The Feeling of Family

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My cousin Sara, me & Grandma Gloria

I was adopted as an infant.  I got pretty lucky in the adoptive family department: I had a dad who adored me and extended family on both sides that I feel pretty close to. I was raised an only child but my cousin Susan is like a big sister to me in many ways. She and her bestie Deana always let me hang out with them (and they still do) even though I was several years younger.

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From left to right: Aunt Mary, The Hubs, Uncle Alan, Uncle Mark, Grandma Gloria, Uncle Scott.

When I was 26 my birth mom and I connected, and so many clouded pieces of who I am suddenly started to clear up and make sense. As an adoptee, no matter how loved you are in your adoptive family, there’s this disparate feeling that you don’t fit in. You may be loved, but you’re different.  I was welcomed with open arms into my maternal birth family and every time I spend time with them as a whole I can’t help but think “these are my PEOPLE, this is where I come from.” There’s no feeling of “watch what you say because people will think you’re weird”. I listen to everyone talk and laugh and I hear myself in their words. They love dogs, swear and joke about sex (the theme of Christmas 2012 was dildo) and are sarcastic and snarky and they love design and food JUST LIKE ME.

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Watching my Uncle Scott, my mom, and my grandma scratch off lottery tickets from the cool comfort of a chaise.

To have that connection, to be hugged warmly by an uncle, to be called babygirl by an aunt, to be begged to be in photos, to be so thoroughly accepted after such a long absence: that’s something special. So to any of you who read this: thanks. It means the world to me.

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13 comments

  1. Hey kid, you’re the little sister I never had. I’m grateful that Sue shared you with me. We love spending time with you then and now because you rock. I’m so excited that you found your tribe. Nothing feels better. Love you Andrea! PS. You’re stuck with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad I’m stuck with you, because I love spending time with you, too! Paulo has a saying, “There’s family and there’s ‘familia’.” Familia are the people who don’t share blood ties but are sometimes closer than family. You’re familia to me. 🙂

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  2. What a beautiful post. I especially liked the way I noticed you and Sarah walking around the house together
    as if you had been together for years as cousins. And I love having your baby picture in the large frame in
    my bedroom with all the offspring in it. Now that it’s there – and you are here with us – we’ve come full circle
    and all is complete. You are right though . . . . you have two wonderful and loving families. I felt equally at home meeting Aunt Betty and everyone at their beautiful farm. I felt as at home with them as you felt with all
    of us. It’s just a bigger group of people to encircle you. I’m sure your Dad would be warmed by the thought
    that you have even more family now in his absence. He seemed such a loving and selfless person. Here’s
    to many more fun gatherings together!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea, you are loved by all of us. There is good and bad in all families and you were always the good. You gave Susan , Bill and I great joy. When I come home I can’t wait for a visit with you. Love you.

    Aunt Geri

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have that exact same feeling when all of us sibs get together. Mom and Dad aren’t here anymore, and with brother in VA, sister in FL, and me in NJ it’s hard for all of to plan on getting together, but when we do, it’s awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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