“Adopted. Big Deal; so was Superman” ― Chris Crutcher, Whale Talk
Having just blogged about a colleague’s adoption story, I feel inspired to share something that has been a huge blessing to me! No, I don’t have a twin I discovered, but a first cousin works for me! While I have a book inside me, I will write this breakthrough concisely, at least for today:
I had the opportunity, two years ago, to meet and get to know MJ, a first cousin of mine whom my uncle (mother’s brother) and his girlfriend had given up for adoption. They had an unplanned pregnancy, and, as I understand, marriage was ultimately not an option (at least to the birth mother). My uncle died in his 20s and the birth mother made it clear that she did not want any involvement, so consequently the two families keeping tabs with each other was clearly not going to happen.
I had always yearned for the day that I could somehow meet my cousin! I would sometimes just sit on my bed, as a kid, and my mind would start to wander off and wonder…: Where does s/he live? Would we be hanging out right now if we could? What kind of music does s/he like? Where does s/he even go to school? Is s/he wondering about us, too? Does s/he even yearn to know her bio-family? My curiosity grew greater, the older I became. I always felt that there was a missing puzzle piece, but more than anything else, hoped that she was well and thriving.
Just two years ago, close family members decided it was the right time to search for our cousin, and with great fortune we had the opportunity to meet MJ (with her adopted parents’ blessing), and were thrilled! Turns out she had been searching, as well, but it was not as simple a process for her. I came to find out that she was raised just an hour away from where I lived in Southern California, across the country from where she had been adopted!
I clearly recall how my grandmother would recount how she would systematically scan babies’ faces as they were being pushed in their strollers at the mall, as if somehow recognizing her firstborn grandchild in the crowd and engaging in an eye-lock for just one second would offer her a modicum of comfort. Grandma, yet again, would experience great heartache when her own son (MJ’s bio-father) would tragically lose his life – far too soon and way too young.
Being a refugee from Nazi Germany, Grandma knew all too well what it felt like to lose dear ones. Not only were her parents, in-laws, and other relatives and friends (and their children!!) gassed or murdered, but part of her heart was robbed from her, as well. Incomprehensible, actually.
If I could only talk to Grandma (and Grandpa, of course) now! Knowing her well as I did, I am sure she would have a huge smile on her face and offer a “thank you” from the bottom of her heart to MJ’s adopted parents and to those who loved and cared for her over the years!
Then, she would say something like, “Mozel tov!,” because she clearly would see what a remarkable woman MJ turned out to be (and some!) and would be overjoyed that her second born granddaughter now has MJ in her life!
~ Stacey Ross