So after the failed suicide attempt, meeting with the psychiatrist and finally telling a few of my close friends that the adoption thing has been bothering me ever since I found out some 15 years back (I am 31 now), I reached out to my youngest half-sister for the first time in years through a mutual friend.
But before jumping to that part, I found out I was adopted when I was around 16 or 17 years old. My birth mom (who is my adoptive mom’s cousin) came to meet me for the first and last time. For the few days she stayed, she showered me with love and gifts, which isn’t expected of a relative you meet for the first time. A few days into her stay at our place and she tries to introduce me to a man standing outside our gate beside a red car. But I was a vigilant teen and vary of strangers so I refused to meet him. I later found out he was my birth father.
She left and a few weeks later, another man comes over to my school and hands me a letter. Says that he was told to hand it over only to me and no one else. I opened the letter with my best friend beside me –both of us excited with who could have sent it and what could be in the contents, because that’s what letter tend to do to you, there is a certain mystery to them.
But the envelope was marked ‘from your biological father’. For a few minutes I forgot what that meant, it had me confused. I opened up the letter, and only through the first few paragraphs and I went into a shock. I told my friend that I had to meet my parents and we left our classes and rushed to my home. Sobbing terribly, I handed over the unfinished letter to my dad and he read it and handed it over to my mom.
Later in the afternoon, my extended family arrived. They told me it was all a lie, but I understood. I accepted their lies because they didn’t want to accept it and tell me the truth. This lead to several months of crying alone in my room and coming out of the room like nothing happened. Several months of not knowing what I wanted.
Several years later, and I still hated my birth father for abandoning my birth mom and me. But somewhere down the line I always was regretful of not reading the complete letter, just because I didn’t have the courage to learn the entire truth at that time. The only line I remember from the letter is “your mother and I met when we were in college”.
So I lived over a decade thinking it was all behind me, but never forgetting that I was unwanted and a product of an affair that was wrong. But then I accidently started dating my cousin and my life came crumbling down again. This made me hate my birth father even more. Because if he would not have made the mistake of impregnating my birth mom and abandoning us, the situation would never have arrived to this.
After my recent broken relationship and suicidal episode, I tried learning about my past because that was the one real thing that was bothering me more than anything else in the world. Every broken relationship reminded me I was unwanted even if it was not the case.
So a few days ago, I mustered up the courage and reached out to my youngest half-sister through a mutual friend. She told me that her father never abandoned me, but my father was already married with two other children. They don’t know what happened between all that but according to the stories their father has told them, my birth mom left without saying anything to her hometown.
When he found out that I was born, he went to take me (I don’t know whether he went to take my mom too) and begged my maternal grandfather to hand me to him, but my grandfather kept the condition of either choosing to stay with his first family or with me and my mom. I understand he couldn’t abandon his first family either and after days of trying, he left. Few months after I was born I was secretly given to my adoptive family, who already had two sons but no daughter.
In fact, my birth father’s first wife sent him to get me. She even went as far as to knit a sweater for me (which I think was kind of her) and wrote a letter to my birth mom (half-sister doesn’t know what was written in the letter). And all these years I thought had I been raised in that family, the first mom would’ve hated me and treated me like a liability, but I started respecting her a lot after learning a few more things other than my story.
My half-sister told me that their father often talks about me, about how I must be faring in life, whether I was okay, if I had all that I needed. After the letter episode, he did not have the courage to contact me. I know he hasn’t fulfilled the duties of a father, nor did my birth mom, but they gave up that right when they decided they couldn’t resolve their issues to keep me. My birth mom is married with children of her own and has kept my existence a secret from her family, but I guess I would have done the same if I was in her place.
I had always been thankful for the family I have now, but the sense of not belonging had always been there deep inside. But finding out this truth helped me realise that I was not all unwanted. And I was slightly at peace for the first time in years.
This isn’t a unique story, but it isn’t the norm that we grew up to believe. There are several others who share similar stories of abandonment. Some men seek a good time and leave the girl they said they loved after they find out she’s pregnant. I am at peace with knowing that he came for me.
I had to let it all out and I don’t care if anybody I know sees this, because those who care already know, except for my mom. I need to tell her soon that I know that they’ve been carrying this burden of secrets for years too, and that she’ll always be my mom.
To be continued after meeting half-sisters…