Saudade is a unique Galician-Portuguese word that has no immediate translation in English.
Saudade describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return. It’s related to the feelings of longing, yearning….
Saudade has been described as a “…vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist … a turning towards the past or towards the future.”
A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.
It may also be translated as a deep longing or yearning for something that does not exist or is unattainable.
If there was one word to define adoption, ‘Saudade’ is quite fitting.
Not only does it cover the loss or longing for identity and birth families that many adoptees feel, it also pertains to the loss of child the birth parents may feel. It can also relate to the loss adopted parents can feel when their child has reunited with the birth family.
Whatever your story, whether you are an adoptee, a birth parent or an adopted parent, missing a past love, lost love, unrequited love or desperately longing to see someone since passed, we all have a veil of saudade hanging over us.