Lost and found.

I like my mother’s family, at least those of them I got to meet. They are really nice people. I felt connected to them instantly, too. I am not very much at ease with strangers, even members of my adoptive family who I do not see very often. But although there was some awkwardness here and there, for the most part I felt very much at ease with my mom’s family.

They totally accepted me, too. They told me how much I look like my mother, and it was really good to hear that in person. I was not an adoptee, my mother was not my birthmother. I was a nephew and a cousin. I was a member of the family. It felt good.

I thought this trip would be really emotional for me, that there would be mostly tears and grief, but there wasn’t nearly as much as I’d thought. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m still processing it or what. I think that in some ways it was harder on everyone else. I look so much like her, and they miss her, but I’m not her. That must be hard.

It’s hard for me to write about the specifics of the trip. It’s all so deeply personal I’m just not ready to share it, at least not yet.

I did not feel a closer connection to my mother as a result of this trip. I know a lot more about her, but knowing about someone and knowing someone are two very different things. I do, however, feel a closer connection to my roots. I feel like I have a story, now, of how I came to be, and that really matters quite a lot. I feel connected to the world in ways I never felt before.

My mother remains an enigma. I think she always will be an enigma to me. Imagine if you were completely nocturnal and had never seen the sun, but you knew it existed. Would looking at the sunlight reflected by the moon and the planets give you much of an idea of what it would be like to see the sun rise or set, or know what a bright sunny day feels like?

But at the same time, she is more of a person now, not just a name and a picture. She has a story, and we are parts of each other’s stories. And now I can find bits of her in me. My smile, my face, some of my gestures, and my walk come from her. Little bits and pieces of double helix string that tie us together, unseen but for others who point them out.


5 Responses to “Lost and found.”

  1. 1 Julie August 16, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    “I feel like I have a story, now, of how I came to be, and that really matters quite a lot. I feel connected to the world in ways I never felt before.”

    OMG yes, yes, YES! That is why is doesn’t really matter what we find, because finding it gives us, finally, a story of how we came to be. It helps to connect us to the Family of Man, to Humanity, in a way so many of us never experienced (yes, no matter how fab and loving and empathetic our caregivers may have been). Every human being, I think, needs that connecting thread. I think it’s why humans dig all over the world, unearthing the stories of how Humanity came to be.

  2. 2 Stewie August 16, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    So glad to read this. My experience with my nfamily is similar, and give yourself time. The tears might come, just down the pike at some point. Just ride it out. This is Mighty.

  3. 3 Sunny August 17, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    I’m glad the experience was fulfilling for you. I think what’s most important in reunion (at least it was for me) is to feel rooted, or anchored to the planet. My reunion was akin to what I felt in a skydive’s freefall, but it will take longer for your feet to reach the ground…congrats on the jump!

  4. 4 prairieguy August 18, 2007 at 10:35 am

    It may take you some time to process all that you feel through this experience…just take it a step at a time.

    I went through this with my immediate birth family 21 years ago and in some instances am still processing.


  5. 5 erinthebeekeeper August 19, 2007 at 6:35 am

    I’m not an adoptee, but I’ve never met my dad. He has managed to make a whole bunch of kids he doesn’t take care of. I talked to my brother several times on the phone over the past few years, and we are so much alike. I can’t wait to meet him. There is something about seeing, hearing, part of you that you always knew was there, but couldn’t put your finger on because it isn’t a part of your family or your day to day reality.

    I know it’s not the same as being an adoptee, I’m sorry if I overstepped, I just related to this post

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