Many think adoptions just like having a baby naturally. Well, honey, its not. It can be very confusing, and frustrating, like in my case. Dont get me left, I had many good experiences growing up. That is not what I am discussing here. I am looking at the shadow of Adoption, here. And I am expressing my shadow, the shadow side I experienced growing up. You know, Good things don’t need explanations, but bad things do demand some kind of understanding to get past. So, I share my thoughts and feelings here to bring others into the world I lived. The world I wish to transcend, with my truth, in hopes that others can learn and heal as well.
But folks say a lot of things about what they think adoption is, and for years I stood by, played the quiet game like Mama Jean told me, and was polite. Well, those days are over. And to be polite while folks spout off ignorant ideas that have no basis in a truth they have experienced just is not going to happen, anymore. Not here. Its about truth telling. Mine.
I was so confused growing up. My Mama Jean would tell me this or that. And I followed her lead. Did she really know? Hell know. But she guided me the best she could. How could she know the way with me being quiet all the time? And With me living my private imaginary life, inside, how could she know? How could she know my heart? That I kept from her. And why did I keep it from her? Well, it was broken, into a million pieces, and you can’t give someone a broken vase, so a broken heart will not do either. Beside, she deserved a whole heart, not my messy broken one, she was a classy lady, who shopped at Macy’s and looked like Jackie Kennedy’s best friend. And in my mind, I was an orphan, who Mommy did not want her, so I was cursed anyway. Or so I thought growing up.
I am different. I see things most folks don’t. I see the shadows. the dark sides. I kind of felt like a dark sider, I guess, growing up. Trying to make due, and be the best I could. I would never be like Mama Jean, I could see. We seemed to have conflicting interests and the chasm was to far to reach, or my language did not explain it so she could see. I am an artist and she is a brainiac, a rememberer of names and facts. I remember stories. I remember what folks tell me. A name is a name, but a story more about who the person is, beyond the name. I remember that most. But I kind of had to to understand my family.
And I struggled with that? It did not come with ease, learning my new family members, especially since I hardly knew them, they felt like strangers, and we did not share DNA, so it was strange. I felt strange and ashamed for not having a natural bond to these folks I was now family to. It pained me I could not get my body to comply. After finding Mama Linda, I asked God one day in prayer, why I never bonded to her like I wanted to, and here is what God told me. ” Belinda, you rode inside of one woman, you laughed, cried and did all kinds of things with her, for nine months you shared her body with her. And when those nine months were over and you went home with another woman, you knew the difference.” I thought to myself, that is right. But I still wanted to, feel the real love a child has for the one they are made from for her, and yet my body would not comply. I was hard wired to another. My body was like a runaway train, on its own track of sorts. And I could do nothing to stop it.
And that confused me. I have talked to many about being adopted. And many have misunderstood me. My feelings seemed harsh and cold to them. To them it seemed so clear who I should love and who I should be loyal to. And yet my heart knew another truth, and truth they could not see, for they were not me. This child, who longed for a woman everyone was glad I did not have.
The more I listened to others, the more I was confused. And I had hoped that my Mama Linda, maybe she could explain it, so I could understand. But alas, no she could not, would not be able to do that for me. After meeting her, I began to cry for no reason. And I would pray, what is this Lord? Why am I crying? And God would say, you are grieving. My journey of healing had begun, but it looked more like destruction to me. It felt more like turmoil to me. An unearthing of feelings trapped inside me, with no where to go, no comfort to hold. And I was more confused by this. I had found Mama Linda, and yet she was not happy to see me. She did not want to know me. She said she was content with he decision made and did not want to pursue a relationship with me. I cried and prayed again, “Are you sure Lord this is the way?”
God told me it was time to find Mama Linda, when I moved back into the state of California, in 1989. WE were moving back to my home state and on the way back into the state, I heard God say, “It is time.” And I knew what that meant. It was time to search for her. And so I prayed, “Lord, they will be done, if this is your will, find a way, show me the way.” And God did. I put an add in the paper where I was born. It said something like, Stephanie Anne Brumley and children are searching for her Mother. And a man answered the newspaper ad. His mane was Jack Brumley, but I knew, he was not my father. He told me he had a family tree and would look her up. I somehow knew, he was her ex-husband. And yet her was so kind to me, and helpful. He told me he would call me in a few days. But a few days came and went and no call. So, I called him. That day was a sad day for me.
Jack answered the phone and told me that he had contacted my Mother. And that she did not want to see me, that she had felt good about her decision and wanted things to stay the same. I was devastated. I got off the phone as best I could. And I then colapsed into the bed, sobbing. I called a friend to pray, she was a prayer warrior of mine. And she prayed with me, and we gave it to God to hold. I asked God to take my desire to find her away, but God did not. It was like a fire within my very bones that did not go out, in fact, it was as if God poured gas on it. After that day, it was like a bonfire within me, and would not go out. Not even from the water my Mama Linda, had thrown on it, spurning my call.
I was confused by her response. Mama Jean had told me, and many others, that my Mama Linda, whom I did not know her name at the time, had loved me so much, she wanted the best for me. The best I thought? This does not feel like the best. No it did not. I remember getting up one night, my soul was grieved within me. And I sat on the couch sobbing and rocking myself for comfort. I sobbed, to the Lord,”She my Mother too, she’s my Mother too.” I know God was there, comforting my spirit, as it felt so rumpled and jumbled inside me. But the pain would not go away. It was like a sequence had been started, and God was the one calling the shot, I had to follow. No matter the pain, I had been in pain all along, what more can they do to me?
Many of the things folks said, did not make sense in this case. My Mama Linda was not happy I was back? Oh, I had had such high hopes. My heart so full of love to give her. Why did she not want it? I prayed again to ask God if he was sure this was the way? And if god wanted me to find her, that he would make a way where there seemed to be know way. That if this was not the way, that God would take this cup from me. But God did not take the cup away.
I felt lead to call Jack after that day I was crushed by my Mothers rebuke, and asked him if her would get a letter to my Mother if I sent it to him. He said he would. His voice was so kind. I knew he really cared and wanted it to be better. My first letter was kind of lame, not really heart felt, but polite and loving. My next one would be very to the point. That letter got her very upset, I poured my heart out into it and it was not supposed to do that? I just wanted her to know I really really wanted to know her and that I wanted to know my sisters, and brothers. She did not like that at all, and Jack called to tell me he could not send anymore, for she was very angry with him. I think he still loved her.
I met a woman after that, I went to a woman shelter, to help woman who had been battered. And we would have prayer and bible study. I met a woman named Nan, she was a birth mother. We became friends. She was so kind, and she explained herself to me. She had found her daughter, and was happy to do so.I wished could be her daughter, so I could feel what it felt like to be wanted by her Mom. But that was just not possible. I could imagine what it felt like, but I wanted it for real.
One day, I was fussing to her about finding out information about my Mom. I was thinking that going to the place i was born and going through the phone books, maybe I could find out her name? When Nan looked at me and said, “No, you’re going to find out about your Mother through someone you meet.” I thought it strange, she seemed so sure.
It wasn’t long and I would move to back my home town again. At the time I lived in Vacaville. And we moved after my husband job ended. And after we settled in, I got a job at the local fabric store. One day, we were having a sale, and a couple of lady’s came in. I could hear them talking and heard them say they were from Gridley, the same town Jack Brumley was from. My heart went cold,and I was immediately awake and alert, And I heard a my friends voice inside me say, “You’ll find out about your Mother from someone you meet,Ask about Jack.” So, I did. I asked if she knew Jack, and she said, very matter of factly, “Why yes, I have known him all my life, Why?”
So I explained my situation, she had a grandson of her own that was adopted and so she was sympathetic. Within seconds, she remembered my Mothers name, as if out of thin air, I now knew her name! It was a gift from God! I was so excited! And quite surprised, for Mama Jean did not know my Mothers name, and she named me Belindas, which means, of Linda. So weird I thought to myself and so cool. I scribbled down what she told me, and we exchanged numbers and she told me if she found out anything more, she would call me. Two weeks later, she called, rather ruffled up. She had gone to the local Mexican restaurant and was eating dinner and low and behold, who walks into the place? Jack. And who did he come to talk to? Her, and he talked about my sisters who lived in Portland Oregon! I was so happy. I had sisters! I had always wanted sisters. Now I knew they were real.
And I was confused, ” Why would my Mother keep them from me?” Life is not always what we wish for, but it is what it is. Reality can be a sucker punch. I am grateful God was there hold me up.
I will share more about his story. I am tired tonite. My Mom still will not answer my emails and neither does my child who lives up by her. It is hard going back, and remember the hope I had for us. Thank you for diving deep with me.
And God bless you.