(first published June 2010)
I have been searching for this poem for years. A few computer crashes, and I thought I had lost it. I actually just found it sitting here in blogger, in an old private blog where I just store stuff from old blogs. Duh, shoulda looked there first, LOL!
Anyway, I want to publish it here, because it’s relevant and so I don’t lose it again. The links may not work as it’s old. I placed in the top three in their little contest! 🙂 (ETA: 12/12/10- I found the original template these bloggers took the idea from: Where I’m From Poem Template)
Here’s the old post:
I am having the hardest time writing this “Where I am From” poem. I’m having the feeling I used to get when we had to do family trees in grammar school. “Yes, these are the people that are raising me, but there is a whole different set of people out there that I know nothing about and I’m not allowed to discuss. Oh by the way, those were the people who created me and chose life, from where I get my blue eyes, the red in my hair, my spirituality, and probably my love of science, nature, and books, because it’s certainly not from the people I’m living with.” LOL It gives me this ache in the pit of my stomach.
I tried writing the poem as if my adoptive parents were my real parents and their ancestry and stories were my stories. But it just felt hollow, fake…wrong somehow. How can something that happened so long ago still bother me? How can someone I never really knew influence the ME I am so much still? Then the guilt follows – I love my adoptive family, and they have done so much for me. But still…but still…there are the ghosts. The parents I never knew, the life I might have led, the child my parents should have had instead of the “second best” of an adopted child… OK, that all sounds depressing. It’s really not. I thank God for the life I have led, it just leaves a lot “hanging”.
So with that in mind, I think I’m going to try a Where I’m From from an adoptees perspective. Here goes. It’s not as poetic (or upbeat!) as I’d like but it’s from the heart. I’m off to go think happy thoughts now, LOL!
I am from adoption certificates, from Oreos, Pledge, and way too much TV.
I am from the best yard on the block, spotlessness, right angles, and tension.
I am from the family tree, grafted in, an apple blossom among olive shoots.
I am from pretending my parents were really my parents and my parents pretending I was really their child. From biological parents and foster parents and adoptive parents all before I was old enough to know my name. From two sets of parents who named me Amy-beloved – unbeknownst to each other.
I am from “Wow I really see the family resemblance!” and knowing smiles between my mother and me.
From “Don’t tell your father,” “everything in its place,” and “It’s OK” when it really wasn’t.
From a family that held on to few meaningful things, in search of the ever elusive New and Improved. The best of everything including the best second mortgage.
I am from a single 20-something with blue eyes. From two 30-somethings who longed for a daughter to create that “perfect family.” From wondering if it was OK that I was just so different. From still wondering.
I am from Sunday Catholicism. From pretending the Virgin Mary was my biological mother. From knowing there was more and wondering why we didn’t go get it.
I’m from God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. In my family, but not from them. In the world but not of it.
I am from the endless chasm of unknowing, a hunger of forever grasping for something just out of my reach, of details not shared this side of Heaven. Of four little girls who wonder why I stare into their faces so intently, searching for the details that claim blood relation.
I am from hope, and a future.