One woman’s journey in search of self
I am adopted. I’ve always known that I was adopted. My parents were very open about it. They told me and my brother that we were special because we were chosen. They also said that if I ever wanted to trace my birth- parents they would support me 100%.
I was quite fortunate in that I knew quite a bit about where I was from. I was born on a rainy Sunday, in November 1972 at the Royal Free Hospital in London, England. My mother was American. I knew her name, I knew she was from the Carolinas, and I knew that her father was a pastor. That’s a lot more than most adoptees know.
Not only this, I had something tangible to hold on to from my family of origin. When my maternal grandmother found out I was to be born, she sent to the social worker a small, white, leather Bible and a silver spoon with the message, “this is what we give all our grandchildren.”
These precious items were kept in an old cake tin in my mum’s dressing table. If things ever got on top of me, if the gaping hole that existed inside of me ever grew too loud, I would sit on the floor with the Bible and the spoon and hold them up to my heart, imaging where my family were, and what they might be doing.
Talking of holes, I really struggled with my identity growing up. Although I was popular, academic, sporty, and pretty, I never really felt like I fitted in. I was always on the outside looking in. I didn’t quite belong. With that came a rampant fear of rejection and abandonment that to some extent exists to this day.
The summer I turned thirteen I went with a friend to a sailing centre on the Isle of Wight. That was the week I got my National Dinghy Sailing Certificate. It was also the week that I sat out on the jetty one evening, watching the sun go down over then Medina River, and asked God to fill the hole in my heart and help me find my birth mother.
As I prayed, I felt this overwhelming sense that somehow or other it would be ok. I felt enveloped in a blanket of love and peace and warmth. I let go of the angst, the ache, and I trusted that all would be well. I stood up, went back inside, and joined my friends.
Are you adopted? Do you know someone who is? Have you struggled with your own identity? Do you have a fear of rejection and abandonment? Have you found it hard to find your tribe? If so, I’d love to hear from you.
The story will continue tomorrow, but for now may your day be full of rich blessings, love and light.