Friday, February 4, 2011

Telling Our Stories: Kirsten, Felicity, Molly, and Charissa

This is Kirsten again. In one of our intro posts, we gave you a basic history of our family, but we said the details would wait for another post. Well, this is the first of them! We've decided to split it into sections for each of us, although me, Felicity, Molly, and Charissa are going to write ours together because most of it is the same for all of us.

So here goes:

Kirsten was born on Christmas Day, early in the morning.

Our parents were always... flaky. They weren't terrible or anything, but they were always searching for the next thing: the next business idea, or path to enlightenment, or philosophy, or belief system. Or whatever. They called it "pursuing fulfillment" but nothing seemed to fit the bill. Now that we're older, we've discussed it, and we think maybe they never found it because they were looking so hard they just never saw that happiness isn't something you have to go out and find, it's something you have to make for yourself.

Because of their kind of scattered lifestyle, our parents fought a lot. They separated several times, but they still managed to produce Felicity a year after Kirsten, and Molly two years after that. Then they were apart for awhile, the word "divorce" started getting thrown around... and then suddenly they were back together and having Charissa, two years after Molly was born.

We didn't really have one place that we lived. Even when we were with our parents, we moved a lot. And then periodically for months at a time, our parents would go off on one of their whims... joining the circus or joining a commune or backpacking through a tropical forest. While they were gone, we'd be left. With family members, with our parents' friends, sometimes with paid babysitters. It was a pretty unsettled life.

Eventually Blakeney decided to intervene. She's only twelve years older than Kirsten, but when she got old enough, she asked our parents to let us stay with her permanently. She didn't say it outright, but she hinted that she'd pursue legal action if they couldn't work out an arrangement. Our mom cried and our dad cursed, but we felt like ultimately they were relieved not to have the responsibility anymore. We came to live with Blakeney as our guardian, and we haven't had to move again.

When we moved in, our parents sent a big box of family papers along. We think they were just too lazy to hunt for our birth certificates, school files, and immunization records. There was a lot of other stuff in the box too, though. Going through it, we found out that Charissa had a different biological father.

In a way it wasn't really that much of a shock. Charissa has darker skin than us, and darker hair. Ever since she was a toddler, she definitely looked Latina. We asked our parents, because we figured we had an ancestor who was hispanic, but the blew us off. We thought maybe they'd argued with that relative, and that was why they didn't want to talk about it. It turns out that Charissa is the only one who is Latina, as the result of one of our parents' separations.

We were curious to meet her biological father; we found out who he was and met him once, but he wasn't interested in having an ongoing relationship. One thing did come out of that meeting, though. We found out Charissa had another half-sister, Josefina, who had a different mother.

We decided to get in touch with her too, and when we did, we learned that her mother was dead. She'd been going from relative to relative for awhile too. Her grandmother was looking for someone else to take care of her... so she came to live with us! Now she's the sister of all of us, not just Charissa. Josefina is going to do her own entry, though.

So that's all for now! Now you know the story of Kirsten, Felicity, Molly, and Charissa! :-)

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