What is my story? I have always known I was adopted. My older sister was adopted at age three. In fact, she remembered her foster family and was terribly upset about being separated from her foster brother PJ.
How do I know this fact since she is four years and three months to the day older than I [if I even know my correct birth-date?]. Because the story lived on … it was my sister’s first night with our parents and mom said; let’s put your pj’s on [ referring to pajamas. Well, it seemed that was the name of her foster brother and she became inconsolable.
To this day; whenever I use the shortcut for pajamas it is with trepidation; am I triggering something for someone? Will they have a reaction? These are part of my early memories. My sister has just always known this is how it is. Her christening picture always prominently displayed portrays her accurately in her blue dress, white hat, white gloves walking with her god-parents. they didn’t have to lean over to walk and hold her hand; at three she was independent and tall enough to make this an easy stride for all of them.
I was a bit younger for my christening. My picture I am sitting with hands holding me in place. Not sure how stable I was on my feet. However independent I was – not recommended that I be left to my own devices.
I remember the conversation; it was in the car and we were driving up to my grandparents house in Brewster, NY. my sister and I were in the backseat, I must have been about five or six years old. ‘You know you are adopted.’ my mom looked back at me as she asked the question. I looked at her, unemotional, and answered factually, ‘yes’. I don’t remember it being discussed often. My mom would tell me, your birth-mother was Italian, you were the first born. Little else was shared. I do remember vividly how confused I felt whenever I broached the subject of finding out my birth family. On one hand, my mom would tell me this part of the story, but she would make me feel like I was betraying her for wanting to know my truth. I didn’t enjoy feeling like the enemy.
Did she know my story. My aunts say “no”, emphatically. But she would have been privy to my case file. She had to have known. There is no way to question her now. None of this information came to light until she had departed this realm. Another question with no possible answer falls to the way side.
Clarification: When I refer to my parents; the only ones I / we knew, who were there for me/us, and took care of us. The ones that we called Mom & Dad. The ones that answered us when we yelled, screamed, cried or just said Mom / Dad. They were far from perfect, I don’t think we won any awards for ‘kid of the year’ either. A few facts I always balance that statement out with – they choose us, they took on the responsibility of us and they did the best they could with the tools they had. I don’t think I could even fathom comparing parents of today to parents of the generation I was raised in because we have come so far in technology and understanding and knowledge.