home.

Home. Memory. Longing. Remembering. Remapping. Revisiting.
Home. Longing. Wishing. Feeling. Limitations. Absence. Rejecting.
Home. Confusion. Pretending. Hunger. Lust. Pain. Removal. Reinventing.

I have always struggled to make home, both literally and figuratively. I’ve worked hard to carry home in my heart, soul and body. Sometimes it is easy to access and sometimes it feels far removed. So far removed, that I have often worried that my children will not know what home is because of my own estranged feelings towards it.

Sometimes, when I am honest with myself, I worry that I will never find a solid home. Sometimes, when I am honest with myself, I remember that I have already found home… and it really does exist here inside me.

Recently, while in meditation, I have allowed myself to explore the deepest parts of me. Not surprisingly, I have found my way back to the soil, the deep brown, moist earth that holds the roots of my (physical and metaphoric) home. I have vivid memories of banana trees, and marbles in alleyways, and the time I spent digging in my backyard with my bestfriend/neighbor/sistergirl when I was little and we thought we would make it all the way to China. Foreal.

My relationship to the earth was different then. The earth was a part of me. The rain season, when we would play outside for hours, was a part of me. My backyard and the green mountains, they were a part of me. The volcanoes and cityscapes, all parts of me.

I don’t think I feel that way anymore. Not here at least. I appreciate the earth here. I appreciate the mountains here. I see beauty and I feel blessed for it but it exists outside of me.

I’ve been watching and reading a lot about Guatemala recently. Semi-obsessed with re-discovery I’ve begun to re-engage with the Maya, with me. The other day I found a video of Rigoberta Menchu Tum where she referred to the need for the Mayan people to be close to home. Her speech (an affirmation of sorts) was about the need for peoples to be close to their spiritual centers. She spoke on behalf of the Quiche Mayan in the U.S. and she talked about the power of the mountains, of the earth, of the environment. She articulated a difference between people immigrating and refugees. She located that statement in the context of the 30+ year war that has forced many Mayans to seek refuge in U.S., away from their homes and ultimately their spiritual centers in Guatemala.

As I mentioned in my earlier blog, I have been feeling this incredible pull to go home. I have begun to examine and articulate different journey and routes that may lead me there.

To be honest, I don’t know the entire story behind my adoption. Did my mother feel forced to give me away? Did she do this from fear? From an inability to care from me? What did the war have to do with this decision? Has she looked for me?  How has she created her own home? Maybe I will never know and, ultimately, right now, it doesn’t even matter to me. What does matter is the affirmation of this calling. I do believe that my spiritual journey is taking me home. I am excited by the possibilities that home may rest in the mountains or countryside or cityscapes of Guatemala, or the Southwest or the West Coast, just as it rests right here, inside of me. My drive and ability to imagine, to dream, to remember is my guiding force on this spiritual journey home.

To be fair, memories are tricky. They can be real or contrived and they can be subjective. The path to healing, for me, has been in the telling. In my own reclamation and affirmation of my truth, my memories, my visions, my hopes, my dreams. I have been fortunate enough to hold memories of my past, stories held in my body, in the souls of my feet that stood on my home soil and in the nerves of my fingertips that can still re-collect the winds and rain and spring-like temperatures of my birth country.

I don’t want to romanticize the experience of returning to my homeland. I know things are never as they might appear or as we may wish/dream/invent them to be. But I want to own the privilege of knowing the land. I’ve begun conversations with other adoptees that were displaced right after birth or within a few months of their birth. Their journeys are hard, harder, in some ways, than mine because they don’t remember their homelands. For some adoptees, in place of their felt, embodied memories are longings and hunger and fear. Fear of being rejected, fear of not belonging and fear of not ever finding home.

Of course, I hold these fears too but I have begun to find a path to home through walking in spirit. I hold space to walk with spirit in my dreaming, visioning and in memory. As I already mentioned, I have also begun to actualize the practice of truth-telling as a tool for healing in my own life. This practice has been imperative for me because the journey of an international adoptee can so frequently feel so isolating. It is almost like a secret, except that, for those of us that are adopted into white families, we wear that secret out-loud and on our bodies. I’ve begun to think and talk about the adoption experience as a compressed version of 3 generations. We are frequently expected to navigate the narratives and experiences of 3 generations; immigrants (refugees), 1st generation folks and fully assimilated folks. Where do we find home in these stories and in these journeys? How do we remember and affirm our first homes when we are taken from them before we have had a chance to explore them? How do we revisit, re-invent and re-affirm our connection to our birth land, our homeland?

In my exploration, I give myself permission to remember and aim to be compassionate with the pieces of me that forget, resting assured that spirit is leading me towards my home.

What I treasure most in life is being able to dream. During my most difficult moments and complex situations I have been able to dream of a more beautiful future.- Rigoberta Menchu Tum

and in similar news:

Guatemala Pushes for DNA tests of kids adopted in U.S.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B741820091208

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