Keep Looking

Grown in My Hearts Adoption Carnival this month is about ‘treasured adoption photos’.  This is really hard for me to grasp. Treasured would be something I like, right? The only adoption photos I have are the poorly lit fuzzy polaroids taken of me holding Joy before signing the relinquishment papers. The best one went to her father. I wanted him to have some remembrance as he never saw her.

I’ve been ashamed that that was the best I could do.  She was an absolutely beautiful baby, and fuzzy polaroids  didn’t do her justice.  They are the only photos.

If there are no images of the tender beauty of her infancy, maybe the wrenching separation is my favorite. It is the most impactful. I remember a video of two figures running away from a burning village, one smaller than the other. A sudden violent separation from home through a personal bomb blast.

My British heritage objects to this sensational image. But in closed adoption there aren’t really applicable  “treasured adoption photos”.


2 responses to “Keep Looking

  1. When I reunited with my then 18-year-old son in 1990, his adoptive parents dragged out all the photo albums. The photograph they took of my baby boy the day he was placed in their home haunts me. Truly, I have never seen such a sad, lonely expression on the face of a 4-week-old infant. I guess that is their “adoption photo”…they offered me a copy…I politely changed the subject. You remember all the “experts” who said back in those years that our babies would never know the difference between us and the women who adopted them? They were full of bullshit… Talk about primal wound, it was written all over my baby son’s face.

    • (((Raven)))… I reunited about the same time but without such a ‘warm welcome’…family photo albums!?!

      I suspect people reconcile infants’ expressions with their notions of saving our babies from a terrible fate. I’ve had self esteem issues, but I’m still amazed at the low opinion people must have had of me to urge me to ‘place’ my child.

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