Day 23 ~ on being adopted

This is where I get a little personal.

My whole life I wanted to have a normal family with a dad that worked in the office  who said goodbye in the morning after he drank his coffee and read the paper.  My mom would make me tomato sandwiches for my school lunch. My brother or sister was just 2 years older (or younger) than me and holiday family trips were spent camping or disneyland.  It would have been nice to spend a week in the summer with grandma and grandpa on the farm learning to milk a cow and playing in the hay barn.

I must wake up now and realize that this is storytelling and just an imaginary life. Really, really, no one has such a perfect life.  We all have bumps and bruises on our arms where our hearts laid vulnerable that we carry in the deepness within. It tells us to fear certain moments and then at times risk loving others.

My REAL story is that I was adopted at birth but not exactly.  My parents, who I call mom and dad, raised me from the get go but there was a tug of war with my birth mom trying to decide what the “right” thing to do was about her situation.  Societies stigma of being an unstable and weak woman forced her hand and rightfully so.  Why shouldn’t a baby deserve a stable family life?  The cost was my attachment issues and her guilt.

I would not change a thing, I think.  Except that sometimes the demons of small towns bite into my psychie and tell me how worthless I am and that I am simply the byproduct of women’s sexual repression because contraception was taboo.  Thank God abortion was illegal then or I might likely not exist.  I want to be part of the bigger picture and not pre-drawn with everyone’s image of HER.

Psychological Freudism would have diagnosed my denial or rage as a teen and early adulthood as a defence mechanism.  Current developmental psychologists would explain that my attachment issues stem from the early environment I had with my family by including my birth mother to our Christmas dinners.  “Insecure disorganized

All I really wanted was to be loved.  Unconditionally.  No labels.  No stigma.  No clarification upon introduction.  This is Wanda.  She’s adopted.  (I can’t stand it when grand parents or relatives introduce their adopted family this way.)  As if somehow that will explain why I’m “messed up” or “the old age of my parents.” It often causes surprise when people find out I’m fairly normal AND adopted.

Unfortunately for me there were a lot of secrets surrounding my circumstances and this made me cynical of peoples motives and basically I didn’t really trust anyone.  Anyone.  I lived a lonely life in my Anne of Green Gables or Emily of New Moon books.   I clung to the characters in these stories who had courage and determination, wondering if I would ever be set free to pursue my dreams and passions.  I wondered if I would ever find true love. Not coerced or pitied love.

But I think I might have had it all along.  It was just disguised as family.

God knew I would need a best friend to give me freedom to trust again.  Someone from outside the fragile circle I had with my cousins and relatives.  In came my husband.  A BC boy who told it like it was and didn’t think I was weird when I whispered the truth to him about who I really was.  Fully expecting rejection.  The winter wind of January caught my words and settled them in his heart and he embraced them.  Welcomed them.  No explanations required.

Finally, after 20 years of un-living I started to breathe deeply.

Graciously I was given children.  Four of them.  And the circle from being a child to moving around to motherhood increased understanding toward my birth mother and my adopted parents.  This was NOT an instant process, and is still processing.  But my ice and fear are melting with each year.  Miraculously.

I am a photographer.  I love to use different lenses for different scenes.  Age is like a zoom lens.  It slowly pans out as we grow up.  We can see more and more things from a whole new angle.  I must have patience to let it unfold and have compassion on where I was and where I am now.  So do you. Remember, this is my angle on things about my adoption.   My birth mom will likely view it much differently than me or even my adopted parents.

There’s more to my story of course.  One blog post couldn’t capture it all.  I’m sure my adoption will come up again.  For now I’ll leave you with words that meant a lot to me growing up. To my God,

For you created my inmost being
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand
when I awake, I am still with you.