I know, we adoptees know, that every October, is Family History Month. What a wonderful fun time of year for most families. The fall weather is coming, the leaves are changing. Halloween arrives and little kids and their parents and grandparents alike, enjoy all these festivities together. This is also a time of year when families get together and make their own family projects: photo projects, genealogy projects, scanning old family photos and identifying those who have come before us. This is a fun time of year - for them.
For me and other adoptees, Family History Month, and all the months to follow comes with another different awareness, a 360 degree, different feeling. October is a month long reminder that we don't have what every other human beings have - we don't have a family history. We can not do our family tree, because we do not have our biological family history. We can not do those photo projects. We can't "yak it up" with the grandparents in identifying old family pictures. We definitely struggle with these family events, as lifelong reminders that we are not like everyone else. We hold a tremendous feeling of unbearable loss. It is a natural occurrence in our culture to strive for a sense of 'belonging', a striving of a sobering perspective, to find meaning in one's life. Our life. This month especially, reinforces those feelings of loss.
Unfortunately, it is just a part of our make up as adoptees, that we long for our own biological connections. Especially during any holiday, we yearn for what might have been? If we are even thought of? And we no doubt, wonder what that family tree would look like.
So, I guess my message to you this Family History Month is, if you know an adoptee (especially during the next few months) please keep in mind where they are in their adoption journey, their dread is real and complicated as we approach Family History Month, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, etc. We are missing what we don't have. A permanent place to call ours.