The day I meet my mother’s family is approaching rapidly and now I wish I didn’t have to deal with any of it. I wish I could shove it all back into my subconscious, forget that I’m adopted the way those “happy adoptees” are able to. I wish I could be normal again.
Except I was never normal to begin with. It was all a lie. A lie I would be reminded of periodically when my non-relatedness to my relatives would make itself salient in whatever I was doing.
It’s kind of like driving a car that periodically makes a funny sound, and you know something’s wrong but you don’t know what, and you don’t have any money to fix it anyways, so you just put it out of your mind and drive along hoping for the best until it makes that sound again. Rinse and repeat. Sooner or later, you have to find out what that funny sound is and deal with it, or something’s going to break. I don’t know if I would have eventually barfed up my transmission all over the freeway the way my old Nissan Stanza did back when I was in college and hoping the funny sound wasn’t serious, but I know that adoption fog wasn’t really healthy for me.
It still seems rather attractive, even comforting. I know better. Adoption fog is what kept me from finding my mother in the first place, and now it’s too late. I can’t wait any longer. But I wish I didn’t have to go through this.
I’m so afraid of all the things that could go wrong. I’m so afraid that everything will go just fine and I still won’t feel any sort of connection to anyone. I’m so afraid they won’t like me.
Adoption fog was comfortable. I knew who I was. Well, not really, but I could pretend. But now there’s so little for me out there. Identity is becoming such a strange idea to me, I’m really not sure what it is anymore. The things that separate me from others, plus the things that connect me with others, plus the people I came from, plus the people I’m connected to now, plus the things I like and things I want and so on and so forth. How can a person just be a list of things and facts and desires and other people?
Was I born a little blank slate, written on for less than three months by the woman who gave birth to me? And the subsequent 37 years and four months, authored by others and, ultimately, myself? It’s such a seductive idea. It would make my life so much easier.
But I just don’t buy it, even though it fits with my overall social constructionist view of the world. I wish I could. But I know better. So I’m going to meet them and I’m going to hope for the best. Just a few more days, and names, voices and photographs will become real people. Will I become a real person, too?
Will I be a real boy some day, Geppetto?