It's snowing and I'm snuggled up in one of my favorite cafes with my laptop after a good workout at the gym across the street, and I'm enjoying having some free time: my son is back in school and I don't start teaching for another 10 days. The holidays are over, the Christmas tree is going to be recycled into mulch this weekend, and our house is relatively clean. I have fed my need to do house projects--some sanding, painting, refinishing, etc., and now I finally have some time to think. And write. And surf around the net.
Over at the awesome open adoption blog "This Woman's Work," I found an excellent post about the author's dealings with her adopted daughter's loyalty issues. The weather outside, contrasted with my recent visit to California, where I'm "FROM," reminds me of this adoptee issue of divided loyalties, feelings of betrayal, wondering where you belong; as I look at the snow speeding by outside, I discredit it, thinking "this isn't where I really live, so I don't really care that it's snowing. I'm from California." But I have lived here in Philadelphia going on five years, and no big move back to the west is on the horizon, the economy being what it is, so really, I DO live here. But I have loyalty confusion. I'm always thinking about how much better California is, how I understand the people, the culture, the weather better there. but, like I said, I really do live here. And there are things I like about Philadelphia.
At Christmas, when my brother was finishing his visit with our family to go visit his wife's family, I told him that my son and I were flying to San Diego to visit my sister. My half-sister, that is; my birth mother's other daughter, whom I met about nine years ago. It felt really awkward telling my brother I was going to visit her. It felt like a betrayal, even though intellectually, I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong. I saw what I interpreted as a slight hesitation in his response to my announcement. What was he thinking? That it was totally weird for me to be leaving our parents' house to go visit this stranger, this woman he's never met, whom I call my sister? Maybe he was just wondering what it's like to be me, wondering why I do all this work trying to keep up with all these people in my various families. Who knows, but I always worry about the people in my family getting upset when they hear of or see evidence of my contact with my birth family. Probably, this is all in my head. Is it an adoptee's issue and no one else's?
Anyone out there in the adoption constellation want to weigh in on this?