The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Today is my sister’s birthday. I had visions of going shopping for the perfect gift. A necklace perhaps, a pair of earrings maybe. A plaque with some heartfelt poem about the bond that comes from sisterly affection.

But we are no ordinary sisters. We are sisters who share the same mother who under different circumstances may have shared childhoods but in fact were perfect strangers until adulthood. As fate would have it we know very little about one another.

If it were not for the persistance of my sister I would never have met my mother. If it were not for my sister I would have no tie at all to my original family. My two brothers want nothing to do with meeting me. They must get the ability to pretend life fits into a neat little box and nothing exists outside of it from our mother. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately depending on how you look at it) I did not get that character trait. It must be environmental.

My sister has tried over the years to find a place to put me in the box. She knows there is life outside of the box but has not the skills to think for herself long enough to see how beautiful life can be on the outside. It takes a great deal of courage to think for one’s self particularly when it goes against the wishes of those you hold most dear. She has not found that courage and so I remain alone, on the outside looking in, knowing that life on the outside is better but still longing for a glimpse of what’s inside.

My intention was to go and pick out a card to send but the energy it took even THINKING about finding the “sister who chooses not to get to know you, to stand up and do the right thing, but whom you love all all the same birthday section” became impossible.

In the end I sent an e-card. With all my love…..May this day bring you great joy and may the coming year bring all of the happiness in the world….love, your sister.

Happy Birthday K.

I wonder what my mother will do for my sister today. Lunch perhaps? A shopping trip? A “To my one and only daughter” card?

My birthday is in a couple of weeks. Big fat hoorah. The day that brought into this world a baby girl.

And nobody celebrated.

I used to HATE the fact that my parents celebrated the day they brought me home from the orphanage but I am beginning to think maybe it’s not such a bad idea. They sing happy birthday to me on that day and it used to drive me NUTS because it really ISN’T my birthday. Now, I think what the heckl. Why NOT enjoy the fact that my existance was eventually celebrated.

What’s in a birthday anyway if nobody recognizes it as an actual event? If my own mother denies my existance?

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it does it make a noise?



Filed under Natural Family

12 responses to “The Gift That Keeps On Giving

  1. So sorry…… If there were magic wands to make life right, I would send one to you.


  2. You know, Mia, you’re not alone with the card thing. I’ve spent many years in front of those card racks struggling to find an appropriate card on those Hallmark occasions. There was never one that said, “Despite the fact that you were physically and emotionally abusive, were alcoholic, and subjected us all to your miserable marriage for years, I still love you. Happy Birthday/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day.” Perhaphs that’s why I started making my own cards.

    I’m sorry that your family either tries to cram you into their neat litlte box or shove you away from the box altogether, rather than just accepting the beautiful person that you already are.

    I’m sorry that your birthday will not be a day of celebration for you because of the denial of your existance that your mother and brothers hold close to their chest.

    I pray that you are able to let those that DO love and appreciate you bring you joy on your birthday, rather than allowing those that don’t to drag you down.

    You deserve joy!

  3. Mia

    Thank You Mae.

    Overwhelmed fortunately I am truly blessed to have a whole lot of joy right here at home. There is still a sense of loss where birth family is concerned but it never never takes away from my ability to see what it is I do have.
    Thank you sweetheart for your kind words.
    Oh, and by the way if you would ever like to join forces I think we could take the greeting card industry by storm!;o)

  4. I hope you celebrate your next birthday in a BIG way. Get everyone who loves you to really go nuts. They love you, right? They’d probably throw you a party right now! Or they should anyway.

  5. I can hardly see to type through tears, and I can’t think of anything better to say than I am so, so sorry.

  6. Joy

    Oh Mia,

    You are so giving and caring.

    You are doing the right thing. Keep talking, there are people in your forest, we are hearing you are being heard.

  7. Mia

    Good idea Clouds!

    Thanks for stopping by abe!

    Thank GOD for everyone here Joy because I would hate to think the only ones in the forest of trees listening to me were the nuts. ;o)

  8. You let US know when your birthday is coming and we’ll celebrate!!

    I can’t tell you how much this post hit me to the bone.

    Shortly after I found my birth mom and her family, my new-found younger brother had a birthday.

    I was really fortunate in that he was excited to know me, and I couldn’t wait to send him something for our “first” birthday together.

    I went to the card aisle at our local grocery store and just stood there, weeping helplessly over the selections. I simply didn’t know what to choose.

    If it had been a card for one of the brothers I’d grown up with, it would have been easy. We had a shared history and a common sense of humor.

    A stranger put her hand on my shoulder and asked me if I was okay.

    I blurted out the entire story, and just said…”This is so important to me, and I don’t know what to pick!”

    Two other people were looking at cards and overheard. One of them had tears in her eyes.

    All three of them helped me pick out the perfect card for my brother’s birthday.

    I’ll never forget it.

  9. {{{{Mia}}}} I’m sorry for your pain.

  10. You aren’t alone, Mia – not in the card section, the forest, or standing outside the box, looking in.

  11. Hi Mia, we can’t make other people’s choices for them–the best we can do is try to deal with them. Because it’s just not acceptable to hit someone in the head with a frying pan.

    We should all get together and write “real” cards for adoptees… Horribly demented real cards. It’ll make us feel better.

    I hope you have a lovely birthday–you certainly deserve to.

  12. I have to say, I know how you feel. My bmom is no longer in my life because she’s such a guilt monger. My amom is only marginally in my life – she seems pretty me-centric, and it’s hard to deal with.


    Only thing I can say is that I think our kids will have it much better.

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