People I’ve met often wonder how easily and proudly I share that I am adopted. In the society I live in, where almost everything is so hush-hush, being adopted was sometimes a “shame”. Some kids were never told they were til it was too late which later resulted to teenage angst and rebellion.
I learned about my being adopted when I was about 3 years old. I was brought to the doctor due to unexplainable hives or welts or better known as pantal-pantal. The nurse asked my mother my blood type and other medical conditions and all my mother had to answer was “I don’t know, because she is adopted.” Hearing that word for the first time, I asked her what it meant. If I’m not mistaken, I have a a mental image in my mind of that day, including the green waiting chairs at the doctor’s clinic. My mother explained why she and my pappy adopted me, of how my mother couldn’t carry a child due to ovarian cancer or something like that. I took her explanation as it was. No questions, no nothing and probably continued playing while waiting for the doctor.
According to my mother, when I was about 4 or 5 years old, there was a time when we fought, I bit her hand and I said something like, “What do you care, I’m not your real daughter.” Hmm, I remember the biting, but I don’t remember saying that. Feisty ey? I say this because, I never felt that need to question my being adopted. I never felt differently from my numerous cousins, they never treated me bad, in fact many were and still are protective of me. My parents gave me everything I needed and even more (not a spoiled brat though), well, you what I mean.
I never had the urge to find or question my biological parents, because my (adoptive) parents are the only parents I know and love. They have build the foundation of what I am today.
Four or five years ago, at at children’s party, I met this Belgian man, Pablo. He was a guest physiotherapist of my neighbor’s daughter who had cerebral palsy. I was just standing around without my crutch watching the kids play, and this foreigner comes up to me and says, “Your mother is not your real mother.” Yeah, just like that. Imagine the psychological mayhem it could do to a person who didn’t know the truth? Intrigued by him, I willingly said. “Yes, I know. I’m adopted”. He asked me if I wanted to know “my story”. Even more intrigued, I willingly let Pablo tell me my story.
According to Pablo, my mother had an affair with a married man and became pregnant with me. Her husband couldn’t take it, which later on took a toll on her. Pablo said that she was a very strong-willed woman, who refused to have me aborted and risked her marriage and herself. She died during or after childbirth. Interesting huh?
I told my mom about my encounter with Pablo and we both just shrugged our shoulders and said, “Oh well.” It is VERY hard for my mother to just believe in these things. I told her, that since it’s still a mystery of why I had my brain operation, and later on being diagnosed to have AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation), which is congenital, maybe my biological mother did have the same condition. I was just lucky that I survived.
I was honored when one of my neighbors asked me about how she should go about telling her daughter about being adopted. I only knew one thing and that was for her to tell all. The absolute truth. Now, child rearing is a totally different story. It saddens me to this day how one can hide the truth. Keeping something like this is a dangerous flame that will just keep burning, something you cannot repress. It’s a known fact, the truth will come out one way of the other. Do it now while they are young, when they are still coming out of the woodwork. Then again, to each his own.
I’ve been reprimanded for speaking my mind one way or the other but I must say, I only, with absolute conviction, speak the truth in cases like this, even if it hurts. That’s life. Deal with it.