How Will I Look When I Get Old?

October 22, 2009 at 1:15 pm 6 comments

No one ever really talks about how adoption screws with your future. I mostly talk about how my past was affected by being surrendered. Or if I do talk about the future, it’s to wonder about medical history and genetic stuff. But lately, as I’ve thought a lot about aging, I realized there are a lot of things I’m missing from my view of the future such as something as simple as knowing more than one generation of your DNA. And that is something I think far too many people take for granted.

You see a lot of yourself in your family. Where you came from, where you are, and where you will be. I know where I am, and a good chunk of where I came from, but there are no clues laid out for me as to where I might be headed in the future. Most people look at their parents, their grandparents, and can see patterns of aging. It’s not an exact science. It’s kind of a look into the future. It may not be exact, but it’s a glimpse, a preview.

As of today I’m twenty two years and some odd months old. I’m still young, still in my prime years. I don’t have wrinkles and my energy levels are high and my hips still slimmed by a fast metabolism. I don’t know what the future of my body, my face, my skin, bring. I watch my adoptive parents as they are getting older and wonder a lot about my natural family. I wonder if they’re young still or if they are getting closer to being senior citizens. I wonder if my mom has wrinkles or if her skin is still taut. If she is still healthy or if she has developed a disease. The kind of things I really need to know about my future, I can only get from her. She is really the missing link I need to chain my past and future to the present.

Will I earn a set of family hips after childbearing? Does my family go gray early? Do we wrinkle easily or age gracefully? A picture or two might help me figure some of things out, and of course time will tell how things play out for me. But a part of me just yearns to be able to have that tiny little glimpse of the future through my mother and grandmother’s eyes.

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Entry filed under: adoption, Aging, Connection, History, Mothers. Tags: , , , .

Making Friends The Stigma is Still Strong

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Christine  |  October 23, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Katie,
    I read your comment from Watching the Waters and I wanted to come over and introduce myself. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I look forward to reading more when I get the chance. We have adopted 6 children in addition to our 6 bio children– two of them from a disruption. I would never disrupt– but I help in finding families for children whose family no longer wants to parent them. I do this because I think the child deserves a family who is committed to loving them through anything. After reading a little of your story– my heart is feels tugged in a different direction.

    Take care. You are worthy as I am sure you know now. How is your relationship with your parents today?

    Reply
    • 2. kateiskate  |  October 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for reading.

      My relationship with my adoptive parents is kind of strange. I’ve tried to forgive them for a lot of their mistakes, and I’m working on forgiving myself with mine. Even though at times our relationship can be strained, I do try my best to keep it alive and as healthy as possible, because really, they may be the only family I ever have. And we have a ton of history together as well.

      Anytime I read about adoption disruption, it’s like my heart shatters into a thousand little pieces. I know how it feels to wonder why you weren’t good enough for your first family, but to have to wonder why two families put you out seems cruel. Especially when the second family “chose” you and went into things purposefully. I know that adopted kids can be difficult. I was a tough kid to raise. I was pretty evil. But I really am glad that no one gave up on me. Even though at times the relationship was abusive, my relationship with my adoptive parents showed my I WAS worthy of keeping and loving even when I was “bad”.

      I might have to post about it soon. lol it seems like I have a lot of unresolved emotion about it.
      Anyway, thanks for your comment 😀
      -Katie

      Reply
  • 3. Sharie  |  October 25, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I think of this often with my 5-year-old. I’m a tall, overweight, white woman raising a Chinese daughter who will certainly not look like me when she is older – I do wish I had medical history for her, and a photo to share with her of her own mother. It hard to explain genes and biology and she is very inquisitive.
    We were in the locker room after swimming lessons one night and a Chinese woman was talking to her as she was changing – my daughter could not take her eyes off of her. I know she was thinking, “so that’s what I might look like?”

    There are so many things I didn’t think of prior to adopting…this is just one of the many we have to work through.

    Reply
    • 4. kateiskate  |  October 25, 2009 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Sharie,

      I think most adoptive parents don’t think about those little things before they adopt. I know mine didn’t. I think it would have helped me a lot to have Asian role models, especially Korean women of varying ages (young adults, peers, authority figures) whenever possible. I never really understood what it was to be an adult Korean American woman.

      Thanks for reading here.
      -Katie

      Reply
  • 5. Christine  |  October 25, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Katie, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. You don’t know how much you posting has already made a difference in how I think about adoption. I was wondering if you were a believer? I wish I could tell you that you will completely heal form the heartache. I know that fo rmy girls I fell short doing everythingunder the sunI could think of to make them feel worthy. It was when I realized that God was the one who would make them feel whole again– that they finally started to get it.

    May I suggest reading, “The Purpose Driven Life?”

    Reply
    • 6. kateiskate  |  October 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Christine,
      I am not really a believer, although I once was. Right now my faith lies in just doing my best, having a positive attitude, and doing my best to love others as much as I can. I don’t believe in God, but I respect others who do.

      I’ve read excerpts from The Purpose Driven Life, but the most life-changing book I’ve ever read was Nancy Verrier’s The Primal Wound because it opened my eyes to the fact that feeling pain was okay. And in order for me to heal and be whole, I think it’s important that I learn that there is pain, and I have a right to it.

      I guess it’s kind of like “You have to admit you have a problem before you can fix it”, you know?
      -Katie

      Reply

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