Yesterday I was feeling nostalgic. My mind kept drifting to the last time I was alone with my mom while she could still sit up and talk.
Alone time with my mom has always been rare. When you have a large family you don’t expect to spend much time alone with anyone. And, when you get to you cherish it. You soak in those moments that are just the two of you. A week and a half before my mom passed I was alone with her. Just the two of us. And, we actually got to chat. We talked about the kids, we talked about siblings, and we talked about life. After the usual conversations sort of came to a halt she sat quietly for a moment. She was very good at being calm and quiet without making it feel weird to be there.
After a little bit of quiet she said “Have you ever wished we didn’t adopt you?”
I was surprised to hear that question from her. She had never asked it before. She’d never even acted like the thought had occurred to her. Maybe it hadn’t. Maybe it was only occurring to her because she knew it might be the last time she had to ask it.
A thousand thoughts went through my head at once. How can someone explain a heart to someone else who can’t see it and all the feelings mixed up in it? I have always been a happy person. I have always believed that no matter where I am, I am blessed, and truthfully someone else has it much worse than me. I looked at her and said, “No, I’ve never wished that. I have loved being your daughter and loved being in this family.” There was more to the conversation, but it really got me thinking about all the emotions and feelings that surround adoption for me.
I’ve continued to think about this conversation for the past four months. I am sure it’s partly because it’s such a sweet memory and partly because being adopted makes me a little more sensitive to such conversations. I can honestly say I’ve never wished I wasn’t adopted. That’s never even been a question. But, sometimes I wonder just exactly how other adopted people feel and if they have the same questions I sometimes do. Do they sometimes look at their family and wonder if they really fit in? Does their heart get a little sad when they realize that so many things are genetic and they will never share that with their siblings and that will always separate them just a little bit? And, I wonder if those thoughts and feelings are the same if the family has only adopted children as opposed to mixing biological and adopted children? I don’t know. I haven’t ever asked anyone I know who is adopted. I’m sure each family is different and each circumstance is different. I do know that when all the chips have fallen I don’t first think about the fact that I’m adopted. And, I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.