do we really need to ask that question? Are we going to #notall you to death like others have done to us? I’m not. 

You do whatever you need to do, girl. Whatever you think will get you to where you’re going. I’m not taking it personally. And quite honestly I would love to shake your relinquisher myself. Your “relinquisher?” Oh no. Did I say a bad word? I’m a relinquisher. I’ve always been proud that I use HONEST adoption language and not “positive” adoption language. Why should I be a hypocrite just because I don’t like the truth about what I am? I don’t say I “placed” my daughter for adoption. I ALWAYS say I relinquished her. I did. That makes me a relinquisher. It’s definitely not the same thing as the “N” word. Not even close. I won’t even touch that. 

Dear Julie,

Your path and your journey does not need anyone else’s permission to be taken. It is yours and yours alone. But I do want to thank you for sharing it with the world. Not everyone is ready for what you have to say and I’m sad for them. I empathize with them. But you don’t have to. Not that you need my permission not to. 

Sincerely,

A Relinquisher

If you’d like to read Julie’s blog please visit DEEP: Through the Looking Glass; Down the Rabbit Hole

(A word of caution for first mothers – Julie is raw and her words are not always easy to read. If you read anyway, and aren’t capable of handling her honesty, please do not resort to harassing her, shaming her, leaving her nasty comments, etc) 

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