When I was a young kid, I was adopted. Before that, I had the privilege of living with an incredible family. But before that I lived with a mother that drank too much, had two kids, and no way to take care of them.
Today I drove by the hospital where I was born. It’s been almost 31 years since I last saw the place, and though my memory is a little shady, it seems to me it’s changed a bit. I didn’t intend to drive by; I was just following the GPS on my way to the grocery store. It caught me off guard, and I slowed down a little, but I didn’t stop. It’s the same way I interact with my early childhood.
Every now and then I slow down, and think about how things could be different. How I could have a different family, different friends, and a whole different life. Mostly I feel relief that I don’t. Sometimes I feel anger, and other times a longing. For what, I’m not exactly sure, as it’s elusive and complicated. I don’t stop to wallow anymore though because it’s just a part of my past that I know I’ll never be able to fully reconcile with. I used to spend hours imagining how my life could be different. How maybe I would have been smarter, or more popular, or prettier if I had grown up with my biological family. Yes, I know, I was young and disillusioned, and let’s face it, a little dumb. My mother was an alcoholic, she couldn’t provide the basic necessities of life, let alone the emotional guidance a young girl needs.
Hindsight is always 20/20. So many unnecessary tears shed over the whys and ifs. Why didn’t she try harder? If she had really loved me, she would have gotten sober, figured out a way to keep me, and my life would have been perfect. A fairy tale. You know, “And they lived happily ever after…”
It took living my life to realize that apart from God, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT! There is only my perfectly imperfect family, my crazy friends, my delightfully rebellious son, and me. The me that is only here because all of these less than perfect events took place.
So here I sit, not far from where it all started. My little boy squirming on the couch next to me, asking for help making balls out of “play-play.” The delicious smells of dinner are finding their way into the living room and outside the window the leaves are blowing around the driveway, playfully enticing us to join them. While the future remains uncertain, I can still say with confidence that I got my happily ever after, after all.