Don’t Let it Go
In the crossfire there’s a story
And how it ends I don’t know – Beck
I’m on a mission. In November I’ll travel to Ontario to meet family members I’ve never met and some I’ve only known a few years. My journey will take me to Kingston, Brampton, Sarnia, Barrie and Orillia to name a few places. I’ll cruise highways, sleep in truck stop parking lots and ask complete strangers personal questions that will hopefully lead to a greater understanding of who I am and where I come from. I’ll see my nose on different people’s faces. I’ll see my teeth in different people’s mouths. Perhaps I’ll glance across a dinner table and find an aunt or cousin nervously picking at her lip the way I do. I’m picking my lip between sentences as I write this entry.
I’m an introvert. My house is immaculate. I thrive on routine and order. At the same time, I have this burning desire to know and understand. It pulls me. It demands I confront what confuses or scares me. I live in a constant state of fear and wonder. This trip horrifies and fascinates me.
Adopted kids understand what I’m saying. We don’t necessarily go seeking because we’re displeased with our lives. We seek because we crave the closeness of our tribe. Encountering someone with the same funny birth mark for the first time is magical. Understanding why you had to grow up without that person is heart breaking but necessary. At least that’s how I see it.
I made a similar journey last November. I traveled to Moncton to interview my mother, grandmother and the honorary family members who helped raise me. I was nervous before that trip too, but in a different way. I worried my questions would offend them.
Do you consider what you did kidnapping? Do you think you were a good parent?
I was surprised when my questions were answered honestly and without hesitation. I gained greater insight and was able to write the first half of my book.
The second half of my book will be more complicated.
How did it feel to lose me? Do you think we can recover what we’ve lost?
I won’t know how my story ends until I live this next phase of my journey.