Thursday, March 11, 2010

all is well

I just finished reading the adult adoptee memoir, "Lucky Girl," by Mei-Ling Hopgood. I will simply say that every adoptee is truly an individual and each experience is subject to a high degree of variation.

Reading her memoir, however, of course, has forced me to think more about my own experience, thus far, of the process of search, reunion, and post-reunion.

Lately, trying to process all that has happened up to this point has felt like trying to perceive the Grand Canyon or trying to comprehend the depths of the Pacific Ocean or trying to tame a hurricane.

So, instead, I just walk away and tell myself that I will save it for another day. But in the mean time, I'm falling into it, or drowning within it, or swirling about in its chaos, all the while acting as though all is well.

I had a conversation last night with a fellow adoptee friend, and it somewhat ended with her saying, "Well, then, it sounds like things are going well?" I replied, "Sure, yes, things are going well." Although, in my mind, I felt a sense of hesitation, there was nothing immediate that I could identify that was causing me to hesitate. So I could respond in no other way except to say, "All is well" despite the nameless uneasiness and restlessness I felt.

So, I thought about it some more. In general, yes, all is well. I have found my biological mother and father--my Omma and Appa--while I also seem to have found my Mom and Dad here in the States in a new and more appreciated way. [That mention will require a whole other post.]

But I suppose the hesitation that I felt pull at me last night was the reality that it is always complicated. To say all is well feels to me as though I am ignoring the difficulties and complexities of post-reunion. It feels as though I am hiding from the convoluted reality of post-reunion, and hence contributing to the misconception that the story ends when "reunion" takes place.

When I say "all is well," I am simply acknowledging the fortune that, yes, I am one of the "lucky ones" to have found both of my Korean parents. Yet hidden behind such an acknowledgment is the proverbial "but."

All is well BUT I am having a hard time. All is well BUT communication is sparse, broken, strained, draining. All is well BUT how does one draw near to people who live on the other side of the world, who speak another language and live in a different culture.

All is well BUT I have this sense that this is going to be a lot harder than I thought. All is well BUT I feel anxious and uncertain about the future.

All is well BUT I'm not telling you everything, because I don't want to think about it.

All is well because I have been in hiding. I have been setting it to the side. I have been moving on, perhaps, before I am ready to move on, or perhaps because it is the only thing I know to do.

And maybe, it is also because I can grieve only for so long, only for brief moments. Not that I will not return to where I had to leave off.

As of late, I have simply needed a time to wander away.

Yet I sense that I am already on my way back--to return to this confusing state of attempting to merge what seems like divided loyalties, isolated origins, estranged identities--all of which I seem to both love and despise simultaneously.

1 comment:

Mia_h_n said...

I know exactly what you mean about being ambivalent about saying "all's well", but I think that's just because, like we always say, life IS complicated. It can be well and messed up at the same time. Sometimes it can be more or less out of that balance, but we'll probably always have both if we look hard enough.

"I have been moving on, perhaps, before I am ready to move on, or perhaps because it is the only thing I know to do."
I sincerely think it's the last one.