On one side of the pendulum is a family. Husband, wife, children. The family lives comfortably; although not rich, they have enough. The children are active, do well in school, have friends and activities. They speak a language different from their homeland's, don't look like their parents, and share no ethnic heritage or genetic ties with them. But the family is happy, its members content to be related as they are.
On the other side of the pendulum is another family. I'm not sure who this family's members are, if there is a husband, wife, other children. I don't know how they live, whether or not they have have necessities and luxuries, or if they struggle. I do know that the family's members look much like one another and that they live in the country of their family's history. I also know this: That someone is missing from this family, a son or daughter who was parted from one or all of them. I also know that someone in this family wonders if they made the right decision all those years ago.
The pendulum swings back and forth. When it swings toward the first family - mine - I feel the deep happiness that comes with being a parent and living a typical family life. But when the pendulum swings toward the other, I feel conflict and pain. Without this family's loss, my family wouldn't exist.
Now, years later, a birth mother, birth father or birth family lives with a loss I cannot begin to comprehend. I can't change the past that led to their loss, but I can affect the future. And I can tell them this:
- I acknowledge your pain
- I recognize that you were pushed to your decision by circumstances beyond your control
- I am sad that I have the parenting experience that is rightfully yours
- I love our children with all my heart
- I hope you meet and know them one day
And so the pendulum continues to swing.