There have been an extensive amount of people I have spoken to that have said to me, "when my world just seems upside down, I have struggled to turn my thoughts into words for one to understand my feelings."
Have you ever taken a word search puzzle and sat down in a quiet room and searched for letters that will create a word only to find that most of them are spelled backwards? Very often when one feels lost they tend to turn to something of a higher power. But what constitutes a high power? Many feel it is biblical and some feel it is a skilled and very trained therapist or some find comfort within themselves while they desperately seek for those letters that will create some sense of those words that will define how they feel.
Once I learned I was adopted I suddenly saw my family in a different light. I was so young and trying to create those letters that will form words that will then turn into a sentence was so confusing for me. I began to pull away from my family because suddenly what seemed to make sense no longer felt like it did any longer. The family I called "mom and dad" were now mere strangers to me.
I remember hearing my mom cry in pain while my dad consoled her telling her over and over, "she will understand we love her no matter what and we need to help her understand this, it must be scary to suddenly learn that your birth mother just gave you away."
My brother was more accepting of being adopted. It never really seemed to bother him at all. But for me and still I struggle with the letters that create words and those words that will create a sentence for me to define my confusion. But as the years went on I saw the devotion from my mom, the open arms to hug me when I hurt or my dad kissing my boo-boo's. Suddenly I found myself falling in love with this family that wanted me so badly.
Growing up with the family I did was never easy. My father had this high-powered job that consisted of demanding work within each and every court house throughout Southern California. He was responsible for over eleven court houses and often I felt as if we lived in a fish bowl. No matter where we went or what I did, as soon as they heard my name, I heard countless times..."Hey isn't your dad....." I was always known as Mr....... daughter. I was never ever defined as a person but someone's daughter.
We were considered high society which in turn lead to high society dinners. When my mom and dad attended those affairs my mom was dressed to the "nines" as they said back then. She was draped in diamonds from head to toe accompanied with an evening gown that was always perfect for her. My dad of course, wore his tuxedo and together they made a beautiful couple.
For many years I secretly carried those thoughts of wanting to find my birth mother. I would often dream of finding her and confronting her then demanding an answer. I wanted to see who I looked like. As the years crept along, I was changing, growing, and my looks were nothing like my parents. It pained me to see my friends who resembled their mom or dad. I felt like a fish out of water when I was with my family. I cannot begin to share those who never knew of my brother and I being adopted they would gaze at us then my parents, then us, then back at them. I knew what they thinking, "they don't look anything like their parents."
I could feel those burning eyes and secret whispers or thoughts of others bearing down my neck or into my chest which ultimately broke my heart. I began to question if it was just me who felt this way? My brother fit into every conversation, he fit into every crowd and many just wanted to be around him. I of course never felt that way. I always felt like the last egg that made a dozen laying outside of the crate and no one ever put me in to make me feel like the complete dozen.
I always buried my thoughts, fears, and desperately wanting to know who my birth mom was. Every woman I saw no matter where I went I began to wonder, "is she my birth mom, or could it her, or her, or maybe even her."
Growing up through elementary school was even more difficult than I ever imagined. We all know that when we attend school, we have to fill out forms that define who we are. We fill in all the places that we know of yet when it came to the question, "what is your nationality?" I never knew what to mark. I had no clue to what my nationality was. I had no understanding of where I came from so how would I know my nationality? My dad tried telling me, "well, I am what you call Heinz Fifty -Seven, and since your my daughter that would make you are a mix of everything."
Is that supposed to give me clarity of what I am? Really? After being told that my entire childhood I finally told my dad, "that is what you are, I want to know what I am. Remember, I came from someone else. I want to know who I am, what makes me, me. Am I Hispanic, Jewish, Irish, German, what am I?"
Imagine growing up and never knowing your nationality, ever! Everyone else in this huge vast world knows who they are. They know how they got their personality, who they represent, where their temperament came from. They know where they got their green eyes from, their smile from, where they got their laughter from. I was so consumed and jealous by this. It pained me severely to know that I will never know who I am.
So often many people asked me my nationality. Those which were so curious often reveled to me I had resembled someone of a European decent Then I often heard Irish decent. I even heard Hispanic decent. Imagine being in a conversation and someone asking you, "so, what's your ancestry, where does your lineage being?" I was not about to ever tell someone I was a Heinz-Fifty-Seven, that belonged to my father. I wanted my own, I wanted my own identity. I wanted to feel like I belonged to my own nationality.
Yet, for years I could never answer that so, to stop the pain, and stop the confusion of so many I always told them, "I have no idea I was adopted." well you could imagine if you will the look on the people's faces when I told them. It was as if two dinner plates popped out of their eyeballs, "you were, oh my God that's interesting."
From then on I was hammered with countless questions, "wow, that is so very interesting. So do you know who your birth parents are, do you want to find them, don't you want to know why, do you know anything about them?" I suddenly felt like that frog in science class that had been euthanized and then dissected buy a student. I felt as if everyone around me was cutting deep into my pain pulling and tugging at me wanting to know just how I was created.
I often took a heavy sigh and just turned and walked away. I found my self cursing my birth mother with such piss and vinegar for giving me away then I found myself curing my adopted mom taking me home. I never felt like I ever fit in anywhere.
I finally gave in to the multiple questions of others and just made up a nationality. I told so many people that I has French and Hispanic. I figured finally since so many thought I was European decent I might as well be. For ten years when I shared my nationality it never really gave me peace, it never really gave me comfort. I knew I was lying but I so desperately wanted to fit in so much with the people and I figured if I told them this I would fit in.
After ten years of sharing this lie to anyone that asked me, it got old, it got tiring filled with boredom. I was no long able to carry this lie anymore and I found myself surrendering to the fact I will probably never know.
Imagine walking around your whole life never knowing who you are. Never knowing what makes you, you. You find so many that have that sense of belonging that have that knowledge of wisdom of their lineage, they have that step up in life while I just remained at the bottom of the steps. I never had that 'step-up" ever.
So, with my Christmas money I am going to receive, I am finally after fifty-five years of never knowing, I will be taking that DNA test offered to millions of people that seek some peace and comfort in who they are.
Once I do this, in one single breath, my life will forever change.