By Supriya Deverkonda
My adoption odyssey has been beautiful, and I will not trade it for anything in the world. It has taught me perseverance. It has educated me on how not to pass judgments and declare verdicts regardless of circumstances. Above all, I now know how inclusive love can be.
This journey has not been an easy one and it started with doubts and sympathy for my daughter who was adopted. How do I ensure she has no hatred for her biological parents? Can I change her life story into one brimming with positivity? I was immersed in doubts.
The quest led me to join a group of single parents by choice in Canada, where they discussed queries such as how to help connect kids to their biological families. In one such discourse, I raised my concern on how to turn around the tale of abandonment into a sunny one. The advice I got was,
“Explain that the biological mother loved her a lot and she prioritized her daughter’s safety and protection over everything else. She handed over the child to a trustworthy institution where she would definitely be noticed and taken over by safe hands.”
In retrospection, it was a decision made in the child’s best interest as the place she arrived at was one of nurture, love, and protection.
Her words were slowly sinking in and I began to get the bigger picture. I couldn’t help going back to the mythological story of Lord Krishna and his mother’s Devaki and Yashoda. Devaki, the biological mother was in jail and had to give him up at birth to save him from getting killed by her brother. Then Yashoda adopted Krishna and showered him with unconditional love. Folklores around the mother son duo’s bond galore. The foster mother’s affection for her son did not falter at any point, even when she had to part with him as he went ahead for the destined tasks. Lord Krishna too reflected this pure form of love for Yashoda. When we can find glory in this age-old anecdote and empathize with Devaki, why not use the same lens to view all the biological mothers?
Through my journey, I witnessed various court like sessions held by people who would pronounce unsolicited, harsh judgements on biological mothers who gave up their child for adoption. Honestly, I cannot excuse the biological mother completely too. Maybe she was a coward, selfish or cruel but who am I to judge her without a complete know-how of the circumstances and pass on the same to my child? Unwed single mothers are shamed and face society’s wrath at its worst. The family faces the heat too, which makes her situation worse. With harsh judgements on her by kith and kin and the community at large, lack of resources and a support system, she is forced to put up her child for adoption; with the hope pinned on a loving family to secure the young one’s life. Then there are mothers who let go off their daughters to rescue them from gender discrimination at its worst, for they have no courage and support to battle this illness in the mindset of their families.
So as mature adoptive parents who have made informed decisions, we got to ensure that we present just the facts and not critical views to our children. What they do with the accurate information and unbiased perception is totally their prerogative. To know their past which is disconnected from us is their birth right. It is the missing puzzle piece of their life. And that lost bit should be no threat to our present or future. Our job is to help them figure out and complete the jumbo jigsaw puzzle of their lives.
Realization has also dawned on me that to be at peace, it is crucial to accept the past and ensure forgiveness, which holds true for our child too. In my experience with adoptive parents, biological parents who gave up their child, adoptee kids, I understand that the best I can do is to present the state of affairs as they are, devoid of judgements and negativity. This is the least we can do to make their process of self- discovery smoother. Trust the kids to make the best of the information we provide. Let them process it and take it to forward the way they prefer. Till then, we need to be their anchors, so that they trust us foremost with their innermost fears and insecurities.
The bottom line that our children need to get through their heads is, “Their past or root is part of their identity, but it is not the whole of them. Who they are and who they will be along with their values and principles will define their identity. And their past is a baggage which they cannot hold on to. For their peace, they need to embrace it and just move on.”
Supriya Deverkonda is a single mother by choice and has a beautiful 5 year old daughter. She embarked on this beautiful journey with the help of her parents in 2013. Supriya works is a Senior Manager in Analytics Services Industry. She holds an M.Phil in Economics from J.N.U.