Dear Adoption, You Are Always With Me
I tell my kids they aren’t adopted. I know that is a strange thing to say. I ask them what it is like to look at each other and look alike and go to school and be called by one of their siblings names by their teachers. I think this is so awesome and special, but it isn’t. It is normal.
As much as I loved being pregnant the first time, I didn’t associate being pregnant and giving birth with being a mom. The events were disassociated so much in my mind that on my daughter’s first birthday at her birthday party, my husband started talking about her birth. And I could not figure out why he was talking about the day our daughter was born on her birthday. Then I realized that her birthday isn’t just about her getting older, it is also about me too and that we share this day together. I still have to remind myself each year that I was there on my kids birthdays. And it has happened 38 times now.
Once I was older and out of school I thought I was OK. Family tree projects and genetics projects were over. I became comfortable at my medical appointments saying that I am adopted and don’t know my medical history. And I was so sure I was OK but then my first prenatal appointment came along and I said my usual line. But then the doctor said “what about your husband?”. And she proceeded to ask me questions about his family medical history. Answering his questions and not having answers to mine really made me angry. Because I thought, she isn’t even born yet and he can give her more than I can.
So Adoption, as much as I want you to not be a part of my life and as many times as I wish I was OK, what I realized when I spoke to a birth relative for the first time (besides my kids), was oh I get it…they just lost one person, me, but I lost all of them. How can I be OK with that?