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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tend to the soul

By Trace Hentz (blog editor)

I recently created a better balance in my life. Since 2004, I had one focus and little else: adoption.
Now there are days when I do not think about being an adoptee or monitor the business of adoption. Instead I tend to the soul. I did this by creating a new environment. I play music, watch movies and read books for the pure joy. I have been dumping old papers and clearing space, creating a more joyful place to sit, read and write. I listen to NPR each day. All this feeds me.
If you’d noticed, I was all about adoption…deeply immersed. And it served me well. I birthed articles in 2005, created this blog in 2009 and published a memoir in 2010.

Finally I have a new identity – one who is well-adjusted and happily complete; one who met her makers and know who they are. Everyone in my life has brought me to this place in my life. It is a momentous time when the split-feathers are joined. The splits in my life were disjointed emotions, painful ideas and dreadful disappointments. After 50 years of trying to understand the people who made me and raised me, the weaving of me is now complete. I am no longer defined by what I did not know but rather what I do know. I see all my experiences for their important lessons. I searched for my answers and I found them. I feel more present, more alive. I greet every sunrise and sunset with gratitude.

There is a presence in my life now that was not so evident before. Even the internet reconnected parts of my injured soul. I made many new friends; they healed my heart. Their art, writing, blogs and poetry are food for my soul.

As an orphan-child I had no control over what was happening to me, so I spun out of control. Being split was the only way to handle it. I was on a very disturbing emotional journey that I would not wish for anyone. Many things I could not control, and the people who controlled my path did not respect or see what I truly needed. I had to be very patient and grow strong enough to see the point. I learned what control means. Now I can see how many laws and moral judgments controlled all my parents and formed their opinions which informed their decisions.

My mother Helen was cruelly judged as a young woman and she was unable to keep me. She named me Laura Jean Thrall. This was all she could give when I came into the world. I read about her experience in my adoption file. Her story changed me. It opened me. I could not love her more. I completely understand what she had to go through, even though she was not able to tell me or meet with me. I no longer grieve this.

It seems funny to say this but I had to learn how to choose. I had not been given choices for such a long time, deep down I did not know or believe that I could make good choices. Now I know I can. I can create and do whatever I want. I can heal myself. I choose what to feel and what to let go. My feelings of being powerless are gone.

On other days, adoption work is all I do: I read blogs, read Facebook, read news, plus I am working on BOOK 2 called “Two Worlds.” I have met more new adoptees since my radio interview with Jay Nighthawk in Washington DC on January 7th.

This work feeds my soul that yearns for justice for all Native American adoptees. I do this work with a purpose: to open sealed adoption records so that others can feel complete and make their journey. I teach this story so it will never happen again. I will continue to help others make their reunions with tribal family a reality.

I have two readings coming up, one in February and one in March (2011).  

There is a Lakota saying, Mitakuye Oyasin, which means “we are all related.” 

This is a very powerful statement concerning our small planet, how we are all interconnected and woven into one world. I pray one day the entire world will see every child is sacred and closed adoptions will be a thing of the past. I pray every mother can raise her own child because family and community will support her. I pray for every adoptee still in pain and searching. I pray for those parents who lost their child because of poverty, powerlessness and oppression. If one suffers, we all suffer. We are all woven in this one web, one world. We are all related.

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