I thought my mother’s neighbor–who I’d become quite close to–was joking when she asked me if I was adopted. I get this question a lot. Personality wise, I am nothing like my mother or brother. It is quite obvious to anyone who knows our family. But I truly believed my genetic traits came directly from my dad who passed away 15 years ago.
Evidently my 89-year-old mother’s weakened mind was playing tricks on her, or she was confusing her children with other people as she often did. But a few days later while having dinner at Vermont Taphouse, I pretended I knew about my brother and my adoptions. I’ll never know what made me do this. Perhaps deep down inside I’d had a suspicion all along.
Sure enough my mother began talking about the doctor who brought Eric to her. About how there were other kids around when she got him. About how I was four months old and had really blonde hair.
As she talked–more openly than she had in five decades–I ordered a second glass of wine . . . and then a third . . . to calm my nerves. But they didn’t help. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. This couldn’t possibly be me sitting here finding out my parents lied to me my entire life.
Three months have passed since that night. The confusion, the pain, the anger, the sense of betrayal, the wondering, the shock hasn’t lessened any. If anything, I’m more hurt and more confused.
I’m also curious. Where did I come from? Who gave birth to me? Where was I for the first four months of my life? What was the name on my original birth certificate?
The hardest part is my only sibling isn’t here to talk to. The week I learned we were adopted, I’d gone to visit our mother in Vermont to tell her Eric had passed away from complications following a blood clot. He was 55 years old.
Since Eric isn’t here, this blog will have to do.