On Being Adopted

picture by Lawrence Vorse all rights reserved used with permission

picture by Lawrence Vorse all rights reserved used with permission

I have always known I was adopted. My brother is also adopted. My mother use to pull out a lock box from her closet, take out our adoption papers, and spread them over her bed. We’d all get on the bed and look at them. I remember this clearly and it’s a wonderful memory. I knew my biological mother was tall and Danish. My biological father had blue eyes. This info was in my adoption records. Mom told us that we were loved by two mothers, the one that gave us to her and herself. It always made me feel special. I also wondered if my biological mother thought about me on my birthday or Mother’s Day.

When I was 36 years old I received a certified letter. Odd, it wasn’t a bill so I could throw it away. Instead it appeared to be a letter, handwritten by someone I didn’t know. I opened it.  A woman was looking for her baby, now a woman, that she put up for adoption. The baby was born on my birthday. This woman also lived about half an hour from where I grew up. I called Mom and read her the letter. She told me that it must be my biological mother. The details were too familiar. I asked her what I should do. She told me to call her, Mom was excited about the letter and the prospect of our reunion. She also told me that having another person who loves my in my life could only be a good thing. I was somewhat shocked by her response. Mom’s pretty cool.

Yes, it was my biological mother, her name was Peggy. Sadly she passed away two years ago but I got to have a relationship with her. So did my Mom. They became good friends. The picture above was taken at my brothers wedding. Peggy is on the left and Mom on my right. Peggy was there and so was my biological father, Johnnie. He found me a year later. Strange as it may seem, I met both of them on my birthday. And yes, they did think about me on my birthday. Every year.

I’ll tell you a bit about Peggy. First, she was an incredible slob. She loved to read and had books EVERYWHERE. There was clutter and oh!, I had a sister! Her name was Sophie. However, she had to be put down because she developed mange. Yeah…she was a dog. Peggy was a bit eccentric as well. There were dirty dishes everywhere and dog stuff and it smelled like old food and wet dog. I couldn’t be in her apartment for long. I did notice that she had books entitled, How to Clean, Cleaning in 10 Easy Steps, The Clean Freak, Clean Up Your Life,  How to Avoid Debt, How to Avoid Debt and Get Clean, Clean Up Your Debt, and The Debt Free Life. Did I mention that buying all these books put her in debt?

Second, she always wanted to know if her Mother, my biological grandmother Shirley, gave me money. Grandma Shirley was a blast. She would drink and ask me to get her pills from her purse. They were pain meds. “Yes, give me those,” she’d say. So Grandma would wash them down with a gin and tonic. Then we’d go shopping and she would give me several thousand bucks. I was told NEVER to give Peggy money since she would purchase unnecessary items like books. It was as if Peggy could see the money in my pocket. I always had to lie to her about having money. That was a problem.

Then, Johnnie and Peggy started dating. Wow, my biological parents even got married. Peggy was married once before for 7 months. She told me she divorced the guy because she decided he looked ugly when he was naked. Okay…

The moral, if there is one, is that having biological parents in your life isn’t always great. I love them both but they have their own issues. Some of them are rather bizarre. Well, all of them, to be honest. And I have their weird genes. I wish someone had told me it wasn’t going to be a fantastic voyage. It makes me incredibly grateful for my Mom. She’s the best.

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About Cynthia

I'm a little crazy but who isn't? I enjoy writing about my many odd experiences and my perception is really altered by time, age, and drugs. Not really but it sounds cool. I'm from Los Angeles and moved to North Carolina. I don't like culture shock but it happens anyway.
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8 Responses to On Being Adopted

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    I wanted to hit ‘like’, but it was doing one those non-ending loading things.
    We have three adopted children, my fourth, the oldest, is biological. Even if your biological parents aren’t the fantasy you hoped for, it’s good to know your background. And no parents are always perfect. I’ve always told my children, “I know I’m not perfect or always right, but just remember, I’m always doing the best I can and whatever I think is right at the time.”
    Regardless of what parents (adoptive or biological) are like, you make your own destiny.
    Wishing you the best for a happy life.

    • Cynthia says:

      Thank you and yes, that’s true we do make our own destiny. I just have to make them with some weird genetics that have given me health problems. But it’s all good!

  2. Judith Land says:

    So happy for you. Thanks for sharing your story. I read it twice.

  3. David says:

    What a remarkable story Cynthia. What a pleasure…your perspective on this situation is filled with humour and peace. My adoption story is different. Thanx for sharing yours 🙂

    • Cynthia says:

      Thanks David! My brother tried to find his biological parents not soon after mine found me and it was not a good story at all. Perhaps you might blog about your story. I would enjoy hearing more about it. 🙂

  4. I just ADORED this!!! Thank you so much for finding me (btw, how did you?) so i could retrace the breadcrumbs back and find…all of this. Wow. Can’t wait to explore any place that has the tagline, “Welcome to my crazy life” and is called, “The Art of Neurosis!” Brilliant. My daughter is adopted from Korea, I do not think that it will ever be possible for her to have contact with her birth mom, but if she ever did, I would hope to read a blog just like this – – you have the BEST attitude, seasoned with humor, of course. Thanks again.
    Stephanie

    • Cynthia says:

      Stephanie, thanks so much for your delightful feedback. Yes, I’m a bit quirky. Happy to hear you’re a Mom who adopted. We need more great Mom’s in this world!
      Cynthia

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