In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I was thinking about what I am thankful for in my life. I went through a tough time during the ages of 13-14. I had always known I was adopted, but at this time it really weighed upon me. I suspected that most of my family didn’t love me. That, in fact, I was merely an obligation. I thought even my father, who I was really close to, might not really love me. And probably not my mother or my aunts, uncles and cousins.
I was a lonely child. With little friends or family around at the weekend, I would be lost in my thoughts. And I think too much introspection wasn’t a good thing in my case. I figured that since my biological parents did not want to raise me it meant that they did not love me. They kept their first seven children, how could another child make so much difference? And since they gave me away as an infant, there must be something unlovable about me. Something they saw in my eyes, or knew to be an inherent characteristic. And if the two people who made me could not love me, how could anyone else? What could I do to make myself lovable? Why even bother?
So I would keep people at arm’s length. I used sarcasm. I put on a mask of cheeriness. I knew I would never have one of those ‘great loves’ or the house and kids. I would just get along in life, achieve my career goals. And maybe when I reached my 40s I would meet someone I could settle for, because I didn’t really deserve anything more.
But somehow, somehow, I met the love of my life when I was only 24. And with him, I finally felt completely and truly loved. I knew I wanted to have a child, to make a human being. Someone who would be part of me, who I would be part of. And my daughter and son have added another depth of acceptance and love into my life. And for that, I am beyond thankful.