“For Just a Day”—An Adoptee’s Wish for a Deeper Awareness of Adoption Pain

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Adoptee, Daryn Watson was compelled to pen this poem after learning the news that a fellow adoptee had recently ended her own life. He movingly reveals some of the realities of many adoption reunions after the initial tears of joy have been swept away.

 

For Just A Day

 

For just a day

I wish my pain would go away

 

For just a day

I wish I could say

I knew what it felt like

To fit into a family

Without feeling like I had to earn my approval

 

For just a day

I wish I didn’t fear second rejections

From the woman who gave me away

And who gives me her rationalizations

 

For just a day

I wish I could say

The words “birth” or “bio” mother

Without them being such a bother

 

For just a day

My hopes of my siblings to say

“How are you doing?”

Let’s plan a visit in May

 

For just a day

I want to convey

The angst I feel in my life

That causes me much strife

Without being judged or condemned

Day after day, all over again

 

For just a day

I hope for the news

That we won’t hear of a blindside

Of another adoptee committing suicide

 

For just a day

I want to segway

Into our own truth

That was formed in our early youth

 

For just a day

I wish the adoption industry

Would stop trying to betray

Adoptees from finding their history

 

For just a day

We hope lawmakers would join the fray

By stop making us feel ignored

And give us our identity records

 

For just a day

I wish couples wouldn’t pay

Tons of money to fulfill their heart

While ripping other families forever apart

 

For just a day

I wish I truly fit in

With the people around me

Without losing connections again

 

For just a day

I desire inner peace to stay

Without the rumblings of emotional famine

Or feeling overwhelming grief at random

 

For just a day

I wish I wasn’t cast away

To live my life in a twister

Without my natural brother or sister

 

For just a day

We wouldn’t have to pray

That our feelings aren’t swept under the rug

Or that we don’t abuse alcohol or an antidepressant drug

 

For just a day

I want my birth mother to acknowledge and say

“I’m sorry I abandoned you” with her voice

“And I didn’t give YOU a choice.”

 

For just a day

I wish my pain would go away

 

October 8, 2014

 

I wrote this poem soon after I heard the troubling news of a fellow adoptee taking her own life.  Although I did not know this person, I knew that she had been reunited with her birth family. Upon learning about her tragic decision to end her pain, the phrase— for just a day—kept running through my mind. I finally succumbed to that inner mantra and put my feelings and words to paper.

In the 19 years since I reunited with my own birth family, my emotions have run the entire gamut from feeling elated, to feeling completely rejected and abandoned again. Reunions and the adoption pain that follows them can be hard, complex, and confusing to say the least.

Society usually sees the happy reunion story during its initial honeymoon stage. Those moments are almost always filled with tears of joy, leaving the impression that the reunion and new relationship will lead to a “happily ever after” fairytale scenario. However, throughout the reunion process, the emotional undercurrents of grief, rage, shame, guilt, rejection and abandonment often lurk beneath the surface for both the birth family and the adoptee.

Thankfully today, adoptee rights organizations and social media outlets are creating a deeper awareness of the adoption pain the adult adoptee may face throughout the course of his or her life. Still, in light of the recent string of adoption-related suicides, adoptees are in need of far more resources, guidance and emotional supportive measures as they navigate the search and reunion roller coaster ride.

It is my hope that by sharing this poem, others will see another realistic side of adoption reunion and how that experience may really feel for many grown-up adoptees across the world.

Editor’s Notes:  Enjoy another of Daryn Watson’s poems here on Secret Sons & Daughters: Thanksgiving Reunion ’95

Pictured above is author, Daryn Watson and his paternal natural brother.

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