Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Some days, I’m just fine—as happy and as bright as the sun.

Other days, I realize that this whole process is so much harder than I think it will be.

On days like today—I am constantly on the edge of weeping.

* * *

Every time I try to sit down to write a letter to my birth mother, I am swallowed up by emotions for which I cannot find words.

And although I am reminded of all that has been lost, I try to fight to remind myself that now there is also so much to gain.

It’s just hard.

I don’t know how else to say it. I don’t know what other words to give to it.

My heart simply feels broken.

* * *

One of the hardest elements with which to cope is the fact that my birth parents and I do not share the same language.

I am unable to assign words to how intensely this loss of language affects me. It stirs within me such a depth of grief and pain that I find myself numb and speechless.

I can only weep.

It is an unspeakable loss—no words exist to convey with just potency the loss that swallows me and shuttles me down into a dark and secret place.

There will never be words that are able to tell of the emotion that falls upon me as both light and darkness with such perfect and horrific synchrony.

* * *

I can only fall myself—silent yet overflowing.

It is here that I find for what I was looking, and whom I was seeking—in all its wonder and terror, in all its lucidity and obscurity—this is for what I have been waiting all my life.

* * *

It was and remains worth the wait.


sherinala said...

awww, Melissa - I totally understand about the language barrier! I still sometimes think that it will just APPEAR from somewhere deep inside my brain. As if it has been there waiting, for the exact moment when I need it most; it will burst out, and I will simply begin conversing in fluent Korean. I have even imagined it; I would be amidst my Korean friends just chatting away in English, and all of a sudden, I start blurting out everything in Korean!

Crazy, I know. But one can always dream :) hehe.

It is a very tremendous and monumental event in our lives - and it sometimes - we just cannot do anything BUT FEEL...

I hope you're doing ok, but soon, it will start to shape, and you can see a map of your path with you and your parents!

The best part of this is that now we have a CHOICE in the history that we will begin with our parents...


Jeff and Madeline said...

Thinking of you.

You know...when we met M's birth mother her first words to me (translated) "are you teaching her Chinese?" You could see in her eyes it was more than a question of heritage, I think it was a hope for the future.
I so hope they are able to have those conversations I know M dreams of and I am sure her mother does too. She is in Chinese school and we do a homeschool vocabulary and song supplement as well. We have limited resources in our area, but I am taking advantage of them all. For me it is a must that she speak Chinese, sometimes she loves it, other times she hates the repetition, I know she will be happy later that she has it no matter the fuss now. I know it is not the same as growing up in a household of Chinese speakers--although I am doing my best to learn as well, but my hope is that it will give her a comfort and familiarity with the best case scenerio of being fluent.
The language barrier is so hard and trusting a translator with not only getting the deepest message, but also your thoughts is not an easy task--not to mention wanting to say it yourself.

Mei-Ling said...

"One of the hardest elements with which to cope is the fact that my birth parents and I do not share the same language."

That remains, to this day, one of the most insurmountable barriers I have also faced as an adoptee.

No, classrooms won't bridge the gap - they're too formal. Dramas won't bridge the gap - they talk too fast. Phrasebooks are useless - they're in awkward formats.

Then there's the other scenario in which you can actually manage to "talk" to your parents, only you don't know what they've just said in response.

It makes me want to tear my heart out purely out of frustration.

I'm sure you can relate.

tiffany tichota said...

beautifully written, i feel this and know this