Dear Adoption, I’m Keeping a Secret I’ve kept this secret from everyone. I’ve kept this secret for my entire life. I’ve kept this secret and it’s scary to say out loud. I’m lonely. I recently asked adopted people: “What’s one thing you’ve never told anyone about what it’s like to be adopted?” I asked […]
If you had known about me, what would you have done with me? Would you have fought for me? Would you have wanted to let me go? Would you have wanted to hold me, even if just once before they took me away? All questions I ask my birth father in my mind.
He did not know about me, he was never given a chance to say “I will take her”. What if he would have wanted me? What if he would have had the chance to be a part of the decision to keep me or toss me away? I will always wonder what he would have done with me. I was his only girl, his one and only daughter. Would he have thought that was special? Would I have been his little princess? He wasn’t given a chance, and neither was I.
I can not stress enough how thankful I am for my adoptive parents, that’s not what this is about. But I will forever wonder what a natural, biological relationship would have been like with my birth parents, siblings, aunts/uncles and grandparents.
My birth father passed away several years ago. I never got to tell him he had a grandson. He never got to meet him, or hear him call him Papa. I never got to hug him. He never had a chance to see if I had his eyes. I will forever wonder what he smelled like, does my son have his laugh, do I have his smile. I will never have any of that. It was a right taken from us both. Someone else made that decision, she thought she was doing what was best I am sure. Doesn’t make it any easier though. I can never imagine not letting my son’s father know about him. I can never imagine taking away their right to a natural bond with one another.
I guess I am angry at her. I just don’t understand why she didn’t give us a chance to know each other, had that been what he wanted. I feel bad for him, I feel bad for me. There was a time when I had no desire to know about him when I found out the circumstances behind my being. I did not like knowing he was (at least how I perceived him to be) a cheater. He wasn’t someone I wanted anything to do with, we obviously had different values. I now realize, that is not mine to be angry with him about, he did nothing to me. I will never know the circumstances behind his situation at the time of my conception. All I know is, we never had a chance.
So for now, in my version of the story, we would have had a happy ending. He would have wanted to see me grow up, been a part of my life decisions. He would have been at my wedding, he would have consoled me when I divorced. He would have gleamed with pride at his grandsons first day of kindergarten, he would have shown his picture off whenever he had the chance. So for now, in my version of the story, I believe he would have been glad to have me, if he had just been given the chance.
I guess I had this crazy vision of how things were going to go when I found my birth families, was I ever wrong! And to start this off right, I do realize that they are my “birth-parents” and we are only “half-siblings”, but that is a lot of typing to have to do, so I am just going to call it like I see it. They are my mother, father, brothers and sister, even if they wished they weren’t!
I explained before that both of my parents have passed away and through a lot of searching and DNA testing, I have found my sister, from my mother’s side, and 2 brothers, from my father’s side. My sister has been fairly open to talking to me. Although in the beginning, in our very first conversation, she asked me if I was going to sue her? For what, what would I sue her for? She also refuses to ask our uncle any questions that would involve the timeline of our mother’s pregnancy with me. She says “I would not want him to think poorly of my mom for having had you”. Way to make me feel special there sis! But she is still willing to communicate with me when I reach out to her.
And then there are my brothers. I haven’t spoken to either of them, they won’t talk to me. I have only spoken to my one brothers wife through emails. She claims he reads my messages that I send and that he is “right by her side” each time she responds to me. Says she forwards my messages to my other brother as well. Tells me it is going to take time for them, that I have to realize the images they had of their father, who attended mass everyday, have been distorted drastically. I get it, I would be surprised too if I found out my father had been unfaithful to my mother, but don’t look at me as though I am the one who did it.
I don’t know, I guess I just can’t imagine not wanting to get to know one another? I mean I do not understand how there is no interest in who I am? What my life is like? Am I married, how many children do I have etc.. I want to know all of that about each of them. I want to see photos of them growing up, I want to see what their children, my nephews, look like! I want to know if we like any of the same things, have the same allergies, maybe we have the same smiles? Why don’t they want to know any of that?
Yes, I feel rejected and hurt. I just don’t understand is all. I give up on the hopes of “one day” after I have “given them their time”. Believe me, I wish I could take it all back, for all our sakes. I wish I had never found them, I wish I had never reached out. And in an attempt to make myself feel better, how’s this for some defensive self-preservation talk… “It’s their loss if they don’t want to know me” or “Fine, don’t talk to me……I don’t want to talk to you either”. I just never would have thought it would hurt worse to have found them, than to have never known anything about them.
It’s complicated is just the best way to describe it. Some people will get it and some people won’t. Being adopted can really mess with your mind and your heart. You build walls and try hard not to let anyone in, because they are going to leave you, just like everyone else. You try not to care too much, so it is easier to forget them.
Here is how I know I am a hot mess from it all. I am a single woman mulling my way around the dating scene. I have been chatting with a guy who I am supposed to go out with tonight. Last night we are texting back and forth and I mention I am adopted and that my mother’s side of the family is from the Pennsylvania area and primarily Italian. To which he lets me know that he is adopted as well and was born and raised (by an Italian family) in Pennsylvania. My heart sank. I knew in that instant, we would never amount to anything and I needed to get out of our date.
Sounds weird I am sure? But when he told me he was adopted also, I thought to myself, he is never going to trust me and will never be able to commit because he will always be wondering when is she going to leave. Because that is me, as an adoptee. And could you imagine two of us together, trying to be a couple? I realize I have not even gone out with the guy, we may not even like each other. But what if we do? We will reject each other no matter how much we like each other, it’s what adoptee’s do. We try to be the first one to leave, before yet another person in our lives leaves us.
Believe me, I wish I could set aside my feelings of perpetual abandonment. I wish I did not think to myself, no one will ever love me and want me around so I am not even going to give it a try. I wish for once, I felt like I was good enough for someone to want to keep and hold onto, not brush away and throw out like the trash. I want to feel like I am “a keeper” just once.
I am sure it is not this way for all adoptee’s. I just wish I could be one of those…..
I knew it when I was 5 years old. I knew I didn’t come from them, but I knew they loved me like their own. But it doesn’t make it all ok. It doesn’t make you feel wanted or not thrown away. Something I have come to realize has haunted me my whole life.
Do not get me wrong, I am thankful for the parents I was given too. The people who took me in and cared for and loved me the best they could. They never made me feel any less than the children they bore from themselves. But it is still there, in the back of your mind, someone got rid of you. I get it, it probably wasn’t easy for her to give me away, but none the less, she did. She walked away from me, left me, cut the ties that had bound us for the last nine months. She pushed me out of the home I had known, the warmth of her insides, the sound of her heart and the whispers of her voice. It was gone, just like that. And I resent her for it.
I was the product of two peoples indiscretions. A pregnant 43 year old, unmarried Mother of 4 and a 46 year old married Father of 2, he and his wife were well known in the community. She hid me, she told no one I was coming, not even him. And just like when she had me, she picked up and left when she found out she was pregnant, simply vanishing, without a trace.
Down the road I found out who they were. I went to great lengths to get in touch with both of them, a story I will save for another time. I spoke to each of them. If you remember, he didn’t even know I existed, until I told him. I was pregnant at the time and had dealt with some health issues Doctors were encouraging me to find any information that I could on. I was thankful to speak to them and get the little tidbits from them that I could. She let me know I had 3 siblings, but told me they were not living. He let me know I had 2 siblings but gave no details. And yes, I realize, they are my “birth” parents and my “half” siblings. But the way I see it, they are my blood. They are who I came from and who I am a part of. I never heard from either of them again.
My whole life I had secretly wondered who they were. What did they look like? Did I look like them? Years have passed and my child is grown. But the urge to know has always remained. You see when you are an adoptee, you always wonder. You always want to know if anyone thinks about you. Is anyone curious what I turned out to be? Don’t you want to know if I gave you a grandson or a granddaughter? Don’t you remember when we talked I told you I was pregnant? And adoption or not, that is what my son is, your grandchild. Adoption or not, I am your daughter! Yet again, you turned your back on me. You abandoned me.
Some 25 years later, I go on the hunt again. Thank goodness for social media and the internet. I delve deep into the records of Ancestory.com and other informational pages. I gathered details of who I believed to be my uncles and cousins from her side and I reached out. I sent messages online and wrote letters that I mailed. And then I got the call, from my sister. You know, the one my Mother had led me to believe was not living. Turns out I actually had 4 siblings and all of them had been living at the time she and I spoke. Sadly, 3 have passed since then. I will never know them. And there I was, yet again, telling someone else of my unknown existence. We compared the details I had, to the life she had known. And a lot of it fit. A lot of it made total sense and seemed to confirm what it was I was telling her. Understandably, I have met with reluctance on her part. Our Mother passed away less than 2 years ago leaving us with nothing to confirm or deny the details of the scenario I was laying before her.
I knew names and some details of my birth father and his sons. I had details I had gathered online and records confirming them. I believed my Father had passed away some 20 years before and knew that one brother lived less than an hour away while the other resided on the east coast. But knowing I did not want to experience (what feels like) rejection again, I decided to have my DNA tested to see if there was “anyone out there” from the “other side”. And then it came, the email saying my results were in. I opened it and there it was, confirmation of who I had thought one of my brothers to be. Other than the birth of my son, never before had I felt like there was someone out there I could definitely say I was a part of….until now. And no, we have not gone off into the sunset and lived happily ever after as a new found family. If only it were that simple. If only I had never started my search……