A little over a year ago, I talked about my constant health limbo. In that post, I discussed how I felt knowing nothing about my health history. I stand by what I said then. I trust God has my health under control, regardless of what I do or do not know.
Nevertheless, being adopted also adds another layer to the unknown. Lately, I’ve deeply mulled over knowing hardly anything about the first five and half years of my life. I’ve had a tough time embracing the haziness of that time of my life.
Now, I do know it is not common to people to remember much at that age. For instance, most of the memories my husband has from his early childhood are faint moments. He can recall eating something on a trip when he was approximately four years old. He does not remember, in detail, the moments leading up to that meal like his parents do.
In order words, most everyone’s early childhood memories involving hearing something from our parents and being able to envision it occurring, but not actually remembering the experience vividly. I am somewhat like this when it comes to my time in Russia.
My mom told me stories of what the orphanage caretaker told her. But, we all know how it is, as a story goes from one person to another, details are forgotten or changed. I am not at all saying I doubt what my mother told me. I am simply stating something I’ve frequently discussed in my communication degree studies. It’s all part of the process of transferring messages from one receiver to another.
Nevertheless, I mainly remember feelings. I remember the feeling of not having a family. I remember feeling lonely. I remember feeling out of place as the smallest, yet one of the oldest, in the orphanage.
I can see pictures, but I do not have any specific memories of people or events. In fact, I don’t remember my orphanage caretaker or my best friend at the orphanage. I’ve seen pictures, but I cannot associate anything with them. But, that isn’t to say they aren’t important to me—because they are. They are a pivotal part of my life that I desperately would like to recall.
But, that scares me.
It scares me to go through the process of discovering my memories in Russia. I am not all saying I want to go under hypnosis. No, I simply want to harness the buried emotions attached to the experiences. I want to be able to pinpoint an event without knowing all the details.
Simply put, I’d like to have a generalization of the first five years of my life. I know it is possible. And I’m open to it, which is huge for me. I never thought I’d come to this point in my life of actively seeking help to unearth forgotten memories.
I am at a point in my life where I no longer want to remain ignorant of all that has shaped me to be who I am today. This includes the time I spent in Russia. All does not begin after my time in Russia. It can be easy for my subconscious to try to convince me that my memories begin after I found a new life in America.
But, they don’t have to. My memories, my experiences (good and bad) start the moment I take my first breath, no matter where in the world that may be.
I am sure some may be wondering, what if the reason why you remember hardly anything from your time in Russia is that God is trying to protect you from a bad traumatic experience? Believe me, I have thought this more than you will ever know. In fact, that very thought is what often stopped me from ever wanting to pursue the knowledge.
But, if God has taught me anything through the trials, tribulations, and joys I have experienced, it is that He will carry me through. He will carry me through until my hairs are gray. I may spend my life in and out of deep valleys, but that doesn’t change who God is.
So, yes, in this process, however it may unfold, I may learn some hard truths about myself. Or, I may learn some wonderful truths. I am walking into the process with the mindset to know myself better rather than trying to expect a certain result. For, as I get older and as I grow closer to my husband, the more I realize I will be more content knowing something rather than knowing nothing.
All this to say, my adoption continually surprises me. It continuously challenges me. It will always be a part of me. I may simply never know how and when it chooses to impact my life. But, it will always be there. I choose to be grateful for it. I choose to embrace that part of my life story.
My call to you is this: Don’t seek out a certain life story. Be comfortable and embrace your own story instead, no matter how bland or crazy it may seem. Take any chance you can to get to know yourself better.
For those of you like me who may not know about certain portions of their life, don’t rush the moment. Don’t rush the knowledge. God will provide opportunities that will guide you to this moment if that is His will for your life. And if it is not, do not be hard on yourself or feel like you must go in search of something that may not be there in the first place.