“Adoption—life is like a zip-line; it just goes whizzing by…”

Whoosh! Each new pivotal event in our lives starts slowly and ends with a bang—like a roll of toilet paper—the closer we get to the end, the faster it goes and the more panicky we get. First grade, second grade, third grade…suddenly gone, vanished. Seventh grade, ninth grade, senior…was that me? How much longer until I graduate? Holding on for dear life, terrified and concerned, uncertain about the future and what might be at the end, we firmly grasp the zip-line handle and fly down the mountain. Trees go whizzing by on every side. With our eyes partially closed, we view the world with tunnel vision; our life is a blur as we fly over rivers and rocks, canyons and glades. Focused solely on endings, goals and arrivals; there is no time to look behind us to see where we came from or where we have been. Memories are fleeting. We live in the present. The past is quickly forgotten.

Adoption Detective | Judith Land

“I never knew you Grandmother but I am here today to say thank you for giving me the gift of life. For as long as I live the blood of our matriarchal ancestors will continue to flow in my veins.” Judith Land

Most of us have good memories, but our brains are like old computers with very slow recall; sometimes we even suffer a total loss of memory when our hard drive crashes. Who was that cute boy in fifth grade that moved away? What did I wear to the high school prom? Remember the summer of 2010, the school play, the day in the park, that warm summer night, riding bikes, my favorite song, crazy Charlie, the dance? Mementos, souvenirs and postcards help to rekindle sentimental memories of special events and people. Photos, memorabilia, ticket stubs and diaries offer proof of the past. The sharing of stories with others about the significant events in our lives, and how we felt about them then and now, rekindles our spirit and preserves our memories in the minds of others.

By living only in the present, without an accurate record of the past, or a plan for the future, many adoptees simply float on air. But, what if you had a photographic memory and you could recall everything that ever happened to you? Would you chose to slow the world down for just a moment, reflect on the past, look for transparency, seek the truth, and offer forgiveness? Would you offer a blessing for the few things that actually went right in your life—a remembrance of the unique people and experiences you are truly thankful for? We all have a free will and the right to choose. If you had the choice, how long would you postpone this experience? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all pause for a quiet moment, reflect on the past, think about our ancestors and significant others, and offer a special thank you to our mentors, coaches, teachers, peers, family members and everyone else who has had a positive influence in our lives?

“I think about my grandmother as I wander through the cemetery of life searching for her grave. She is a person of significant importance to me that I never knew. I never even knew her name until recently because I was adopted. I am taking this moment to pause and quietly thank her for giving me the matriarchal gift of life. Thank you grandma. May you rest in peace.” Judith Land


About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
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2 Responses to “Adoption—life is like a zip-line; it just goes whizzing by…”

  1. Well written and well said. I often find myself thinking the same things as I look at my “children” who are 22 and 16. Where did the time go and what did I miss?

    • Judith Land says:

      Dear Degordonauthor. Thank you for the comment. One of the most critical aspects of an adoption search is the timing. Nobody lives forever, especial not grandparents. Prolonging an adoption search, an ethereal journey of the heart and soul for many adoptees, too long is a common cause of failure. Humanistic psychologists believe that every person has a strong desire to realize his or her full potential, but before adoptees can reach the highest level of self-actualization, they must be given a full explanation of why their life’s trajectory was so radically and mysteriously altered though no fault of their own. Only then can they come to full realization of their true self-identity. With age comes wisdom and a more realistic understanding of the past. The process of acquiring basic information about one’s true family heritage; medical background; ethnicity and culture; geographic point of origin; and the opportunity to meet biologically related family members, provides psychological grounding for all people. When mature, most adoptees tend think of their birth parents with an ever growing sense of forgiveness. The overall reunion experience when guided with sufficient balance and understanding can help many adoptees discover their true self-identity and become well in this age of illness and anxiety. Judith

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