I’ve gotten all the puzzle pieces. There’s a lot I’ve got to make sense of… but I have all the pieces.
The struggle just to put together the story of my birth has been exhausting, and the mental discipline to process everything is grueling. I intend to survive this process, and put the story together so maybe what happened to me could be something other people could learn from, or find cathartic, or make something positive out of… I don’t just want to sit with my story jutting out of me as a nervous trigger.
I’m in a period of time that is often called a “reunion” – but I find the term itself complicated.
The people I’ve met are all disconnected from the event of adoption, most of them were not alive at the time I was taken. I’ve met my younger sisters, on both my biological father’s side and my mother’s side. I’ve met my nephews and nieces, cousins, and a brother on my father’s side, all younger. There was no reunion there, as there had never been a union.
Similarly for my biological father, whom had never had any idea that I existed, that I was alive. No union there either. The terms that are used for these moments are borrowed terms, and have no real map to the experience.
“Some authors overdo the stage directions; they elaborate them quite beyond necessity; they spend so much time & take up so much room in telling us how a person said a thing and how he looked and acted when he said it that we get tired and wish he hadn’t said it at all.”
I believe my relationship with my adoptive father changed in my eyes when he threw me across a river in the ‘south hills.’
We lived in Twin Falls, Idaho at the time, and I’ve tried to recall exactly how old I was… I suspect I was 11, I believe this was in the summer of 1985.
Our church had coordinated a forest retreat, held in the area colloquially known as the south hills. In any other part of the country, these would be called mountains. Idahoans pride themselves on being of a sturdier stock than the rest of the country (except, perhaps, Alaskans) and the attitude toward these smaller mountains was that they were ‘no Sawtooths.’ When I make these references, I want to stress that these are attitudes I absorbs unknowningly, that the quotes could have been said by any of the adult men in my life at that time, and that I was a compulsive eavesdropper. I use quotes to distinguish the phrasing, which I do recall quite clearly, even if those who uttered these statements are otherwise forgotten.