Eldest ‘sister’ was really her ‘Bio-Mom’
My biological Mom B****** was nineteen yrs old when I was born and she didn't want a child in her life at that time. You see she was my eldest sister, or rather I thought she was my sister. My biological Mother's side of the family that adopted me had made a decision to give me up for adoption but was made to feel guilty by my great-grandmother if they didn't keep me and raise me. So I was adopted reluctantly by my grandparents.
I was adopted at 6 wks of age, after I had spent the first 6 wks of my life with a potential adoptive family, the doctor that delivered me. My bio Mom's grandmother (my great grandmother) insisted that my grandparents adopt me. I often wonder what my life would have been like had I been adopted by the doctor. However, it was made quite clear to me that it was not an adoption that was wanted. It was forced upon them and I came along at a point in their life when they were 43 and not wanting anymore children.
I didn't find out till I was 16 that I was adopted (my boyfriend told me). Everyone in the ‘huge’ town of Baxter Springs, Kansas (population 4,000) knew that I was adopted except me and were sworn to secrecy to never tell me. Everybody knows everything in a town that size and I was the "Big Secret". Everyone that lived in Baxter Springs, Kansas must have had to take an oath to never tell me.
I am not 100% positive who my bio-father is or his ethnicity. I get asked all the time if I am part Asian. I have no clue! I am part Cherokee, but my great, great, great Grandmother refused to be put on the rolls of the tribe. She was full Cherokee and I am not sure what I am on my bio-fathers side. Maybe that is why I get asked if I am from an Island country!
I did meet who I think might be my bio-father. He is a very nice man and actually wanted to do the right thing by marrying my bio-mother. I first met him when I was 26 and we talk a few times a year since then. We have never done a DNA test but I am going to ask him if we can.
I called him out of the blue one day and told him that I was B****** daughter and that he might be my bio-father. We met at a little cafe in my hometown of Baxter. He immediately pulled out a newspaper clipping from his billfold and said he had always wanted to meet me and that he had cut this article out of the newspaper.
It was from when I was 16 yrs old and was in the Miss Kansas Teen Pageant. He said his wife had found it years ago and thought he was having an affair with a teenager until he told her that I was his daughter. He said he had never taken it out of his billfold all those years and had always wanted to meet me. He was very excited and we sat there and cried, we both cried together.
He said he would have married my bio-Mom but my Dad (bio grandfather), and his brother (my uncle) shot at him as he was coming out of a business in Baxter one night. It got his pant leg and just grazed his ankle. He had been trying to contact my bio Mom by calling and coming by the house trying to tell her he would marry her. After being shot at he decided he would never try to contact them again. He said at that point he gave up. Can't blame him!!
Unwanted-a sign of Shame
My adoptive Mother (actually my bio-grandmother) often made the comment that she wished they would have never adopted me. That was the most truthful thing that I have ever heard her say. I never felt wanted and was abused emotionally and physically by my sister J****** (bio-aunt) and my ‘sister’/bio-mom B*****. J****** the middle sister was 11 yrs old when I was born. She said she always felt competition because of me and that my birth caused so many problems for the family that I was just bad all the way around. My abusive sister-aunt got pregnant at 16 and my parents forced her to have an abortion.
My sisters, aunts and bio mom have always acted jealous and would make hurtful comments about me to my face and to others behind my back. I have actually had people who are in their 50's now, tell me that my ‘sister’/aunt J*****, that is 11 yrs older than me, made comments to her friends that she hated me. My parents would never defend me or tell them to stop, so it just became a way of life for them.
Everyone’s punching bag
I was everyone’s punching bag. I was treated with mild neglect as if I were a stray dog or an unwelcomed guest, one that has overstayed their welcome. I was a quiet child and tried my best to stay out of everybody's way at home. I never gave my parents any problems growing up. I was out-going in school and achieved high academic scores; excelled in sports, music, elected president of many clubs, and never experimented with drugs or alcohol. I was not a problem child. I never had to be told to do my homework, practice the piano, clarinet or flute.
I became a better person despite my difficulties growing up. At home I just tried to stay out of everyone's way. I would hide under our baby grand piano, or in my closet. If the weather was good I was always outside. Never wanted to be around sister/aunt J****** especially!!! My Bio-mother B*****’s two biological sons didn't find out I was their sister until they were teenagers. It upset them greatly and one of them has not associated with the family for 22 yrs. They were both mad at me for not "acting" like their sister!
Family is Embarrassed Again
I got pregnant the summer before my Senior year in High School. When my adoptive Dad found out he pulled me out of the bathroom from where I was hiding as my mom told him, and he pulled me out by my hair, threw me on the floor and stepped on my chest and held a loaded shotgun to my head. He said he wanted to kill me because I had embarrassed the family just like B******* had done. He said he was going to go over to my soon-to-be husband and kill him. Luckily I got out from under his foot, ran out the front door, grabbing my keys and purse by the door, drove like hell to my boyfriend’s house and told him to get out of town.
I overheard my parents planning to drug me and force me to have an abortion, like my sister J******. So I snuck out of the house and drove to my fiance's house and told him and his dad what my A-dad was doing, trying to force an abortion on me. His dad was mad and went with me back to my parent’s house.
When my boyfriend’s Dad told them how wrong that was and if I wanted to keep my baby then I should be able to do just that. My dad was so mad! After I had my daughter, my A-Dad really seemed to grow more loving and was very good to her, or so I thought. Behind my back, I found out he was undermining my authority telling my kids I was a slut, whore, crazy and every bad name you can think of. One day when she was about 5 she asked me what a slut was. I asked her where she had heard that from and she said that grandpa calls you that all the time.
(Korean War Baby comments: Allie could go on, but I thought she should hold it back for her own book. Later, hope to hear from Allie again on Adoption Issues and some of the cases she works on as a Child Advocate in the courts.)
Different yet Unique
I think every adoption is different yet unique in its own way and specific to that family. Really it is no different than a family whose children are their own natural born. I do think that every adoption needs to be handled appropriately, gingerly, loving and most certainly in the "Best Interest of the Child". No child should find out they are adopted as a teenager or as an adult. It should not be something that is secretive or perceived as "bad". It should be something that is shared with them at age appropriate levels on a degree in which they can understand. It is who they are, and should not make them feel it's who they will become. Adoption is something that should be talked about with joy just as a natural birth.
The stress placed on me by my family was horrible and unbearable. I have stopped almost all contact with them as they are “toxic” to me. I was never allowed to ask questions about my adoption as I was told it was disrespectful for me to ask questions because it was such a source of pain for them. I am thinking what about the pain I feel!! It still to this day makes me feel depressed and it is painful. It is pain that I feel daily.
“It is, what it is” and I just do my best to deal with it. Adoption is a good thing. I just wish I was one of the lucky one’s that would have been adopted by a good loving family. My family never gave me the chance to be the sister that would have loved to been asked to go shopping or do something fun as a family. I was an embarrassment to the family. I was never given a chance to love or be loved.
Life is still hard, filled with tough decisions and pain, but it has made me a stronger person. I always try to do the right thing in each case that I am involved with in court. Relationships in my family are still strained but I do my best to keep sane, do the right things, keep moving on the best I can. That’s all we can do, get back up each time and keep moving on.