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  • Writer's pictureAnne Heffron

ADOPTEE FATIGUE (WAVES OF EXHAUSTION)



Photo by Brad Ewell


To be both one thing and another thing at the same time inherently takes more energy that being just one thing. An ocean needs the extra pull of wind, the moon, earthquakes, or underwater landslides, for example, to create waves. The ocean without another force is called ocean. An ocean stirred up by the wind is called wave. Granted, the wave is still ocean, but it is so busy being a wave it may have forgotten this fact. Wave will get all bent out of shape and use all of its exertion to come crashing onto the shore.


An adopted person is just a person until they are adopted. Then forces act on them and they become something else: a noun that labors under the weight of an adjective. This means when I walk to the store, I am walking there as an adopted person. I carry the weight of the adjective and all that it means with me. Essentially I have strapped a ten/twenty/thousand pound weight to my back and am heaving it around with me wherever I go.


(One reason it is a weight and not a balloon is because you cannot pay a child your own when truly it is someone else's.)


Because I'm not in a visible strength contest, it may well look like I'm behind people as they skip lightly to the store. It may look like I'm cranky, distracted, infuriated, depressed for no reason because no one else can see the weight that is making everything harder than it has to be, except, perhaps, for lying on the floor in defeat. The weight helps press you down so it's hard to get up.


On Instagram, I said I'd be writing about adoption and did anyone have anything in particular they wanted me to address. One woman wrote, "Does anyone else get adoptee fatigue? Just me?" No, darling. It is not just you. There are oceans of us right there with you, bone tired.

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1 Comment


lori.ermi
Jun 26

Bone tired…and I have to reframe and ignore it to muster up the energy to be productive and present.

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