As I had mentioned in upside down pacifiers, my grandparents asked me what I foresaw in my future and I responded with a plea for a mother and father. I desperately wanted to fit in with my peers and concluded that to do so, I needed those two things.
I am hesitant to write this post. I am afraid of missing an essential fact or detail. I am afraid of unintentionally hurting those who surrounded me during this transition in my life. But, then I see myself doing the thing I am so very good at; letting myself be overcome with fear.
Okay, so let’s be brave.
Adoption. The word carries significant weight in my story as it shifted the course that my life had experienced thus far. The journey of my adoption was laced with inconsistency and confusion for my young mind and changed the way I viewed the world.
My grandparents wanted to find me a home that was full of love, understanding and openness. They wanted to remain a part of my life after I was adopted; they had been the sole consistency in my first few years of life.
I stayed in a foster home. I do not remember much from the few months I lived there, but I do remember my room being at the top of the stairs and I remember crying a lot. However, the family wanted to cut off contact with my grandparents, compromising the one thing they were striving against. It was time to move back to grandma and grandpa’s house.
I was then set up with another foster family, eventually becoming the one I would call my own. I remember being confused. I thought I was on a long vacation and would end up with my grandparents after it was all said and done. I didn’t understand, and was incapable of grasping the permanency of adoption.
When I was four, I was officially adopted. My name, my guardians, my family, my friends, my surroundings; everything had changed. I had a mom. I had a dad. That is all I had wanted, right?
I was overwhelmed with emotion, and fear and anxiety often took over as I tried to adjust to my new life. I would have panic attacks at the grocery store, afraid I would be taken away and brought to yet another family. I would hide under the car seats at the gas station because someone might see me and take me as their own.
This wasn’t as easy as I had thought.
I do, however, remember moments of peace and serenity. When I would go to visit my grandparents for a weekend, we would often spend time in the boat out on the lake. I remember feeling calm. I remember the feeling of the cool air rising from the water and hitting my face ever so gently. I remember watching the ducks gather as I threw my bread crumbs over the side of the boat. I remember being with my grandparents, the two people I knew I trusted. I could breathe. It was in these moments that I could start to grasp that everything was going to be okay.
I equated family to having a mom and dad, but what I didn’t understand was that love created the family, regardless of who was fulfilling that for me. Much will continue to surface as I process, research, and question things. And although I have just begun to uncover my story, I choose to embrace bravery and discover more.
So, here we go.