Twisting & turning toward Thanksgiving…

I’ve been reading and mulling over gratefulness. I love gratitude, the feeling of thankfulness. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love feeling abundant, like a cornucopia. I remember Cris Williamson singing(from The Changer and the Changed) “filling up and spilling over, it’s an endless waterfall. Filling up and spilling over, over all…” So with gratitude being one of my pet things, the adoptee rejection of being grateful grated on me when I was introduced to it. Basically I didn’t know anything about it, consciously at least. I remember Joy telling me someone told her she should even be grateful to me for giving birth to her. When she told me that, I just kind of duh… huh? She asked me if I thought she should be grateful to me. WTF? No. I told her I wanted her to be grateful to be alive. I think being alive is cool. I am grateful to my creator. I am grateful to be alive Life is sweet.

So, no, being grateful to the people who birthed you or the people who raised you or any other people in the world is worldly stuff. And if it makes you feel great, then great. What really connects for me is just being grateFULL for what is, what is LIFE.

But a funny thing crawled back up through my memory recently. One of the first things I did after Joy called me the first time, at the outset of our reunion, was write a thank you note to her aparents. I didn’t know much more about them than their name and address and that THEY were the ones that got to take her home and change her diapers and watch her grow. But I was so grateful that she was alive, that she had survived, that she had called me, I felt compelled to express myself in a thank you note.

I still kind of wish we could be friends, her aparents and me, these people that got to know her knobby knees and missing teeth.

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6 responses to “Twisting & turning toward Thanksgiving…

  1. veddy interesting. particularly your last few lines. i typically DESPISE when there is thanks given to adopters or to natural parents. if my daughters parents ever thank me I think I would vomit a little in my throat. However, your statement about her calling you? Made me feel some thanks. See, my daughter obviously has not been made comfortable to call me, communicate with me, acknowledge me. Clearly your daughter was. For that, I can see you feeling some degree of thanks.
    Interesting.

  2. Your gentle energy is so soothing right now J. I needed to read this post.

    I don’t get the impression that Joy’s a-parents made her feel she should call J.

    It’s hard when the a-parents are scared of us or don’t want to know us. I wonder what it is exactly that makes some of them so uncomfortable? I am more than willing to face my fears and shyness .

    I have not given up hope yet, all things can change.

  3. It does seem that there is tension. Yet her amom gave her the OBC, which made finding me a piece of cake. Considering the era, that was HUGE. And still there is a lot of not wanting to know me it seems. I am the visceral mama, that always was and explains some of the mystery that is JOY. I represent fertility. Fertility, life, death, power, fear.

    Hope and change are our constants aren’t they?

  4. I’ve been mulling over it too – gratefulness, that is.

    It’s natural for me to feel gratitude towards people who treat the ones I love with love. And to express it too. I’m another one who likes feeling grateful – but I HATE when it’s expected. Being forced to pretend gratitude gnaws at the soul. It’s almost as toxic as ersatz forgiveness.

    I believe respect is an important element of love, and that where it is lacking, love is little more than sentimental doting.
    Even if a person’s needs are not completely understood, just recognising that they exist and respecting that fact is immensely important.

    I think Joy’s a-mother giving her her OBC was a real sign of respect. And I think Joy must have earned it, ‘cos respect, like gratitude, doesn’t come on demand.

    Gratitude can’t be extorted. I think people who expect it are really demanding payment for services they want to believe they’ve rendered.
    Which, of course, they usually haven’t.

    JMO.

  5. Expecting gratitude is so fruitless. It’s like walking backwards and not looking where you’re going. Gratitude is drawn from inside one’s self.

    I like to imagine that Joy’s mother gave her her OBC in part out of self respect. She had the good grace & compassion to recognize it belonged to Joy.

    And what Kippa said,
    “Even if a person’s needs are not completely understood, just recognising that they exist and respecting that fact is immensely important.”

  6. “I like to imagine that Joy’s mother gave her her OBC in part out of self respect. She had the good grace & compassion to recognize it belonged to Joy.”

    That too.

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