The Feeling of Family

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.

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.

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.