Adoptees Surpassing The Six Stuck Spots: Permanence

Adoptees Surpassing The Six Stuck Spots: Permanence

Beneath the Mask Permanence glitter and blue painted masks
Written by Rachel Shifaraw, Adult Adoptee, C.A.S.E. Creative Content Specialist
Published on: Jun 27, 2024
Category Adoption

C.A.S.E. training specialist, Tony Hynes, was giving a brief overview of the stuck spots to our adult adoptee support group. As he reached the final spot, a new chat lit up in the chat box on our zoom meeting…

“6 for 6 so far!”, a gentleman typed…acknowledging he’s been stuck in all six spots.

After spending nearly the first hour of the meeting fairly quiet, he was suddenly inspired to speak…deciding to open up about his personal experience being stuck in each spot. He had poignant points about each spot he discussed but his feelings on permanence will forever be etched in the walls of our group.

He explained how his earliest childhood memory was being told that he was adopted…

“I just remember thinking, well…do I have to leave?”

He continued talking about how everything in his life always seems to come back to him questioning permanence, wondering if he’ll get to stay…

“It’s the loudest background noise of my life”, he said…choking up.

Heart “reactions” & emojis started popping up all over the screen. Heads were nodding in every single square occupied by a participant. Microphones turning on, comments flowing…

“My husband says I always have to have one foot out the door…I’m like, of COURSE I do, what if I have to leave?!?”, a woman chuckled as others joined in on the laughter. It was that dark kind of humor that can be used to deflect hard emotions.

I personally found comfort in the chuckles of the community that night. Permanence has threatened my psychological perspectives time & time again throughout my life. I’m constantly questioning the stability of my friendships, relationships & even my profession. However, permanence has never felt scarier than it did when I decided to search for my biological family.

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Our family got hit with emotions surrounding permanence from all corners of the adoption triad when I ventured out on the search & reunion journey. I was afraid my permanent space in my American family would be jeopardized if I went back to Chile to find my biological mother. My parents expressed feeling anxiety around the trip as well. It wasn’t easy for them to watch me fly thousands of miles away, alone, to spend time with blood relatives of mine they never had met. What if I decided I liked it there better? And lastly, none of this was easy on my biological mother. I have always been the biggest loss of her life. Having me “home” only to watch me leave again, made her question how long I’d be gone for this time? Would I be a permanent part of her life now? Or might I leave for decades again?

The more I think about permanence, the more I begin to agree with the gentleman in our adult adoptee support group…permanence may just be the loudest background noise of my life, too. I’m finding I’m forever searching the world for a place that feels safe enough to stay…a permanent place, where the ground seems stable, the love flows unconditionally & you know you never have to leave. I’d imagine that’s what many of us are searching for in life but it seemingly hits a bit harder for those of us in the adoption community…for many of us, permanence has been a concern for as long as we can remember.


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