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search and rescue

Heading into year 3 of marriage, almost 9 years of being together as a couple, Alex and I hit our first big make-it-or-break it moment after saying I-do. What we learned was probably one of the most valuable and difficult lessons of staying happily married and growing together as individuals, that in order to stay fully present, connected and committed to one another, we had to also commit to doing the work on ourselves. It was not an easy realization - there might have been a lot of kicking and screaming.

This was the year I dove into my first therapeutic process, with a woman named Marilyn in a place I had not meant to find, from a resource list in the back pages of a book I happened to wander into at my local Barnes & Noble. I found a way to begin discovering what I now know to be one of the most influential and formative experiences of my life, my experience as an adoptee. At 25, it was the first time it had occured to me to deconstruct the notion of my adoption experience as being a source of information and insight in to not just my life's timeline of events, but the essence of who I am.

The intimacy of those conversations have been barely tolerable, even in small doses.

To touch and feel the vulnerability of my abandonment, the broken lines of family, and questions like ghosts in a parallel but very real universe I might never know in this lifetime, are hard places for me to go, even within the presence and solid devotion of true family and belonging. I've delved into this story in some ways over the years, touching in and pulling back, following clues to my own heart like breadcrumbs into some mythic fairytale or faraway land that read more like a third person narrative than moments of my own life. I've never really let myself feel those feelings up close.

I'm ready to go back in.

Something shifted for me the other day when I finally allowed myself to realize that this catalytic event in my life, although I was only months old and have no tangible memory of it, has shaped every experience and relationship as well as my deeper underpinnings of love, intimacy and identity.

That before all the love and abundance, the beautiful moments of hope and family and wishes to come, even before the safety and elemental embrace of Mother and Father, my life began as a traumatic event of loss.

One, I see now, I have never fully explored or healed from.

For the first time in my life, I can envision myself as the baby who lost everything she knew, who was hungry and hurting and alone at such a critical and helpless age, from both the perspective of my own motherhood as well as being that fragile human soul... and I can cry my way through an entire box of kleenex without shutting it down. I can truly ache for her. This is huge, because I know I have to feel this loss to fully understand how she is Me, and how the intimacy of finding my way back to Love, again and again, feels like the scariest quest of all.

Like any process of birth or transformation, such a seismic push comes only when ready and not when planned. Maybe I've been practicing vulnerability and building this muscle so that I could eventually circle back here, to this core work, all along. Maybe I needed to learn that I can do brave and hard things and come out stronger and wiser, that it is all worth it, essential even, in the end.

My husband told me yesterday me that something seems different about me. I hope that's a good thing. I hope it's the messiness of all of this stuff coming to the surface and me allowing it and trying to stay with it. The change is that I want the healing and integration to come. I can clearly see how not letting it open and flow will continue to hold me back, how it has already invisibly kept me at arms length inside my own life in a lot of ways and away from the closeness I crave and the love I am learning I deserve no matter how my story began.

It's back to the beginning I must go.


  1. that's beautiful Mindy. Honest, authentic, real. I fully honor your process, which is bound to be profound and at times challenging and at the same time LIFE giving. One way I relate to your experience is the following: at age 30 I was told by my mother, with whom I had a great relationship (beyond teenagehood...) that my birth was the result of an unsuccessful abortion. I had never felt unloved or unwanted and have always been pro-choice so at the time I heard this news as a miracle story and was quite amused by it. It wasn't until many years later, during an acupuncture session working through deep seated feelings of terror, feelings that had nothing to do with 'reality' of the moment that I connected to what I called my 'tiny being'. For days afterwards I was sobbing for hours at a time. It is essential to always remember that all ages of us, yes, even pre-birth, reside in us at all time, longing to be loved and accepted.

    1. the layers of our experiences are so profound. memory in molecules. feelings grown in the marrow. it's such a visceral exploration to root deeper into those stardust places. what a miracle indeed! that our lives can hinge on a single decision that changes our course forever. thank you xoxo


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