My Family Tree is a Stump

I still haven’t looked at NaBloPoMo’s daily prompts as a list.  I decided to take them one at a time.  The task of looking at one’s roots and writing about ancestry is nothing to sneeze at. When things are difficult, I always ask two questions.  What’s the worst thing that could happen?  What’s the best thing that could happen?  Often, the answer is nearer the latter, so what do I have to lose?  I could maybe discover a relative that I share a similarity with.  A hobby trait.  How great would that be?

Not gonna happen.

I could look all I want and every way I turn, I am going to run into white cinder block walls.

Such is the view from the drivers seat when you are an adoptee with no information about your beginnings. I was adopted in another country and raised without the knowledge of being adopted.  I grew up looking at other people and NEVER seeing the familiar nose, the similar hair, the passion for an art or talent.  I never once considered it to be a facade, but then I didn’t know.  My adoptive parents made a choice to not tell me I was adopted.  It wasn’t until I grown and married that I found out.  I needed to change my legal name on my social security card and my employer had tolerated as much procrastinating as he could stand.  I had asked my dad for the necessary documents.  I had no idea what I was in for.  He had put me off for months. “Lets get together and take care of that.”  And it would never happen.  My parents avoided me for months.  When a deadline became do or you’re fired, I called Dad and insisted it had to be now.   I walked into the house, mom wasn’t in the room.  He handed me a certificate of naturalization and on the back was a 3″ square of paper noting a legal name change.  It still didn’t make sense.  I was asking for something routine, not a puzzle piece that would unfurl all the memories I had.   “We adopted you.”

That was it.  Three words sent me into a realm I didn’t know existed.  All the differences I could see were now all I could see.  Who you love , who you take care of, who takes care of you, who hopes for your future, who knows where you’ve been….all those people are not the people who ARE where you’ve been.   I am the beginning of myself.  There’s no old aunt who bears a strinking resemblence to me, even though we are generations apart.  There’s no country to explain why I like transferware dishes.  I can’t go back generations.  No one wants me there.  This is where they wanted me to start.

The thing about not knowing is that your mind will imagine all sorts of things.

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About kat9090

Hafu (Half Japanese), Late Discovery Adoptee, Sister, Mom, Daughter, Wife, I cook, look back, look forward, lean left, drive a lot, write a lot, wish a lot, I will be square with you if you are square with me. Find me on Instagram @shojikat and Twitter @biteme9090
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4 Responses to My Family Tree is a Stump

  1. Ah, Linda, they were trying to protect you, I’m sure. Who you grow up to be is based in large part on how you were raised and your experiences. Blood heritage mostly influences appearances and health. I don’t think adoption is very common in Japan, so your adoptive parents must have especially big hearts.

    • Oops, I called you my name, maybe we are related in spirit!

    • kat9090 says:

      Ah, Linda, how many times I have told myself that. And how many times have I asked myself…protect me from what? How many times have I asked them…protect me from what? I lived 45 years before I saw another person who looked like me, whose sense of humor was familiar, whose DNA resonated with mine.

  2. Susan says:

    I disagree about “blood heritage” – I learned that my biological mother and I have many of the same traits, usage of words, love of painting furniture, and many many other specific things. When you grow up and all your similar family traits are reflected back and forth, its seem-less and often taken for granted. It is spirit lifting, to almost a high, to see someone who looks like you when you grow up adopted. To have feeings, expressions, words resonate – PRICELESS.

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