elle cuardaigh

To Adoptees from “Shithole Countries” and Elsewhere

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Red Thread Broken

When I was young and I would get into arguments with my mom, I would  oftentimes shout out, “You don’t love me!” Of course, I knew this wasn’t true. My mother showed me she loved me in thousands of silent ways everyday, whether it was reading my favorite stories to me or checking over my homework or spending her time by taking me to and from dance classes.  And she reaffirmed her love for me consistently verbally, too. Yet in those moments of frustration and hurt, the words “you don’t love me” seemed to fly out the most naturally.

In one passionate conversation, I broke down crying, “Why do I have to be perfect all the time?” My mother responded undeniably that I didn’t need to be perfect, and while part of me believed her, there was another part, driven by fear, that didn’t. China was a mysterious place to me that I loved and longed…

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