Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

December 03, 2006

My Three Graces

I just have to write about something that has made me think that there's a lot more to blood family connections than we might ordinarily think. In order for this to make sense, I have frame it by re-visiting something that happened to me some ten years ago when I began to search for my natural mom.

I used to be a member of the now-defunct adoptees only UCSD Adoptee Mailing List, which was well moderated and had a lot of traffic. Since my entire life feels like "the dark night of my soul," the list became a sanctuary of understanding and support. A huge chunk of meaning was torn from me when the list owner called it quits (I've since discovered the Chosen Babies list, which is as close to the UCSDAML list as any I've seen). But while I was a member of the UCSDAML, I worked with a couple search angels (people with expensive software who help you search for your natural family for a low or no fee). One was a lady who told me, among other things, that she thought that my natural mother was still alive, but that she would have to do more research and would need a little money for photocopying and gas for her car, etc. I was broke at the time, so I told her it would have to wait. But she did help me to fill in a few small blanks.

Meanwhile, R (my husband) and I drove to the city where my altered birth certificate and the search angel said I was born (this was around 1996). I used the scanty information I had that included a marriage date and a man's name that my natural mom married after I had been born. I spent an hour or so in the hall of records and in the library and learned a few more things, like the name of my grandmother and grandfather, and how old my mom was when she married this other guy, but I really didn't get very far. The next morning in the motel room, I stood between two mirrored doors brushing my hair when I got a thought that told me that my mother was dead and that she had died of breast cancer. I told R about that thought.

Fast-forward eight years to 2004, when I finally found my mother's sister, my aunt who was dying of breast-lung-brain cancer. She told me that my mother had died of breast cancer. I wasn't the least surprised, since I had already heard this from Somewhere Else. I only got to know my aunt for eight months, but I loved her so much. I saw her getting weaker and weaker. The last time I kissed her goodby, I knew it was for the last time. After she died, I cried my eyes out. I still miss her terribly.

As for the cancer, so much for keeping adoptees medical records sealed.

Since then, I've been very watchful of my younger daughter's N's health. A year ago she some episodes with her lymph nodes and this year with her stomach that worried me. Sometimes I'd lie awake at night anxious for her safety. Sometimes I got so worried and had nowhere to turn, so I cried out to my aunt, my mom and my maternal grandmother (the last two whom I never got to meet, and all three whom are no longer on this earth) to watch over N. I would do this almost daily, many times a day. "Please look out after your niece, your granddaughter, your great granddaughter," I'd whisper when I was alone, tears stinging my eyes, my heart heavy and filled with anxiety. I had to cry to someone. I was so worried. I reached out into the void to have a connection where there never really was one that I knew of. I never told anyone that I did this.

Then a few months ago, my older daughter K phoned me to tell me of a dream she had had. She said in the dream she wanted to tell her sister N something important, something about being careful and taking care of herself, but N kept running from her. K said she chased her for a long time, finally losing sight of her in a huge cave with pillars. Later in the dream, she found N in a big feather bed surrounded by down comforters so that only her face showed, and N was laughing and happy. Over the bed three faces stretched through the ceiling, like a membrane, and looked down on N. K understood that these faces were watching over her and that N was being taken care of. What do I need to chase her for? She's got it so good! K thought. Before she left the bedroom, the "faces" handed her a sundial made of a ring of rainbow-colored hands spread outward. The sundial was the reason K told me the dream. She found it incredibly beautiful, and that's why she told me the dream, not because of the faces.

But I felt strangely in awe after she told it to me. The hair of the back of my neck stood up. It makes me think that there's more to life than what meets the eye. Oh, and by the way. My natural mother's middle name was Grace.

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December 01, 2006

Happy December

H A P P Y D E C E M B E R T O E V E R Y O N E!

My brother called me again last week. I was so thrilled to hear his voice. He even told me...get this..that he LOVED me. I grew wings and began to walk an inch off the ground. He means SO much to me. Soon I will post a really fantastic dream that makes me think there's more to life than we think.