Covid-19 is a time that most people are missing out on all kinds of experiences and opportunities, not spending time with important people in their lives and the uncertainty of not being in the know, wondering when they will next be able to see certain people or what could happen to someone in the time they are apart. As of course time doesn’t stop, and lives carry on in so many ways. For the majority of people this is a new way of life and one they never could imagine happening. However, for me as an adoptee this is nothing new and has been part of my life as long as I can remember. So, people may now be able to better see the world the way the majority of adoptees do. Yes, it’s been more amplified due to higher risk and not knowing when it will end; however it feels I have been trained for this and preparing.
I have experienced years of being away from my birth family especially from two of my birth grandparents, my birth mum and my sisters. Often thinking about what they are like and having many questions about their life, sometimes just little things, that others know like hobbies or recent holidays. The thinking of what might happen before I get to know them properly and meet them in person. Nothing can compare to sitting with someone chatting to them and seeing their facial expressions; these can be so important. Wondering if I will ever see them again, as there has been an experience for me where I found out my grandad had gone. I hadn’t ever properly met him as I was too young when I was put in care, so I never got to tell him I loved him back or the fact I am doing alright.
This whole experience of being in the dark with only certain information and not getting to really know those I hold close can be worrying and scary, as it doesn’t always feel there is a simple way to shine some light on it. It can be saddening facing the reality you may miss this chance completely due to restrictions that are out of your control. It is a worry too as I can’t see into the future and can think of many things that may happen. For ages I wondered if all my grandparents were still alive as I know time is especially fragile for them. Even through this lockdown I don’t know what the situation is going to be like after, as they do have health issues. It’s saddening knowing the little time after so long of being apart for nearly twelve years left with them is being taken away even more, and I may never get all the memories or chances that could have been. It feels unfair as not everyone has to go through this. I have just got to wait and hope at the end of the day and try put that worry away. Thinking of what I would like to say or do when I see them. There is still a lot unknown about my story and my birth family. I was getting near to finding some of it out over the next few months with reading of my files and having more contact however this was mainly postponed due to everything going on, so I will have to wait even longer and think about what I may find out. It felt good that I was nearer to connecting the pieces of my life puzzle as it helped settle my mind and I could understand everything a bit clearer. It can be tough, however I remember at least I am in stronger contact then I was before and I have made some memories already with my birth family.
It is manageable though and can become easier in some ways over time, as you learn for it to become a way of life. I thankfully have always had some form of contact with two of my grandparents even if it’s very little. The yearly letter was so important to receive as it gave me basic updates on what they had been up to over the last year. The fact they were so key for me and any other important news on the rest of the family. It didn’t feel like I was so much in the dark about the rest of the family either. It helped with some of the worrying about them and I wondered less in some ways. Be thankful for any form of contact you have for example letters or phone calls and make the most out of them. Cherish them as they are things you can look back on as a kind of memory and moment experienced. It is better than having no contact at all and I always felt grateful that I had something. I knew eventually I would have more and looked forward to when that moment would come. It helps give a greater appreciation of being able to hug someone or see them face to face. The wondering over the years, not being able to see my birth family taught me a lot. It definitely was a good time to think and reflect looking back. It really helped with getting to know what family means and the fact you can still have a relationship without even seeing them or having much contact. There probably will always be questions of things that don’t make sense or what ifs, but I feel so thankful for the way things have turned out. As I said before it’s my way of life, so I don’t mind.
Tiegan Boyens – Young Adoptee