Today, I hate adoption. It’s my biological little brother’s birthday. It’s the way that I am feeling at this time since I woke up. Perhaps I should not hate the act and purpose of adoption itself; instead I should hate the negative effects of adoption and choices some birth mothers make that cause adoptees to suffer.
I reunited with my birth family in November 2012. In just over a year I have suffered more loss and grief than the average adoptee. My reunion was not supposed to be this way. It was never what I had imagined it to be like, or was it? Four months later I was burying the only brother, my little brother I knew I had since I was adopted. It has been almost a year and I feel like I lost part of my life when I lost him. The worst part of everything is that people question how can I feel pain and grief over a sibling I never grew up with or got to physically meet. I can never get to point to explain to people how his murder has impacted my life and why it isn’t easy to shake it off and move on with my life without breaking down and crying. Do you know what it is to wish your entire life, 20 plus years to meet the only sibling you have always known you had? Do you know what it is to be on the playground as a kid playing with your brother in spirit? Do you know what it is to be teased by boys as a teen wishing your brother would appear out of the middle of nowhere to protect you? Do you know what it is as a young adult wondering if your little brother is okay, is he thinking about you, has eaten, and what he is doing with his life? These were my exact thoughts growing up each and every year. They never went away.
Please don’t tell me that I should not be suffering, crying, or depressed just because we never got to meet each other physically. Don’t even question me.
My little brother was murdered 11 months ago. All I carry with me is his voice and his last words he spoke to me over the phone on November 6, 2012. He said, “I love you too, and I want to see you”. Our call lasted 30 seconds. Do you know that day never came? They took him away from me before we could make that day possible. They killed him. Do you know what it is to be searching for Ray everyday of my entire life? I have spent entire life searching for him physically, and now I am left searching for him spiritually and wishing he would visit me in my dreams or when the lights go out at night.
I hate that this what closed adoption has done. It caused me to not know my biological brother’s name or my birth family. If I had had this information sooner, I would have met him when he was alive. I would have the chance to hang out with him, tease him, love him, and simply know that he will protect me. I wouldn’t have spent all these years searching for clues and leads wasting time, precious time. I would not be as upset as I am today that I missed his birthday because I do not have record of his birth information. All I know is when he died. It is a terrible memory to have of someone, the only memory. You know what hurts the most? Logging on to Facebook and finding out that it is my biological brother’s birthday through one of my siblings. It is not their fault. It hurts that someone sent them flowers out of sympathy and I received nothing as if I am not connected to the family. I know it wasn’t deliberate; this is simply what adoption does and how adoptees think especially when we are left out. There are many family members and friends associated with my birth family that do not even know of my existence. I feel like the forgotten child or the child that is looked at as not having the right to feel loss or grief. It hurts that no one checked on me to see if I was okay. Who can you blame when everyone is grieving on a day that is meant for celebration of life. Instead my family is forced to grieve life on my little brother’s birthday.
Painfully this is what adoptees go through. I not only grieve his murder; I grieve the fact that I never had the chance to meet someone that was so close to me my entire life. Twice the pain most adoptees will ever feel.
I chose not to celebrate Ray’s birthday today despite finding out last minute. Thanks Facebook. I do not even want to think about it. It will be a year he was murdered next month in March. You know what is really going through my head? How upset I am with my birth mother. I have the right to feel this way. What makes her think that she can go on without telling me about life a year later? Even though at this point in my life I could care less. What makes her not take the time to produce pictures, an album, a t-shirt, SOMETHING for me to have of him to remember my little brother? I feel like everyone thinks and feels his death has not affected me. I feel left out. However, that is nothing new. I have grown up feeling that way. Now that I am in reunion I can confirm that I feel like I do not belong in either family, adoptive or birth family. It is too late. Too much time has passed and there is far too much pain associated with family. I like to think of myself as a child of the world and find my peace that way. It is hard to build relationships as an adult that are often cultivated since childhood. Please don’t feel sorry for me. My point to writing this is blog is to express why adoption hurts and why adoptees hurt. We don't make these feelings up. This is our truth.
I won’t forget your birthday next year, I promise Ray.
Happy Birthday Ray; I love you and I miss you more than you or anyone will ever know.