All this time, I wondered about my sisters. I wondered where they were. I wondered who the woman was that my mom referred to as my ‘real’ mom. But I wasn’t sure that I should be wondering those things. As a four year old, I would never have been able to define the word ‘betrayal,’ but it definitely describes how I felt about spending time thinking about this family that I didn’t know.
I wasn’t trying to turn my back on my family but secretly, that is what I thought I was doing. At that age, I could never have described these mixed emotions verbally. The waves of emotions were internal.
Eventually, I couldn’t take not having any answers about them though. It was obvious to me that my mom knew more about them and I really wanted to know more too. I especially wanted to know more about my sisters. I endlessly thought about the fun we could be having if we could just play together.
I finally managed to work up the courage to ask her some questions. I tried to make it seem casual. As I was coloring at my little table one morning, my mom was busy cleaning up the kitchen. Without making eye contact I asked, “How old are my sisters?” I continued coloring so my mom wouldn’t think that I was overly interested. She paused for a moment, but then answered, “One of them is six and one is eight.”
I was so excited that I wanted to leap out of my chair. To a four year old that was obsessed with getting a sister, this was the best news I had heard in … forever.
Instead of doing a cartwheel, I stayed glued to my seat and continued coloring. My mom eyed me waiting to hear what I had to say. Finally I asked, “How come you have me?” My mom moved over to the counter and sat down at one of the chairs on the kitchen side. I took a break from coloring to look at her as she spoke, but kept the crayon in my hand so that I didn’t seem too interested.
She explained, “Well, I wanted a little girl, and then you came along and that was my chance to get a little girl. Your real mom couldn’t take care of you, so I adopted you. I got you because I wanted you.”
It seemed like she was trying to stress how much she ‘wanted’ me. I wasn’t sure why.
I went back to coloring, but tried to keep the conversation going. I asked, “Can I see my ‘real’ mom and my sisters?”
Mostly I wanted to see my sisters. I wanted to play with them.
My mom didn’t seem mad at me at all for asking. She was still calm and answered, “Yes, you will get to see them sometime, but I don’t know when that will be.” Again, my excitement got a hold of me. I was going to get to see my sisters! I decided I had asked enough for now and still didn’t want to upset my mom by asking too much. I had a lot to think about.
My mom got me because she wanted me. That seemed pretty nice of her. But I couldn’t help feeling like a guest in my own house. Before all of this ‘adopted’ business started, this was my house. Now, I wasn’t sure that I was as much a part of this family as my mom, dad and brother were. I knew Randy wasn’t adopted. My mom had given birth to him. I just felt different than everyone else.