I think this is something every human longs for, belonging, but especially every adoptee. Whether it was the intention or not, every adoptee’s first experience is one of rejection and abandonment by the very person that’s supposed to love you more than anyone else ever. When you’re adopted, your own mother doesn’t want you (feels like, at least, if not in actuality). If your own mother doesn’t want you, the game’s kind of up after that point, isn’t it? That one person, supposed to love you and want you and be there for you more than anyone else, has given you away, because she doesn’t want you. How can anyone else possibly want you, really? More than that, even if you can more or less trust that some people do want you, that can never make up for the first and most devastating rejection, so every wanting after that pales in comparison. The original rejection will always be there, and I don’t know if it can ever be forgotten. I don’t know how to get over it. I’m still waiting for her to want me.

A little while back, I had to work the gymnastics meet we were hosting. I always love working the meets. It’s the next best thing to competing or coaching at them. Gymnastics is a very close-knit sport, because it’s really not that big, especially once you start getting to the upper levels. Everyone knows all the good gyms, coaches, and gymnasts. It’s like one big family. Rhythmic gymnastics is even more so, because it’s so much smaller. My gym is the only gym in the state that does rhythmic gymnastics, and they have to go up and down the Eastern seaboard to compete, because so few other gyms do this type of gymnastics.

Everyone knows everyone else. They all talk, they’re all friends. It’s easy to be drawn into it. I was running back and forth between my office to keep up with tabulating scores and the gym to watch the routines, wanting to support my friend. At the end of the meet, it was time for the awards ceremony and a special performance by a Special Olympics group coached by my friend. I sat on top of the low bar and watched, apart but there, feeling everyone coming together and supporting and cheering on one another. I starting crying, because I’m more apart of this family than any other. I feel like I belong in that family, but I also feel/know that I’m growing away from it. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve been losing that family, and soon I’ll be fully on the outside again. I keep trying to hold on, but it keeps slipping away.

I guess that’s the bottom line. No matter where I go or what I do or who I’m with, I’ll always be on the outside looking in. I just want to belong, feel like I belong, and never have to leave. The family I belonged with was forcibly made not mine by a seventeen year old’s signature on a piece of legal paper nearly twenty-four years ago. Now I’m still searching for one to fully belong to. Maybe I’ll find it one day.

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