While re-reading my posts I see I have a gaping area of confusion which should be clarified.
It was only after finding my ‘natural family’ that I began using words like adoptive and biological.
I was raised by two people who were my parents and I grew up with my brother ‘The Prof’. Despite the murkier aspects of our family life there was never a time when I was the ‘adopted daughter’. The attitude, like so many others, came from my parents attitude towards me. I was their child, they were and are still today, my folks. They took me in and I was theirs.
Adoptive and biological are words I now employ when discussing the various parts of my family and ONLY to distinguish one from another. I now have an enormous amount of relatives and personally have no problem in bombing them all into one group – ‘family’.
Because my home life was hectic one may be forgiven for thinking that now I’ve found my ‘real family’ – the one I grew up with can now be put aside. My ‘adoptive’ parents have both passed away, so what the heck, trade up? down? sideways?
In my mind it’s really quite simple, I have 2 moms, 2 dads, one sister, 4 brothers and a multitude of cousins, aunts, uncles ….. and lest we forget two different troupes of ‘outlaws’ (my gorgeous families from my kids fathers).
I have also ‘adopted’ my brothers wives who now enjoy the rather dubious role as my ‘other sisters’.
I am ecstatic at finding my biological family and can’t wait to meet the rest of them. There are many times over the decades that I would have loved to swop one for the other. In fact it was I who used my adopted status to drive my folks nuts and to excuse my lack of care at one time or another. ‘You’re not my real parents’ was one of my favourites, and yes in case you’re wondering, I was a horrid little monster for many years.
My family life was hugely complicated and some of it will spill out into the blog, but before that happens I want to categorically state that my parents did they best they could at the time considering what they were going through and how hurt and broken they themseves were. There were times we hated one another (no, hate is not strong word, it’s a realistic one). There were decisions they made that were off-the-wall crazy, stupid and downright outrageous, BUT and hear me well all you who are reading this……..
I loved my parents. I still do. I miss them like crazy and wish to God I knew then what I know now. I wish they were alive now to meet the new and improved version of me. I wish that my mother had lived longer so that I could have got to know her. I only knew her pain, and it was too much too bare, so I ran away. Fair enough, but if she were here today I would have known how to bring balance to our relationship. I would have the strength to say yes when I agreed and no when she crossed the boundaries.
I was luckier with my father. After years of ripping and tearing, he and I made peace and became friends. He was still in many ways, the same difficult human being, but he had also softened, as had I. He eventually became my rock, my chommie and somehow also – my greatest fan.
There were many things we could never agree on, but we chose to form a new relationship, from scratch, despite that. I’m deeply saddened that my mom didn’t live long enough to do that with me too.
Even if I meet the rest of my ‘biological’ family and fall completely in love with them all as I have with the one’s I’ve now met – they will quite simply be the ‘extra grace and blessing’.
My adoptive family, for better or worse are my past and my present. With my Biological family I am creating a future.
Our lives are perfect circles from birth to death, the only difference with mine is that there are a few bumps in the circle where I’ve squeezed yet another family member into the space that the universe gave me.