Friday, June 29, 2012
Two letters, and life changes
Hi, this is Summer. (I guess you could tell that from the picture anyway, huh?) Well, I got huge news today. I'm still really shocked, and I'm not sure how to process it.
Last year, on my birthday, I decided that I wanted to find out about my biological family. Maia wrote to the Toronto Children's Aid Society, which is the group that placed me for foster care and adoption, to see if we could get any information about them. I did get some, which is better than knowing nothing at all, but I was a little bit bummed that I have to wait till I turn eighteen to get my full identifying details.
I had pretty much just accepted that I won't be able to make much progress on my search until I'm an adult. So I was really surprised when another letter came from the Children's Aid Society in the mail today. I didn't think I'd be hearing from them again for a few years. I wondered if there had been some mistake, or if they'd found something else non-identifying that they could give me right away.
In my haste to open the envelope, I ripped it too hard and all the contents ended up on the floor. The first sheet I picked up was written by hand, and the writing looked like someone about my age rather than an adult. That seemed even weirder. Why would I be getting a letter from another kid through the agency that had placed me for adoption?
Once my initial moment of confusion had passed, I realized there was a printed covering letter in the envelope too, so I decided to read that first because it seemed like it was probably supposed to explain the handwritten letter. I flipped it over... and got the shock of my life.
The covering letter started with an apology. It turns out that I hadn't been placed for adoption by the Children's Aid Society itself - which I had just assumed - but by another group doing contract work for them at the time. That group had made a pretty serious mistake. I had to read the next line a few times before I could comprehend it.
I was not an only child in my biological family.
I have a twin.
This was totally shocking to me. I had no idea.
I figured that I might have biological brothers or sisters out there, because my first parents weren't all that old and they likely had more children after they lost custody of me, whether they stayed together or ended up with other partners. I was prepared to find out someday that I had siblings or half-siblings.
I wasn't prepared to find out that I already had a sister that I shared the womb with. In movies, it seems like twins have this magical connection to each other, but I never felt that. I never felt anyone who was that close was out there and missing from my life. I was totally blindsided by the news.
Twins aren't supposed to be separated for adoption. Even at the time, that was very much against policy. We should have been placed together. The letter went on to say that they're still investigating how it happened, whether it was a clerical error or whether my twin was already living somewhere else when I was removed from the home... and I'm sure that with time, I'll start to care about that. For right now, I can't even begin to deal with how it happened. I'm just trying to process that this is going on at all.
The other letter, the one that was handwritten, is from my twin sister. You don't have to be eighteen to know your biological siblings like you do to find out about your biological parents. I haven't read my twin's letter yet. I want to, and I will soon.
I'm just trying to deal with the fact this is even happening. It's totally unbelievable! I wonder if she's very much like me...