Just finished reading The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. I had given the book to my mom for Mother's Day and she loved it (and insisted I read it).
Such an emotional book, I suggest anyone who is an adoptive parent (especially international adoption) should read this book. The book is about India, but it could just as easily be China (the circumstances are very familiar).
I read this book and am reminded again that I am not only an adoptive parent, but also an adoptee. I know, it's not like I forget that fact but I also do not have time to dwell on it. I am a mother to 2 very busy children and lately I have been focused on their needs and their stories.
This is very hard to explain, and I have never been great with words. Sometimes I don't feel like an adoptee (okay, most of the time). It doesn't define who I am. I am just another person in this world. I feel so lucky to have 2 great parents, who are always there for me (and truth be told, my Dad totally spoiled me). Yet, after reading a book like this, I start to think about my birth family again.
It's the wondering, what do they look like? Do they look like me? Do they ever think of me?
Do I have half siblings and how old are they? This is the question that I am the most curious about suddenly? Perhaps I feel this burning curiosity because we have found Avery's birth family and she has many siblings and even some nieces and nephews (Avery is only a few years older than her oldest niece, kind of hard to wrap your head around that).
The lines start to become blurry to me. Avery and I were talking about her cousin (my brother's son) who lives way out in the Canadian East Coast. We haven't seen him in 2 years and I was saying that I feel a little sad about that. I feel sad that my girls only have one cousin. Avery pipes up and says, mom I have lots of cousins in China! I started to explain the difference between those cousins and her cousin in Canada and realized maybe there is no difference. Is a cousin not a cousin no matter how the family is formed?
Of course we are her family, but she also has another family who live thousands of miles away.
Yet, I don't feel the same way about my own birth family? I have always felt that I have one family. Would I feel differently if I met them?