Dead Girl Walking
One of the scariest things about adoption is that we adoptees don’t really know our history. We don’t know where we come from, who we really belong to, and what our future will look like due to the above thoughts.
I was adopted back in 1987 by two white supremacists who, on the outside, looked loving, kind and gentle. But on the inside, spewed words of hate, racism, and superiority to anything and anyone who was not their hue.
So growing up, I always felt like the “other”. I was that person they hated so much.
“Black people are this way, black people do that” is what I constantly heard out of my A-mother’s mouth. I had to “talk proper” or I’d be classified as one of them. I wouldn’t be welcomed.
They never directly said “White people are better” but sometimes in the not saying, you say way too much.
When I was about ten years old, I started to develop faster than my sister. During the time I was living with them, they told me that I was the same age as their biological daughter. So up until I was about ten, we were the same height, about the same weight and the same pudginess. So I really had no reason to doubt their claim.
It wasn’t until I was a little over 10 that I started to develop breasts. I started asking them “why, if we are the same age, am I developing at a faster rate than she is?” Today we know that so many factors could have caused this but what my A-parents failed to do was actually care about me and what my papers said.
Instead of looking at my birth certificate, they went with their “fantasy”. It was clear on my birth certificate that I was older than she was by about 3 years and no one EVER said a word. Why? Did they want to continue what they had started? Did they want to keep pretending that I was white, like them, that I would always weigh the same as she did, that I would always be a “happy baby?”
Growing up as a black child in a mainly white family was very detrimental. I didn’t know I was actually black until I had turned about 7 or 8 years of age. No one really told me I was “black”. But it gets worse, no one ever told me that I was dead either.
For the longest time, I thought my name was what it was on my Birth Certificate. When I become a teenager, my adoptive parents finally came somewhat clean and told me that I was actually not who I thought I was. My name was actually NOT what it was on my birth certificate, that I was older than they told me I was, and that I was actually DEAD.
In Haiti, it is very hard to retrieve documents from the archives because back in the 70s and 80s, nothing was recorded on computers. Things were done by hand, stored, and forgotten. When my biological mother dropped me off at the orphanage when I was a few days old, she left me with a birth certificate (I think). The orphanage got flooded when I was 2 and all documents were destroyed.
My adoptive parents came around when I was about three years of age (or so everyone thought due to lack of good nutrition and physical care) but I was about 5 or 6. My A-mother whom I will call horrible lady, was volunteering at the orphanage me and all the other kids were transferred to after the destruction of the first orphanage. She saw my “need” (I was in pretty bad shape) and decided she would “save me from the grounds of Haiti’s soil”. In order to start the adoption process, I needed a Birth Certificate.
So the people in the orphanage started searching and searching and searching for something that would “work” for me. They came across a child’s Birth Certificate who had passed away and never had a certificate of death.
“Aha!” I can hear them saying. “This will do. The age looks about right. Who cares about the ridiculously long name and who cares that the mother on the BC is not her actual mother. We need to make sure she claimed her daughter on her own and that there was no father involved. If she goes to search one day for her real family, she won’t’ be able to really “find” them.”
So there you have it, a year later, I sat in my adoptive parent’s house with their one biological white child and I became the live dead girl.
There are many issues and questions I have about this unethical adoption.
- What happens if I search for the woman on my BC. Will she think that her actual dead child is alive?
- What happens if she wants a DNA test?
- If I go to authorities now with this story, will I become a NOBODY?
- Are there no records of my ACTUAL Birth Certificate with my real mother’s ACTUAL name?
- Now that I have my adoptive parent’s last name (but not US Citizenship) does this mean that this dead person is really part of them?
- Who is this woman on the Birth Certificate? What was she like? Am I doing her Justice?
- How does this affect me wanting to emancipate myself from my Adoptive family?
- How does it affect my marriage?
- How does it affect my daughter who was adopted from Haiti too?
- Am I supposed to be thankful that I am a DEAD girl who now has life?
Just until a few days ago, I actually thought that the mother on the BC was actually my mother. Her last name was Cyr. I had known the “I was a dead girl” part but I had thought that my BC was just altered, meaning the rest of the information on it was true. It was not until I spoke with my biological brother that I realized that ALL OF IT IS/WAS A LIE and that the woman who “gave me up” is not even my MOTHER. My real mother’s last name is LIMA.
There is a feeling of loss that comes with being adopted. It is not just a feeling, it is a reality. One loses trust, and one learns to not care anymore. But there is even a deeper feeling of despair when you realize that everything you were taught to be maybe true is not even a little bit true.
I don’t know how much my APs knew about all of this. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. But I don’t forgive them for living the fantasy of me being the same age as their white kid. Because that created a lot of confusion for me as just a person in general.
Finding out that the little information I had is now NADA makes me want to curl up in a ball, and roll back into the black hole I came from. I have nothing and no hope sometimes. I can’t answer the positive Whys of my life, eg (why do I have a beautiful signing voice). And I can’t answer the negative Whys of my life, eg (why do I feel sick every day. What is in my DNA that makes me ache?). I can’t connect to anyone. I can’t reach out.
My biological brother got upset with me a couple of days ago because he claims that I don’t want to meet them. First of all, I’d love to meet them but it is not that simple. I have a family, and I won’t just “leave it all” to visit people I never met before. I won’t and I can’t.
I got a chance a couple of years ago to meet my biological sister who swears I belong to them. There is a trust factor that comes with people telling you that you are their blood. All my life I had been lied to so what made this time any different?
My biological Aunt got into contact with me a month or so ago and wants to meet. I’m nervous and scared but also feel at peace. But is she really who she says she is? Will she have pictures of my biological mother who died when I was 12 years old? Is this for real?
Thankfully, my APs did make an effort to keep in contact with the lady who supposedly gave me up. We also sent her pictures of me when I was growing up. They stayed in contact with the orphanage and we returned a couple of times to visit her. I had no idea who she was. I just knew that after every visit, I returned home with a white lady and not a black lady. Did my biological mother know that the birth certificate they had for me was not mine? Did she even consider me to be hers?
I am this dead person. If I attempt to find my REAL birth certificate, can I become who I really am supposed to be? What’s in a name? Power? Strength? Glory? Can I have peace if I never get my real Birth Certificate back?
I want to meet my fake mother. I want to go back to Haiti and find the person on my Birth Certificate. Maybe I can be her daughter that died. Maybe I can live through her? Does she even know that her daughter died? Was her daughter put up for adoption and died of mal-nutrition?
Was this all some insane joke?
But I also want my real Birth Certificate. I want pictures of me when I was a baby. I want to see my real mother’s name on a document that belongs to ME, not someone else. Am I living my life to be the person she would have me be?
Has someone else taken my real Birth Certificate and become me? Does this make us twins? Does this make us family? Are we sisters?
I will visit my aunt, because I want to meet her, because I want to learn more about my mother, and because I want to be that much closer to being who I am.
I don’t want to be DEAD. I want to be more alive than ever. I want to be a LIMA!
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I was dead too! My parents, 1960’s, US, told their family that I was stillborn in order to give me up with no questions asked.
And apparently it worked. According to them, no one asked any questions or bothered to claim my body.
Nice family, huh?