Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Who Am I, Where Are My Roots

So, I've always limited this blog to food, politics, and religion. But there is one other obsession in my life, one that I've talked about only superficially. As in, "I'm adopted and I envy people who know where and who they come from."
I was an only child for my adopted parents until 1955, when my sister was born. I was thrilled to be a big sister. That is, until a neighbor who obviously did not understand about bright and alert 4-year-olds. "Isn't it nice you could have one of your own since you had to adopt?" Uhm, Mommy, what is adopt? Why did you have to adopt? Mom told a story that wouldn't make so much sense without knowing that we had an old-fashioned candy store a couple blocks away from our house to which we walked for special treats. I've forgotten the proprietor's name, so I'll just call him Mr. Jones.
You love to see all the candy in the cabinets at the candy store and choosing exactly the candy you want. What if Mr. Jones put all the candy in little brown bags before you got there. You'd have to take whatever was in the bag without knowing what it was. What if you got candy corn (I hated candy corn at the time)? Well, that's what Daddy and I did, we went to the orphanage to look at all the babies and we chose you. With your sister, we had to take what God gave us.
I worried for a little while about them haveing to take what they got with my sister, but by the time my brother was born 18 months later, I knew I was somewhat superfluous. The candy store analogy was a good one, just not as accurate as I hoped.
Nonetheless, I had a reasonable, childhood with a roof over my head and too much food in my stomach. There was, however a lurking worry that they would send me back, that I had to be the very best student, person, and so on so they would want me. I also became the family scapegoat.
I always struggled to "fit in" and never felt very good at it, not in high school, not in college, not in grad school. I even struggle with believing that my wonderful husband will keep me around, though, after more than 35 years, I probably am doing okay on that front.
I sent cheek scrapings off to a DNA company a few years ago, but the results came back oddly inconclusive and inconsistent with everything I had been told about my birth family.
A month or so ago, I sent saliva off to another DNA company to see if I could satisfy my yearning for blood relations.
I'll be continuing to blog a bit about my yearnings, learnings, fears, and experiences as an adopted kid, now grown up, in search of a sense of belonging.

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