Thursday, February 3, 2011

Half Blank

My husband and I were talking/dreaming the other day about a trip we'd like to take. He's been to Europe but I've never been. I'd like him to show me the sights - you know - do the tourist thing, see castles and country side, maybe do a river cruise. It's not something we can do anytime soon but for the fun of adding to the dream I thought I'd look into the requirements for a passport. I've never needed one before so I never thought about it. The first thing I noticed was the requirement for the original birth certificate and that the date on the certificate had to be within one year of the date of birth.

Well, my birth certificate is amended and is dated several years after my birth because I was adopted by my Dad. He's the only Dad I've ever known but he's not my natural father. I guess this makes me an adoptee-lite along with being a natural mother. I haven't talked about this other connection I have with adoption before because of the conditioning I grew up with. I didn't even find out about my adoption until I was 26 years old and here I am - 52 and just now talking about it - it took another 26 years. My family felt there was such a stigma connected to adoption that they didn't want anyone to know, even me - the one most affected.

Since becoming involved with the adoption community I've read stories from adoptees about finding out the truth as an adult. I can relate. Although I was raised by my mother and knew her side of the family, there is still another entire family I know very little about. To find out that you are not who you think you are is mind blowing. It's like your world tilts on it's axis and nothing is the same again. I remember one of the first thoughts I had was.... wow, I'm not really Cuban? that's just bizarre. Even the simple act of looking in the mirror changes. I didn't think any differently about Dad and I didn't/don't love him any less, it just brought another whole element into the equation about my identity. When I think about how much the news affected me, I can really feel for the adoptees who find this out when they're older and have zero information about either side of their natural families.

At the time I found out about my adoption it was 6 years after losing my daughter and my third child was just under a year old. I was trying to raise 2 little ones and keep my self together in dealing with the loss of my baby girl. There was a lot going on to say the least so I stewed on it for a while but then put it away. I had to focus on my kids. Now that I've started this blog, talk to other people in the adoption constellation, write letters and comments to people about access to OBC's for adoptees, all this stuff about my own adoption comes rushing back to the forefront. I don't know what that means for me. I'd like to find out more about my natural father's family. Maybe it'll mean no passport for me, not sure in my situation. I haven't researched enough yet to know.

There's been a lot of talk about Oprah's mother and her shame. I understand. It seems like it doesn't matter what angle you're coming from there's shame and secrecy involved. No more lies, no more shame, no more hiding. Done already.


  1. I didn't know you were an adoptee too! I really feel for Late Discovery Adoptees. That's something someone should be able to know all along :-( Do you know anything about him to be able to do a search for information?

  2. Hi Amanda, there's a little bit of info. Last I heard it's believed he's passed away. I would like to find some other family members though, an uncle, 2 aunts and possibly a brother. It's all very strange. I haven't pursued any of this because I'd been so absorbed for so many years in my finding my daughter and building a relationship with her.

  3. Bravo for finally talking about it.

  4. Wow! Amazing! May I quote you, with credit of course? Here's what I'd like to quote (I am an adoptee [full adoptee, if you will] and this rings so true: "To find out that you are not who you think you are is mind blowing. It's like your world tilts on it's axis and nothing is the same again. ...[I]t just brought another whole element into the equation about my identity."
    While I am not late-discovery, I find that the 'knowledge' of one's adoption happens over and over, in fits and starts, as the many meanings of adoption find their way(s) into one's mind/heart/soul. I have discovered, or *realized* I am adopted many, many times. Even several times since I reunited with first my natural mom and -- about a year later -- my natural dad. The revelations of adoption, to the adopted, never end. Probably for others, too, but that is my 'star' in the constellation.

    1. Of course you can Holly and thanks for commenting. I agree about the knowledge happening over and over. It does seem to work that way doesn't it? I've been reunited with my daughter for 10 years and there's still things I'm discovering about her and myself. Then my 'adoptee' life comes back to my attention and sometimes it still brings me up short when I think about how much I don't know about my own heritage. I'll probably always bounce back and forth between the life of natural mother and adoptee.