I'm pretty sure Betty White is my illegitimate Grandmother.
I've always known I was adopted. I can't remember ever sitting down and having a long, drawn out talk or anything. It just was. It never bothered me. I didn't ever get left out of games or develop a complex because of it. It was a non-issue.... until the day several girls at school were asking me a ton of questions I didn't know the answers to.
"Where is your "real Mom"?" (I was pretty sure my "real Mom" had dropped me off at school that morning)
"Why did she give you up?"
"Will you ever see her again?"
"What does it feel like to be adopted?!" (What?! Am I supposed to feel different?!)
Hindsight is 20/20 and now that I see it for what it was, maybe it was just children being inquisitive and not knowing the proper way to express such an emotion at such a young age, but it was hard for me to process also.
I remember being afraid if I was bad, they might "send me back" or someone could come get me at any time. I remember coming home and telling my Mom, "Mom, they said I was different because I wasn't born from your belly." I didn't understand, but Mom, in her usual calm fashion, broke it down for me. She said...
"There is nothing wrong with you! You are our child, the same way they are their parents child, you just got to us differently. We picked you special, because we wanted you, their parents got stuck with them." and from that day on, I never felt different. I always felt special. I still do. My parents didn't get "stuck" with me. I was chosen.
The way my mom dealt with that situation, that day has never left my mind. I don't remember the exact date I was adopted, but I do remember the exact day it stopped being a "bad thing".
I was given a wonderful gift. The gift of an amazing education, the gift of love, the gift of stability, the gift of TWO amazing parents, the gift of softball in the summer and building snowmen in the winter, the gift of a home cooked meal every day and the best gift of all, the gift of true, unconditional love.
All these things I was able to do, because someone loved me enough to let me go. Think about that for a second. The one thing you love more than anything else in the world and you "give it away". I couldn't have done it, but she did. Unconditional love.
That's the big one, the one that spills over into every single thing I do. I may forget how my Mom showed me to do a double crochet, but I will never forget how she showed me to love. (For the record, I still remember how to crochet, Mama) (Yes, I write notes to my Mom in my blog posts, 'cause I know she'll be reading them, she always has)
Have I wondered about "her" over the years? Of course I have. What does she look like, does she have red hair like me? Does she have blue eyes like me? Does she think of me on My birthday? Do I have any brothers or sisters? Would I like them or would we fight like all siblings?
I used to think I saw her at the grocery store, at the mall, on TV. Once, I was convinced Dolly Parton was my Biological Mother. Why couldn't it be her? She was beautiful and wonderful and she was from Tennessee. I'm beautiful, wonderful and from Tennessee. Once, it was Naomi Judd. (I blame my Nannie for that one.) One Christmas, she told me I looked like Wynona and of course, that had to mean I was her sister, right? And playing the role of my "Grandmother", of course, Betty White.
I mean, how could I not be related to this amazing lady?! Her wit, her grace and those legs, have you ever seen her legs. She has to be related to me, doesn't she?! Betty, if you're reading this, just know, I already have an amazing Grandmother, but I would like to adopt you too. I have enough love in my heart for both of you. Seriously, Betty, please let me be your adopted Grand-daughter. I won't even ask you for money, I promise!
Over the years, I'd Google info about myself; my birth date, with the words "looking for daughter born on". Nothing. It kinda bummed me out the first few times, but I always took it as a sign that "what is not, should never be."
Maybe she had a rough life and it didn't end well for her, would I be able to deal with that right now? Probably, but do I want to? Not really.
Would my siblings be wealthy or would they be drug addicted junkies that would bring me down, with requests of money and help or maybe they were just normal people, like me, with normal lives, or maybe they weren't, at all.
The questions will probably always haunt me, but for now, I choose to live in the real world, where my Mom is still my Mom, my Dad is still my Dad, my kids are still... messy as ever and housework still has to be done. But seriously, Betty, let's do lunch.
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