Many psychologists agree that the first three years of a child’s life are vital for various aspects of development, so when two out of the three years is entirely unknown, it always feels as if something is missing. Not knowing anything other than the names of my biological parents and that I had siblings was something that I struggled with. Although now, after research and help from people I have found out some more information (I would like to do a separate dedicated post on my search so far) I have still been left with so many more questions. People reading this would probably think that my biggest problem or the biggest question would be why was I put up for adoption. I believe that this is true for when I was younger, but as I grew up, my feelings changed. I no longer care about why I was put up for adoption because to me it doesn’t matter anymore. Nothing could be said to take away the fact that I was put up for adoption, and I now have a family that love me and care for me more than anyone else ever has.
I have always had an active imagination, and when I was young I would imagine different scenarios and what would happen if I met my biological family, but the reality was that I knew nothing at all. I didn’t know if they were alive, or where they lived or even if the information that I had was accurate. I always have been very open about the fact that I was adopted and am proud of my background and where I come from although I don’t know the specific details.
When I was younger, I would always feel awkward when other children would talk about when they were babies, or what their first words were. Not because I felt embarrassed about my past but because I simply didn’t know how to answer and I didn’t know myself. I would often get questions about why I looked different when I was in primary school since I am a bit more tanned and have dark hair and eyes, living in a small Scottish rural town this wasn’t very common. I much prefer when people ask me questions if they have any instead of just making assumptions. Other kids would often talk about the similarities that they shared with their parents, such as if they were sporty like their dad, or artistic like their mum. I didn’t have anything to reference to which I’m sure that you can imagine, often would leave me feeling incomplete.
I have never been someone that likes to share how I feel so I would try and deal with the complex emotions which come with adoption by myself. At the time I thought I was dealing things by just keeping them in my head and not sharing anything with anyone but now I know I was suppressing my feelings. Throughout high school, I struggled with my sense of self, and it was when my mental health issues became apparent although I did my best to try and hide them yet again. A lot of my close friends new that I was adopted and would always offer to be there as support if I wanted it but instead I would often push them away because I knew that they would never actually understand.
When I fell pregnant with Gabriella and with Ava, the unknown of my past was highlighted again. I had no information on my family history. I was unsure if there were any hereditary issues that I should have been aware of, or if twins ran in my family or even any information about my own birth. I found it quite worrying not having any information but thankfully the majority of the nurses and midwives were very understanding bar one. I was born with Sprengel shoulder, and my spine and top few ribs are not quite right, so I was worried that it could have been passed down genetically as I had read that in some rare cases it could be genetic and girls are at higher risk of developing Sprengel shoulder. Thankfully both girls were checked over thoroughly when they were born, and there have been no signs of any issues.
I look at Gabriella (3) and Ava (2), and I can already see so much of their personalities developing, but I know nothing of that time of my life. I was brought to the UK from Romania when I was 20 months old. By that age, both of my daughters were walking and talking, and I was able to have conversations with them. I knew their likes and dislikes. I knew what made them scared and how to comfort them and what made them happy. I feel like when I am with the girls; I can almost see the people that they are becoming and I genuinely believe that the first years are so important in defining who you become as you grow up. Not knowing anything about that time, other than a few notes on my development is something that I know I will never get answers.
I think the best way for me to describe the feeling to someone else would be to hand them a book and tell them only to read the second half. You get an understanding of what happens, but not why. Part of me thinks that I will never feel closure because I will never get answers to the questions that I have been asking my entire life. There are many aspects of my personality and mental health that will remain unanswered and unknown and that, for me, is the hardest part of adoption. The unknown.