As I worked towards releasing my “brothers,” I found I needed to release my adoptive parents too. I had not realized how the hurt and anger from their dysfunction was still lying just under the surface. I needed to give those back too. I made folded representations from paper that dissolves in water for all four of them. I figured I could lay them in the grass next to headstones and they would dissolve with then next rainfall or watering of the grass.
I drove 45 minutes to the cemetery, and as I pulled in, I noted a sign about how anything unauthorized that was left would be immediately removed by the cemetery caretakers. I paused. Then I left and went to a grocery store and bought flowers and got a container of water. The cemetery has plastic vases with spikes that go into the ground. I grabbed two of them.
I started with my adopted dad and gave him back the younger “brother” whom I’ve spoken to on the phone twice in the last 26 years. I staked the vase to the ground and put the pseudo-origami in it. I then filled it halfway with water and said what I needed to while the paper dissolved. I added flowers, and topped off the water.
Following, I went to my adoptive mom and gave her back my older “brother” whom I’ve seen once, spoken to twice and messaged a handful of times in the last 26 years.He was actually born to them, so it seemed fitting to give him back to his mother. I performed the same ritual in letting the paper dissolve in the vase, saying what I needed to, adding flowers, and topping off with water.
I surprised myself. I had no idea I still had that much anger. In releasing it and releasing them, I decided that it was my un-adoption day. I was ready, and it was time for me to say good-bye and move forward.
As I slowly drove out of the cemetery, I felt at peace. As I started to drive home, I felt tremendous gratitude for them adopting me. I am so much better off than I would have been if I had been left to linger in foster care indefinitely. They certainly gave me a second chance. Regardless of how flawed they were – as we all are – they loved me and truly wanted the best for me even if they were unable to give it. I can’t fault them for that.
I love all of them. They have each played a role in my journey and furthering my path. And for that I am and will always be grateful.