I did not meet my mother until I was fifty. Her Grandfather came from a long line of ancestors who are buried in a country church yard, their graves visible still and the plaques in the church very prominent. My dearest friend lived only a few miles from the church and the village and was able to photograph it all for me, because I had left that part of the world years before to return home to my birthplace. To see the family name I bear, so prominent and ‘real’ was almost as good as seeing the faces, recognising the characteristics, the similarities and familiarities. It was as if they had left their footprints visible and in a way they had. Their lives documented and in the case of my Great-Great-Grandfather very accessible after his move half-way across the world in the 1800’s, by definite decision, long journey and sailing ship, to a new life.
I was able to discover stories about him and his family, photos and mementoes and even a Journal written by my Great-Grandfather on his travels inland. He left an inky fingerprint on one page; an inky fingerprint which moved me to tears when I first saw it, because it made him real and very human! He is known in my family as “30 acre Ed” because he could estimate how many sheep could be run to the acre. Although I have never kept sheep, I’ve come close to it sometimes. I seem to have his ability to estimate how many to run to the acre. I’ve tested it with people who have experience in these matters and not found it wanting.
It is as if the genes speak, their voice won’t be denied and they speak with confidence and certainty.
It is a beautiful thing and I have learned to appreciate and value this connection, this tiny shred of my ancestry made present when it appears, always unexpectedly and never to be taken for granted. I treasure it and hope it appears again somewhere down the line of the family and again becomes useful. There are other connections too, far too many to go into here, some amusing and seemingly out of character but with a strong pull.
My beloved Daughter, by another synchronicity, was born not far from the family village and has a great fondness for that part of the world. She has travelled the road between her birthplace and the village many, many times, from her birth through to her adult years. The pull is strong, her paternal Grandparents and their parents were all born in the same city as she was, as were some of the next generation. It seem we cannot ignore or deny these connections and will follow them whether we have the information or not, whether our birth information is made known to us or kept secret. It seems our genetic memory will circumvent any laws, rules or practices others like to invent to prevent us knowing, making a total nonsense of whatever legislators, detractors, anti-information campaigners and repressive obsessives try to do to us, our lives and our futures.
Of course we need to know, to have our information; there is no excuse for preventing that which stands up to a moral examination, just reason and civil rights and no ethical person who could argue that it is justified, acceptable or in the long term sustainable.
Daniel writes here (http://danielibnzayd.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/inexplicable-connections-our-most-compelling-selves) on connections too, in one of those synchronicities we are forever finding amongst adoptees. There are common threads, concerns and areas of the adopted life we need to explore, discuss and open up for examination. Every post is a breath of fresh air, it brings daylight into the dank, hidden cupboard of adoption, the closet where many would prefer we let secrets lie and lies secret. How little chance there is of that anymore. In time perhaps it will no longer be possible to have to live through what we adult adoptees have had to, perhaps adoption really will change, become more open, more truthful, more about what adoptees need and less about protecting others. It will be because we have demanded it, expected it, thrown light on the anomalies, the contradictions, the damage, the hurt and the hypocrisy. Perhaps we will reach a time when those who wish to practice those things can no longer get away with it, when they are outed by others and honesty, truth and ethics are valued and the norm because they are good practice, best for adoptees, humane and simplest in the long run.
Von lives in Australia. THE LIFE OF VON BLOG