Wanted to explain my tattoo. What it is, and why it is.
I think there’s something in there about wanting the pain and scarring to be my mini version (very, very, very miniature version) of pregnancy. The idea that, however it is completed, birthing a child leaves you with both a story of a lengthy pain and physical reminders of the event. Most women hide their scars, sure, but they aren’t afraid to tell of their stories, nor ashamed of the beauty of childbirth – why should they be.
But since I have not experienced childbirth, and instead went with instant-family (just add legal paperwork!), I wanted something I could point to. A physical reminder for me of the process of creating my family. Something I can feel, something that reminds me, and something that marks this time. Not to wax poetic, but there is pain involved in the entire process for us – fostering, adoption, openness, etc. I’ve talked about it before, the pain and loss and grief inherent in adoption, and its been spoken to much more eloquently than I have by those before me (see: open adoption blogger badge –>).
I value rituals and rites of passage. A lot. I think they’re important for us, for me, as human beans as we go through life. They make me stop and realize what’s going on, and they act as a benchmark to start and stop periods of my life. I wanted this tattoo, as ridiculous as it seems, to act as my very personal ritual of adoption.
My parents, as well as my spouse, greatly dislikes tattoos and piercings. Not that they will avoid you or treat you differently if you have them, but they will counsel you strongly to avoid getting them yourself. Hence, it is a very personal ritual for me only. I kind of like that.
I thought I needed to start owning this adoption more. It feels often like I am an outsider, or just going through the motions. I am present and real to my kids, yes, but can forget to be present in my own emotions about this adoption. It has happened incredibly fast – given that most people adopting from my area wait at least two years after approval for a child, we went from approval to adopted in four months. My practical life is way ahead of my emotions, etc etc.
All this to say, yes. I have joined the ranks of ‘Those Moms’, who tattoo their kids names all over their bodies because it’s like, cool, and stuff.