We all have stories. Some stories may be funny. Some stories may be sad. Some stories..well..are unique and simply don’t turn out exactly as “planned”. Or perhaps it all was planned. It’s what has made me, me. It’s what has allowed me to turn inward, to dive deep and live a life of resilience. There is vulnerability in our stories. It’s what connects us. There is redemption in our stories…
Imagine a little baby. Eighteen months, to be exact. I don’t remember a lot prior to 18 months, but I’ve been told a lot happens in a child’s brain up until that age. My mother was 44, and my father 47. Unwed. It is 1976 in a RI hospital. My father: 100% Italian. My mother: French. I don’t know a lot about my father. I never met him. My bio mom passed in 2005. My bio mom wanted to place me into foster care; however, a half sister stepped up and legally adopted me at 18 months. Sounds okay so far, right? What we resist, persists.
My bio mom had raised 3 children prior to me coming along. They were all in their 20’s at my birth. The middle of the 3, came from a different father. My bio mom had a history of addiction and mental illness. Unfortunately, my half sister that adopted me, carried this generational trauma throughout my upbringing. She was a narcissist. Extremely controlling and emotionally and physically abusive. Again, what we resist, persists.
I left home when I graduated high school. I ended up finding roommates, through a church that I was attending at the time. The relationship with my half sister was always strained. A narcissist can never see their faults and never apologizes because they don’t even realize their harmful behavior. I ended up making my way through the university and graduated with a bachelor degree from MS. This is where I was raised. I have always had a heart for the marginalized of our society so found myself working with the elderly, homeless, and children a lot of my life. I left MS when I was 31 and now live in Austin, TX.
As an adoptee, I always struggled with wanting to know who I looked like.
When I was in my late 20’s, I found my bio Dad's side of the family and flew to RI to meet them. This is who I looked like, so in April 2023, I went to Italy. I wanted to connect to my roots and I felt like this pilgrimage made me come alive. I will not tell the details of the abuse, in my upbringing.
I will say that we repeat what we don’t repair and healing isn’t linear.
I chose to write a different narrative for my life. I chose to alchemize my pain into power and take back my voice and all that was stolen from me as a kid.
I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.
I’ve always been drawn to children coming from foster care. I feel like it’s because I have something to offer children that struggle with belonging, rejection/abandonment, simply by offering a space to feel loved. I recall a little girl, about two years ago, who had such an impact on me with piecing together my own story. Even though the little girl was three years old, her story impacted me on a deep level. She had been in foster care and now with a mother who would hang the moon for her. It was a story of tragedy to triumph. Even in times when we feel like there isn’t clarity, tragedies sometimes happen to take us to a place of triumph.