I remember one particular Thanksgiving. My first husband and I had recently separated, and I had been single-parenting a toddler. No one expected me to do much that year, which was a good thing. I had been putting a lot of energy into holding myself together, but once surrounded by the safety of family I melted into a puddle. I spent most of the day napping on the couch while others looked after Mackenzie and prepared the meal.
My cousin C had recently gained some weight and her body shape matched that of my mother, as did her hair color and length and her energetic movements. From my haze on the couch in the open kitchen / living room layout, I was occasionally conscious of one or the other of them moving past me as they bustled about preparing the meal, but I couldn't tell who was who. It was one of those adoptee paradox moments. I was conscious of both belonging and not belonging, of being held by the family but not completely of the family.
Fast-forward two years. My biological mother and brother were in town visiting me and had come into my place of employment. They told the receptionist they were there to see me, and she buzzed me. I came down to the lobby and introduced them as my mother and brother. She laughed.
"I know," she said.
She laughed again. "Uh, yeah. Pretty obvious!"
Such a simple thing, but I loved it. And I love remembering it even now.
|My daughters were certain this was an old photo of me.|