Back in the day, Saturday morning was all about cartoons . . . I’m talking about before Nickelodeon, before Cartoon Network, and before Disney Kids. Cartoons happened exactly once a week, on Saturday mornings. By lunch time, they were over, and it was another week before you could see your favorite animated characters battling evil, plotting to take over the world, or just generally causing mayhem.
Personally, I was always a big fan of super hero cartoons. I couldn’t wait to see how they would save the world this week. One that I remember particularly (as will most of my generation, no doubt) is the Wonder Twins. Not only were they super heroes, but they were teenagers, and twins – a boy and a girl. He could turn in to any form of water, and she could turn in to any animal. (You’d be surprised how much they managed to accomplish this way!)
I can hear you as you’re reading this – what on earth does this have to do with adoption? There was one catch for the Wonder Twins . . . they had to be together in order to access their powers . . . “Wonder Twin Powers – Activate!”
Loss of power is a core issue in adoption – for all members of the triad. At some point in the adoption process, everyone involved has been powerless – a child powerless to stay with a mother; a couple powerless to have a biological child, or powerless to affect the whims of an agency; a birth mother powerless to raise a child well with no support from family or society. Whether we are powerless in reality, or powerless in our own perceptions, each of us feels that loss of power and it impacts multiple domains of our lives. It is as if we are one of the Wonder Twins, and without the piece we’ve lost, we can no longer access our power.
So the question becomes, how do we take it back? This topic has come up in several contexts in the past few weeks, all in relation to adoption in some way. For some, the search and reunion process is a way to take back that power – to literally find the missing piece. One remarkable woman I met through the Birthmother’s support group at ANC (Shameless plug – it’s an AWESOME group of women!), told us that she has taken back her power by “being a birthmother out loud”, which is a foreign concept to me, but certainly seems freeing, and like something I should try.
For me, right now, I think it’s this – being able to put words to the feelings . . . to share them with others who might read and understand. It’s being willing to stand up and say “I am an adoptee, and I am a birthmother, and there is no shame here. I am more than these two experiences . . . and good, bad, or otherwise, they have made me strong.” I know that these are just baby steps. But they are important ones. Slowly, I will take back my power, and I will be whole. Will you come with me? We each have to follow our own path, but we can take the journey together. We can take back our power. And then, watch out world!
Wonder Twin Powers – Activate!