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.
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!