The Unpublished Chapters

It feels good to be lost in the right direction.


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Give Me My Dignity Back

“You are so lucky!”

Excuse me? Excuse me? Lucky? I am not lucky. Give me my dignity back and just walk away. I am a human being. My life is a blessing and maybe adoption was my destiny, but luck?

I am grateful, beyond words, which is saying something, because words are my specialty, but my life was destined for so much more than luck. My parents choosing me, my mother adopting me, my brother and I growing up to be fairly normal, mildly successful adults, (I mean for lost twenty something’s in the twenty-first century anyway,) that was damn hard work. I owe my parents a lot, but I have never thanked them for adopting me, nor do I expect I will, but thank them for being my mom and dad, I do that as often as I can.

I am not alive and thriving in this crazy-unpredictable world because I got lucky, but rather because God has blessed me with a loving family, the details are rather unnecessary.

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This Time Last Year…

This time last year I was anxiously awaiting a letter that never came, at least not willingly. I thought I could predict the outcome of a very complicated story, my complicated story. I thought I had control of how I would feel and how this would all play out. I knew there would be a little drama, because it’s my life, but I really had no idea what I was about to uncover.

Initially, anger and guilt overwhelmed me. I felt guilty for putting my parents or more importantly my brother through it. I tried hard to keep all the pressure of it on my own shoulders, but I know everyone directly involved suffered. And that made me outrageously angry with myself and all 3 of my parents.

Time has passed, the shock for everyone has subsided, the wounds are no longer fresh.

I thought by this time I would gain perspective. I figured with all the self-discovery I’ve gone through in the last year this would just solve itself. Maybe I thought I could just find forgiveness and accept everything, but I haven’t.

Don’t be mislead, it isn’t controlling my life. It doesn’t keep me awake at night, but I must fully admit, I haven’t come to terms with it. When I started the journey of discovering my birth-mother, I openly admitted I wanted the story. I wanted to know where I came from, in hopes that it would lead me to where I should go. But it’s been a long year and I can’t wrap my head around it.

If it comes up in conversation (which is rare, because it makes everyone uncomfortable) my mind blanks out. I have no feelings towards it. I’m not content, or angry, or guilty, or curious. I’m just numb.

My next step, is going to be talking to a professional, because I can’t accept that I feel nothing about something this big. Again, I might be getting in over my head. I might be putting myself through something most of my support system deems unnecessary, but what if it were you? What if it were your child?

I have no experience in this, nor do I know anyone with a history in complicated open adoptions, but if you have any perspective on having little, to no reaction to a supposed life-changing event, I’d love for you to share how you came to terms with it and how you explained what you “weren’t” going through to your loved ones.


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Q & A

I didn’t think I had anything else to add, thus the reason my last blog was titled, “The End” but it turns out me being adopted is not simply over. I don’t ever get to dismiss it. It is part of who I am, despite how I do or don’t feel about it.

Over the last year it has become a very frequented topic in my life, due in part to my journey and openness online. I have received emails, comments, and questions from friends and strangers about adoption. I will disclaim I am only one side of the triangle. I am the adoptee, so I will be speaking on behalf of adoptees only.

“When is the right time to tell my child they are adopted?”

My mom and I both agree… NOW! I don’t ever remember not knowing and my mom says it’s because she told me when I was very young. Whether I didn’t understand until I was 7 is hardly the point. It was never a secret, which I am so grateful for. There wasn’t an awkward sit down where my parents explained it to me for the first time. It was a word I was told at a very very young age and as I grew I understood more and more what it actually meant. So my answer is right now!! Tell them right now!

“I don’t want to raise a a child who will grow up and resent me for taking them away.”

I do not and have never resented my parents for adopting me. I am not nearly that naive. Even when I was younger. I struggled with depression in my adolescence and as much as the doctors tried, I never pushed my problems onto my adoption. It has occurred to me that somewhere in the world there are 2 people who made a mistake. But it has also occurred to me that 2 other people CHOSE me. That’s better than a bio child 😉 am I right?

“If you could have chosen would you choose an open or closed adoption?”

Personally, in my very unique case I wish I could seal it all back up and never know. But I do see the benefits of both. It is a tough decision that unfortunately can’t be made by the child. The adults really need to agree on an adoption that suits all parents. But please (in case you haven’t followed all of my blogs) don’t teeter totter in between. It’s hard, but it’s harder if you don’t stick to a choice. And set very detailed boundaries. It is a very digital, social world.

“Any advice you would give to the adopted, or the adopting?”

Follow your heart. I promise you will end up with a family that loves you. No matter how big, how biological, or how messy of a lifetime movie you make it. And remember whether you are the parents or the child, you can’t protect them from everything. It’s okay to ask questions and it’s okay to feel things.

It has been an emotional journey, one that was harder than I first anticipated, but if my insight helps even just one person, it was worth it. If you have anymore questions, please continue to ask, I’ll do my best to answer them.

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The End

It’s been a while. I took some time. Time to let it all sink in, to figure out what I really wanted, but my feelings haven’t changed. I am angry. I wish I wasn’t. I wish I could meet her. I wish I had something to write back. I wish I didn’t feel the betrayal that eats away at me every time I think about it.

I wanted the story. I couldn’t leave it alone. Now I will live with more truth than I was prepared for. A year ago all I knew was I was adopted. Today I know her name, where she lives, all of her so-called real children and thanks to social media, I can see far more than I should. I can see into the lives of my brothers, whom don’t even know I exist. Into a sister’s life, who wishes I didn’t. Into a mother’s life who has given herself permission to do the same.

I started this blog for anyone in the world to read. I post pictures on Facebook for anyone in the world to see, but it naively didn’t occur to me that I gave her a window into my life, a window into my soul. In her defense I don’t think she knows how much I know. I’m not sure that anyone does. They all gave me different pieces, but I cleverly put the puzzle together. I see the big picture and I don’t like what I see. It may sound childish, or may be something that is just not easy to understand, but she didn’t earn her way in. She doesn’t get to take pride in the woman I fought to become, because she didn’t want me or couldn’t keep me, or whichever way we want to word it to make everyone feel a little less uncomfortable. Bottom line is she let me go. I don’t know that I believe in open-adoption. How unfair. Everyone gets to feel good about themselves, but is that really in the child’s best interest? Were all these lies? Secret exchanges? Secret meetings? Was this all in MINE and MY BROTHER’S best interest?

She wrote me back, she’s off the hook. My parents sent pictures and let her attend my graduation, they’re off the hook. But what about me? I have to live my whole life trying to convince myself I’m a part of a family that I’m biologically not. I can’t give them my kidney, I won’t inherit my father’s olive skin or my mother’s loud laugh. I won’t get my sister’s kind spirit or my brother’s athletic genes. I have to live with the idea that someone thought I was bad-timing. That I was a mistake not worth the hardship. She didn’t tell me that giving me up was best for my brother and I. She admitted it was best for her too, that I was a burden.

I’m done. There’s nothing else I want to know right now. I don’t know that there is anything else I can handle. I have a life ahead of me.

Mom, Dad, Mellissa and Jacob I love you, thanks for choosing me, dang you got lucky. Sorry if I hurt you trying to get my story. You are enough for me.

Cody, I love you too. I’m so thankful God chose to give me a twin, I will never be without someone to remind me of my mysteriously good genes.

And Judy I suppose you’re reading this too, breath, you’re off the hook.


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Reflection

Whoa! This last month and a half… I repeat whoa! I wouldn’t even know where to begin to dissect all that has happened, therefore I will probably just begin and see where my thoughts take me. I haven’t had much time to reflect on any of it so I apologize if I get distracted with any one thing.

First off, I am officially enlisted in the Army National Guard! Hooah! I am beyond excited, along with about a thousand other emotions I don’t care to vomit up right now. Just know that I am still 100% certain of my decision, but aside from that I haven’t digested it much.

But although it was a surreal experience to swear in, it wasn’t the most surreal thing that happened to me this last week. The day before my enlistment, I received an eagerly awaited letter from my birth mom. (The post before this has a video of the letter.) After I read the letter I cried. I cried like I haven’t cried in a long time. They weren’t tears of sorrow, they weren’t tears of joy. I believe the timing was just so absolutely overwhelming that I couldn’t handle much else. I didn’t know what to think, I still don’t. I’m quite suspicious, well almost certain that after I told my real mom I’d be enlisting in the Army, she called up my birth mom and said, “now or never. She’s moving on, and you owe her this.” Now like I said this is just a suspicion, but I love my real mom for doing it. 😉

I have so many more questions, I want to know so much more than she gave me, but I don’t know yet if I will write another letter. I have a lot on my mind at the moment. I want to meet her, probably after training. I think I need to spend my summer focused on my future. If it is in God’s plan it will work itself out. As my birth mother said, we will meet, someday.

I’m sure my emotions will continue to grow as I reflect more on this, but at the moment that’s all I can say, I haven’t any more thoughts on the topic. Which is so very strange…..


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Inspired

Over the last weeks I have had thousands of people read my blog and hundreds of people have told me they support me. What an encouragement. I have been told that they find my story inspiring, but to be honest I find all of you inspiring. I’ve been asked by some of the closest people in my life and even complete strangers, “Why did you make this story public?” And my answer is simple. To inspire. 

Sure, not everyone will have an adoption story, but we all have brokenness in our life, what’s the use in hiding it, what’s the use in feeling alone? Here are some of my favorite things I’ve read lately that have encouraged me. I hope you find that they relate to you. And maybe you won’t start a blog tomorrow, but maybe you’ll confide in a friend, or even a stranger. Maybe you will tell someone what makes you less than perfect. 

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If I haven’t said it yet, thank you. Thank you for your support, sensitivity, and encouragement. And for everyone who has shared their stories with me, keep taking those baby steps!