“Nothing contributes more to the amusement of the reader than the tempo of significant life events and the vicissitudes of fortune, evolving circumstances that create the emotional ups and downs that adoptees face every day.” Judith Land
Life to adoptees is about strength of character and survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illnesses, and even death. Some lives have more vicissitudes than others, but no life is without events that test and challenge us. When we talk of the vicissitudes of life, we’re referring to the difficult times that we all go through, separation from parents and loved ones, sickness, job loss, broken relationships, and other unwelcome episodes in our lives. Some adoptions unfold as irredeemably as a disastrously bad performance at a junior high school talent show, while others seem made in heaven, floating on air with hugs and smiles, positive reassurances, and warm cookies and milk.
The vicissitudes of fortune are as fickle as the weather, favorable or unfavorable fluctuations that occur by chance. They are the successive alternation from one condition to another, variations in circumstances at different times in your life, changing fortunes that sometimes lead us into a dark tunnel of confusion and frustration. They are variations in circumstances that test our character, alternating circumstances that one would rather avoid but must get through. Vicissitudes are literary alternations between opposite and contrasting events, abrupt reversals of fortune, moods, sentiment, and emotions, radical opposing events alternating between cozy snow days, sweltering hot summer nights, and rainy day pub weather, contrasted with pillowy white clouds, sunshine and rainbows; reoccurring frames of mind alternating between understanding and confusion, order and chaos, fear and nostalgia, calm and stormy, mental stability and loss of control; stressed and unstressed changes of circumstances and fortune that are often unwelcome and unpleasant, like the stinking corpse of an unpopular politician that keeps rising to the surface.
Adoptees must learn to cope with the good and the bad because only those who let go of who they are, can become what they truly might be. Only those who risk going too far, learn how far they can go. If everything is under control, you probably aren’t going fast or far enough. Keeping your boat in the harbor is a safe place to be, but that isn’t what boats are made for. Success comes to those who are too busy to look for it. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Remind yourself that you don’t need permission to ask yourself, “Who’s going to stop me from making a better life?”
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