Processing, processing…

by Laura

I got together with my family for a few hours on Sunday before we left Buffalo for Home.  Part of me was ready to hibernate someplace familiar; by then, I was in emotional overwhelm. Part of me just didn’t want to leave. I kept watching my family; observing, searching, looking at them in awe and wonder, seeking out parts of myself. It was…odd, for me. Different. Mike and I had many of the same mannerisms (later, Cathy told me I sit “like the McManus Girls”, one leg curled up underneath me). At one point, David was sitting at the dining room table observing me and Mike. We were sitting across from each other, exact mirror images of one another, with the exact same posture. Then we caught ourselves, and changed positions…to the exact same position. So we laughed, and changed positions a third time to the exact same position…again!!! Lol!!! Unreal.

Anyway, we had a bit of a drive back, and the weather wasn’t looking too good.  So…tears, hugs, and off we went with promises to see each other again. Soon. I left with pictures, stories, and a real sense of family connection. From my POV, this was a good reunion. A great reunion. Successful, as the adoptee groups measure success.

But there was a lot to process, to think about, to think through. We were in the “honeymoon” phase of these new relationships. We were new to each other, and the changes our reuniting was bringing to each of us, individually, as well as all of us, collectively, would take time to settle in. Yet, for now, it was all sunshine and roses. I like sunshine and roses… but I also knew too much sunshine could burn your skin and roses have thorns.

With the confirmation I had received about my birth Father, I continued building that side of my tree. It wasn’t long before I put both trees together, added my DNA, and watched the hints roll in. I now had 2000+ people in my tree. I had started with…two. Myself and Charlotte. And here I was, 7 months later, with a small village. In addition to all those documents, I had pictures, too, and there was no doubting the family resemblance. I was thrilled; but I was having difficulty finding that sweet spot between nature and nurture. And those pesky existential questions still came to me each night as I tried to fall asleep.

David and I (and the rest of our Family) had been invited to a Family Party:  my Brother’s 60th Birthday and my Nephew’s 40th Birthday, a 60/40 Party, in a few months. Charlotte’s Husband, Bob would be there. He wanted to meet me, to talk to me, to share some things with me. David and I were planning to go, so this would be the icing on the cake for me. He knew Charlotte differently than Mike, Sharon, and Cathy and their (now adult) Children. So I was definitely looking forward to that. But I was nervous.

What would he say? What did he have to pass on to me? He had known all about me from the time Charlotte had found out she was pregnant with me, whilst he was in Korea.

What would I learn from Bob…and was this something I really wanted, or needed to know?