Saturday, August 16, 2014

Does She Look like Me?

Growing up in a family that understood the definition of family was a beautiful thing. I remember standing before a judge at the age of 12 and telling him that I wanted Joan and Paul Grotelueschen to be my parents. I wanted to be adopted by my Mom & Dad. They were my parents and they had been for the last 12 years. The Grotelueschen kids were my brothers and sisters. That was real. I didn't even need a piece of paper to tell me that, but you know, paperwork is good!

I didn't look like anyone in my family and that was ok, I didn't even know what it was like to look like someone. I was clearly adopted and stood out like a sore thumb and that was just fine. We knew what family was. My sister was blond haired and blue eyed and my other sister was adopted from Hong Kong. We were sisters. My brothers were great looking white guys, strong and athletic, who loved their little sister. We weren't your traditional family, especially in the 60's and 70's, but we were family and still are!

I'm assuming you know which one is me. I was still (technically) a foster child at this point.

Mia-Mom-Kit San

Back to that little girl.... honestly, there was always something inside me that a wondered.... "Is there anyone out there that looks like me?" Well, one day when I was 16, I got the answer to that question when I sought out my biological family, located them and took a train and bus to the south side of Chicago to meet them. It was actually kind of weird. Here, before me, were people who shared my blood line, black people, like me. I felt a bit out of place. It was all so surreal that I didn't even stop to take a mental picture and ask do we look alike?

Well, that was years ago. And here I am, now in my 40's, posing a question which at the end of the day, doesn't matter, yet, I still feel like asking. A question which now doesn't define who I am, because I know who I am, where I belong and whose arms I am wrapped in. I know what family is, I know what unconditional love is. I know these things, but today, it's just kind of fun looking at my sister, Nita, who grew up so close, yet so far away from me, with a different family, in a different environment, and a different Mom, yet a Mom who gave birth to me too, who gave me life and sacrificed so that I could stand before a judge one day and say I want Mr. & Mrs. G to be my Mom & Dad. That's pretty awesome.

So, tell me....Do I look like my sister?

Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, yet, still miraculously my own. 
Never forget for a single minute, you didn't grow under my heart, but IN it.
-Author Unknown

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