Tonight I read a long essay on salon.com about a woman, adopted at the age of 4 by an Australian family, whose Chinese birth mother had tracked her down. The woman got a letter with a phone number, called the number, and then ensued a visit back to China, meeting lots of relatives, and having a relationship with the birth mom. This might be most adoptive parents’ worst nightmare but it’s not mine.
I say, come and find them. Come find me. I’ll take you to them. I’ll introduce you, encourage you to shake hands, start a group hug.
I have three adopted kids, each with their own set of biological parents. So if you were to count up the parents that are connected to my adopted children, there would be eight, my husband and me, plus two for each of them. Eight. They should all come to Thanksgiving dinner. We could get an extra card table or two, rent some folding chairs, switch over to paper plates, and boom, we’ve got all the relatives together.
There would be plenty to talk about. First off would be what everyone’s been doing the past twenty-five years.
I have no opinion about why my kids’ biological parents ditched them. I was going to say surrendered them or gave them up for adoption but my automatic reflex was to say ‘ditched them’ and maybe that’s where the truth is. For all the nights I reassured them that their birth parents, oh, let’s be real, their birth mothers (no one ever, ever talks about birth fathers) gave them up because they loved them so much but couldn’t take care of them, there were as many nights when I wondered, how the hell could somebody give up this child? Who would do that?
And what have they been doing since then?
If my kids’ birth moms or parents showed up, they would be riding in on carpets of glory. The air around them would be golden and everything about them would be fascinating and real; my kids would be touched to the core and finally feel at home, at peace with the world.
I will be in the kitchen doing the dishes.
If I sound bitter, I’m not. It’s my reality. Like the 2nd wife of a man whose first wife died tragically young, I can’t compete. I don’t care.
I was here.