Replaceable

November 18, 2007 at 10:07 pm 8 comments

I held off for awhile. Her “neighbor” dropped off a picture of them – my four birth siblings – at the agency’s office in Korea. For me to have, if I wanted. This “neighbor,” (probably not really an accurate description of her actual relation to me and my first mother) seems to know a lot about the child she gave away – me – the same day that I was born. That next morning after I was born, my young mother went back to her parents’ home and it was all a big secret for a small teenager. About 14 years later, that secret child would be replaced, by one she could keep. And then, three more times over. Replaceable. And if I wanted to see my replacements, there was a photo…. for me… if I wanted.

Each day that passed after I knew of the photo, sitting in my file, waiting for my request, each day was a long day. I wanted to not want it. I wanted to believe that she would never move on. I wanted to believe that I hadn’t either. But I couldn’t forget about the photo and how much it was hurting me, sitting there in my file.

I searched through all of the adoptee blogs I could find. I talked with KAD friends, about when they discovered, uncovered, that they had birth siblings. I searched for a different reaction for myself. I wanted to try again and be prepared this time over. I wanted to want them. I didn’t want to pretend that it was good news… I wanted it to be good news. All of my efforts failed, the floor dropping under me with each effort and back down, back to feeling …. replaceable.

I requested the photo, unable to shake the haunting it had with me. It came too soon… the postal system failed to lose the photo and it came, uninvited to my door. Sifting through my letters at my postal box I glanced at the return address and immediately identified the envelope and quickly onto the next one…. as I always do. Unmoved by it’s presence, I just carried on. To be opened later, with the bills and junk-mail. It would get no special attention from me. But, it remained an intruder, the envelope, just as the bills that it sat under, requested something of me… something I hadn’t found in myself yet. In my typical, habitual manner, the envelope would be opened, in the order it had sat. Opened only after the other items from my postal box were.

The four replacements, neatly dressed in summer clothes, almost all four smiling. Two girls, two boys. The oldest girl, my clone. Flip-flops on the girls, sneakers and polo shirts on the boys. Their hair looks freshly trimmed, their faces clean. They are familiar to each other. Younger sister leaning back on big sister’s lap and the same for little brother and bigger brother. Little sister and little brother holding hands. All eight little legs overlapping a bit, as they sit on the floor. These four, nameless kids… my ……. something. Siblings? Genetic relations? Replacements? I felt ashamed of myself for being so jealous of these young kids, cute in every way, innocent, and deserving. They have had what I have thought, my entire life, I might have had if _______ . Maybe lucky for them and maybe not. Looking at their faces, so well kept, well nourished, and undoubtedly loved…. I can’t help but wonder if I had a little something to do with it all. Maybe…. or probably…. she holds them a little more close, appreciates them a little more, and is more ready to be their parent, their mommy… because of the one she secretly gave away, on the same day that she I was born.

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Entry filed under: Adoption.

Heartbreak If I could sing…

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sue  |  November 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Wow. Intense.

    Reply
  • 2. reunionwritings  |  November 19, 2007 at 4:19 am

    I am thinking she would have thought of you and held them closer, each one born a reminder of you who wasn’t there. You can’t be replaced, you are the one was missing in her life and her heart. I’m so very sorry you went through and continue to have to deal with adoption loss.

    Reply
  • 3. Kahlan  |  November 22, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    I totally agree with Kim. You are irreplaceable, Julia.

    Reply
  • 4. mamagigi  |  November 25, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Very moving piece, indeed.
    And replaceable? No. No. No, Julia.

    Reply
  • 5. bokyeong  |  December 2, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    First, thank you so much for sharing. You write really articulately. I appreciate your courage to bare your heart. Well, no doubt we all experience loss differently from each other in subtle ways. For me, I wish I had a photo to not want. (…I’m not implying anything.) I wish I knew who actually gave me away or, more accurately, unloaded me. (again, not being critical here.) I think it must be buried somewhere in my consciousness but I will probably never be able to access it. I was 4. 4 year olds know things. And what I have always known, I’m pretty sure, is that I have 2 older sisters and a brother around my age, maybe younger. Always those numbers and genders. I wish I could remember their faces. Our stories are a little inversed. So for me, the word is “expendable.”

    Reply
  • 6. Cheryl  |  December 10, 2007 at 1:23 am

    Perhaps, they were the replacements. You, on the other hand, are most definately irreplaceable

    Reply
  • 7. Margie  |  May 15, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I know she does.

    Reply
  • 8. Margie  |  May 15, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    And I should have finished the thought – she does, and always remembers you.

    Reply

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Julia’s Jam

It’s just not that black & white. Not because I am taking a stand against. Just because, the issues I face are somewhere in the grey area and to weed through them, I blog. I blog. ~

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