Friday, March 9, 2012

Misfit Adoptee

Square peg round hole, misfit lost soul.
Adrift, astray, and tossed away.
Banished and outcast, no history or past.
Hopeless, forlorn, on life's journey alone.
These wasted years and rivers of tears,
that flow each time I'm left behind.



I was thrilled a couple of weeks ago when my long lost adoptive cousin found me on Facebook.  We'd lost touch over the years I had divorced, remarried, and moved a few times.  I had searched for her but the information I had found seemed to be old and outdated.  She had found me through my adoptive sister's Facebook page.  We spent hours on the phone catching up and it was truly joyous.  I look forward to many more days and hours and maybe even a trip to see one another in the future.

We reminisced about the memories we had although we didn't see each other a lot because we lived so far away from one another growing up.  But, there were Holidays, and matching Christmas dresses, and Easters, and summer evenings eating dinner and fresh brewed ice tea on the breeze way at the kids table.  And the death of our grandfather when we were very young that left us all in shock.  These were some of the only "normal" family memories I had.

Unfortunately in life there is usually bad that comes along with the good.  It seems my cousins have been looking for me for quite some time.  For whatever reason (and I have my theories) my adoptive parents would not provide them with any of my contact information.  I had to inform her that I had only found out her father, my uncle, had passed away via the family Christmas letter.  I was not given anything or offered the opportunity to have any of the family heirlooms, antiques, or valuables when my grandmother and great aunt passed, or the grandmother on my mother's side either.  I actually found out my grandmother I was very close to passed away in a phone call I had made and in a very unemotional blase way.  I guess it's easier to not be in shock though when you've had six months time to deal with it.

I know there have been other people in life who have been disinherited.  It's not that unusual.  However, in adoption it seems rampant from the stories I've heard from other adoptees.  We are simply not blood "kin".  And let me make this perfectly clear it is NOT about money.  It is about how adoption alienates you from ever being, or feeling like a "real" child.  My biological parents want to keep the secret that is my very existence just that, hush hush in the closet.  Even my biological siblings don't know so I don't belong there either.

It's the silliest things I'd love to have.  The ceramic rooster and hen salt and paper shakers my grandmother made in her kiln we used as kids when we visited.  The hand tatted lace my grandmother had tried to teach me to make with my own spindle, or the ceramic dolls my cousin and I had picked out young we wanted when we grew up, or quilts, or even some photos would be treasured. 

I told my cousin about myself and who I was now and maybe she might find out she doesn't like me.  I am finally proud of myself and my life after ridding myself of the voices of my childhood that told me I was unworthy, and bad.  I told her I was afraid she would decide to not want to continue our relationship.  I told her how I feared being rejected again as I had been by my Adoptive parents.

She posted on my wall the next day "I will never reject you".  I wept when I saw it and even showed it to some of my friends.  And I still check almost every day to make sure she's still there.  I probably always will.



10 comments:

  1. Oh, this is so sad. I have heard many stories like this, about being disinherited. Florence Fisher found out she was adopted when she heard relatives arguing about her adoptive mother's jewelry.

    I love your cousin for posting that.

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  2. When my grandmother died, what I wanted was the bell-shaped perfume bottle that had sat on her kitchen table throughout my childhood. I found out then that it was something one of my cousins had found at a garage sale. I still have it on the shelf in my living room, and I think of her every time I see it.

    It's not about the money, it's about the opportunity to have a tangible reminder of the love you had for that person and they for you.

    This is such a powerful post. I am so glad your cousin has found you again.

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  3. TY Lorraine and yes, I don't know when I have ever been to happy and so sad at the same time. But, I'm going to go with happy I've had enough sad. And honestly, I can't say I'm that surprised. There is a lot more to the "story" but for my cousin's privacy I'm not going into all the details. Deb, I remember the jelly jar glasses, rare unusual ones, my grandmother had she had setting out special ones for us to drink out of while we visited. It was such a little thing, but what it symbolized was that she cared enough to think about us. Oh, and her collectible Avon perfume bottles too. Not worth a great deal but the scents bring back memories of her. I'd love to have just one.

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  4. it's the love of those reminders during gentler moments of our young lives, the few kindnesses when we might have felt included during family happenings. i remember them so well. but i still felt alone among all those people. the objects about held my interest and projected some meanings even if i did not know their stories. i made the stories up as i studied each item. i can see my grandparents' home growing up so well as if it were yesterday. a few of those items have been in my home but to tell the truth they don't really have the same impact as they did back as a child. i don't know why that is...i did want these things as momentos but looking at a rug or a photo or a mai jong set feels empty without the people's memories attached to them. it's hard for me to keep some memories alive when a good deal of mine were kept hidden from me. i have seen a piece in the possession of another relative that has sentimental value for me because i helped pick it out and was a gift. a painful reminder of what objects do to keep us separated even wnen it's really not about the thing but more about the stories behind them. powerful and pointed piece. ty

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  5. it's the love of those reminders during gentler moments of our lives, the few kindnesses when we might have felt included during family happenings. i remember them so well. but i still felt alone among all those people. the objects about held my interest and projected some meanings even if i did not know their stories. i made the stories up as i studied each item. i can see my grandparents' home growing up so well as if it were yesterday. a few of those items have been in my home but to tell the truth they don't really have the same impact as they did back as a child. i don't know why that is...i did want these things as momentos but looking at a rug or a photo or a mai jong set feels empty without the people's memories attached to them. it's hard for me to keep some memories alive when a good deal of mine were kept hidden from me. i have seen a piece in the possession of another relative that has sentimental value for me because i helped pick it out and was a gift. a painful reminder of what objects do to keep us separated even wnen it's really not about the thing but more about the stories behind them. powerful and pointed piece. ty

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  6. Such a touching and relevant post. I experienced rejection by members of my extended adoptive family too. Oh how I would have loved to have been able to have simple items like my Grandmother's treadle sewing machine or my favorite aunt's music box.

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  7. She posted on my wall the next day "I will never reject you".
    Oh my God, I am crying.
    Beautiful post.

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  8. K, Im so glad you have reconnected with your cousin. Im going through a similar situation right now, as far as the small trinkets of loved ones goes. It's odd...I feel strangely disconnected to the little treasures I wanted when my a grandma was alive. And when I say "treasures", Im talking a plastic Snow White cup and an ice water pitcher, lol. Looking at those things has a different meaning to me, now that I have discovered my truth. Bittersweet, for sure. What an awesome thing for your cousin to write...

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  9. This made me cry but I need to...we lose so much....

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  10. Thank you everyone. I've been blindsided for some days over the loss, and I am not talking money or material possessions. It has made me feel so small and unimportant yet again. I'm 52 years old now and every time I think I'm over the rejection the magnitude over whelms me again. I'll pull myself back up and shake it all off as usual. And of course I am thrilled to be in contact and communication with my cousin. I just don't think we ever truly out grow the need for belonging to a family. Yes, I have children but they are just one part of what people are supposed to have when it comes to extended family connections. Adoption severs our biological ones, and there is never any guarantee of bonding or being unconditionally loved by those who adopt you.

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