Years ago, a close friend of mine (and fellow adoptee), Tracy, invited me to a witches' Halloween party. They were celebrating Samhain - the night when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. We could call upon our ancestors, they said, so bring something of the ancestor we wanted to connect with. I brought a book, a Norton Anthology, that had a piece of writing by someone who is supposed to be a long-ago relative of mine through my birthmother's mother's side - Sarah Orne Jewett. She was a writer - an important one - and I'd hoped to be a writer someday, so it seemed like someone I should call on. I participated in the rituals, feeling a mix of east-coast skepticism and West-Coast "why not?" and waited for something to happen.
That night, I went to bed and dreamed of my ancestors. But, rather than the blood-relative I'd summoned, the spirits who came to my dream were my aunt and uncle that I grew up with - my a-mom's sister and brother-in-law who were the closest family to me outside of our mom and dad. They had died a a few years before, and I was frankly surprised to have them show up in my dream. t was almost as if I was saying, "Huh, what are you doing here?" and having a feeling back from them of, "Um, you were the one who called us here...?"When an adoptee calls on his/her ancestors, who is s/he calling upon? Her blood relatives or her adoptive relatives?
It made me wonder, would my ancestors still have a connection to me, even if I was put outside of the family, would they still know I was their kin? And then what of my adoptive family, would it mean that if I had a connection to the birth-ancestors, I couldn't also have a connection to them?
Believe it or not, it's addressed on the web regarding the Samhain ritual. A wiccan website says:
...many people are adopted. If you are one them, you are fortunate enough to be able to choose whether you wish to honor your adoptive family, your biological family, or a combination of the two. If you don't know the names of your birth parents or their ancestry, there's nothing wrong with saying, "Daughter of a family unknown." It's entirely up to you. The spirits of your ancestors know who you are, even if you don't know them yet.So, maybe the adoptee does get to have both? Kind of the way when you meet a "soul-mate" or "sout-sister," someone you connect with spiritually, even if you can't make logical sense of why there's such a strong connection, you know in your heart (or in your soul?) that they have a strong connection to who you are.
to view my birthmother's blog on the same topic, go to mothertone
Thoughts? Reflections? Opinions?