When you grow up not knowing from whom you came from, this being my case since I was adopted, you feel like you are living in someone else’s life. It is easy to feel weird or awkward. I felt this way throughout my younger years. Here I was living in a house with a dad, mom, older sister, and younger brother. I was the middle child, the only one that had been adopted.
I always felt that I was different, that there was something in this mix of family that did not represent the “whole” me. I say “whole”, because I never felt whole, after finding out I had been adopted. I really did feel awkward.
I always wanted to know things like, “Do I look like them, talk like them, eat the same foods as them, and so on”. Them, being my birth family. Sometimes I would see resemblances in my adopted family and me. I would catch people talking to one another and claiming that I had the same features as one or the other adopted parent. I am not sure if everyone my family knew, knew I was adopted. I do know however that my church family knew. It was talked about in whispers amongst them and they did not think I could hear what they had said. Sadly, I did. Adults can be insensitive to a child’s feelings and they often time think the child cannot hear them, or understand what they say. I say to never underestimate the knowledge of a child and the grasp of understanding they have.
See, “awkward” almost seems like an in appropriate adjective to describe myself back then. Although awkward was definitely how I felt at times , especially in a public place. I never really felt like I belonged in my adopted family and I am not really sure if they thought I did or not. I do know that once my younger brother said I was his cousin and that I did not belong in his family. I really felt those words he said that day. I think they forever will haunt my mind.
If there was a time that I felt complete or where I belonged, I cannot recollect. I really think the place I am today, with my kids, grandkids and husband, is the closest thing I will ever know to be my place of belonging. That place is where I do not feel awkward, I do not feel weird and I know that I was meant to be where I am.