Adoption is a Lifelong Journey

1-IMG_2031-002The iconic Yogi Berra is reported to have said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”

I believe all of us intuitively know the way. And yet, sometimes it may feel like we are wandering around in the dark. A great coach will help you find the light switch. The mission of Crossroads Coaching and Consulting is to be your partner in finding the way forward on your journey.

I have learned that possibility arises out of language. No matter where you live, or what the time zone, if we can talk voice-to-voice in real time, we can enter into a coaching relationship. My clients are anyone affected by adoption.

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Lost and Found

When my adoptive mom, Jewell, died in 1982 I was devastated and grief-stricken. The loss of my dad four years earlier had been traumatic, but I had my mom to take care of and we grieved together. With her passing, the full impact of losing them both hit me. I felt absolutely alone in the world, with no safe-haven where I would be loved, protected and taken in no matter what. I was fortunate to have Diane, who became my wife one year later, for help, support and comfort.

Ten years passed before I began to consider search and reunion. One of my first thoughts was, if I find her and we have a relationship, I will have to experience that kind of grief again. Why would I choose that? During the next couple of years, I attended monthly General Support and Discussions Meetings at Adoption Network Cleveland, and participated in an Adoptee Only support group. Talking with, and listening to people who understood helped me realize that I had been grieving for the loss of Margaret my whole life. There was nothing to lose by waiting except the possibility of joy, love, and healing. I found Margaret in 1994 and we reunited on my 48th birthday.

At 3:40 PM, January 20th, 2012, Margaret passed away with her children, grandchildren and several great-grandchildren at her bedside. We wept for her, for ourselves, and for each other. We made promises aloud and silently. We held each other, and felt the swirling emotions of devastating loss and unconditional love. I thought about my two moms, Margaret and Jewell, and my fears about this moment. During my last few hours with Margaret I had talked to her, hoping that through the fog of coma she would hear me. I thanked her for my life and her courage; for our reunion that allowed us to be together on this, her last night.  Jewell would be glad for us, and proud of me.

Yes, the grief, sorrow and tears are familiar. The difference is that this time, instead of the emptiness and loneliness of the past, there are many safe havens; people who love me and will take me in no matter what. For the second time, Diane has helped hold me together as the mourning unfolds. I have my loving sister and brothers, nieces and nephew, aunt and uncles who understand, and my sons, who miss their Granny.

When you are ready to create connection, belonging and joy, call me for a free no-obligation sample session. Together we can begin to write your own unique story.

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The Best Thing That Ever Happened

The Best Thing That Ever Happened

Many years ago, during one of my therapy sessions, we were discussing my reluctance to commit. At this point in my life, it was no longer about committing to a person. Diane and I had been married for years and we were just trying to make our marriage better. I was having difficulty being bound by everyday commitments; planning dates for a vacation, choosing a day for dinner with family or friends, making a promise to clean house or wash the car.

When asked what it felt like to, …”tie myself down”, I responded, “I just feel like I always need to be open to what might be right around the corner; that I might miss out on the best thing that ever happened to me because I had promised to do something I really didn’t want to do in the first place.” My therapist paused long enough for me to know she had heard me, and said, “Well, you know, you’ve already missed out on the best thing that could have ever happened.”

I never felt so vulnerable in my life. It was like being caught in a lie I had convinced myself was the truth. She knew that being kept by Margaret, my birth mom, was, in my mind, that best thing. Time stood still. A picture was captured that I have often revisited, full-blown in all it’s details. The longing is still there; to have been raised by my birth mom and birth father, to have grown up with siblings, to have been there as my nieces and nephews grew up, to have always felt like I belonged.

Does that mean that I have regrets, that I would change things if I could? Absolutely, without hesitation, no. That moment is the marker of when I chose the life I have and began to let go of the fantasy of what might have been. I am free to stop pretending that somehow by wishing and longing, holding out, I can un-ring the bell. Like an echo, when I sometimes struggle with the old habit, I remember the flash, the moment the shutter clicked, and I choose my life again, the one I am living; the best thing that ever happened.

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