Sometimes it feels like a secret society, this adoption thing.
I’ve been at a writer’s residency the past month at the Vermont Studio Center, and as I read from my book manuscript a couple of weeks ago, I looked out at the faces in the audience. I know that whenever I read from my memoir afterwards, either right away or in the coming days, there will be whispered conversations. People tell me their stories–or maybe not the story at all–just that they are a birthmother or an adoptee.
I’m still thinking of the young man who waited until the day before he left to tell me how much he appreciated the reading. “I’m a child of adoption,” he said. I saw loss and longing and questions in his eyes. The intensity of it threw me off balance, and I had one of those moments wherein I tried to say something right and good, but because I was trying so hard, I can’t remember what it was I said.
I would have liked to have said that I’d bet a million dollars that his mother loved him and has missed him every day of her life.