My adoption story has two parts, the typical What The Adoption Home Lets You Know and growing up knowing that story and the Fill in the Blank story after I found my bio family.
The typical: My bio mother and father were teenagers and by the ‘luck’ of things bio mother became pregnant. In the 60’s it was not easy on anyone involved in teenage pregnancies. The best option was to give the babies for adoption. My bio mother took that option and went to an adoption home to finish out the pregnancy and put me up for adoption. My parents were wanting a daughter, my mother was advised after her second son to not have more children, I think she had a hysterectomy soon before adopting me. First they looked into adopting an older child, around 3 or 4. My mother’s uncle a district judge advised them to adopt an infant, because older children at times would have issues to deal with and sometimes the adoptions actually had more red tape than infants from homes. (He, knowing my mom, he may have known she would not have the patience to ‘handle’ a child with any ‘extra’ needs) So my parents put in their application to the Methodist Mission Home in San Antonio. Back ‘in the day’ the MMH would try to match the bio parents physical appearance to the adopting family appearance. In January, when my bio mother arrived at the home, my parents were contacted with the announcement of IF I was a girl they had a perfect match. I have a miniature tea cup and saucer with the January carnation on it, from my grandmother, commemorating the ‘time’ they first heard they would be getting me. Four months later in April I was born and I was (still am) a girl, so my parents received their call and 7 days later arrived in San Antonio to pick me up. From that day on I was and forever will be Marvin and Patsy’ daughter.
I have always known I was adopted. I do not have a time that Mom and Dad sat me down and explained it to me. They just always told me. I guess at sometime I must have asked for clarification of it’s meaning, but it must have been at a young age. As far back as I can remember, which is probably 4ish, I could explain that my mother that carried me in her stomach gave me to my parents because she loved me so much she wanted me to have a mother and father and two brothers. My parents said when I was 2 years old, I would toddle around the local restaurant to the other diners and hold up 2 fingers and say “ I ‘dopted.” There was never that moment I had to grasp what had ‘happened’ to me. I have been adopted just as I had blond hair and blue eyes, only difference is my hair has turned darker and grey and my eyes became hazel green when I was about 10, I am not blond and blue eyed, but I am ‘dopted.
Being adopted is to me the same being a girl, being human, it is just who I am. My informing others of my being adopted comes up now and again. Usually I would bring it up, I kind of like the specialness of being adopted. I liked getting the attention, it made me stand out a bit, and usually I did not. Sometimes something irksome would come from others knowing, like the time my close friend Craig was jeering me for not knowing who my real mom was. His payback came when our other neighbor friend informed him he was adopted too. It really did rock his world, I don’t think he ever recovered! Other irksome times are when people will call my parents foster parents, or more ignorant, step parents, it does not hurt me really, just astounds me how ignorant people are of adoption, which then make me feel a bit odd.
Other times I would become aware is when family would sit about and talk about family members of the history, the greats, those that fought in Alamo, Civil war, fought indians, the ‘proud’ talk of lineage. I would love to hear of it, and take credit for being part of it, but knew in my heart I really was not anymore connected to General Lee than Davy Crockett was. I was, am , proud to call them all my ancestors, but again in my heart of hearts. I know…..
When I was a teen my mother and I battled a bit. Mom did not battle just with me, she battled my brothers, so it was not ‘just’ that I was adopted and we did not ‘think’ alike. In the heat of the moment I would, at time, pull the adopted card and explain to her she could not tell me what to do because she was not my real mother. My real mother would not treat me in such a manner. Just crappy, mean, teenage, attitude at work, my adoption gave me a bit of mud to sling at times. One time after a rant of how misunderstood I was and that my real mother would not treat me thus and I wished I could be with her instead, my mom proceeded to tell me that my real mom would probably not take me back the way I was acting. Damn, that one shut me up!
I was always curious about my biological mother. Thought especially about her on my birthday, and she would think of me then, we would be thinking of each other, so poetic. Wondered if she was some rich princess or movie star. I never thought of her as being anything negative, Mom and Dad never portrayed her to be anything but a good person who made a loving choice to give me up, I could not think ill of her. In high school years I did justify my ‘promiscuity’ because, of course my mother had been also, but that was just me dealing with my own bad decisions and guilt from them.
I always wanted to find my bio mother. ALWAYS. Always knew her age, added 16 to mine. Imagined where she would be at that time of her life what she would look like. When I had my first child I knew I HAD to find her. I started the search. This is where the second part of my adoption story, of filling in the blanks begins,and this post ends….