If I know the way home and am walking
along it drunkenly,
is it any less the right way because I am staggering
from side to side?
- Leo Tolstoy
And so it begins. My Story.
Being in my early thirties there's a bit of ground to cover so it could take a while...consider this the first instalment!
I always knew I was adopted. There was never a time I remembered being sat down and told, I had known it all along, my parents were open about it. They took me home at 2 months old and I was theirs.
Ok, maybe not. So I knew a few things surrounding the mystery through which I came to be, that I had a Maori heritage, I knew 'they' (my birth parents) were hippies, hence naming me Sunday Peaches, I knew they were into organic gardening, I knew I wanted to find my birth mum one day, I knew that could be a scary thing to do, I knew my adoptive parents couldn't have kids naturally,
I knew in one sense that I was wanted
-well my head did anyway,
in the heart-sense I wasn't convinced.
There was also much I didn't know, but thought a lot about.
Was my Birth Mum still alive? Was she going to knock on the door one day and want me back? If she did, would I go? Some days the thought of that seemed exciting, but mostly petrifying.
Why didn't she want to keep me? Did she remember my birthday? Did she hold me? Did she see me? Why Birth, not abortion? Was she a famous movie star with such a successful career she couldn't raise a child? Had I walked past her on the street and not even known? Was she lurking around my life? Did she watch me in the school yard? What did I look like as a newborn? What time was I born? How much did I weigh? What's my health history? Do we look the same?
And then there were some absolutes, so I thought.
I must have had something wrong for them to not want me.
I never looked like anyone around me.
I felt like a forced-fit, a jigsaw piece in the wrong space.
I was a mistake that someone else happened to benefit from.
Don't get me wrong, my parents are amazing, incredible people with huge hearts. They gave me and my two adopted brothers a fantastic childhood. We have a great family and I love them and I now know they were God's idea for a family all along. Growing up on a 10 acres of rural bushland, we had cubbies and secret hide-outs, trees to climb...and space...lots and lots of space. It was awesome! I did dancing, gymnastics, figure skating & modelling to name a few.
But for years I had all of those thoughts, mostly unspoken, swirling around in my mind, wondering if I should search.
I never had really questioned whether or not my Adoptive Parents would be ok with me meeting 'her' someday, they had often told me I would have their full support if I wanted to find my roots. On my eighteenth birthday my mum presented me with a box full of all the adoption information that she had so that I could use it for my search. To me, it was a licence to go ahead....and I did.
That's when it all changed. I don't want to go into all of that here, but the reality of 'the search' was clearly unwanted from that moment on, but it had already begun and until then, I thought my folks were fine with it.
At 19 I moved away, down south to Margaret River. Some space to breath, to find who 'I' was, to rest my wounded and doubly rejected heart and to wait for the news I knew would come. And it did, I discovered my Birth Mother had married my Birth Father and I had a full-blood sister who was a year older than me. They had kept her. It was another year later that the agency had actually tracked them down when searching all records throughout Australia had been exhausted. They were eventually found in New Zealand.
At 20 years old I got THE call and I was 4 months pregnant. My strong religious upbringing had me convinced by now that I was doomed and going to hell for being unmarried, pregnant & with a divorced man. Shame and disgrace and rejection was like a cloud that loomed and I was constantly trying to duck from beneath it. Thankfully I now know you are never too far gone that God can't find you!
My Birth Mum told the agency she had been waiting for their call and would love a letter from me. I had mentally noted what I would say for years, but when the paper and pen was before me I was stuck for words. It was the hardest letter of my life, until I finally began by thanking them for choosing to give me
To be continued... (this is long enough & I may bore you!!)
Next - The Reunion.
A picture I drew in a book when I was little,
A Mummy & Daddy Kangaroo with a Baby Teddy Bear.