Growing up adopted, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the people who I called Mom and Dad. I wondered what was so special about them? And why they were better than my own Mama to raise me? I also wondered what I did to deserve being sent to such a boarding camp like this? I had to pretend that people who in any other situation would have been strangers to me? I wondered what was wrong with my Mama that she could not love me and be my Mama? What happened that made her say goodbye to me?
Growing up adopted, I spent a lot of time alone. I wish I could say that I accepted the parents my Mama gave me too, but that would be a lie. My body and mind struggled to wrap my brain around this arrangement, it did not seem logical, nor humane, even if I did not know the words meaning at the time. It hurt to have to grow up and live without her.
Growing up adopted, I was very anxious, I did not know I was anxious. I would not realize this fact until I was in my 50’s, when I finally sat down and started to unravel. I have always been high strung. I am very loud and excitable. I ran from pain, and tried to be brave. I laughed at myself when I fell down, and took spoons to my butt with strength and did not buckle as strangers tried to manage me, and manipulate me into submission. I felt like a prisoner growing up, in a nice home, with toys and all that children dream of, but not me. I wanted Mama back.
Growing up adopted, my parents fought, and eventually divorced. I was there the day my Father left my Mother. They were shouting and I was scared, I did not want to loose again, even if this was not what I wanted, it was all I had. Mama was gone. She had better things to do than raise me. But I longed for her. So. I pushed it down again and again. When I was in my 50’s, I could no longer push my feelings down for her. I could not go on, I had to speak up.
Growing up adopted, I did not feel special. Not in the sense of feeling loved and cherished. I could not tell it with words until I read, “Primal Wound”. That is when I got some wind to my wings, that is when I felt validated and like my feelings were not crazy. I am grateful for that book for me. I read the first page, first chapter, and cried. This book knew me, this book knew how I felt to the depths. At last a stranger that gets me. I am not alone.
Growing up adopted, I felt isolated and alone. I am one of ten. I have three half brothers, older than me, three half sisters, all on my fathers side. I have three half sisters on my Mama’s side, and a step brother. Since finding research that backed up that I had memories from the womb, I feel better about all the flood of memories about my sisters, that came from within me. It was like I was connected to them still and vowed to never forget them, even if I did not have words to know that was what I was doing at the time, within my Mama’s womb. I remembered them and missed them. I heard them while inside my mama’s womb. I loved them. They were my first family members I knew within the womb.
Growing up adopted, I was a tomboy. I loved climbing trees and going as high as I could,safely. I never worried about falling, it was like I knew, a force help me, and kept me safe. I was fearless. But lonely for home, even if I never told anyone. If I did tell anyone, would they listen? With everyone glad my Mama was gone? would they care and do anything? It was my problem, my Mama who left me. No one cared that she was gone and no one could even see how much I missed her.
Growing up adopted, statements like, “What is wrong with you”, took on a totally different meaning. I wondered that myself. But not for the reason my strange family thought? They did not get me at all. And I felt alone in that fact. I felt like a trophy a doll to play with and put away when done with me. When my Father left us, he did not get what he had even done to me. And He did not come to see me for a long time. And I tried with my 10 year old mind to make sense of it. What would my mama do? Dont ask her, she does not care. It was most difficult. I felt lost in this perfectly placed family, created by Mama for me. I prayed, what do I do God? I would begin to spend time in my closet. I felt safer there.
Growing up adopted was not all bad, more like a rainy cloud that just would not stop raining in my heart. I faked it a lot. I was sick a lot, and I know, it was a because I missed Mama and just got down. They took my tonsils out, I feel my brothers tissue was lodged in them and also in my appendix. People don’t even, know about him, but me. Somehow, I remembered to remember him. Its weird being me. There are so many that just don’t believe me. I prayed, ‘Lord, will Mama believe?” “She has to believe me.” ” Surely what they say is not true??” “Mama loves me, she must know this, she would not be happy to know how they treat me, or would she care?” “Lord, help me be strong.”
Growing up adopted, I worried about my Father and Mother. Would they leave me too? I must be bad, help me be good so I don’t have to leave again. I don’t like leaving, and I don’t like to be left,even if I don’t feel appreciated, at least I know what to expect. And, beside, they are doing their best. The words these people say to me and behind my back that I hear anyway, hurt me. Why are they so unaware of my feelings? When I was sick, is when I would feel empathy, and compassion from them, the thought of loosing me seemed to make them snap out of their own world and into mine for a minute I felt I mattered. Any other time, I had to tow the line and get over it. My body struggled being without Mama. It longed for her, while my mind worked to help me go on without her. My heart was broken and I did not know how to fix it. The only thing that made me feel better was to be helpful to those who felt like me. It became a ministry for me and I did not know it. It seemed to just come out of me to help those down trodden.
Growing up adopted, I felt down trodden myself. And my need to feel compassion seemed to come out to others and would ease my pain of being without the one I loved. Still does. I just never felt like I fit in and I stuck out and stuck my foot in my mouth without trying. I hated that. I said things backwards and had trouble reading out loud. I stutter still. I was told I was both left and right handed. But I ended up right handed. Mama Jean was a catholic, so, figure that one out. I don’t remember a lot of my childhood. Its real splotchy, and it pains me I have so little pleasent memories and most of them are overshadowed with longing for something, Mama. But I could not tell them, no, they might leave me. It is a wicked place most of adoptees go, without even our families knowing it. I hate that. I just did not trust anyone and tried hard to just be as good as I could. “Lord, when can I go home?” I’d pray.
Growing up adopted, I did not feel like a good girl. I felt bad. And I never felt I fit in with the children of the families my family knew. I trusted people that knew they were broken. They felt more real to me, because I was broken inside. I want people to know now how I felt back then, because I feel that my story can shed light on our plight and get folks to wake up and get real. There is a bond formed in the womb to our Mama’s. I knew my Mama was going to leave, I did not know the words, but I felt it. I felt sad and I worked hard to memorize her.
Growing up adopted, my blanket was a person. And when it got washed I cried until I had it again in my arms. I did not realize why exactly, because I was quite disconnected to my own feelings growing up adopted. My feelings did not matter, my parents feelings mattered more. I was there to do some job. But My blanket smelled like me after a while and at night when I woke up I would grab my blanket, called blankie, and smell it, and hold it close for comfort. I now know why that mattered to me, it smelled like me and like Mama. My smell smelled enough like Mama to comfort me back to sleep. I did not like the darkness. I would be immediately scared if I woke up at night. Mama Jean never once came to sooth me, my Father did. So, when he left us, as you can imagine, I was along at night to turn the light on myself. Which was so scary for me to do.
My hope is that if I get all this out, maybe my repressed good memories will come back, or up. They must be there. But I seemed to be all jammed up by adoption. Living scared to death to share any feelings that might upset my family was making me sick too. My throat closed up. My communication was limited, and then add that Mama Jean told me to play the quiet game and bingo. Communication would be a life long endeavor to overcome. It takes me a while to warm up and talk. I must feel I am accepted to open up. I must know that the people I talk to accept me with my weird ways of talking and don’t laugh at me for being different. I am getting over that now that I blog here. Thank God. Its been hard finding good friends being who I am and being so emotional and anxious. I seem to do better with chaos than quiet and I want to change that. I would like to be calmer. I am gaining some ground blogging.
I now have a place to write my feelings out and my hope is that others won’t feel alone or weird for feeling sad and alone too. We need each other. Adoptees are the only ones that get each other. Its like something you don’t even have to say, it’s a feeling. We connect to each other instantly. For me at least. Most Adoptees open up to me immediately. I of course listen well, since I played that quiet game so long. Mama Jean must have thought I would be silent forever. It took me years to give myself permission to feel the way I feel and not judge myself or shame myself for loving and missing my own Mama. And God.
I love the scripture that says when your Mother and Father forsake thee, the lord will take you up. It is my favorite. Paraphrased of course. I remember when I came to the Lord, I read psalms and proverbs. Most people go to John, not me. I felt I needed wisdom and craved knowledge. My family did not have any high expectation of me, probably due to their low opinion of my Mama. I knew I was smart, just different smart. Not book smart, I learned by seeing things and experiencing them. My parents had a Western Auto, and at 8-9, I was helping men assemble brakes on bikes better than they. When I was ten, I replaced all the outlets in our kitchen, my Dad was gone by then and it was on me to help my Mom.
I really don’t want anyone to pity me. So please don’t. All I want is to be accepted as I am. I tell my story to help people know why I am as I am. I can’t change who I have become, nor will I waste another day feeling bad for growing up so confused and sad. I don’t feel bad for loving my Mama so, even if she never returns that love the way I need her to. I will go one loving her and honoring the part of her that tis in me. I just want people to know, that as an Adoptee, I remembered her. And that I never let go of who she was in me. And that my life matters because she gave me all she could. And it is my hope that maybe this world will change and work harder to help woman feel good about giving birth and raising their own children. Also, that the world will work harder to help woman conceive at all who can’t. Adoption is not a replacement for our Mama’s, there is no replacing our Mama’s to us. And all you get is a child with a hole that they don’t even know how to fill.
I am proud of who I am and who I have become. When I first started writing here, you can see how jammed up I was. I did not make sense, even to myself. But God told me to keep writing, and not to lie about anything. And so as I spilled it all out on this blog, a new thing began to happen. I began to feel relief, from all that chased me and swirled around in my mind. I began to feel something like salvation, and grace began to cover me and every step I felt I missed for lack of really knowing which way to step. I always came back to myself and Mama in me. I trusted that. Even if she did leave me, there had to be a damn good reason, and God would show me why, somehow.
When I began to pursue finding her, God lead me each step. It was a scary thing and exciting at the same time. I had high hopes and real fears, fears I did not want to face. But I faced them. My worst fear was she would reject me again, and she did, very unknowing of the damage that rejection would do to me. If she had read Primal Wound, she would have known better. I prayed the day I got the call and learned she did not feel she wanted to meet me. A knife cut my heart and it was hot and burned like hell. I called a friend for prayer and cried so hard. I remember after Mama rejected me again, I began to rock again, at night when the kids were asleep. Growing up, I used to rock myself a lot. Mama rocked my sister Liz, I would learn after finding her.
I remember one night in particular, I woke up and was sad. I sat on the couch and began to cry, softly of course, not to wake anyone, this was my burden to carry. And I did not feel safe letting my children see me like that. At all. I began to rock and prayed to God. I began to say, over and over, “She’s my Mama too, she’s my Mama too”. I just wondered what I meant by such a statement that seemed to spill out of my mouth? I never said a thing like that before. And I was so confused and yet comforted by my own proclamation. She is my Mama too. Why must I fight for her so? Why do my sisters not see, I think to myself these days? How much she means to me? Too. Why don’t they want to share her with me? They don’t tell me. They say nothing at all to me, this is how they treat their own sister.
They don’t know what its like to be without Mama. I do. And it’s not fun. I would not even wish this on them, even if they are not sharing her with me. I remember after I finally made contact with my sister Liz and Phyllis on a bizarre phone call. I tried to contact Vicki first, but God wanted me to make contact with Liz. Because that is what happened. And for some strange reason she was home and my younger sister was there too. It was a God moment, but Liz was not happy to hear from me, I could tell she was freaked the fuck out. Little did I know, she had a child relinquished too. The devil struck twice on our family line. I wonder why our family seeds must be scattered to four winds?
Lord Why? These stories take time to piece back together and time is on Gods side. God would answer all my question in Gods time. And I wait for those answers. And i pray for Mama to wake up. And remember me her child. I pray her heart will open up to me and we can heal. Restoration is what I want. I want back what is rightfully, birth-rightfully mine. I wait for God to give it to me. God did give it to me, but Mama needed work and so did I. This is my life and my journey here. I came to bring light to Adoption, and to tell my story so people can see what they do, when they leave and don’t show up for work. It all just come tumbling back, after years and years and then? There is so much catching up and homework, that many Mama’s , well, they have been used to not doing homework. And they just don’t see the need? There brains have taken over and they don’t see with their hearts any longer. It is so sad to find our Mama’s like this, at least for me. I pray, “help Mama see”.
The way my Mama acts? I know she’s hurt bad. And to embrace me is to let go of her dream life. It means making room. It means my sisters must concede and let me take my place, a place that in Gods eyes was always mine. And it means forgiveness must be practiced by us all. I for one do not want God to be displeased with me, and want to do what I feel is right. Finding Mama felt right. Loving her feels right. The pain is the thought that she will never wake up and return my love. My pain is that she only sees my Dad in me and not herself, waiting to be accepted at long last. God loves all of us. Even Mama’s wild side has many blessings. And I am one of them.