I’ve always known I was adopted. I don’t remember exactly when I was told, but it’s something I’ve always known. Something I was proud of growing up. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started to see that adoption had only given me a partial family, that because of adoption I had been denied so much. I had been denied a mother, in every sense.
Did I have a better life them I would have had I not been adopted? Absolutely. My father has never treated me any differently then he treats his 2 biological children. I’ve always felt my fathers love, I never questioned it…I’ve always known I was his daughter. I’ve always felt like his daughter. I had everything I could want, I was denied nothing by him and lived with a silver spoon in my mouth.
My parents divorced when I was very young and I lived with my mother primarily. She worked and I spent my childhood in daycare and after school daycare. My life revolved around being the perfect daughter, the perfect student and an extension of my mother. Eventually she remarried and when I was 14 (and still in daycare) she had a biological child, a son. From the moment he was born my relationship (or what little there was of it) with my mother fundamentally changed. I was no longer her daughter. I don’t know if she ever really thought I was.
6 months after my baby brother was born, I moved half way across the country to live with my father and stepmother. Over the next 4 years I can count on 1 hand the amount of times I talked to my mom, and that was because my father made me call her. She made no effort to be my mother. She had her perfect biological child so what would she need the daughter she had adopted? When I got married, not only did she not help me plan my wedding…but she didn’t even come to my wedding or even call me! When our first child was born she came to see him out of obligation so she could tell people “I went to see my grandson”. To make her look good, not because she had actual love or caring for me or my kids. She drank like a fish the entire time she was there, went to the casino and berated me for walking a different path then she did. After our second was born, she threatened to call CPS on us based on life style choices we have made. Life style choices that don’t effect our ability to give our children the love and attention they deserve, or having a roof over their head, food on the table and a play room over flowing with toys. I sent her an email explaining that I wanted her in my life, but if that meant having to defend my choices and to continue to listen to her condescending thoughts on our lifestyle then she wasn’t welcome in my life. She never responded and we never talked to each other again….that was 6 years ago.
At the end of last year, my mother died from terminal breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver….my brother was 15. I did not speak to her before she passed, despite the overwhelming insistence of my dad that I needed to make peace. That I would ultimately regret my choice to not make amends before she passed. Which….by the way I don’t regret even a little bit. What did I have to make amends for? I gave her the chance to be a part of my life….she chose to cut me off completely. To not even so much as send my kids cards on holidays. To pretend like I never existed. At her funeral, you would never have known she even had a daughter. There was no mention of me or my kids at the funeral….no pictures. 99% of the 400 people who attended the funeral didn’t even know she HAD a daughter let alone 4 grandchildren. I wasn’t shocked…in fact I expected just that.
My brother saw a very different mother then I did. I hope one day if he reads this, he realizes that we were raised by 2 very different women. I know he cant imagine the mother I grew up with…that the mother who loved him so much, and did everything for him could be so cruel as to abandon her daughter. Why I never spoke to her again. I know she was a good mother to him, even if she wasn’t even a mother at all to me…and sometimes that hurts me even more. I deserved a mother. I still deserve a mother….but that’s not the hand I was dealt. That’s not the life and family I was given, that’s not the legacy that was left to me…and that’s not the legacy I will leave for my own daughter.
I will no longer allow her to make me feel this way. I leave my anger here…I leave my hurt scattered like the ashes that she has become. I will no longer allow her to make me feel this way. I am free…I am life’s daughter, I am my biological mothers daughter, I am my fathers daughter and my step mothers daughter and my mother in laws daughter….hopefully one day, that will be enough.
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending” -Carl Bard