All That I Wish I Could Say

I’m sorry that I can’t fully introduce myself. I can’t. If I could, I’d tell you that I was born an orphan in the Philippines. I lived in an orphanage until I was two years old and this set my world on fire, forever altering my life.

I wake in the mornings as an adult and I manage my life’s loss. I confront my adoption. It wasn’t my fault. Now I live without a sense of culture or heritage. Without a biological family in sight – as if they were all dead to me.

You wouldn’t know this because I try so hard to keep myself together. On the surface, I make sure that I present myself in the best of ways.

But in reality, I was forced to live in the United States with strangers. Due to my intercountry adoption process in 1987 and the socio-economic crises in my birth country, all my past relations are unrecoverable today.

What was it like to be adopted, you ask? I wish I didn’t have to say this too. But, my adopted life in the United States of America growing up was traumatic.

I lived in the Midwest with an older adopted brother who slowly went insane. And with parents who would at times make it worse not better.

I endured the worst of life’s cruelties but you don’t want to hear this. It’d be depressing to know that as child and teenager I watched the frail threads of a family that I’d needed so much, break apart. I grew up accustomed to the way the hard edges of the most bitter realities pressed down around me, as I persevered to keep my ideals strong. And that I survived my life carrying a broken heart.

I wish I could tell you all about the real me but I’m afraid you wouldn’t understand. I’m afraid you’d wrongly judge me? Or hurt me, or disappear?

So I’ve stayed mute about this all my life. But now I’m an adult, I see how this silence has become my own prison. And I’m not making any changes by covering this up or pretending this didn’t happen.

Now, more than ever, I want to speak up.

Because now more than ever, I’m beginning to realize that I’m not the only one with a voice here that needs to be heard!


6 Replies to “All That I Wish I Could Say”

  1. This is terrible. Being taken away from your culture and coming into a family that for whatever reason is not able to give love. Loneliness must be terrible. Come out with your story. Tell us what is involved. Share it with people who understand what you are talking about. No more silence, no more lies.

    1. Barbara, I appreciate your response and your sympathy in your comment. I wasn’t actually sure of how anyone would react after writing what I did, so when you posted this and I got to read it, I was really touched! Yes, no more silence, no more lies. It’s a new year and hopefully this sets the tone at least for myself for building more conversation and insight from the past and less hiding in fear.

  2. Thank you for having the courage to share some of your story. You are making a difference. Your voice needs to be heard.

    1. Amy, Thanks for your comment. I was a little unsure of what I was doing, sharing this. But by bringing this voice out, and sharing this snapshot of what I went through, I’ve seen some others begin to tell their own hard adoptee experiences, or give feedback that they can relate, and this has been momentous. This, unexpectedly, allowed me to see connections that has given me a genuine sense that maybe I’m really not alone with what I experienced. I was able to see how each one of us has a voice, and unique experience, can really bring this subject into a collective table. I actually feel a little better about what I experienced too, and it’s amazing to feel that burden I’d been carrying for a while begin to lighten a little bit. I just hope that by creatively sharing and blogging right now will bring about some positive change.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I can relate to many of the things in your life that you are working through. Your statement “ My silence has become my prison” jumped out at me. I am attempting to do what you are doing so very well, writing. Reading what you and other adoptees write,inspires me to leave my prison and speak out.

    1. Sharon, I’m so glad to hear you’re doing this too! It’s challenging. For myself this also involves other actions like trying to heal in my life and doing library work and studies that alleviates my past pain too. I hope you continued to be inspired and leave that prison I’d mentioned. I know we can do this ourselves in our own ways.

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