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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Sister That I Never Found

I realized that there are many thing even a reunion will not grant me, and one of those things is what once was taken from me (even before I was born). Many of the things I lost I have managed to either regain or recreate, but some I have to accept will always be lost for me.

Adoption ultimately meant that I not only would be separated from my own flesh and blood — it would take decades until we'd ever met again – face to face. By then they would have had endure their reaction for having been told a lie, and then the actual fact that they were unable and refused the opportunity to be raised with one of their own, another younger sister.  They weren't our birth parents only children. For many years there had been another unknown younger child — somewhere in the world. Raised by other people, growing up in another family. Meeting my sisters was like nectar to my soul – yet the fact is that our different cultures has recreated me, I'm no longer a sister to them. Fact is I am more similar to a stranger or distant relative or even an unknown stranger, with the only difference that we share the same birth parents and genetics.

My Omma was relieved when she first got to meet me so many years ago, and my sisters seemed to be excited and happy too. But being a member in such a large family does come with its sacrifice, and it soon seemed clear to me that neither of my birth parents could offer me the love I so needed and craved. While my older sisters were disappointed in me when I failed to fulfill the function in the family that had been assigned to me with my prospective part in the family. For my birth family I seemed to be a burden when I objected to participating and sharing the economic responsibility for my poor family back in the land of the morning calm. When I didn't accept the conditions that were explained to me several times, I thought it was best to say farewell …

It doesn't matter how much my heart yearns and longs for it, it will never be something I will experience. One of things I was forced to forsake as a consequence of my adoption was the actual loss of sisters not a sister. Luckily though I didn't grow up a lonely child, but I lost the experience of having a close confidant, a sister. By birth I actually have at least six older sisters; yet, I cannot claim that they really are my sisters even though we share the same parents.

They never got to watch me grow up or get to know me as a child, I lost the daily bickering, fights and sisterly advice. To be honest I'm not even sure if my older sisters do all that … being a daughter and sibling in such a large family has meant many disappointments for me personally.

I have a large family (at least on paper and by DNA) somehow my sisters that I'd like to call sisters officially will not allow me to call them by the title since we have an almost nonexistent sibling relationship. Maybe the thing that I'm forgetting is that like me my sisters are more than merely sisters, daughters, wives and mothers – they're human beings with different personalities.

Even within families were siblings haven't been separated, it's a given that some of them will feel closer towards some and not so much with others. My adoptive mum and dad, each has siblings and neither one of them are particularly close with their brother or sister. My dad's brother, my paternal uncle, honestly doesn't live that far from my dad. Yet they rarely see each other more than once a year and speak on the phone a few times. My paternal grandmother is no longer alive so that natural need to keep in touch is lost … My mum has a slightly better relationship with her sister, they see each other several times a year but don't call each other that often. My mum was almost 13 when her younger sister was born. On my dad's side I have two cousins, and in turn they each have sons. When my cousins' were small children we used to gather on social events, now those occasions have ceased.