Adoption: The Tapestry of Gray, Weaving Truth.

Waeving the tapestry of adoption truths

Adoption is a Huge Tapestry

There is no simple answer in adoption. Adoption is made of millions of individual experiences. We all have a thread in it. We all weave it together.

Adoption is not one color. It is not one shade. It is millions of different shades of gray, some threads change mid stream…from brightly colored, to the black of death, back to a pale whisper of what it once was. Some are almost invisible, but they are still there, holding their place, keeping the pattern alive.

Truly See the Tapestry of Adoption

Adoption is not all beautiful. Adoption is not all horrible. It is too big and massive for many to be able to view all at once. So how we see the Tapestry of Adoption depends on what particular piece we hold in our hands.

You might be weaving a thread that you find inspirational, only to find that another thread weaver finds it brash and garish. You might be looking for holes in my portion, but kinks and knots, it is still mine to weave. You can criticize my choice in colors, call it dark, call it depressing, but I know that next to your chosen thread, mine will still stand up and carry the weave.

When taken all together, the tapestry makes up the Truth of Adoption.

And Adoption Tapestry is Hard to Weave

What is definitive is that one will not know what thread we hold until we get to the other end and see what life has given us.

Some will unravel, some will break and some will be beautiful though out.

I will not take scissors to your thread when you are not looking.

I will not add bleach to your dye to fade you out.

I will not add colors to your threads to muddy what you see as yours. Weave what you will and let me weave mine.

Please do not try to alter my thread, my truth, my words to fit your pattern, what you want to weave. There is enough room in it for all our truths to be a single strand. My beauty is not yours and yours is not mine. And that is OK.

Some day we might decide that together, we are stronger. Two threads are better than one.

Making A Real Tapestry of Adoption Truth

Some day we might be more organized and weave something together. Decide what we want it to look like and make it really completely beautiful from that point out. Then those who look at the Tapestry of Truth will see only the beauty and thoughts, good intentions, and women working together to make us all beautiful. They will have to look back far into the past to see the darkness, the tear stains, the holes where threads broke off and weaving went astray.

When I was given this thread to begin, on the first steps on the journey to relinquish my son, the color was a bright blue like his pure baby eyes. I thought the whole spool would retain that vivid hue. Here they said, what a wonderful thing you do, now take this thread and go be wonderful.

Weaving My Part of Adoption Truth

And I started to weave. For many years I was a solitary weaver, not knowing what was really being made, just knew that I had to keep spinning. And I never looked back at the color, just assumed it was blue. That beautiful blue.

When I met others and we would sit and weave together, then I saw that the blue had faded, and for years I had only a flat gray. Cold gray, hard gray..what happened to the blue I was promised? Where was the rainbow? What was I weaving?

Now you can say to me that you would never have chosen such a color. That you knew it would fade and be ugly. And really, no one in their right mind would have picked such a color. And it is my own fault for the choosing.

And that all might be true, but I didn’t know. I had never had to weave before. Adoption sounded like a good thing to take part in. The piece of the Adoption Tapestry I was shown was beautiful. It covered up the ugly places. I saw no grays, no blacks, just a rainbow of beauty and I wanted to be included. Had I been warned that my thread was from a lot that was bound to turn gray then I might have picked another thread. I might have chosen not to weave, because, indeed all this constant spinning, can get you tired.

But I was told that if I went forward, that I would have beauty and rainbows, that it was a true good blue. I know I picked the blue, for the gray it is not what I had planned. And for a long time I kept on weaving and then going back to hand color in the gray back to blue. That was too exhausting also. I got tangled in the threads when I went back.

Accepting the Truth of Adoption

So now, I have no choice but to accept this gray and keep on spinning. It is all that I have. I know it is ugly at times, but it is real and it is still strong and it is still true.

Look at me, it says, I am gray. But I will get to the end, and I will make some beauty along the way.

Now, I purposely go into other patterns. I look at what they are doing and follow their pattern for awhile.

They come into mine and I will incorporate their bright colors, and intermingle with my gray.

When they let go of their threads, I tie them off in a knot and claim them as my own bright spots in my grayness. I think they are very pretty.

We might be weaving from opposite ends, but I hope that when we met in the middle you can at least admire my strong gray thread and see how true it is.

I hope to be able to see your beauty in yours too. An maybe together, we can tie a knot off in the spirit of true understanding.

In the meantime, don’t warp me. Take it for what it is. This is my thread, my pattern, my color..and it has a place in this tapestry of adoption truth, just as sure as yours does.

View the Whole Adoption Tapestry

Look at the whole thing. See the grays. Don’t dismiss them. If it wasn’t for all the grays then the bright colors would have nothing. Go be bright, go be pretty, be the color that everyone likes to see. The ones that the common passerby will notice and say “Oh, how nice, how lovely” But remember it is the grays that tie it all together and give it strength.

I am not letting go of what I was given. It is all that I have. It is mine. This is my thread, my truth.

I am still spinning.

I hope that when seen from afar, it is part of a beautiful pattern.

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

12 Comments on "Adoption: The Tapestry of Gray, Weaving Truth."

  1. Grey or what was once blue, your colours are pure and beatiful and are not being spun into tales nor are you ever deliberately hurtful. Your tapestry keeps others warm, your tapestry gives shelter to those who need some rest. Your tapersty is gracious to those that others find less deserving. Yours is the tapestry that people learn from. And best of all, your tapestry helps other weavers not to choose that blue that fades, it begs of them to look at the other colours too and not be fooled but that convincing blue.

  2. Wow, what a powerful post! I learn so much from you. Thank you!

  3. What a beautiful metaphor.

  4. Anonymous | March 8, 2006 at 3:20 am |

    You are such a wonderful writer! I absolutely love your writing. You leave me with so much to think about all the time. Thank you!

    As a weaver of an adoptive family thread I think this is a wonderful analogy and I’m happy and proud to be a part of the tapestry and to weave in and out with the other weavers, both bold and muted – we all make a beautiful cloth.

  5. What a beautful and elegant way to describe this! I have more than one thread I am weaving, and bringing K’s thread back into the weave has been a challenege. Hopefully my piece of the tapestry will be beautiful, as yours already is..

  6. I forgot to say that because we hold our threads together that makes us strong. No people waving their ugly scissors can break this bond.

  7. Thank you for the beautiful post, it was lovely to read and a very positive way to start my day.

  8. This was really fabulous. You have such a lovely way with words.

  9. Anonymous | March 8, 2006 at 3:58 pm |

    adoption is a tapestry perhaps, but it is not beautiful. and not everyone is weaving to create something beautiful of it. some of us are weaving because we were given no other choices, and we do not want to be part of the weaving but we’re just trying to survive the terrible seperation and loss and severing off of part of our souls.

    adoption aborts the mother.

  10. Yes, I would agree…that’s the gray threads. The ones that no one would have choosen if they couldn’t help it. The ones that support the whole thing. Without they gray, there would be nothing.

    And some definatly had no choice, but just were made to take the thread and start spinning..had to hold on to the frayed end for dear life. Definatly the ugly parts, the rips, the blackness, held together by the salt of tears.

    What I would like to do is change the pattern completely…

  11. and for many of us, as we weave, the threads we must weave are laced with broken glass that cuts our fingers, that spills blood upon the weaving, into the weaving. and for some of us, the threads contain the leather from the straps that bound our arms to the delivery table as we pushed against gravity to birth our babies, cotton from the sheet that was held up in front of our faces so we could not see our babies, and the wet material from the front of our hospital gowns from when our breasts leaked milk for the babies that we were never allowed to see or hold. and the tears … unending tears that also stain the weaving as it passed through our hands.

    does the pain ever end? i know women in their 80’s who say that for them, it never has. perhaps this weaving will be my burial cloth as well. death by adoption.

    and yet we are told we “made a choice.” i did not choose to live this way. no mother who has her baby removed at birth has ever made a “choice.” sorry, nada. no go. especially if she is under-aged and all the adults around her tell her that she must give up her baby. at age 17, i certainly was not making any “choice”. i was given none. and this wasn’t the “baby scoop era” of the 60’s either.

  12. This is beautifully written, and such a wonderful analogy. These threads are so true not only for adoption, but for the whole of our lives. Thank you for writing. 🙂

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