Sunday, September 12, 2010

What are you?

My daughter had a soccer game today and there are a few new players. I was introducing myself to some of the new mom's and welcoming them to the team. You know, just trying to be hospitable and all. Anyway, as I was shaking one particular mom's hand and telling her my name, my daughter's name...etc, she pulled me into her just a bit, looked me in the eyes and said, "What are you?"

Any of you confused? Well, I wasn't because it's about the millionth time in my life I have been asked that question. I've always thought it was kind of an odd question, and as a child the first time someone asked me that I was totally caught off guard. I've become fairly creative over the years on how I choose to answer that particular question. I mean, other than having my ethnicity tatooed across my forehead, I've had to think of some way to "explain myself" to the curious.

Fortunately for me, I was raised in a family where my amother was black and my adad was white. That is one positive thing I can most definitely say about my placement. I didn't stand out like a sore thumb amongst the rest of my family. As a matter of fact, I have been told on many occasions that I look "just like my sister" or my brother and I could "practically be twins".

Crazy! The random people that I come into contact with in my day to day life wondering what I am...well, I have an easy response for them. But do you feel about that very same question? If you were asked, "What are you?", what would your answer be?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ask me anything....well, ALMOST anything :)

I have enjoyed a little blogging hiatus, but am slowly getting back into the swing of things. School has started, and even though I am very, very busy, I must say that I truly enjoy the time I have to sit, catch up on old blogs, and blog myself. I was told by a therapist that blogging would be a very good outlet for me. She could not be any closer to the truth. I do enjoy it and it's better than journaling because I almost always get feedback! Yay! :)

Anyway, my good friend Christina gave me the idea to do a little "ask me anything" post. I say ALMOST anything jokingly. I really don't mind answering any questions. Now if we were having this conversation one on one, that may be a little different! But since I don't have to look you in the eye and admit how twisted and warped I truly am, I'm game for whatever! So, I digress...I have received several e-mails over the past few months about me, adoption, feelings, etc and I have happily answered them. However, I was thinking that this could be a great time to let everyone get in on a little therapy session. You never know when someone else may be wondering the answers to the very same question(s) you've asked, but didn't want to ask themselves. I want everyone to be heard. This journey pretty much sucks a large portion of the time, but if I can use my experience to help others I don't feel like the roller coaster of emotions ware all for nothing! :)

So...any burning questions out there???? If you could ask me any question, what would it be?Ask away, and in a day or two I'll gladly answer them the best that I can! Fire away...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

From Where We Came

About 5 years ago, my adad started doing a lot of family history research. He decided that all of his children needed to know where they came from. He found cousins that he never knew and learned all about great, great great, great great great and even great great great great grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. He compiled all of his hours of research into these binders with pictures and biographical information and gave each of his kids one for Christmas one year. The binders were titled "From Where We Came". He was so proud of them...and he should have been. He put a lot of work into it. The binders were very informative. He felt so strongly that his children needed all of this information so they could know about their genealogy and where they came. I agree. I was just waiting for him to pull out MY binder with MY genealogy in it. Lucky for me, I didn't hold my breath.

That Christmas, I will never forget sitting down with my brother and sister and flipping through the pages of Great Great Great Grandpa George and his brother Fred and Fred's wife Helen and their 8 children.... As everyone was oohing and awing over their family, I couldn't help but feel more and more separate from them. The more pictures we looked at and the more information I read, the heavier my heart felt. The more curious I became. I wanted to know about MY genes, MY family and where I came from. But, I never said a word. I just quietly flipped through the pages of another family's history and imagined what it would be like to know half of this information about my own.

Since my re-reunion with my mom, I have kept my kids out of it, for the most part. I was a little skeptical if this was for real or not, so I wanted to give it some time before I got them involved. I can risk being hurt, but I try my best to protect my children.

I have talked to my oldest about my mom. She still vaguely remembers her. She talks about her dog and jumping on the trampoline and playing with her older cousins at her mom's house. She knows that she's my mom and I grew in her tummy. She seems to get all that. Well, my daughter's birthday was a month ago and my mom sent her a gift. I was surprised at my daughter's reaction to the gift. Not so much the gift itself, but who it was from. She was thrilled to be receiving something from her natural grandmother. She told me several times that she could not believe that she remembered her and she needed to send her a thank you note. A week or so later we were with my amom and my daughter brings up the gift she got from her "other grandma". I cringed when I heard her start talking about it because I knew the direction it would take. I was just waiting for my mom to blow up. But, she didn't. Right then and there, my daughter starts asking more questions about her, why she didn't keep me, where has she been all these years, and so on. I answered them and my amom just quietly listened. My daughter ended the conversation by saying that we really need to go see her. Wow! Like they say..."Out of the mouths of babes..." I'm sure that will not be the end of it, as far as a reaction from my amom, but I'm also glad my daughter brought it up. I'm glad that she was not afraid to speak up, ask questions, and be heard.

I say this a lot, but it's so, so true. There are too many times in my life that I want to scream out loud how much I hate adoption. Whether it's sitting on the couch staring at someone elses family tree or explaining to my daughter why my own mother couldn't keep me, the conversations and confusion that arise due to it never, ever end. It affects so many people. The bottom line?...EVERYONE wants to know where they come from and who their family is. Even as children, everyone is curious. Not that it's a new revalation for me. It's always been important to me. However, unlike my daughter, I was always too scared to speak up. I never had a voice of my own, but I'm so glad that she does and I'm even more glad that she's not afraid to be heard.