A New REALity
Over the past few months I have found great joy in reuniting with my biological family. Although my experience with adoption was closed, I never had far to go when it came to looking for my biological family. I grew up knowing my 2 younger sisters and younger brother on my mothers side. My entire life, up until 5 years ago, I have lived in Connecticut, which is where most of my biological family lives. It wasn’t until I was 19, when I had the ability to reunite with my older sister. I also have an older brother who I have yet to meet. I have met my biological mother and I’ll touch more on that in a moment.
On my fathers side, I have been able to meet two of my biological bothers and I hope, before the year is out, I’ll be able to meet the others (8 total). His side of the family is spread out from Connecticut, New Jersey, and North Carolina. The feeling of completing my puzzle piece leaves me in disbelief at times because all my life I have wondered about these moments. Moments of understanding who I am and the family I came from. Wondering if I looked like them, will they accept me, have they been looking for me. The answer I found was, YES!
I’ll be able to share more on my experiences with them as I meet and interact with them all.
One question I get asked the most is, “Have you met your Birth Parents?”…. My answer is, “Yes” with bitter sweet confirmation. My Birth Father, whom I share many features with as well as a name, passed away just about a year before I was adopted. I’ve met my Birth Mother virtually and not face to face. The time I did meet her face to face, I had no clue it was her.
A part of me is happy that I met her and due to a recent situation that is probably where my joy of her will end. Recent conversations have confirmed that she still resents the decision she made and is hurt by her actions. Through my talks with her she deflects the pain she caused me as if I owe her something. I’ve shared my feelings of pain on my Instagram and twitter because it is a pain I have never felt in my life. She misunderstood a Facebook post where I talked about a conversation I had with my adoptive mom. My adoptive mom and I are similar in our mannerisms and the post was about a funny conversation she and I had. Well, later on that day, I received a long text message from my birth mom basically shaming me, and my adoptive parents. You see, up until that day, I had been having very little conversation with her via text or social media. I’ve kept it that was for a reason, until we one day meet face to face and could really start to build a relationship. Now, that may never happen.
She completely blew up on me and assumed me posting the conversation between my adoptive mom and I was an indirect insult to her. I calm let her know that the post was in no shape or form about her…and she needed to calm down. Oh, it got worse from there. She begins to call me a liar, tells me how disrespectful, and ungrateful I am. She tells me to stop bragging out that “B” who raised me. Mind you she calls her a “B” about 20 times and then processed to call my adoptive dad a fa****! After an exchange of text messages where I made sure I remained respectful and did not stoop to her level, I realized that I may never have the relationship I’ve always wanted to have with her. I told her, unless she was contacting me to apologize, I had nothing else to say to her.
Later that day, I spoke to my adoptive mom about it and she was of course livid. Who could blame her! My adoptive parents are wonderful and have loved more with every ounce of their ability. God hand picked them just for me and I for them. My adoptive mom asked me, “Artreese, why do you need to have a relationship with her?” I said, “she is who I came from, she is the reason I am in this world.” However, knowing what I know now, protecting my peace is more important. I will not allow anyone to disrespect me or my family as long as I have breath in my body. She will not talk about my parents in that manner, she was the one who left me and terminated her rights to me! My parents choice to adopt me was purely out of the love they have for me.
Birth Mothers if you are reading this and you are truly ready to meet your child and positively build a relationship with them, go for it. If your goal is to meet them and build a relationship but act as though the past didn’t happen, it will not work. You must talk about what happened and be ready to accept what was and move forward. You can’t just skip to the future, reality does not happen that way. I encourage you to build a positive relationship. Adoptees I encourage the same thing. The truth is painful and we have dealt with it all of our lives. Remain positive for your sake. It’s easy to blame, use harsh words, and be negative. Don’t be or do those things. You are just feeding into the negativity. Find your happiness and peace again. Center your happiness in the very core of you and let it shine through you. Don’t let anyone steal your joy!