I don’t mean to be a problem… but it seemed that I was. My existence, begun in such a starkly different way than other kids, in a place where “difference” breeds contempt, and tolerance is given to ONLY those who comply with being a carbon copy of the kid sitting next to them. Where was there a place for me?
The story of my adoption failed to yield comfort so my adoptive parents invested in a book, “The Chosen Baby”. The idea that I was “selected” placed a significant burden on me that I was much too young to appreciate. I had to be perfect…. That was how people became “chosen”. It was a tall order whose very words created expectations in my new family as well as it did with me. I was genetically different. My needs would be different. My adoptive family EXPECTED me to fit in as if the adoption never happened. That was a set up. One that neither my adoptive family nor I could foresee. Differences between me and the biological daughter they birthed a year and a half after my adoption just accentuated my difference.
It was 3rd grade when my secret got out. The anxiety that had been created in me about my adoption spilled over and I looked for solace in ANYONE who would feign understanding.
“Your mother never wanted you,” a blond haired classmate of mine screamed at me from across the lunchroom table, “she threw you out with the trash.”
I held back the tears.
“Time to line up” our teacher yelled at my classmates.
“Ewww,” several of them shouted, pushing each other away from the place behind me, “she has cooties!”
I stood silently, numbed by the insult.
As I approached the school grounds, a male classmate of mine walked up to me… “We don’t want anyone like you in our school,” he told me sternly as he punched me in the stomach.
I slumped over, the breath leaving me, with tears streaming down my face.
A neighbor watched as the antics took place on the playground (and did nothing to stop it). She went to my adoptive parents and let them know of the amount of bullying I was enduring… I was sent to a psychiatrist.
“What would you do, “ I asked him as I sipped the tea he brought me, nibbled on the crackers and commenced to draw on the blackboard in front of me, “if a little girl walked from door to door…” I drew a door and linked it with a chalk path, to another and another. “And she came to your door and asked you to take care of her because no one wanted her, would you?”