Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why It's Worth It

I know that a lot of the blog can focus on the more difficult side of reunion, so Kate had mentioned that it would be good to write on the lighter, happier sides. I agreed, but where to go from there?

There's more love. There's more of everything - more family, more mothers (my husband has to deal with not one, but three mother-in-laws), more grandparents, more family conflicts and family drama, but in the end, more love.

My kids won't grow up thinking adoption is bad, or that Kate is bad for giving me up - they'll have questions about it, I'm sure, but for now they're content that Kate was pregnant with me but that my parents are the ones who raised me. And they get to know Kate as a grandmother and it's a different kind of grandmother than my mom and dad or Dane's parents. Not better or worse, just different, and that they have more people that love them and care for them is definitely a good thing.

I understand myself if a deeper way than I ever could have without knowing my birthfamilies. As someone who is always struggling to understand myself better, that is priceless to me. I get to see who I am from a whole variety of different angles I didn't have access to before.

But all of those things sound hollow and it's the whole of them all (and all the countless others I haven't mentioned here) that makes it significant. And I guess that's it - I feel whole. Without knowing my birthfamilies, there were big parts of who I am that were sealed from me, invisible to me. I could easily live my life without knowing those things, but they would always feel like they were missing. My parents gave me everything I could want, and as far as parents and family, they were enough, it never felt lacking. I never felt like I didn't have a family or that I was any "less than" in my family. That part wasn't lacking. But it was the parts of who I am that were lacking.

I like knowing that all the women in Kate's family, including myself, have these strange bumps on the sides of the nose. Well, I thought they were strange growing up, but now it seems normal. I like that after meeting my birthfather, John, that my quietness didn't seem a defect anymore, something wrong with me, but just a trait that I inherited from him. I like that when I flake on remembering a birthday, that Kate reminds me it's a "Power Failure," a trait in her family. So, things about me that I don't necessarily like or understand suddenly seem normal and familiar.

And, that things that were from where I came from and who raised me are apparent too - like my sense of humor and quick wit come from my dad or that when I wipe down the table after dinner, I think of how my mom would do that every night. And that when I'm sick and feeling like I want to be coddled, I know I will call my parents before anyone else ("What's wrong?" my mom will ask. "A COLD?" Oh, you poor thing! Have you been taking your vitamins? You need to rest. Of course you should take off work.").

And, the things that aren't able to be explained from any of these sides gets to be truly, uniquely mine. Who I am. Instead of the whole of me being a mystery, I am easily explained, and so I am unique in who I am, how I am, just by who I am and not by what is unknown, but because of what is known (and if you've followed that sentence, you're in good form). Just for that, it's so worth it.


to view my birthmother's blog on the same topic, go to mothertone


Thoughts? Reflections? Opinions?

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