Since I have no idea who or where my biological family is I will always have in the back of mind many thoughts and questions especially at certain times of the year like Christmas. What religion or faith, traditions, dishes and recipes have been passed down, and where do they gather and visit? Growing up I always related my adoption and family rejection situations to "The Little Match Girl", or "Land of the Misfit Toys" in Rudolph, my favorite was "Frosty The Snowman" 'cause the little girl's name was Karen and she got to escape and travel away from her family.
My adoptive family were not Holiday type people. It was a chore to even put up a tree, there was no decorating, and the cooking was usually done by my grandmothers who we only saw once or twice a year. They were very stoic and unemotional people so joy and expression of it was something that seemed to be looked on as a sign of weakness. My family was far from poor but gifts were practical ones, money was not to be wasted, so no extravagance was shown, no stockings were hung, no sweet sugary goodies baked in the kitchen, and no wreath on the front door. I was taught life was long and hard and you endured it and it was to be taken very seriously. My loud sense of humor growing up was not appreciated and squashed at every opportunity, along with my expressive emotional nature and my very soul. I knew we were different from others at a very young age.
So, the holidays for adoptees like myself can be very lonely and difficult times of the year. I am not allowed to know the names of my biological parents, my siblings don't know I exist, and the relationship with my adoptive family (not for a lack of trying to extend that olive branch) is basically nonexistent. This time of year can be so hectic and stressful for most people but it also magnifies how much of an outsider many of us are.
This poem is not one of my best. It was one of my first I ever wrote. But it does define exactly how I feel, as many adoptees feel, about being left out in the "cold" by one or more families. Certainly I have my adoption community family and I am thankful for that every day. But it does not replace, nor will it ever, the loss of two families I will never truly be a part of.
The Christmas Show
I see my friends at Christmas going to visit their families.
Groaning, moaning, and complaining about all the difficulties.
To get to all those people that have to see.
To buy and wrap all those gifts and go where they're expected to be.
There's always people arguing and rushing to and fro.
Sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents and more.
Too much to do too little time and they are wishing all the time,
that they could be somewhere alone, or someplace else rather than go home.
I guess they'll never imagine in any form or way.
How much I envy watching all their crazy days.
For if you've never lost it then you will never know.
How much of an outsider, I feel watching "the show".