I Am, And Will Always Be, An Adopted Child

Whenever people ask me about siblings and growing up, I kinda stumble on the answer. The thing is, it’s kinda complicated. I was born almost 39 years ago in The Seychelles, the youngest of eight children. I was very much an accident. My biological mother had a sister who was unable to have her own children. So I went to live with my aunt and her husband. I would often visit my biological parents at the weekends, but always wanted to go home to my Parents.

Californian Mum 2

When I was six years old, we moved to the Bay Area, in Northern California. Far away from my biological family, I grew up as an only child. It was a lonely existence. We lived a 45-minute drive from my school (and all my friends) so I spent the weekends at home, playing on my own. My foreign parents did not know about clubs or classes. I would play in front of the mirror, so that I could pretend that I had a twin sister. I would read books, and escape to different lands and be a different person.

My biological family moved to the UK when I was a teenager. I visited them a couple of times, but felt so alien. I was growing up so differently than my siblings had done. These were the days before email so it was tough keeping in touch. There was never enough time to catch up. Years later, when I fell in love with a British boy and moved to London, I thought it would be my chance to build a relationship with my family. But again, we were so different. I had grown up attending private schools and a private university. I am quiet and like to take in my surroundings. None of my siblings have attended university. They are louder and more forthright.

I thought that having children might bring me closer to my siblings. But most of my nieces and nephews are in their teens or twenties. I even have a niece and nephew in their early 30s (my two eldest siblings are in their 50s). There are times I have tried harder. But recently I have been pulling away. They are all so close. They speak to each other every day and see each other frequently. They expected me to slot right in. But I cannot. I am not used to a big family. I am used to being alone.

My biological siblings also expected me to have a renewed relationship with my biological parents. But how can you explain that you do not need new parents in your 30s? One Mom is enough, do I need a new mother at my age? As for my dearly loved and dearly missed Dad, he passed away five years ago. No biological father could ever take his place.

And I have to explain to my children that I have two sets of parents. How do you explain adoption when you aren’t entirely sure why you were given away? Being adopted isn’t something that happens when the adoption papers are signed. It is forever and constant. No matter how much you love your Parents, you always have a place in your heart that hurts from not being wanted. I wish my biological family could understand this. I wish I could explain how I feel. I fear that I will just keep pulling away.

I am linking up to Mama – and More for All About YOU. Go check some posts from some Wonder Women!


22 thoughts on “I Am, And Will Always Be, An Adopted Child

  1. I really do feel for you.
    I was given to my grandparents as an infant, my sister was diagnosed with leukaemia the day I was born and my parents just couldn’t cope with a new born.
    I think I’m just a reminder of what was a shitty day.

    I don’t think there is an easy way to deal with what’s happened, unless you’ve been there it’s hard to understand why you can’t just slot in to the family unit, could you perhaps direct them to this post?
    Sometimes just brutal honesty works, my mother and I had it out a few years ago, lots of tears and anger, but our relationship is better for it.
    Hope you manage to find some peace with the situation, it’s truly horrible to feel unwanted xx

    1. Thank you for your comment Amanda. It’s easy to assume that everyone else had a traditional upbringing and it is reassuring to know that there are other people who understand. My family don’t know that I blog, and am not ready to tell them. And I don’t know if I can handle a hashing out, not yet anyway. But maybe soon. xx

  2. Oh lovely – families are so complicated, especially if others can’t try to see if from someone else’s point of view. Of course it would be hard for you! It’s good that you can reflect on it though, and that you have a gorgeous little family of your own. Love reading you in thoughtful mode x

    1. Aww, thanks. I’m not used to being thoughtful and putting my heart on show for anyone to read. But, yes, having a family of my own has healed so many wounds. 🙂 xx

  3. Wow, that last paragraph hit me like a train. I had a non-traditional bringing up, although not adopted, and eventually when I was ready I had it out with my biological father. You can’t do this until you are strong enough. And when I had my children and he suddenly wanted to put on his benevolent grandfatherly hat, the strength of the lioness protecting the cubs I never want to feel the confusion and hurt I did roared forth. I was civilized, but I felt in the position of strength, and said what I felt. It took time, but you can only ever do this when you feel ready. Feel for you lovely, I really do. No matter what, you will protect and love your children beautifully xx

    1. Thank you for what you said/wrote. The end was the bit that really made me cry when writing. It is this new relationship that is supposed to occur with my children. It’s weird for someone to be my children’s grandparent when I do not think of them as a parent. I’ve tried talking to my biological siblings but they don’t understand and they think I should just forget everything. Maybe one day I will be strong enough to have it out like you. Thank hon. xx

  4. Oh Elfa, i have tears in my eyes for you. What a complicated situation, i can’t begin to imagine how hard it must be to make sense of. All i would say is just to do what is most comfortable for you, maybe that is taking a step back for now. You have time to work it all out later.
    It was amazing to meet you last weekend, you are a such a kind and lovely lady and a real credit to your parents :)) x

    1. That is such a lovely thing to say Katie, thank you! Now you’re the one bringing tears to my eyes! I hate feeling like I am letting people down, but I have to do what I feel comfortable with, like you have said. xx

  5. Oh lovely. Hope you are ok? It must be very hard. I don’t like you feeling that you weren’t wanted. And you come across as so very lovely and so very funny and bubbly. I told my Mum I met someone that as soon as I saw your face I knew I would like you very very much. Lots of Love Em xxxxxxx

    1. Thanks Em. I like your face too!! 😉 Things obviously improved by having a family of my own. But I don’t think I will ever get over it. It’s something I never really talk about, but every once in a while I need a little wallow and then I’m back to my silly ‘ol self. xx

  6. Ah honey, what an unconventional family life – how strange to be one of eight but feel like an only child. I really feel for you for you and now I understand why, when we chatted, you said that you hadn’t told your family about your blog. It is complicated. I hope you can one day make your family understand the way you feel and accept it and you the way you are Xxx

    1. When you asked me if I was an only child, in the other post, you probably didn’t expect all that! But really, your comment did help spur me on to write about this, even though I don’t like to get too deep. xx

      1. I guess ‘have you got any brothers and sisters?’ is one of my stock questions when I get to know someone and it didn’t occur that there might be a complicated answer. I’m glad it prompted a reflective and/or cathartic post though – sometimes it is good to share – on your own terms. X

  7. I love this post. It is so brave. You seem so happy in your own skin that your childhood (as unusual as it was) must have been such a loving one. Thanks for sharing this and it was so lovely to meet you last week. Xxx

    1. Thanks Alison. I think it helped that I ‘found myself’ when I lived in Paris back in 2000. And then it obviously helped having a family of my own. It has really taken years to finally feel like me. Lovely meeting you too! xx

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this on #AllAboutYou – this post has been haunting me for a while. Maybe one day you may get to a stage when you can talk it all out – you are an amazing woman and incredibly strong for dealing with this all. It’s not easy to manage unusual situations and the questions that arise. Bless you hon. #AllAboutYou

  9. Relationships can be so complicated.

    If you really look at them, though, you will see that many families contain an ‘odd one out’ who is quieter, or noisier, or prefers to read than play.

    I definitely agree that your family is the unit that brings you up and nurtures you.

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