|Cecelia & Robin|
After years as an adoptee spent feeling like Gulliver in Lilliput, I finally came to terms with my size, shape and way of being when I met my sister, Cecelia. As I jumped out of my car at the Miami Airport and raced into her waiting, big loving arms my transformation took place. For the first time I was face to face with an honest reflection of me, a mirror image of my huge dimpled smile, high big cheeks and warm brown eyes that radiate love to the soul, and of my hips, which garnered so much attention for most of my life. That day in 2008 was the ending of a life filled with self doubt, inefficacy and lack of self-esteem. I could finally make sense of who I was and be at peace with it.
We had waited a lifetime for this moment of sisters locked in embrace. From childhood Cecelia had hugged the solitary image of a stolen moment our mama had kept of an infant me smiling atop Nana’s blanket. I had waited in a vacuum praying there was someone out there who looked like me, someone out there to claim me as their own while I searched in vain the faces of my adopted family for recognition that I belonged to them.
Most of us grow up with someone who we are related to by blood. Those small details and comparisons begin at birth and shape our understanding of who we are and how we fit in the world. “You have Daddy’s nose.” “You do well in school just like I did.” That running commentary organically nurtures a sense of belonging, self esteem and self efficacy. For me the comparisons were a constant reminder that I didn’t fit: “No one in our family has that hair.” “Can’t you do something about that behind?”
Beyond my physical attributes, mine and my siblings’ differences further set me apart. I was a wild child given to messes, storytelling and adventures. Hard as I tried to fit my family’s life, I bulged past its edges until the seams split. Eventually, I learned to sew a quilt from those pieces and others and have lovingly draped myself in it.
So, after waiting a lifetime, in that solitary spark of time; every fear, every lonesome feeling, every idea that I belonged to no one was eliminated. When we embraced I knew a sense of belonging I had never felt. We pulled apart and grinned reflecting ear-to-ear smiles in all our wide hipped loveliness our mother’s and paternal grandmother’s blessing mirrored. In her eyes I saw my loving heart, in her voice my own timbre; my heart beat wildly like hers and our brains – let’s just say we think a lot alike. The years since have been filled with revelations and more family. I would meet my parents, siblings and a host of relatives each with more of the quilt which lovingly engulfs an increasingly complete me.
Boston-born writer, Robin G. White “Bobbie!” is the award-winning author of two volumes of poetry, Resurrection: A Collection of Work (Kings Crossing Publishing) and Reflections of a Life Well Spent (Sunset Pointe Press) and a forthcoming collection of short fiction, Intersections (Sunset Pointe Press). She is also the author of the forthcoming Omphaloskepsis Twelve Powers Journal a tool for focused transformational writing. In addition, Robin has pseudonymously authored seven children’s books. For more info on her work go to www.robingwhite.com.