Running from Silence

For years I tried to mask the negative thoughts that I have been left with after my past and my adoption. Rationally, I know that my feelings are justified and are valid and I shouldn’t feel guilty or wrong for having them. I feel guilty because adoption is such a fantastic thing, as I have been given a second chance at a life with a family that genuinely loves and cares for me. I have an amazing family that has been able to provide me with everything I needed and more, my family are my rock. One of the negative thoughts or feelings that I experience is the fear of losing those around me.

My youngest memories of this, are the dreams that I used to have. I would have terrible dreams over and over that people would come through my front door, in a convertible, and try and steal my parents. I can remember the dream as if it were a film I’ve watched a hundred times. I hated it, and the dreams would always terrify me.
Growing up I lived in a small rural village, so if there were any cars, you would always hear the sound of the car driving past. I would have a recurring nightmare, which began with that sound. It probably sounds ridiculous to anyone else reading, but I would hear that noise in my dream and be so scared to turn around. Once I found the courage to look around, I would see ‘aliens’ on my sister’s bed, and they would taunt me about taking her away. This dream, in particular, was awful, and I had it repeatedly for years. When I grew older, the dreams would get progressively darker.

I remember always having the feeling of someone being outside my house or my room when I went to bed. I would panic that there were people there when sensibly, I knew that was not true at all. I remember asking my dad if he was outside walking in the garden because I thought I’d heard a noise. It’s complicated to talk about without sounding completely crazy. When I’m going about my daily life, and I’m busy, or when I was younger, when I was at school or with friends, these thoughts are not present at all. During the day, for the most part, my girls keep me so busy that I don’t have the opportunity to have time to myself which has been somewhat of a blessing.

The mind seems to have a funny way of dealing with trauma and emotions that we try to hide. No matter how much I would attempt to portray the image of coping, every night when I go to bed and silence kicks in I am unable to escape my thoughts and dreams. I used to feel like I was going mad sometimes because my mind just refused to switch off. Even now, I hate silence; I always have to have music, or Youtube in the background because I can’t stand allowing the silence to come and my thoughts to take over. The best way to describe the feeling would be if you had a browser open with multiple tabs and having them all running at once and the moment life around me stops they all take over. Part of the reason for starting my blog was to be able to write about my feelings and thoughts when these moments occur as a way to help process them.

It can feel very overwhelming and sometimes quite scary to appear unable to control the negative thoughts that come into your head. It makes me angry that 20 years after being adopted I am still finding difficulty in processing my emotions about it. Then again, what else is to be expected, its the same as any traumatic event that takes part in a child’s life. It will no doubt leave wounds, leaving scars that will never fade. I will not ever be able to know what happened in the first two years of my life (I have a blog post ‘The Unknown’ which talks a bit more in-depth about this) but unfortunately I will never be able to escape what it leaves behind when the silence takes over.

 

8 Things not to say to parents of Irish Twins

I have two daughters, Gabriella who is 3 and Ava who is 2. They were born 11 months apart which makes then ‘Irish Twins’. Going out with the girls can sometimes generate some interesting comments. Here are eight things that parents of Irish Twins hear on a regular basis.

1 ‘You’ve got your hands full.’

*sigh* Any fellow Irish twin parents will no doubt have had multiple strangers feel the need to tell them that they have their hands full every time they set foot out of the house. I don’t know whether people say it because they can’t think of anything more insightful to say, but trust me, after hearing it over and over it gets a bit tedious. I would much rather hear ‘they are so well behaved’ or ‘they are cute’, a smile can be nice too.

2 ‘You have been busy.’

Seriously, When else would a person feel it appropriate to comment on someone else’s sex life? It’s such an unnecessary thing for people to say. It is always really awkward when people tell me that I have ‘been busy’, but you would be surprised how often I hear it. In the beginning, I heard it almost daily. I even once heard it from a doctor at a hospital appointment, which was delightful.

 

3 ‘You are crazy.’

As someone that spent all of their life desperate to have a family of their own this one really annoys me. I can completely understand that having two or more kids so close together might seem overwhelming to some people but for my family, it made perfect sense. Although there are many aspects of having the girls close together that have been difficult, there have been way more good than bad days.

 

4 ‘Was it planned?’

I can’t understand why people feel the need to ask this, it’s absolutely nothing to do with anyone other than my partner and me. However, people seem to take a keen interest in your sex life when you have Irish Twins. But yes, I was aware that having unprotected sex makes babies thank you. I actually was asked after having Gabriella if I wanted to go onto any contraception, but I chose not to and let nature determine if I was going to have another and I was blessed with Ava.

 

5 ‘I know exactly what that’s like, mine are two/three years apart.’

Having a toddler and a newborn, and an 11-month-old and a newborn have both completely different dynamics. I can appreciate that people are trying to find common ground, but the two couldn’t be more different. I literally had two babies, Gabriella wasn’t walking, she could say a few words but was nowhere near talking. When you have a toddler they can walk, talk and will a lot more independent than an 11-month-old. I’m assuming that people usually say a thing to help find common ground or find a way to connect with you but it is frustrating when people say this because they are so different.

 

6 ‘You’re brave.’

Its honestly like people think that having Irish Twins is the end of the world. It’s not as scary as people think. It can get quite disheartening when you hear comments like this and it feels like everyone is making assumptions without knowing your situation. I absolutely love having the girls close together. Of course, it takes a lot of adjusting in the beginning but it has worked out amazingly for us. Soldiers are brave. Survivors are brave. I am a mum with two kids close together. If someone wanted to comment, it would be much nicer to hear ‘you are doing a great job’,

 

7 ‘You will have a football team soon.’

Just because I chose to have two babies close together, it doesn’t mean that I want to have loads of children. It simply means that I decided to have two close together. It’s not the same thing. There is nothing more annoying than having strangers dictating what they think will happen with your body. If someone were curious if I wanted more, I would rather they just asked if I wanted to have more kids.

 

8  ‘How is that even possible.’

It’s quite alarming the number of adults that I have had to explain how you can have two babies in less than a year and that they are both mine. Its as if people think that there is a set waiting period after having a baby. I understand that the first few months with a baby can be stressful. Sex or having more babies is the last thing that some people can think of in the early days but it is possible to have two in under a year.

 

 

 

(Disclaimer; this isn’t meant to cause any offence. I know how sensitive the internet can be)

 

 

 

 

 

The Unknown of Adoption

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.

 

 

The Beginning

After years of wanting to start my own blog, I’ve decided to take the plunge and go for it. This year I am wanting to put more focus on doing what makes me happy.

I am 22, born Romania and adopted to Scotland just before my second birthday. I have two daughters, Gabriella, who is almost 3 and Ava who is almost 2. The girls completely transformed my life for the better. Becoming a parent has definitely had its ups and downs and has forced me to face many difficult emotions I had not dealt with surrounding my adoption.

The main reason I wanted to start this blog was to document my journey through motherhood. Growing up I had always been desperate to have children and it has been a life changing experience. Every day brings new challenges and gives me another reason to smile.

I hope you enjoy reading and if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch. I would love to hear from you.

Nicola x