It took me years to figure out what owning your story meant. For the first decade, after I placed my daughter for adoption, I thought it meant speaking out, speaking up, and sharing the details of my experience. Years after that, I thought it was about writing and completing my adoption story in book form. The past few months, I realize it isn’t any of those.
Owning your story, or owning your past, is not about publicly sharing your memories and struggles. Owning your story is internal. Owning means to admit or acknowledge. For many of us, we think by dumping our heavy emotional loads into social media we are in some way admitting and acknowledging our paths. And yes, in a way, that is true. In some instances, it takes great courage to speak openly about our mistakes and decisions on the world wide web. It opens yourself up to a slew of criticism and judgment. It also opens yourself up to a slew of encouragement and understanding. If you’re not doing the internal work of acknowledging your story, you aren’t owning anything but a dozen or so comments and likes.
We all have a story. All of us have been led to unforeseen paths. Recognizing, healing, and accepting where you have been and where you are going is when you start to own your story. It’s not the platform where you share your story. It’s where you hold your story within yourself. Are you in a place of acceptance?
Hopeful adoptive couples and singles come to us for several different reasons, but at the core of most of those stories is the beginning of a fairy-tale that isn’t playing out the way they thought. They are on a journey to grow their family, but a majority of the time, adoption was not the path they thought they would take.
Owning your adoption story can be a vital step to the happy ending you are wanting. Accepting that families come in all shapes, sizes, and different routes is a way of owning your story. I believe very much that what you focus on expands—good or bad. Showing gratitude for the family you will have someday, visualizing the experiences you will have together, and acknowledging that you are ready to be a parent through adoption, are great ways of bringing positive energy into your existence. I also understand it takes a lot more than “positive thinking” to be matched.
Owning your story seeps through the words you share in your parent profile. Before you begin writing, sit down and accept, acknowledge, and communicate where you are and where you have been with your significant other or someone you trust. By voicing your concerns, fears, and sharing your grief, you are letting go of the power and allowing space to heal. Heal those wounds as much as possible by owning your story before you start writing.
By accepting your path, you are also accepting the path of a birth parent who is facing a challenging and heart-wrenching future. You are internally saying, “I see you and acknowledge where you are because I see and acknowledge where we (I) am.” By doing so, you are accepting that the path is okay to take. The unexpected journeys you are both on can be a fairy-tale ending for you both.