“Adoption—life is like riding a bicycle”

Life is like riding a bicycle—maintain your balance and keep moving forward—but know that when fate hands us a flat tire or a unicycle life’s challenges are greatly increased. If we move too slowly our steadiness decreases. Our equilibrium wanes; we become less stable; it becomes increasingly difficult to keep our balance. As our knees begin to wobble our sense of style and grace disappear. We loose focus and forget about our planned destination. We panic. All that matters is self-protection. Events unfold in slow motion. Knowing the inevitable is about to happen, our survival instincts take over. Our eyes frantically scan the sidelines seeking the least harmful place to crash. “Wham!”

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Bicycle

Adoptees must learn to maintain their balance and keep moving forward to live a healthy lifestyle and achieve their life-long goals and aspirations. When they come to a jump or rough spot in the road they must double their concentration, stay focused on positive outcomes, and adjust their speed and trajectory accordingly.

The phenomenon of loosing our balance and accidentally straying off-course is a reoccurring nightmare for adoptees seeking clarity and purpose in their lives, as well as, race car drivers, ski racers, athletes and risk-taking dare devils. Goal seeking individuals who challenge themselves have more work to do and more reasons to worry about straying off course. They must concentrate, stay focused, and continually adjust their speed and trajectory. What kind of person are you? Are you an adoptee challenged to find your true self-identity? What happens when you feel yourself hopelessly deviating from your primary goals and objectives in life? Do you dramatize the event by letting go of the handlebars and drawing attention to yourself by screaming obscenities and flailing about wildly with your arms in the air to create a theatrical moment worthy of an award winning America’s Funniest Home Video? Or, are you the strong silent type who suffers embarrassment from the ridicule of others, the torment of going off course under darkened skies in the cold and rain, endures the pain of injury and a sense of loss in your dreams, and suffers internally from emotional heartache in solitude?

I worry about adoptees who bottle up their feelings and lick their injuries in silence because there is nobody there to guide and support them. The child who hides his or her wounds in the darkest subconscious corners of their primal brain, where they remain hidden but never healed, automatically responds by saying, “I’m okay! Don’t worry about me. I’m tough! I can solve my own problems. I don’t want to rock the boat or cause problems. You wouldn’t understand how I feel anyway.” They internalize their feelings and reject offers of sympathy and conceal the depth of their emotional suffering from others. The sense of isolation they experience leaves them feeling unheralded and anonymous. They struggle to express their true feelings and depth of their emotions with words because they view the topic of adoption as an esoteric subject with a language of its own that can only be understood by other adoptees who share the same experiences. It is easier for them to internalize the pain of isolation and separation and conceal the depth of their emotional suffering from others who don’t understand them.

Providence does not shine equally on all adoptees—the lucky ones are handed a silver spoon, chocolates and ice cream, a comfortable bed to sleep in, a good education, and a wonderful loving family to support and care for them; while others receive nothing. I pity the adopted child who struggles to maintain a balance in their life and keep moving forward toward a positive and healthy future without the adequate support and unconditional love they need, and the care of others to comfort them. I encourage adoptees who say they have never experienced any of the negative feelings commonly associated with adoption to lend a helping hand to those who do, by being their mentors, spiritual guides, big brothers and sisters, foster parents, friends and the counselors they so desperately need.

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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6 Responses to “Adoption—life is like riding a bicycle”

  1. eagoodlife says:

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    Adoption – another take.

  2. Maria says:

    That was beautifully written. I can relate Judith.

    • Judith Land says:

      Maria, Life is very interesting and significantly more complicated for adoptees. Regardless of how the cards are distributed at birth, we must strive for balance in our lives and continue moving forward toward the destiny of our own choosing. Life is about making choices. Our lives are the sum of all the choices we make, the bridges we cross, and the ones we burn. Our souls cast long shadows over many people, even after we are gone. Fate, luck, and providence are the consequence of our freedom of choice, not the determinants. When justice is served by following our principles, making good decisions brings us inner peace. Judith

  3. Adopted and Curious offers a basic cure for the wobbles of adoption uncertainties:

  4. rosinaus says:

    As a mother of loss to enforced adoption, now reunited after 38 years with my lost son, your piece brings tears to my eyes. Both my son and myself struggle for balance in our own lives and I think always will – because something so fundamental was taken from us – the bond between mother and child.

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