It’s complicated….

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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…..

Who am I really?

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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……