Because November is Adoption Awareness Month, I wanted to share my adoption story. I would love to tell you that things are clearer now, since it has been nearly two years since finding my birth mother, a full sister, and connections to the rest of my biological family, but they are not. They are murkier, really. Adoption isn't something that a child overcomes. It's something woven into our lives' tapestries. This is one part of my tapestry.
There are the words I don’t want to say. They are the things I do not want to talk about. When I look around and realize that there is nobody who understands what it feels like to think I know my own story, only to be told it is nothing like I had thought.
I define and redefine who I am, and what makes me tick. I assess my progress through this life, silently marking my achievements, my joys, my growth. I feel adrift, disconnected though I cling tightly to the ones I love.
I stare into faces that somehow resemble my own for the first time in my life.
I do not understand how I could ever be apart from my children, or live my life not being their mother. I cannot understand how someone made the choice to leave me behind. There is no sadness with these thoughts, just empty curiosity. Incomprehension. I cannot fathom how strangers took me into their home and hearts as their own or how they can possibly process what has happened in the last year. My own life confuses me.
Where once there was only me, now there is a rich history to which I feel no attachment. There are people where there was only imagination, and expectations where there was always nothing.
The mechanisms set in motion are things I cannot contain.
The weight of it all compresses my chest.
For the first time in my life, I am pretending to know myself while I try to interpret this story that is not my own.