2019 ~ New Start, Reflections and Adoptedness

I got off track somewhere in the middle of November. I had made a goal to write every day during National Adoption Awareness Month….and here it is January 1, 2019 and I have not written in a long time.

There is a reason. My dad fell, he spent some time in the hospital and rehab, and now he lives in my home. He is 92. Life has changed.

The start of a new year is a time to reflect. It is a time to look forward, to plan and to hope for more abundance in life.

As I reflect back on 2018, I find myself feeling joyful that I was present for so much of the experiences I created. I set an intention on one word in 2018. That word was ACCEPTANCE. I found that I was able to accept many things that I can not change, such as being adopted. I can’t change this fact.

I have chosen my 2019 focus word….it is WHOLENESS I have taken it from a quote by Hugh MacKay, as follows, “I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that – I don’t mind people being happy – but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position – it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.” ― Hugh Mackay

As I think about being ‘whole,’ I can not help but recall and reflect on the past 2 years when my life story was found. I have found my Genesis, my biological family, how I “came to be” and I found darkness and light. It is all part of me. It is all mine. It is all who I am. I am finally content with the information.

I can not change any part of the story. I can not go backwards and be ‘unadopted,’ to make my birth mother able to keep me, or even want to keep me. I can not get my maternal sister or my birth mother back from death’s grasp. I can not, no matter how hard I hope, or wish, or pray, to be able to have been raised with my 5 older brothers. I can only build on the relationships we have begun. I grieve what was not, celebrate what is and look forward to what life can become.

Being adopted is a fact. Adoption does not define me. It does not own me. It is not all that I am. What I hope for in this new year is to find a way to continue to build the community that adoption has ‘gifted’ me. I realized lately that all the amazing people who have come into my life in the past 2 years is because I am adopted. These people are a GIFT and their support has become something that is irreplaceable.

I have loved being part of the Adoptees Connect community. I have loved that I was able to attend Pam Cordano and Anne Heffron’s retreat. I have loved being part of the Adoptees On Podcast community and as a guest. I have loved carefully cultivating relationships with other therapists who are also adopted. Kate and Kristin have become my sister friends. I love that I have on line adoptee friends that I am looking forward to meeting in 2019. These people and opportunities would not be in my life had I not been adopted AND come out of the fog of adoption.

There is so much more I want to accomplish and to become. My heart chooses to love. To love myself and others. To find a silver lining of the clouds of life. I choose: To be kind. To be a better woman. To try. To show up. To not be hard on myself because I am adopted. To be supportive of those who are working through the dark parts of adoption. To be a light.

My mantra continues to be: “Courage is the ability to walk through fear with faith. ” Join me, let’s walk together.

2019 Goals

  • I will meet my paternal sister, Cathy this year.
  • I will write my birth father a letter this year and let him know of existence, and that I know of him.
  • I will find a way to see my Guinea Pig Tribe for a reunion.
  • I will continue my training in working with children by attending the Level I Theraplay Training in February.
  • I will continue my training with the West Coast Institute and gaining more skills, as well as personal growth in Gestalt Therapy
  • I will become a Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor
  • I will become an AAMFT supervisor
  • I will present at a major conference this year.
  • I will work on my health. The past 2 years, I have eaten my way out of the adoption fog. I hope to be able to get my eating habits under control.
  • I will work at not losing my temper over things that I can not control or that frustrate me.
  • I will continue to love and continue to be kind.

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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

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