I’m an adoptee magnet. I must be. Out of the blue, in the most innocuous places, people reveal this particular circumstance of their life to me. In the ordinariness of my own life, I don’t call attention to the adoption issue; I simply go about my business. I wear no banner, carry no protest sign, and rarely, rarely speak about this issue outside of my books and website. And never, ever casually. Still, the issue finds me in the strangest ways. Leading me to wonder if I have three neon heads, one which must be malfunctioning and erroneously flashing: ADOPTEE SYMPATHERIZER.
Besides the triple-headed, sideshow freak theory, I’ve come up with three alternate possibilities for these odd and unwanted adoptee-disclosure-pronouncements: A: I myself am an adoptee, which taps into the whole adoptee subconscious of it-takes-one-to-know-one. B: Since I was severely victimized by a stalker adoptee, my very presence arouses the intuitive caution against stalking, serving as forewarning for those adoptees considering participating in a darkness they do not understand, but for which they have a great many justifications they are determined to express. Apparently I’ve been appointed the spooky afterimage for how bad it can go. C: I don’t want to talk about it, which encourages all the no-nonsense under-forces of the Universe to wave their red flags and chant: Talk about it. Talk about it. To which I answer, I’m too tired. Only to hear the reply, big deal, everybody’s tired.
Okay! Okay, already! So, there I was handing over money to a sparkly shop lady to pay for my sparkly new bauble picked up in her sparkly little shop. Sparkly Shop Lady— somewhere between middle age and AARP registration—starts chatting. Mindless chitchat I think, until the chat takes a swift turn and suddenly, we’re going down that road: “I’m adopted,” Sparkly Shop Lady announces, “I don’t know anything about my heritage.” Oops, didn’t see that one coming. All I wanted was a necklace, not a political or emotional diatribe on the unfairness of the confidential adoption system.
I did what I always do, discreetly roll my eyes anticipating the usual whining: Poor me. I don’t know who I am, while hoping for the best and quietly searching out an escape route. Really, I do not get into these types of exchanges… Truth be told, I’m lethal. It’s not pretty and it’s not a good thing, especially not in a beautiful, light-filled store. Not where lovely customers are choosing lovely, sparkly items. Sparkly and lethal are not a nice combination. Lethal always wins. It’s bigger. It’s louder. And it’s ugly. All I wanted was my beautiful item and fast escape. Really, I didn’t want ugly to mar all the beautiful sparkles. But that’s what ugly does. It destroys.
I know this from experience. Ugly destroys dreams. It destroys lives. Ugly is a disease that cannot be counteracted with fantasy. Adoption equals crisis pregnancy. Closed adoptions point to catastrophic pregnancies. No, I’m not an adoptee magnet. No, there is no mystical conspiracy drawing adoptees toward me. It is simply a matter of numbers. There are just so many of us that entered this world via undeniable human misfortune.
Rape impregnations happen. This is dark, genuine suffering. Not a superficial fantasy. One in three adolescent girls is sexually abused before age 18. Sexual trauma does not heal. It is managed.
Sexual relations occur, resulting in countless unwanted impregnations. The impregnation is not grounds for punishment—it is a valid biological crisis.
Each adoptee who does not know DNA heritage represents one girl or one young woman forced to suffer a reproductive nightmare—her body invaded against her will. How many adoptees are there? Equal to the number of females who endured catastrophic pregnancies. In other words, we are all everywhere. Hence, the frequent encounters.
Fortunately, Sparkly Shop Lady veered off the dark path and I left relatively unscathed, sparkly item neatly packaged and in my hand. I say relatively because a shadow looms. Sparkly Shop Lady is a Pennsylvania resident. Soon she will have a decision to make regarding confidential adoption records. Soon she will hold a bomb in her hands.
Does Sparkly Shop Lady understand and appreciate the gifts she has? Her beautiful shop? Her attentive husband working by her side? Will the challenge of not knowing DNA heritage tempt Sparkly Shop Lady to lob the bomb in her hands directly into another woman’s life, a stranger’s life? A bomb that could destroy many lives? Does Sparkly Shop Lady understand that creating agony in another’s life guarantees its return to her life?
I left with an uncomfortable vision of Sparkly Shop Lady’s beautiful things crumbling under the weight and darkness of cause and effect. Soon Sparkly Shop Lady will be holding a bomb. Will she unleash it? You know the refrain, only time will tell.