The Day I Finally Looked Like Someone

27 years ago today, I had a baby!!

As an adopted person, I worried about becoming a parent.  I had so many questions:  Could I love a child?  Would I wonder what my birth mother felt when I was born?  What DID she feel?.  Would this baby look like my birth mother or father?  Would this child look like ME?  No one had ever looked like me.  This was uncharted territory.

My sweet husband and I never discussed my being adopted prior to having children. I was so deep in the fog of adoption, it never really crossed my mind.  Of course, he knew I was adopted, but I never really articulated what that felt like to me or that I held some deep, sad, longing feelings about it all.  Actually, I do not think I even recognized those feelings until I was a mom, and even then, until I was much older. I just knew that I felt like an alien among humans most of my life.

When my son was born, I felt such a surge of love and amazement that I made a person in my own body.  I could not stop looking at him.  Searching for bits of myself in him. Then, I saw myself in his hands.  WE HAVE THE SAME HANDS!! He had the same bendy, extra jointy thumbs as I do.  It made me feel whole to see myself in another person.

Complete Joy. 

When I came to my adopted family, I was almost 9 months old. They had no idea where I came from.  I remember thinking as I looked at my newborn baby, “No one will ever take you away and you will always know your story.”    And, he always has known his story.  He has always been told that I love him and that he is important to me.  He is my miracle and the person who brought my heart to life.  He put my heart in motion.

There have been lots of times throughout the years I would look at my children and wonder where their traits came from that could not really be identified in their father’s family.  I always wondered where the beautiful strawberry blonde hair came from.  Where the curvy thumbs came from.  The long waists.  The big feet.  The height.

As a new mom, I was complete in a different way.  I felt like I could love completely in a new way.  Motherhood, for me, was a miracle.

Now, 27 years later, I have all the answers I need about my history. I am fully out of the adoption fog.  I feel more myself.  I have met my biological mother, siblings,  and many cousins  and I KNOW who I look like, where I came from, how I came to be and my story feels complete.

I often marvel at the miracle of my life.   Actually, I daily marvel at the miracle of my life.  I was born to a woman who would not, could not, did not want to keep me.  The relinquishment by one’s own mother is deeply painful to live with.  But, despite this deep ache, I have been able find joy in my life.  There have been times of sorrow, there still will be, for sure, as that is the nature of being human.

I have found JOY, acceptance and understanding in community with other adoptees.  I have found JOY in my life’s work as a Therapist.  I have found JOY in writing.  I have found JOY in being a mother.  I have found JOY in being a wife.  I have found JOY in nature and in my pets.

One thing I know for sure about life;  Pain is Inevitable, Misery is Optional. 

And, having a baby healed my heart’s longing….. Happy 27.


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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

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