Do you ever look in the mirror and think to yourself, "Huh, who am I, and where did I come from?" Intellectually you know the answer, but as you take in your environment you start to question those answers that you've held true.
As with most adopted children, my boys will probably go through something like this... and maybe that is why God has chosen my circumstances for me so that in a way I could relate or at least sympathize with them in a way others might not be able to. No, I'm not adopted myself, but if you look at where I came from and the events that have transpired the last 27 years... one might assume that I was. If you are questioning the 27 years, and remember my 30 years old post... well, I'm referring to my sister. Yep, I have a younger sister... which I doubt I've ever actually mentioned here. There's a reason for that... we are siblings by blood only. There is no relationship beyond that there, and there hasn't been one in decades. To say we are different is an understatement, to say we are polar opposites is getting much closer! I know many will say that about their siblings but not really mean it... WE REALLY ARE THAT DIFFERENT (you can ask Daddio). The funny thing is, if you listen to my parents you would not really see that. You would think that we were close, loving sisters and friends who work on making the best out of difficult situations. Truth is I haven't spoken or seen my sister since last summer and it wasn't on the best of terms... and we live in the same metroplex!
But why do I question my identity or my worth? Here I sit, in a lovely home with a loving and a doting husband, three beautiful boys, and a life that has been beyond my wildest dreams. That's the TRUTH, right? When there have been choices to make in my life (hard or easy), I've done my best to follow the right path with no help from anyone other than my husband (even before he was my spouse). I'm a law abiding, morally just, God-fearing woman! And yet this weekend, I looked in the mirror, tears streaming down my face asking what's so wrong with me that I don't deserve love and respect or even the smallest of relationships with my parents? Why is it that after a lifetime of not smoking, hardly ever drinking, and never once taking drugs, that I'm left with a barren womb and all the other nasty side effects of my syndrome... and there is a baby boy laying in NICU in an incubator, born 5 weeks early and had to be resuscitated, drugs in his system, and a whole host of other issues... born to a mother (now three times over, out of wedlock and has lost custody of all the children) who had drugs in her system, and to a father who had drugs in his system and is just as much a deadbeat as the mother?! That mother, no not the birth parents of my children... no... MY SISTER! To make the situation worse, my parents just told me, three weeks after this baby's birth... and the only reason they told me was because they were worried that my 7 year old niece might slip up and mention that there was a new baby!
My parents made it crystal clear that they don't want me involved, they don't want my help, and they weren't going to allow me to go and visit this child in the hospital. This child, whom they can only visit a few times a week because of their own work schedule and trying to raise the other two children (my niece age 7, and my nephew age 14 months)... when I know that I could work something out so at least the off days I could be there for at least a small amount of time. Am I going to fight them on this one? No. Over the last year or so I've just conceided that no matter what I do it doesn't change the outcome, and therefore if my parents don't want me to be involved... then that is what I will do. I am merely a relationship of convience for them. If it becomes dire, then they will use me in some way...
And the sad part (okay, all of it is sad)... the information my parents did give, I know is still laced with lies and cover-ups, because that is what they do, EVERY TIME something is going on (this is just the tip of the ice berg... there is simply not enough time to go into the events that have occurred during my lifetime).
I look in the mirror and I see them... my mother's face at age thirty, my father's eyes and hair, I have their blood coursing through my veins, but it's not enough to build a relationship on (they've made that abundantly clear). I'm not like them, I'm not like my sister, on the inside there is nothing that resembles them in anyway.
I can look at my boys, and to a certain extent know what it feels like to be rejected for someone or something else, to feel abandoned by the people who should always love and cherish you. To even be singled out as different, and not accepted. No, not for the same reasons, but those feelings... I can identify with them. Over the last few years, I've learned that blood doesn't make a family. My love for my husband and my children have nothing to do with blood, and yet I love them more than my own life! I didn't have a choice as to where I came from, but I did make the choice to be with my husband and to bring our boys into our life. Love isn't inherited through genes, it is an ACTIVE choice!
Please don't misconstrue my post... I am completely aware of who the real victims are (and it's not me)... it's my niece and nephews... most especially my newest nephew in this particular circumstance. But it is in light of these instances when I start to reflect on what is happening in my own life, that it brings out certain emotions pertaining to my own existence... my own struggles.
My sister in Christ sent me this lovely quote that I want to share with anyone who reads this and in any way questions their yoke:
"We do not always know why such things as sickness and setbacks happen to us, for our minds are far too puny to grasp God's plan. A person is a little like a mouse in a piano, which cannot understand why it must be disturbed by someone playing Chopin and forcing it to move off the piano wires... Because God's ways are not our ways- because the salvation of a soul is more important than all material values- because divine wisdom can draw good out of evil- the human mind must develop acceptance of the Now, no matter how hard it may be for us to understand its freight of pain. We do not walk out of a theater because the hero is shot in the first act; we give the dramatist credit for having a plot in mind. So the soul does not walk out on the act of God's drama of salvation- it is the last act that is the crown of the play. The things that happen to us are not always susceptible to our minds' comprehension or wills' conquering; but they are always within the capacity of our faith to accept and of our wills' submission."
She found the perfect thing, don't you think?! Just one more reason I CHOOSE to love her (it's not a hard job, she's easy to love :-)!
For those still scratching their heads, I'm sorry for my randomness... I just needed to write something so my brain could start to assimilate the information.