Adoptees are constantly searching for meaning, greedily looking for validation, for someone or something to provide insight into their lifelong condition that remains hidden by misconceptions and deceptions. Seeking solace in each other’s communities, then, offers a respite from the constant ache.
It’s understandable. Even still, I firmly embrace the perspective of non-adoptees, as these people—far be they removed from our situation—occasionally overturn my own prejudices and keep me out of the adoption fishbowl.
I’ve also found a slightly bleak pattern in adoption writing. Despite our best intentions, the collective weight of our voices echoes mostly among ourselves. Some of our words carry, but many of them remain shared between each other and don’t reach the audiences who really need to hear us.
It’s for this reason that, starting this week, I’ll be periodically reviewing books that touch on life’s perplexing relationship with loss, touching upon grievously bare nerves. I’ll weave into the book’s review the association with adoption’s pain, showing others that our suffering is universal. If we—adopted or not—identify with those feelings, we’re one step closer to convincing others that our struggle is real.
Books have always been my solace. Books, the consolation prize for a solitary life, are always there. I polish off a novel or non-fiction work every week or two and enjoy short stories and flash pieces on the daily.
I want to share this with you. I want for you to find a piece of literature that keeps you up at night and makes you better understand why key players in our lives enacted so many unintentional wrongs. The beauty of literature is its ability to speak to many people in different ways, at any time of their lives.
For non-adoptees, I offer books as our olive branch, inviting each other to witness our inner battles. A truce, I suppose, of words.
Feel free to share this post or suggest your favorite books in the comments.