I was born with two speech impediments. I was a shy kid, with a crooked smile, who couldn’t pronounce any words correctly. Participating in theatre was the last thing anyone expected of me. Yet I wanted to sway crowds with my voice, make them cry, laugh and shout for joy. I was a terrified 10-year-old the first time I stepped on stage, and equally frightened moments before I finally performed at Lincoln Center. I walked slowly to my position full of fear, but when the spotlight hit my face, there was no trepidation, only a calmness and quiet determination. In that moment all the long hours of struggle fell into place. I had already accomplished what I had set out to do before my final performance. Just being there, having worked as hard as I had, made all the worry dissipate. It was just me and the light.
Thank you for your post – I do appreciate it. It makes me think about when I read the book “Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew”, a book written by someone who has a lot of pain and anger relating to her adoption. I read this book while I was waiting to go bring home the little boy who is now my older son. I was so shaken by the book that I thought about canceling the adoption; her pain was so palpable and overbearing that I began to think that perhaps I shouldn’t go through with the adoption. (I think this is why a lot of adoptive parents hate this book – it makes us question our actions so thoroughly, and that can be painful.) You may not agree with my reasoning, but I did decide to go forward – my son was already an orphan, I did not make him one, that loss occurred long before I began to think about adopting. I could not prevent any pain from what he’d already experienced, but I was determined to give him as much as I could so that he would have the wherewithal to deal with that pain. But I appreciated the fact that the book put into words some of what I think I need to know as my sons grow up and face the issues you are facing. Your essay does the same.