Posted by: amazonadoptee | October 13, 2009

Looking back to look forward

Dated June 20, 2008

…and I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…

Her name is E, though I’ve known that for 25 years. Her hair is bleached blonde and she said she’s stuck in ‘some era, I’m not sure what,’ and I wonder if she’s maybe stuck in the 80’s, and if the year is 1982. She smelled of stale cigarettes and perfume, which triggered memories of Christmas presents wrapped in cigarette/perfume smelling tissue paper. It’s heartbreaking, really, to sit across the table with my first mother and yet to see the empty shell of who she is and who she could have become staring back. A beer wrapped in paper was nestled snugly in her knit purse, and the response she had to certain questions made me mentally rifle through my internal DSM-IV for a diagnoses. Alcoholism is a nasty disease that takes people’s lives.

The what ifs swirl around in my mind. What if she hadn’t given me away? Would that have helped? Would J have married her like he told me? Would they have gotten a divorce? Is her fate inevitable. Is any of our fates inevitable? If not my relinquishment, would there have been something else to drive her to the bottle? Or had she started on the path long before the choice to give me away? From a scrap of non-identifying medical information I know she drank and smoked and smoked pot while she was pregnant, and didn’t get a dr. apt. until she was 6 months along. I wonder if I would have had the same fate as her other two, a life with mom, but being bounced around from family members houses and with live-in boyfriends. I wonder if I, too, would have moved out at 15 and into a friend’s house? Or, as the oldest, would I have been another little mother in another lifetime, parenting siblings as I’ve somewhat tried to in my own family.

The questions aren’t easy to ask. It’s a typical adoptee response, to wonder ‘what could I have done?’ is it ‘my fault that she’s had the life she had?’ And yet, what person would bestow the responsibility of the world on the shoulders of an infant? Who could blame a child for the fate of the parent?

It was pleasant, not terribly awkward, but not entirely comfortable either. Family and yet, not family. It’s a strange situation all around. It’s not that I was ever ungrateful to have been blessed to grow up with my a-parents, it’s just that I need to know where I come from, perhaps in order to know where I’m going. There aren’t enough words in the English language to adaquetely describe what this is like.

And it makes me angry and sad to be adodpted. But to be honest, it makes me angry and sad that I am not my parent’s natural child. Why? Why was she able to get pregnant at 17 and not my parents? This makes me very sad, because they have been excellent parents. I wish I looked like them. I wish I could say that my great grandma really was Anna Christina , and that I could inherit a portion of the farm, but the truth is…I’m not. They are my parents but their ancestors are not my ancestors and this makes me very sad. I am sad that I have two moms and two dads, that I have to use 1/2’s to distinguish my siblings to others, or to say ‘birthmother’ in order for strangers to know what the hell I’m talking about. I’m trying to have a large heart and love the situation, but it’s freaking hard. No, it’s fucking hard.

The lines, ‘and I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,’ popped into my mind and I thought how fitting it is. And I’m almost positive, that what I’m looking for no longer exists, at least in the way that it could have been.

The best part of it all, though, is I feel beautiful. I’m looking forward to meeting my birthfather tomorrow. This process has helped me feel more real and whole, but meeting my maternal side has helped me feel beautiful. Perhaps it’s seeing something of myself reflected in others…

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