Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adoption Diary: Part 5 "And so we meet"

My Sister and her family.
First visit to our home.
The next day my mom, my sister and I piled into a car and drove the down the highway towards our missing family member. A missing family member that I hadn't known existed a mere 24 hours before.

We stopped at the mall while my frantic mother tried to find an "appropriate" gift. She finally settled on a potted plant. Really, none of it made sense to my 16 year old self.

A potted plant? Really? It seemed a bit of a lame gift to say "Hi, I am your mother you have been looking for all your life" but what did I know? And what possibly COULD be the appropriate gift? I cant imagine what my mom was thinking as she strolled through that mall. Apparently my sister appreciated the gesture though.

I sat in the car in the driveway while my mother approached the front door of the little house my sister lived in. My mom asked that she do this part of the reunion alone. I sat out there for what felt like hours, but I think was around forty five minutes.

I don't remember meeting my sister, which seems strange now to think about. I remember thoughts and impressions. She looks more like our mom than either my raised sister or I ever had. Her kids were beautiful. I was an Aunt.

We found out that her adoptive grandmother was the seamstress that had made my grandma's curtains. My mom had been in her grandmother's home. There were pictures of my sister as a small child on her walls that my mother would have seen.

They had attended the same church on the same Sunday. My mom remembered seeing my nephew running around.

They had gone to the same counsellor for help with adoption related issues.

We had the classic honeymoon period.

Our family grew.

Back: Aunt, Mom, Sister, Sister, Grandma
Front: Uncle, Cousin, Me, Niece, Nephew, Nephew, Dad

Everyone attended my graduation from high school.

Mom, Sister L, Me, Sister Jess

Slowly we became a family. And for a period of time it was good, and close and our relationship grew. She was, in fact, my sister.

And then for a variety of highly complicated, very tragic and personal reasons, my sister now lives the solitary life of an addict, and we have not spoken in almost seven years. My niece and my mother are very close. Thanks to facebook I can follow along in her life and keep in touch.

But lets rewind a bit because this Adoption Diary series is supposed to be about how I came to adopt and how certain experiences in my life affected my views on adoption. Obviously this experience did.

Often I am asked how it was to be 16 and find out your mother has a child you didn't know existed. A child that is now an adult, a child that is your sister. How it feels to live with the unnamed pain of a birthmother as your mother when you don't know the reason WHY the tears come. And I will share here the thoughts and feelings I had as that 16 year old girl, in the next installment of my story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you were able to meet her before she became an addict. That must be very hard on you and your mom. Almost like loosing her all over again?..