I figured I’d share this, just because it’s not really a big deal, it’s part of who I am, I’m certainly not ashamed, and it just is.
I’m adopted-I was placed with my parents at 5 months old, and was in foster care from birth. I even had a different name-Katharine Heather Wood-until my parents changed it. I’ve always known, it was never a secret, and I was always told how special being adopted was, so it was a non issue. I have a sister (who is my parents biological child-she’s 2 years younger. It always seems to work that way, parents can’t get pregnant then boom-surprise!) and as kids, we’d argue and bicker like most siblings do. If she was either really pissed or really angry she’d bust out with “well at least I’m not ADOPTED!!!” That never bothered or hurt me, it was in fact, a gift because there was no quicker or deeper trouble for her by my mom than whipping out the adoption card. So I’d cash that gift in, tell on her, then be extremely satisfied that she was now grounded. She only used that one maybe twice.
I’ve been asked often if I ever intend to look for my “birth mother”. The complete answer is no. My mother is my mother, period. The journey she took to get there doesn’t matter to me. We’ve had a complicated relationship as mothers and daughters do, but she’s my mom. She nursed me when I was sick, taught me many things, held me when I hurt, and was there my whole life. I don’t need to look any further.
I didn’t discover the circumstances of my birth until I was 18. I was abandoned at birth-not born in a hospital, and left on the forest floor for hours until 2 young girls riding their bikes down a dirt path in a desolate part of town found me. According to newspaper reports I was wrapped in a bloodstained green sheet with my umbilical cord still attached. I was estimated to be 12 hours old. The responding police officer didn’t wait for an ambulance-he drove me to St Mary’s hospital in his patrol car. After a hospital stay I was placed with a foster family, and the rest is history.
For some reason that didn’t really bother me too much. Sure, I was angry-like, who does that? It wasn’t until I had my first child that it hit me. Just looking at my helpless, vulnerable newborn I couldn’t help but think “what the actual fuck was wrong with her?” I’ve heard it all-she was probably young and scared, etc etc and I accepted that for a while, until I didn’t. I felt no matter how young and scared there were a million other options than the damn woods where I would have surely died had those girls not found me.
Then came the birthday dread. I hated my birthday. Despised it. If I could ignore it, even better. It made me uncomfortable, it made me cringe, and I just wanted to skip it every year. I’m not sure why, even-because I’m here. I won. She didn’t erase me. Maybe because someone hated me that much at minutes old, that was her decision, to leave me in the dirt and cold?
But I got over it-I don’t dread Sep 29 every year any more. I don’t exactly go all out-but I don’t want to stay in bed all day. I still don’t have much empathy for whoever she is, but I don’t actively care, either. So no, i don’t want to find my “birth mother”. I’d have nothing to say. Why doesn’t matter to me anymore. It’s not who or what I am, a foundling. It’s just a small slice of my history, kind of interesting even.
So there you have it.
I did try and find the police officers that responded-the one who drove me to the hospital passed away in 2010, and the other? Still working on it. I have 2 newspaper articles about me being found. It’s at the very least, interesting. 😉
Talk soon, Lovelies