Sunday, December 18, 2016

Family


I am so excited and nervous to meet my uncle next month. He called today to let me know that he's gotten his tickets and will be here for a work conference and would like to finally meet face-to-face. This past year has been surreal because family I never thought I'd know, contacted us. 
Let me rewind a bit. My mom was adopted and never knew her birth family. I always knew that I might have more family out in the ether that I may or may not ever meet. When dating, it was always in the back of my mind; I prayed I wasn't accidentally kissing my cousin - ew. Years went by, I got married, and the family question faded into the background; except on the rare occasion that someone wanted family history for some reason or another. 
My sister-in-law lost her brother and went on a rampage about how important family bonds were. Said I should be doing anything and everything I could to find my mom's birth parents. It opened the old questions and old wounds. We had never really been accepted in my mom's adoptive family. Never really in any of our family, if I'm being honest. There was always that undercurrent of - something. It was an unspoken barrier that I knew at an early age that I'd never overcome. So I always kept my distance, kept quiet, to myself, and tried not to let being the black sheep bother me. I have relationships with my family members now, it's easier to maintain now that communication has been relegated to fb, texts, and the occasional face time. No more awkward family reunions, or really many family gatherings at all. And when there are, it's easy just to showcase the positive in life. 
So, a few months ago, my mom was contacted by her younger brother. She gave him my info, and we've all been dealing with the discovery of family. I started understanding my sister-in-law's obsession with family, and I've been struggling to put into words why knowing them has been so important. 
Will it change my day-to-day life? No. 
I was trying to discuss it with my husband, who I thought would understand as he doesn't really know much of his family either, but nope. He just doesn't care to have more people in his life. He's content with his little circle of life, his routine, and has no desire to change it. He asked me, "What's getting to know them going to do? Add people to your Christmas Card list?"
And it really hit me that - no. Knowing them won't alter my life in a dramatic life-changing scene like you see in the movies. That's not the point. It's family. It's a chance to truly be accepted for who I am, not what people want me to be - by family, not friends. And while having him accept me or not won't change anything in my life, the little girl in me craves it. It answers some questions as to why we are the way we are, history, genetics. It's important in a thousand different ways, yet vastly unimportant. It was Schrodinger's Cat, and now the box has been opened. Does it truly change anything, knowing if the cat was alive or dead? Not really - unless it was your cat.
I just needed to vent. To try to explain away confusing emotions without hiding.