Do we ever fit or slot neatly back into our bio family?
Hi, there I am Fiona I’m an adoptee. I was adopted at 8 months old after being in two different foster placements and 2 hospital stays. I have my great-niece from the family I was adopted out of on a Special Guardianship Order. Unusual I know but it’s working well.
So where did I Fit then?
The finding of the bio family was fairly easy for me. I have heard of some people having extreme struggles trying to locate where their bio Mum is. And even when they have been found they are not welcomed into the family. I have no idea what that must be like. I struggled with being rejected/abandoned the first time. I think had I been unwanted at the point in my life when I did locate her. It may have led me onto an even darker path in my life than I was already on. For those of you who have read No Darkness Too Deep, things were already pretty dark.
Maggie was always ready for me to decide to find her. As was the rest of the family. Maggie had had a difficult life with some problems stemming from giving me up. As was the way in the 60s / 70s there was no support for her. I’m not going to share her stuff as that wouldn’t be entirely fair, but let’s just say, she needed support for what she had gone through in having to give me up.
I have no idea what part social workers had in these cases in the 60s but it was not good enough all around. From what I can gather she was just left to get on with her life. That’s exactly what she did. She moved away from her home town and met and married a good man and had three more children. One girl and one boy and a boy who died in infancy or late pregnancy if I remember correctly. She also had my older Sister who had been living with her granny and the man she married adopted her which was lovely.
By the time I met Maggie she was single again and her children like me were all adults. I was not a surprise to any of them. That was good and made everything so much easier. After the initial meeting of just me and Maggie, I chose to move to London for a time to get to know my bio family. It was nice in the beginning. I was very like one of my sisters in personality and very different from the other sister and brother. It was difficult for me to express how I had struggled with being adopted. I felt a bit guilty for some reason that they had all missed me and waited for me. I felt a real weight of expectation and felt that I failed on every count. I was still in a big mess with drink and drugs, anger kept popping up and making things awkward. I really appreciated them all doing their best to make me feel welcome and a part of their family, but it was glaringly obvious to me on the inside that I couldn’t participate in loads of conversations that they had. I didn’t share their memories and they didn’t share mine. I sadly realised that even though I had found my ‘real’ family, that feeling of not quite fitting in was exactly the same.
After a couple of unfortunate incidents and misunderstandings, I chose to move back to Scotland. My marriage had failed and I was on my own again. There was a sadness inside me that felt huge, like a big huge empty hole that I knew was not going to be filled. I spiralled into the most epic drinking binge all by myself in Glasgow. I was in agony in my soul. Lost in a vortex of rejection and pain. My Mum and Dad had no idea that it had all gone pear-shaped and I was even in Scotland. My Mum had sent my Christmas box down to London where she thought I was staying. I even bought a ticket from Glasgow to London and back again to retrieve my Christmas box. My Mum knew what I liked and it was full of yellow things. Yellow slippers, yellow toothbrush, yellow sponge and toiletries. Everything in the box was yellow it was so cool. It cost me a fortune to go and get it though.
Eventually, I had to admit that I was actually living just 40 miles away awash in a flood of alcohol and bad memories. Epic fails yet again.
My Mum and Dad were always there for me, every time I messed up they would bail me out financially or bring me home on the proviso that I didn’t intend on staying long. I never did I just gaily went off into the great unknown to the next adventure/ disaster.
Moving on in the finding the family journey. I was happy that I had found my ‘real’ family, a bit disappointed to realise that I didn’t really fit in there either. I kept up good relations with Maggie in particular. We had a nice solid relationship. I got loads of questions answered about why had I been given away and my sister was kept? Who was my Dad? Where was he now? Did he know about me? I got a name, he was married and had four boys. He was also dead so we couldn’t speak to him. My older sister and I almost went to a medium to see if we could ‘meet’ him there.
By the time I reached 25/26 years old, it had suddenly dawned on me that I only had one true family where all the memories were, where my brother and sister knew me inside and out. My mum and Dad were who I turned to in real crisis moments. In finishing up, where did I really fit, it was in the family I was brought up in for me. I know that’s not the case for all adoptees but it was the case for me. I know adoptees that have never even glanced back at their adoptive parents once they have found their bio families. All of our stories are different, adoption is not just a one size fits all kind of thing.
Thank you for reading my blogging journey so far. Next Monday I will be sharing the last of the family-finding stuff for now.