Dear Adoption, You Are a Contradiction
She decided to keep me just to give me up. I was born in Bangalore, India to a loving young mother. She was a young servant girl, scared for hers and my future; she considered selling me or having an abortion. She was approached by a family of lovely ladies who ran an orphanage and helped kids find homes in America; so my mother decided to keep me. She decided to keep me which meant she was going to leave me. This was the start of the contradiction. For 9 beautiful months I was hers…oh so hers. I bonded with her, heard her comforting voice, and felt her love and acceptance. I co-experienced her deep pain, sorrow and the loss she was preparing for. Fighting for me only to give me up. I felt her worries of a young mother in a horrible situation, grieving her pain of losing me; saving me at the same time.
The day I was born was the day I died. I died not only as an Indian child, but I died emotionally. The life I was meant for was stolen from me. The day she placed me in the orphanage’s arms I gained life, but also died. I was abandoned and left. My 9 months of pure mother’s love was gone just like that and I was thrown into a world of confusion, hate and constant fear. What next? Who is next? What did I do wrong? Didn’t she want me? Little did I know how this contradiction would grow and taunt me throughout my life. Adoption, you created a world of unknown. In a way I die every single day I live.
Adoption, you gave me a choice of no choice. I was torn in two and would forever carry the scars, never to regain a love so pure. I cried out for her over and over asking for her and longing to feel her warm touch; to hear her gentle voice. I sobbed in anger. How could she? As long as we had each other we could’ve made it! I know we could have! A life without her isn’t a life at all. It’s pain and hurt. I was given away to my orphanage family who in turn let a family in India take care of me for periods of times until I was 11 months old. But all I have ever wanted was my mother.
Adoption, you told me I was never wanted, but an adoptive family wanted me. In one day I lost my entire family, and a year later I gained a whole new family with the pound of a gavel. People say, “Two World’s, One Family” but I say, “Two World’s, Two Families”. But who is this other family? Who is this other me? Being adopted is like someone picking you for a lead role in a play you didn’t try out for. I have landed a role and have immense stage fright. What if I mess up? What if I forget my lines? What if I get booed off the stage? Will I connect with the other cast members? As play practice continues I become comfortable with the script and some days the performance is a smashing hit! I have learned how to interact with the other actors and have had fun dressing up in costumes, and have learned the art to the makeup. Putting on a mask has disguised the daily loneliness, pain, and missing her…my mother. After the performance I rush into the shower anxious to see if the makeup comes off, or has it stained my skin? As the water cleanses my skin, I feel human again. I am relieved to see my natural self, to feel honest and true in this moment. Tears flow down my cheeks as my emotions peak and I am overwhelmed. I look in the mirror and see just me, but I’m unsure who me really is. Too tired to debate I cuddle in my bed wishing she….my mother was here to tell me. I close my eyes and envision her holding me, caressing my hair, telling me not to worry and that everything will be OK and that she misses me dearly. I gaze up into her eyes to begin the long list of questions I have for her, but she stops me and says, “My dear child I love you and you must rest for you have an encore tomorrow”.
Home is where the Heart Is. My whole life I have felt lost and heartbroken. I am torn. All I have ever wanted was the life with my family in the city of Bangalore, India! To know who I am and to feel peace, to live without a mask and to have answers. My life in India would have been rough, but I would choose it in a heart beat just to be with my mother. My heart is in India, but my life is here in America. I have had many amazing experiences, I have traveled, I have a great job, college education, and good friends and family in my life. I have been married for 7 years and am so blessed to have my husband’s love and affection. We have two adorable children who have made me whole! I have so much good in my life and I am happy. Often when I am happy I feel guilty. Guilty for not being there for my mother. Do I abandon her when I am happy? Am I being untrue to who I am? Does my happiness define who am I? It’s weird, I feel like a walking betrayal. I would give anything to know my mother and my life India, but if I was there I wouldn’t have my husband and children! I wouldn’t trade them for the world!
I live in contradiction. I hope as I live out this contradiction I will make my mother proud and that I continue to find myself. In a way I can be whoever I want to be; I can put on different masks or try out for different plays. I can be both, I can choose to be me! I can have two families and two lives! Two hearts Two homes!