All You Need Is Love – really.

I was adopted, like allot of people, but my story isn’t like anyone’s.  I was an inter-family adoption taken home at 4 days old to be raised as the youngest of 7 children. My parents were kind and older, and I loved them both.  When I was 13 I was told that one of my sister’s was my birth mother. Luckily, I really adored her in the first place, and the transition to this idea was difficult but not impossible. My adopted mother/grandmother died when I was 15. My bio mom had serious issues with alcohol and prescription drugs, which she successfully battled and our relationship truly began to blossom when I was 25 having my first baby and she was to become Grandma – or Nana as the kids called her.

581933_10151470627203633_1947530459_nShe was my dear friend and soulmate. There aren’t enough words to tell you how grateful I am for her.  She was a great spiritual teacher always assuring me that “this too shall pass”, and hold on “one more day”…when things got rough, she was my 2 o’clock in the morning person. The only person alive that would truly relish my rebellious nature, love when I stepped outside of the box, and cheer when I forged new paths.  She loved my weirdness and all my edges.  She loved everything about me and her love taught me how to love myself. I felt most at ease with her than any other person in my life.  Loosing her physical presence has been very difficult.

I remember the day she called to tell me she had lung cancer,  I ran to her apartment and fell into her hug and only then, only then, realizing that we fit perfectly together . Why had I not noticed this before?  I remember the smell of her, and the warm safe feeling when she was anywhere near. If anyone crossed us or said anything that would cause either of us pain – she tore into them like a pit bull. She was a woman to be reckoned with.  Until she died I didn’t realize how much she had protected me.

Here we are two years later, and the grief still tears at me  – it doesn’t go away – it just changes shape. Each day remembering her and thinking about all the things I should have done or said or been or whatever – all useless thoughts or regret that have no purpose except to torture me.  I hear her words reverberating through my head each day – the ones she said to me through sad chemo sick eyes –981297_499916463412877_1698475491_o

“No guilt OK?”.

OK Mama no guilt.

But I didn’t call her “Mom” – there’s my first issue.  I couldn’t. It just seemed too bizarre – she had been her name to me all my life – and so if I called her mom this would mean I had no brothers or sisters, or that my parents were my grandparents – just unreal.  When I lived in Africa with her and would want her to say yes to one of my unreasonable teenage requests – I would call her “Mom” – “Please mom…” I could feel the word dripping off my tongue like something that didn’t belong there.

images0G56APY3I never thought about my biological father very much – he was like a super hero in my mind. Bad-ass bike riding tough guy from the rough side of town was the story i heard.  He was handsome and leather clad in my minds eye, sitting on his bike waiting to whisk my mother away from our overly conservative family. I was indeed a love-child. And his genetic presence in my body made me understand that although I was a rich kid from boarding sch0ols when I was younger, I was in my heart a bike riding, freedom loving rock and roll rebel chick. The small amount of history I had on him showed me that my proclivities didn’t come from no where – although I couldn’t really see how having a penchant for bikers and bad boys was genetic – all indications seemed to point to the fact that it was.

After my mother died two years ago, I began to become curious – maybe hopeful – that i still had a parent out there.  My adopted family had stopped “pretending” I was really one of them, and I was left pretty much empty of family, except for one sister who helped to raise me and could see me as none other than her sister – “give me back my sweater – hey did you borrow my make-up??!”…is just not something you yell at your niece.  I think they were all just tired of pretending.

The issue of adoption and being adopted came up during the course of my grieving, and it became suddenly important for me to find out if I had genetic links to anyone else out there. So I registered on a few free web sites what small information I had on my father, never expecting to get a response – especially not the response I got.

I was contacted by a lady named Annie who is a search angel. I don’t know her story, but I assume that many of these ‘search angels’ are people who have been searching for their own parents or children and have become pretty good at spotting links between people and volunteer their time.

Her email to me began tentatively, because she was concerned with her accuracy and didn’t want to cause me undue pain. She says “I’m sorry the news isn’t better. if this is indeed your father, he died when he was 23”.

Stop world. You’re spinning.

below her note a series of lists, with my grandfathers names and notably my grandmother Fanny. No obituary for my dad, only my grandfathers.

I felt it first in my gut – like a punch from deep inside.

The second thing I thought was – oh my god – he was so young…

I thought about my own son, now nearing 23, beautiful handsome and sweet and full of life, joy and potential. My heart ached for the young man who made me in a flurry of passion only to leave me as his only legacy. I am the most enduring thing he did in this life.

Holy shit.

As the news sinks in all I can think of is…

“I’d better not waste a flipping minute! ”

I don’t know about you, but as I get older, now almost 50, I see that there is a plan in the works, and although i am not privy or capable of understanding its intricacies, i am definitely part of the story.

In my research for this book, on adopted people, I have discovered that we all (adopted and non-adopted!) have amazing stories, like great adventures, each life is like a fascinating book. I can see my life and yours like that – and I believe its the only way we can really learn to increase our capacities and purpose here in this life – find out, dig deep and don’t stop asking questions. Be brave.

I have just returned from Australia where I spent some time in the desert with first peoples learning about the long long history of the worlds oldest genetic lineage.  I learned about the connection between living people and their ancestors and how important it was for them to honour the lives of their ancestors. Al of this is driving home to me the need to honour my own in the same way. I wish we had the stories like they do – so I could know them better, and in turn know myself better.  I think the purpose of life is to know yourself as well as possible so you can use everything you have to be of service.

It is a courageous journey to take into the center of yourself, to ask the real questions that are begging for answers…

I will continue work on the book – in the hopes that other people can find their purpose, their center or their story and not feel so unrelatable or different or alone.  We are all connected in some freaky quantum way, and I feel him now, beside me smiling. he is happy with me, and maybe even lives abit of my life with me, connected and guiding me from he inside, through my thoughts and dreams. Parents don’t stop being parents when they die – but its up to us to stay tuned in and be brave enough to hear their messages.

 

As I write this – the only song I hear in my head is

“All you need is love…”

Thanks Dad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw

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.

Peace