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  • Writer's pictureAnne Heffron

BEING ADOPTED AND WANTING TO GO HOME IS A BUZZ KILL


Photo by Brad Ewell


When I first left home at 18 to go to college, I was back home within a year. When I left again, and then again, and then again to go to college, I kept coming home.


I have such a hard time being away from home for too long. What's too long? Sometimes it's hours. Sometimes it's many months. Home is a shiftable thing. If I'm driving across the country, for example, home becomes my car. At night it becomes a hotel or motel. If I'm living with friends, home becomes their house. If I'm renting a place, home is there. If I'm married and living in a house, that's home.


But home home has always been where my parents are. (Well, except for the first ten weeks of my life when I was in who the hell knows where home.) My mother's ashes are in the ground by a church in Exeter, NH, and my father's ashes are on the ground in St. John, many spots in Exeter (including but not limited to the outside eating area of Me and Ollie's, the steps of the Town Hall, in with the flowers around the band stand, in a green pond across from a baseball field, and in the grass at Memory's Ice Cream). He is also in a spice jar in the back of my car because he sure did love a road trip.


I almost always want to go home--especially as a child and young adult--and almost always when I get there, I realize it wasn't exactly what I needed. The notion of home is so romantic and fulfilling and nest-like in my imagination. The real thing is still the putting a round peg in a square hole feeling. If only I was a little more square...If only home were a little more round...


I think adopted people might be like homing pigeons, with the body of the mother imprinted on our subconscious: Go home, the brain whispershouts while we believe we are thinking about something entirely different, like pizza or our current love relationship. You aren't a real person until you get there.


The problem was that I thought home was a real place I had keep returning to. It's hard to grow up when your brain is telling you you're a baby who needs its mother, a baby who needs safety.


It's difficult being a hard-core adventurer when your soul wants the cave of mommy.


There's no place like home. If there's no place like it, why keep looking for it?


Perhaps that means it's time to move on and find something else. A word that invites the self to flower, to be.




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