Growing up adopted, there are many preconceived notions attached to that thought. Attachment issues, trouble makers, not being aware until the child is older, and so on. My story is a bit different. Yes, I was adopted, but I like to say I won the adoption lottery. In 1987 I was conceived and by half-way through 1988, I was born. Somewhere in between, there were feelings of fear, acceptance and embracing. There was a phone call made to the Maloney family and an offer was made and was graciously accepted.
June 28 1988, I arrived into an adopted family that was very well prepared for me, that even included a built-in big sister, and a pair of people who could not anticipate the feelings and responsibility that ensued. My [birth] father, Gordon, for the first two years of my life would visit until some insecurities from my adoptive father, Greg, got in the way of how he treated others. My birth mother, Darci, on the other-hand was non discouraged and always in my life, everything from writing letters, sending gifts (to me and my sister), and even when things got rough in my adoptive family, she kept on writing.
By the time I was fourteen, I started writing back without my mom since she had fallen off that boat for a while. I reached out, to someone consistent, to someone with love unconditionally and to someone who had more love than I could have ever imagined. We wrote back and forth for years, seeing as my memories of her were limited to very early childhood and in letters that always came like clock work. I remember asking if she liked emails, and my mum, Darci, always spoke of preferring “snail mail.” I never blamed her, it was and is so much more personal and you had a physical object at the end of the day.
Eventually there was a magical thing called social media, and as hesitant as my mum was to be on it, she made an account. So there she was, and so many of my friends from high school wanted to add her, because she’s that cool shaman lady. It was through a good friend of mine, Maryann, who contacted Darci to see if she wanted to fly out to the states for my birthday. Darci was concerned about the surprise aspect of it, though she remembers just how sweet the thought behind it was.
To bring my mum into my world came as naturally as breathing. When Darci first flew to the east coast the amount of storms and thus delays that summer were horrendous. She was supposed to fly to the Philadelphia airport from JFK in New York city after about 4 hours delay already on top on a 6 hour flight and then there was a delay on that. My older sister Samm, went to pick her up, such a wonderful gesture.
This story is ongoing, though there was some jet-lag and nerves after so many years, everything was just so natural. After bringing her into my “adult” world I have only grown from her energy, spirituality, openness and love. She and her friends have taught me how to forage, bring in good spirits, and embrace life no matter what is going on. To listen to what my body, nature and everything around me is telling me.
After being more deeply introduced in to my mum’s world, it was wonderful to have the chance to bring her more deeply in to mine. At Sangha, everyone knew my mum before they even met her. Through either my stories about her or through the knowledge she had passed on to me and I shared with my community. So, by the time it came to bring her to the space, she was welcomed with so much love and familiarity. This group is my second family and she knew that and loved them for it.
It was unfortunate that my mum’s back was injured when she was here for her last visit, so doing yoga was out of the question for her. We tentatively hoped that she could do tango (she had some experience from a good bit of time ago) so we came for that week’s practica. We wound up just sitting and watching, but it brought on a whole new surprise. Not only was the staff super accommodating and friendly, but the community of dancers were happy to chat her up and exchange stories. Having her in all aspects of my life is important to me, however, having my mum know my communtiy is probably the most important thing of all. I am so lucky and so fortunate to have such an amazing family and spectacular chosen (Sangha) family.