Surprise! You’re Adopted!
My surprise announcement came almost three years ago. I found out that I was adopted. It was a shocking, soul-shifting moment.
I mean, I was 48 years old and both my parents had died several years before. My Uncle Tom calling me was odd because he lived in Ohio and I’d only spoken to him a couple times since my Aunt Marda (my father’s sister) had passed away eighteen months before. I had just gotten home from work and he asked me if I was sitting down because he had something to share with me.
“Kirsten, I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’m just going to say it. You, actually you and your brother, were adopted.”
Silence. I heard the words and in that split second something in my heart shifted, broke.
Then my police-brain kicked in and I went into investigative mode. I obviously had a lot of questions that he regretfully couldn’t answer. All he knew was that both my younger brother and I were adopted. From different families or agencies. So not only were my parents not my biological parents but my brother was not my biological brother! The world shrank to the phone in my hand and words I was hearing. I couldn’t process it. My whole life was a secret, a lie. Who was I?
Tom explained that my parents never told him, my aunt or my grandparents where or who I came from. My mother was adamant that the family never speak of it or tell either my brother or I. Over the years, there were many attempts to persuade my mother to tell us when we were old enough to understand. She wouldn’t hear them and threatened to excommunicate the whole family if they ever breathed a word of it. To continue to be a part of our lives, they reluctantly agreed.
Years later, after an interesting chain of events, my uncle received word that he was released from the secret and that’s why he called. He was so uncomfortable and so apologetic, I could feel how difficult this was for him. I appreciated and admired his courage in breaking the secret and speaking the truth even when he knew he wouldn’t be able to provide any information moving forward.
This information rocked me but it also helped me connect a lot of dots and explain a lot of things about my childhood. My parents provided a home and upbringing but they were emotionally distant. I can understand why. When you keep a secret, you are always guarded, afraid to get close, afraid something might slip. Secrets create distance and are a barrier to love. It also explained why feeling connected is so important to me. Over the next several weeks and months I processed the news and came to a decision that I did not want to seek out my birth family. I had built my own family and tribe. There was something liberating about not knowing. I had created a life I loved. My life was full, I was blessed.
Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago. A magical weekend two and half hours away from home in a small community with three beautiful ladies. We exchanged Reiki, shared and developed our businesses, went for an amazing hike, and drank wine. On Saturday, after struggling with a business exercise we were all working on, I received an undeniable message…”Heal Your Heart”.
This whisper floated up from somewhere deep inside me…which I know to be my Higher Self. When these words entered my mind as a thought I felt the truth of it. I had processed my adoption intellectually. Yes, I had had deep feelings around it and had shed tears in the weeks after finding out, but I had processed my feelings intellectually. I haven’t actually recovered from my grief! From that event and others as well. I can’t tell you what a life-changing awareness this is for me! And while I know that connection is my purpose, I clearly see those areas of my life where I am not connected. Because the truth is, I haven’t recovered from the grief I’ve experienced in my life. I have built my own walls and created my own barriers to being open, vulnerable, and loving which ripples out into my life experience.
So my surprise announcement from three years ago has gotten me to a place where I can start the journey of grief recovery and healing my heart. I know it will be challenging and emotional, but it is the key to freeing myself to live my soul purpose… a joyfully connected life!
Written by: Kirsten Frey