You never know quite how personal to get with a blog, especially when most of your family and friends read it (thank you Facebook, twitter and the rest of it…). and I suppose it`s the strange freaky artist side of me, or maybe it`s my recently deceased mother`s birthday tomorrow, or maybe its because I’m living with her twin right now…but I like what Sherwin Nuland said:
He said `The more personal you get with your writing, the more universal your writing becomes`.
I suppose this is because every human being, at the very base of it, goes through some similar transformative life events – births, deaths, marriages, new jobs, ,ost jobs, school stuff…life.
Sometimes we have very unique stories that really help to carve the fabric of our lives. I think I am lucky to have such a story – but I may not be as unique as I have believed.
I think most people that hear my story get confused, and I really can`t blame you. get a pen – be ready for a flowchart.
In brief and in the most confusing way possible I will tell you: I was adopted at four days old and was the seventh child of seven. Four sisters and two brothers. I had something like 14 nieces and nephews. We were a prolific bunch. Until I was twelve all I knew was that I was adopted and that this was a cool thing. I had a nice childhood, interspersed with good people and some (ok…allot) of alcoholism – notably my mother. One October night when she was laced enough I asked her to tell me who my `real mother`was, and to my stunned amazement she told me it was one of my four sisters. In fact, it was one of the twins – identical twins.
You have to understand I loved all of my sisters. We had great relationships. i was much younger than all of them and basically they all just adored me. Especially my mother – but she traveled often and I didn’t know her as well until later in my life when I had seven children of my own and she embarked on the messed up road of parenting with me. We had a blast.
So basically this news from my mother had creating a small confusion for me: let me get this straight… biologically my brothers were my uncles, my sisters my aunts, my parents were really my grandparents, my nephew and nieces were my cousins and really…I only TRULY knew who the dog was for sure. But even that felt questionable at times.
Did you know…
Between 1961 and 1972 there were 150000 babies born in quebec and adopted out by the church like I was. I ahve a baptismal certificate saying that my grandmother is my biological mother and my grandfather is my biological grandfather. A priest in his great wisdom – signed it. I have been told by highfalutin lawyers that the process of having a proper certificate made showing that my birth mother gave birth to a child a) was extremely cost prohibitive and b) may not even be granted by the courts if they go by `relationship`rather than biology. This world is so fucking crazy. In my case, only a couple of my brothers and sisters knew. The rest were just as surprised as i was. They called it the `Baby Scoop Era`where the church and families conspired to `hide`church decreed immoral (unwed) births.
But here`s how I see it – I am a very unlikely human. Statistically we are ALL very unlikely humans – given that the chances of the particular sperm and egg that made you is like one in a kabillion zillion – but the fact that I wasn`t given away to another family and that I had a mother not only brave enough to have me but to watch me grow up outside of her reach – is to me absolutely extraordinary. That i had grandparents willing to take in a new born after raising six kids to near adulthood – simply astounding. I don’t know if I could do what they all did.
In early september last year, my biological mother passed away of lung cancer at only 65 years old. She had an amazing life, and left behind a big loving famly, grandchildren who worshiped her and a devoted and awesome loving twin sister.
I think its hard for everyone who looses some when these anniversaries come around. But I can`t imagine what its like loosing a twin. This whole thing has made me wonder what kind of experience souls that choose to be born together are looking for.
Tomorrow is my mother`s birthday. My heart is heavy and full all at the same time. I wanted to share my story only because I think there may be others who have had similar experiences. So far, I have not been able to find one book on this kind of adoption. There is no real research or statistics Its all been swept under the rug. It`s very important to know where you come from. I know many adopted people who love their adoptive families very much, but have a sure and certain yearning for their origins. I think this is a normal human compunction.
I am so grateful for everything about my life, I am very aware though always of how unlikely`I am – and I try very hard not to waste time, on resentment, or anger cruelty, excessive material gain – these would be a waste of tiem for me. I only hope I can keep doing whatever it is I was meant to come here to do, with all the people i love.