Why did you adopt me?

25 Feb

I often wondered at that time after Building 63 if my mom’s reasons for adopting me were as she told me, “Because it was cheap and we knew other people who had done it.” Even if I corrected that and told her the hateful things she said during my childhood about my adoption, I couldn’t really understand why she would do it.

The infertility we were forbidden to talk about, I knew that a lot of the loss and reasons she did the adoption was because she didn’t have a choice. I think in her heart of hearts she still wanted the child I could never become and I ultimately replaced. But to me, that was not a good enough reason to adopt.

She said a few times the reason she adopted was because my Aunt already had children–and it must have been painful for my mom to know that my Aunt could get pregnant and so quickly while she never could. My grandmothers didn’t help either, and often pressured her for children. She also told me that my Dad wanted children. But everything in her behavior told me that she really didn’t want children. She’s stiff around children and sometimes I can feel a resentment from her. Maybe a lost childhood to a mother that criticized her when she was out of bed and then depressed for the rest of the time.

My mom would irrationally compete with me as well, which I never understood. It was like a score board for her–I never understood the competition she tried to put forth in absolutely everything. My skin was darker, one point for me. My eyes were Asian, one point against me. I got along with her mother and put a lot of effort into understanding her mother, one point for me. I didn’t allow my mom to tell me not to wear jeans to her mother’s place. One point against me. A constant score board of extremes.

So when I pointed out the evils of adoption–because nothing is inherently good or bad, she wouldn’t accept it. One point against me.

By the end of Building 63, I wondered really heavily why they really adopted me. Was it really the obligation that my mom felt towards fulfilling other people’s wishes? After the trip I wrote her a letter pointing this out and cried when she never said the words I wanted to hear so much, “I wanted you. I wanted you in my life.” I ruthlessly deleted the e-mail and blocked her because I couldn’t deal with it.

An obligation. An annoyance. A duty. I felt all those things from her. I felt that me and my brother were there for show. Like little dolls for her to parade and then when we were inconvenient we were filed away for later use. I struggled against her walls to try to understand why she was like this. But when I got to her core, I found a mountain of fear and walls surrounding the fear. She didn’t know who she was and finding it out was not an option for her.

Despite understanding all this pain, and in doing that forgiving her for her shortcomings, I could not stop hurting. I struggled against my thoughts of Eomma and made sure to separate them out. I struggled hard to understand my Mom and why she would not accept her larger self–the mother and her father before her. And the events as they told them. And accept in a way that did not make her a victim, but made her wiser.

I also tried to understand my Dad and why he had become that codependent on her. I realized that he resented me a lot–maybe subconsciously, because while I was deflecting for my brother I was also deflecting for him (by accident) and now that I was not around, she was using all that nervous energy of not knowing who she was in a country that would not allow her marijuana to calm her down, she was using him in the way she used me. I quit being the punching bag.

I wondered why he wanted children with her if he knew she couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t get rid of the doubts I had about the reasons they adopted and I started to question if their love was true love. Especially when they would not allow me to refer to them to what they were to me, my Mom and Dad. They called each other to me by their names instead. I found that hateful and I couldn’t get past it.

Why did you adopt me if you wanted me for just a tool or an object to one up a person that is not going to raise me? I thought it was for love. I thought you wanted a family more than anything. Why can’t you answer that way? Why can’t you say that no matter what you wanted me and really mean it without me prompting it out of you? I started thinking those doubts where I had none before and I could not stop asking those questions to myself even if I couldn’t ask them. The silence ruined everything.


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