Saturday, September 6, 2014
Lately, my 9-year old daughter has been asking some tough questions, many of them related to my background. I'm not quite sure how to answer her. She will be 10 years old in less than 2 months but I'm still not sure if she is ready to learn about some of the more difficult stuff from my past. I've shared about my past but there are still a lot of secrets that I've been holding on to.
Some of the questions Jackie has been asking has to do with the circumstances of my birth and my parents. She has been very interested in the topic of adoption lately, probably because she has a friend who is preparing to be adopted by her new forever parents. Jackie wants to know why kids are adopted and why they were taken from their birth families. I'm sure she has overheard me talking about my heart for adoption, which is something that I've had for many years. Just this morning, Jackie told me that she wouldn't mind if I adopted a sister for her, a sister who had no legs. Where she got that idea from is beyond me. But if God were to present that opportunity to me and Tim, I would be all for it.
I don't recall talking to Jackie directly about my own adoption. Perhaps she overheard me talking to a friend or even Tim about it. It's not a secret that my dad is actually my step-father who adopted me when I was a toddler. Jackie is now asking why Poppy adopted me and if my "real" dad left me and Mother when I was a baby. This morning, she asked if I ever met him. I wish. She asked if Mother was married to my "real" dad? How do I answer those questions? Is it even appropriate for a near 10-year old to know. I know I will eventually tell her everything I know about the circumstances about my birth but how much do I share now? I'm not quite sure. In some ways, Jackie is very wise beyond her years and in some ways, she is still very immature. I'm really not sure what she is ready to know about my past. She doesn't know that I have no clue who my biological father is. She doesn't know her Mimi wasn't married. I don't even know the full truth about my conception and birth. Mother has given me so many stories about how she became pregnant and by whom. I do know that Mother wasn't married and during that period of time, unwed mothers were not as easily accepted (or even celebrated) as they are today. I still experience a profound sense of loss of not knowing anything at all about my paternal heritage. I wish I knew. I wish my story was not a messy one and one that would be a little easier for my daughter to comprehend when the time comes to share with her. I don't even understand it all myself. It's very upsetting to Mother whenever I bring it up to her. It's also upsetting for me to not know where that missing link is. I can understand that being in a crisis pregnancy was very difficult, especially during that period of time but I really wish Mother would also understand my perspective. I wish she would understand how difficult it is for me to answer my daughter's questions.
Jackie has also been questioning me about my parents' son. I don't talk about him because I have no relationship with him. I have reasons for that. I don't refer to him as brother. Instead, he is my parents' son. I don't know who told Jackie about my parents' son. It certainly wasn't me. And now she's asking about him. She throws it up in my face that I have a "brother" whenever I try to change the subject. She's very persistent. I have not shared anything about him with Jackie, including the reasons why I choose to have no relationship with him. I refuse to talk about him around my children. I wish I had a good story for Jackie but I don't. If Jackie chooses to look up her grandparents' son when she is an adult, I don't know how I would feel. I'm all about family but I'm also all about protecting my own little family as best as I can.