On one hand, I believe that they are family because we were raised together. I love them deeply from the bottom of my heart. They are really all I know in regards to siblings.
We ate together, we celebrated birthdays together, we even shared a room together, catching each other’s dreams between REM cycle and wake.
When my incontinence was bad, I used to sneak into bed with my sister who is younger than me, and she would share her blankets with me. I don’t know if she will ever know how much that meant to me. Or how much it means to me now. I feel we had a bond.
I used to teach the other two just about life since I was the “older” one. They looked up to me. And then things changed.
We grew up.
We created our own memories, or blocked out things that were too painful or hard to admit. We went our separate ways.
Two of them were born with a kind of privilege I will never see. Life was easier for them, is still easier for them. The world was created for them.
The other one, just a shade lighter than I am, was born with her own countries’ privilege, the privilege of being beautiful and flawless in so many ways. I was jealous of that beauty that seemed to come so naturally. And being told she was beautiful helped her self-esteem. I know she struggled in other areas but her physical looks in comparison to how I felt, that was not something I saw as a struggle. She could probably tell you many stories of racism, and hate, and fear. I’ll let her speak her truth.
I know she struggled to match up to the other two, the two pale kids in the family, though they were the “minorities”, the world catered to them from the day they were born. Competing with that privilege was depressing to say the least.
We split ways for some time. A good length of time.
I wrote a book, and that book in essence “tore” the family apart. But did it really? Or was it just the tool to revealing what was underneath everything. Was my book a great reason to blame me for the failure around me?
For the longest time everyone thought I was lying about my own lived experience. How that is, I do not know. So I had to cut ties.
One of the youngest siblings however feigned interest in my struggles only to stab me so hard through the heart that I had to change my email, and remove that person from any of my social media. It was so painful, and more than painful, it was hurtful. I could never find the words to articulate the information I was learning about my own pain, and relaying it to her without hurting her fragility.
So I had to emotionally cut ties in order to better bond with who I am, and who I am becoming.
I feel they have resurfaced because we are at the core siblings raised together. They have children of their own now, and I believe having your own kid really changes your life and your perspective on what it means to be a mom, how giving up a child is not even in the “books” and what it means to live a life of privilege where the thought of having to give up a child does not even circulate in the brain. Talk about the immensity and complexity of privilege.
When I started to better understand my story, I had so much rage. It was just pure rage. How dare a family take a child.
And then I continued to read, and learn more.
Every few days I do a live feed in my adoption FB group where I go over my adoption papers, analyze them, translate them, and grapple with the immense truth that befalls so many adoptees who were trafficked as babies. We are fakes.
I’m a fake.
Not only was my identity forged, but my birthday is not what it should be, my existence is duplicitous and my need to understand my real mother’s perspective is so high on the food chain I could eat it myself.
But alas i’ll never know what she was thinking when she put me in the orphanage. My Haitian American Grandfather tells me that he is partly to blame for me entering into the orphanage.
And worst yet, my APs knew exactly what they were doing. My adoptive father told me this about a year ago. He knew what was going on. And at the end of the day, my APs forged my life, forced me to become part of their existence, and then denied me what belonged to me. My citizenship.
I hear so many people telling me to just be happy I have a green card, just be happy I’m in the US, Just be happy i’m married to a US citizen. Do they even know how much my adoptive father fought me for this green card? It was as if I didn’t deserve a green card because I was “bad” in his eyes. What he fails to remember is that HE TOOK ME from my mother and even after meeting her, didn’t give me back. Ever. And YET I’m the bad one?
But “just be happy” only comes in handy when you don’t walk in my shoes.
I spent most of my life afraid that I would be picked up by Dominican immigration. My color gave my race away. It didn’t matter that I spoke English like a whitey, and Spanish like a true blue Dominican, my color gave away where I was born and who I supposedly was at the core.
A dirty Haitian. “You were born in the mud of Haiti’s soil, you will die in the mud of Haiti’s soil if we had not saved you” said one loving adoptive mother. But what she failed to acknowledge was that I was not up for sale, or for being saved.
The “just be happy” only comes in handy when you don’t have to feel responsible for someone elses’ pain and suffering. Those who tell me to “just be happy” are really telling me to Shut The Fuck Up.
And I’m tired of being told to Shut the Fuck Up. All my life I was told to be quiet. I was told by my adoptive mother that what I discovered, she would never admit to anyone. I was told to not share my abuse. I was told that I was spoiled, and a brat, and ungrateful, and not thankful.
I should not have to be more or less thankful than anyone else born of their mother’s womb. So why do adoptees have to show they are thankful?
They should not have to do this. They should never be guilted into feeling inferior. Or like they are lucky, or like somehow, they were “chosen”, or that God planned this. Nope!
So here they are. All three of them have now contacted me and there are days I want to cry and forget it all. There are days I want to say “why the fuck are you contacting me after the way you treated me? What’s in it for me?” There are days I want to ignore their texts, but then there are days I text them first.
Deep down, I love them and that I feel will never change. I want them in my life, in my daughter’s life, in my wife’s life. I want them to be part of who I am becoming, but I can’t allow that if they are still judging me and what I supposedly did 8 years ago. I wrote a book, and it was a dynamite good book.
It was filled with pain, mystery and yep…muckraking. Because you can’t have a good book if it does not dig up some dirt. The funny thing is, those who have read it have told me that they knew all along what was going on in my home, but were too afraid to say anything. So was I really muckraking or was I just putting into words what people struggled to articulate Either way, it was freedom.
It was a form of freedom I wish on no one. I wish that no one has to write such a painful piece, I wish no one has to go through the shit I lived through. I wish this life on no one. But the freedom I felt after writing it, and hitting send….the freedom, the knowledge that I determined the outcome of my life.
The fact that I called the shots on how I wanted MY own life to go…..that was freedom beyond comprehension.
When one of my sisters texted, they said that they had read my blogs. I was hesitant to even respond to that because I am not sure what this person wanted me to say. “Good, i’m glad?” “Ummm…why are you telling me this?”….I don’t know why I would be told this. They added however that they know I have helped a lot of adoptees.
Yes, yes indeed I have. I have helped many adoptees. And that is why I wake up each and every morning.
But better yet, I have helped many adoptive parents be better parents. And that is why I can sleep somewhat peacefully each night.
Another sibling messaged me out of the blue to wish me a happy birthday. They then would not identify themselves so I just looked up their number and knew exactly who it was. They told me that they see I have a successful Adoption consulting business. Of course I will be successful, my childhood was a complete failure. But I have control and reign over the choices I make now, I am the boss when it comes to what I want to see out of this life.
My other sibling was just cheery as ever. Speaking to this person just makes me happy and more excited to hear from them. I think it is because we have a lot in common. I think it is because on several things we can see eye to eye.
I appreciate each one of my siblings. I know they each have something amazing to offer this world.
But I’m confused as to why we are reconnecting. Has something happened to the rents? Have things been revealed?
Are they really wanting to be a part of me now…..why now?
I’m afraid to ask.
I’m afraid to be emotionally hurt by them again.
I’m afraid this is a ruse to get info out of me.
I’m afraid that my view on our “parents” is not good enough.
I live in this utter state of fear that I’m not good enough for the very people I grew up with.
All I ask is for honesty.
When we are honest, we change the world!