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White Rose - An Adoptee's Reflection

Recently, the very first poem I ever wrote has been coming to my mind. I have recited it for a few people, and I would like to share it here for you.  I wrote it when I was about seven years old. I remember it well. 

I was waiting in the dentist’s office, sitting on the floor at a small table for children. My mom had given me a very thin, light-brown notebook filled with lined paper, completely blank – not a single word written upon it. I loved the feeling of those empty pages. Their infinite possibility inspired me to turn that little notebook into a book of my very own poetry.   I decided to begin right then and there, and this was the first to emerge from my heart:

White Rose

All the tulips in the garden are growing high above,

While the little rose stands all alone, as pretty as a dove.

The white rose is the soldier of the garden,

She guards it day and night.

She’s always there when day is through,

And in the morning light.


I have recalled this poem many times throughout my life, but recently, for the first time, it gives me pause. I suddenly sense the seven year old me, whispering through time, trying to tell me something I had not been listening to in previous reads and recitations. Perhaps it’s due to writing my adoption memoir last year, or all of the activities with the adoption community that followed, or all of the beautiful conversations with many fellow adoptee’s that ensued, but I can really hear my little adopted self speaking through White Rose.

She’s different than the tulips, that little rose. She knows very well she is not one of them. She stands alone. She feels the vast, mysterious yet beautiful nature of her aloneness in the garden.

White in color, she senses her own purity.  Though she doesn’t even realize it, she feels close to her soul.  Her soul is right there with her in the garden, peaceful and delicate, like a small dove.  She is alone, but whole.   

Strong, with a fierce mind to protect, she is no ordinary flower, this rose… she is a soldier!  She must protect the tulips, to compensate for her lack of belonging. She must safeguard all the flowers, for that’s how she creates her value. She must look after the garden carefully, for it is the fragile inner landscape of her pure heart.

Day or night, she never lets her guard down. This soldier takes pride in her immense responsibility to defend the innocent life of the garden. She is a white rose – a soldier of purity and truth. Defending the true nature of this world is all she wants, and all that makes sense to her. 

She is unwavering and loyal. Brave. She stands tall in the darkness, trusting the light of the morning will always come again. For the Light, she waits.


Struck by the strong symbolism, I was eager to share my reflections.  Perhaps you, too, have a little adopted self inside, who resonates.  If so, I welcome you to share in the comments. May all the beautiful flowers of our hearts connect, heal and blossom.




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  1. Tina Frisco says:

    What a glorious awakening, Danielle! Your imagery is compelling and beautifully explained. Those of us driven to write are fostering the birth of our realized souls. I’m not adopted but endured abuse as a child. At one point (don’t remember my age) I wrote this:

    …and in one fleeting moment
    the torch was passed
    the command was given
    the button was pushed
    and everything fell apart.

    A few years later, after being accused numerous times of exaggerating my pain, I wrote:

    i’ve got to multiply it
    to assure
    that most everybody
    will see
    at least half of
    what it is…

    Then as an adult, like you, I awakened to myself and wrote:

    i will let things
    and embrace
    where i am

    Your seven-year-old self didn’t realize she was embracing herself where she was and for who she was. Perhaps, as you said, writing and sharing nourished the little seed that finally blossomed into the radiant white rose. So it was for me ~ the pain of abuse compelled me to write and share, which eventually revealed my true self to me. Thank you for sharing this profound experience ❤️

    1. Danielle says:

      Thank you, Tina. It means so much to hear some of your writings and awakenings through the struggle of your own journey. More than that, it means so much to have my reflections understood by you. I can feel our togetherness through time and space. So, thank YOU for sharing. I’m sending my love and a warm hug your way.

  2. Amanda says:

    You’ve put that into words beautifully. I’ve often thought that I’d be a rose if I were a flower: delicate, beautiful and prickly sometimes. What you write also reminds me of the rose in one of my favorite books – The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. That rose is red, but it feels lonely, too.

    Around 2009 (when I was 20), I wrote this:

    Hey hello

    Do you know who you are talking to right now?
    It’s the love…
    The love I feel inside my heart for you alone
    Do you feel the same
    The same as I do?

    Hey hello
    Can’t you hear my heart trying to reach out now?
    It tries to tell
    The things you should know about my dear life
    My deepest secrets
    But you will not hear them
    Unless you’ll answer my love

    Hey hello
    When will I be reaching your heart now
    Who knows…
    Maybe it takes days, a month, even years
    But I will reach you
    Someday I will be
    Reaching your own heart
    Filled with your own secrets

    Looking back at it now, it shows me I was lost and that I had lost something. I may not have been sure about what I’d lost, but to find whatever it was, I had to go to my heart. I had to find my True Self. I was trying to talk to this True Self through this poem. What a long way have I come thanks to How To Forget, Healing Tree and Awaken & Feel. Thank you. Love and hugs from France.

    1. Danielle says:

      I’m so happy that we’ve been part of your journey 🙂 Thank you for sharing your writing, Amanda. Isn’t it amazing to see, as our older selves, what our younger selves were trying to communicate, when we didn’t even realize it? I appreciate your comment. Oh and PS. You’re right, I have been plenty prickly in my lifetime as well!

  3. Vinson says:

    Meaningfully, and truthfull. Heavy for 7 year old. Lonely and purposefully life. Sacrifice of self. Outer and inner beauty sympatico. It truly represents a soul. Enjoy all poetry from the readers. It is refreshing to read such noble sentiments from the healing tree members. This all is healing. Master Danielle, never tire of your stories. Number 1 fan Vinson

    1. Danielle says:

      It’s always good to hear from you, Vinson. Thank you for your thoughtful words. I appreciate your appreciation 🙂

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