My adopted parents were wonderful. They loved me. After all, they picked me to be their very own child. I had a good childhood and never wanted for anything. Although they did their very best to make me feel as if I belonged, I look back now and realize that I always felt a little disconnected. There are questions I have had all my life and now, FINALLY, I have the answers.
Why? Why did my birth parents give me up? This is probably the biggest question I have had all my life.
I’m not sure that I ever really thought it was because they just didn’t want me. Over the years many scenarios played out in my mind. The one that I finally settled on as I got older was that they were dating and when my mother got pregnant, they realized they were just too young and not prepared to raise a child. I used to imagine they were still together and wondering what happened to me. As I became an adult, I realized that probably wasn’t the case.
I was born in 1967. Being Catholic, not married, and pregnant was a big no no. It was a very different time then. I was never angry about be given up for adoption, I always looked at it rationally. She did what she thought was best for me and for her at the time.
The story she told me about my conception may have been the story she told her parents to save herself from their disapproval. I found out later from my dad, it was as far from the truth as you can possibly get.
They were dating and after she told him she was pregnant, she just disappeared. Without even telling him what she was going to do. He had no way to find her back then and so he went on with his life having no idea I was even born.
I will probably never know the answer as to why I was given up, why my dad didn’t have a choice in the matter. I tell myself that it doesn’t matter and that I don’t blame her. That I’m not upset at her for the choice she made. That isn’t entirely true, but that’s a discussion for another day.
You have to be prepared that the answer to why you were given up may not be the one you imagined. Be prepared that you may never know the real truth. That’s the hardest part for me. All I have ever wanted was the truth. It shouldn’t be that hard. After all, it was 52 years ago. No one even cares anymore.
Health history was another concern. My adoptive mother died when I was eight. She had a brain aneurysm. My adopted dad died when I was twenty-five from Alzheimer’s disease. What if my birth parents or their parents had something wrong with them that I needed to concerned about?
Until last year when I was asked about my family history at the doctor I didn’t have any answers. “I’m adopted so I have no idea” was always my answer.
After finding my mother and my dad, I had information that explained why I had osteopenia and I went ahead and had a screening that I had been saying no to for a couple of years. Thankfully for me, everything was all clear.
Who do I look like? Another one of the questions I have had all my life. I would look in the mirror and wonder who’s eyes do I have. Who’s nose? And that crazy eyebrow! Who blessed me with that?!
I have my mother’s eye color, and I thought I looked a lot like her until I found my dad.
It was like looking in the mirror and seeing myself staring back. We have the same smile, the same nose, same eye shape, and yes, he gave me that crazy eyebrow! Thanks a lot dad, LOLOL!!
He often tells me that he sees my grandma when he looks at me. Hearing that makes me so proud.
When I met some of my cousins for the first time at Thanksgiving one of them said you look just like everyone else, it’s like you’ve been around all your life. I can’t tell you how amazing that made me feel!
There is no doubt that I am my father’s daughter.
Do I have other siblings? How awesome would be to find out that I had brothers or sisters or both! The chances were good that I had siblings since they had me when they were just nineteen.
I have two brothers and three sisters. I am the oldest, by quite a few years. It isn’t easy to build a relationship with grown adults. We missed growing up together and so we don’t have shared memories or shared experiences.
These are the relationships that are hardest to build. Be prepared to be patient if you want these relationships to grow. Just remember, you do have one very important thing in common…your parent.
For the most part, the questions I have had all my life have been answered. The things I still wonder about, well maybe one day I will find out the truth. In the meantime I am enjoying every minute I have with my dad making up for lost time!
Until next time,