I’m am the product of step-siblings…. Yep, you read that right. My mother and father were step sister and brother. From what I’m told, they had a “secret” love affair that ended in my mother losing her virginity, my father being shipped off to the military and my conception. What a trilogy! Lol. Once my mother admitted to being pregnant and then admitting that it was her step brother, she was shunned and kickout. A teenage girl, still in high school, she didn’t have many options but, was blessed to have Grandparents who loved her enough to take her in and take care of her during a critical point in her life. They made sure she went to school, got an education, as well as the necessary medical care she needed while she carried me. I was born in January and my mother graduated from high school that following summer. So, yes I was literally in existence when my mother graduated.
During her time in the neighborhood where my great grandparents lived, she became close to another family. So much so, that before I was born, she decided that she wanted the parents of that family to be my godparents. My godparents helped to take care of my mother and even assisted in having a baby shower for her. They loved her, and in return she finally got the love that she clearly had been searching for all along.
My mother never really got over the fact that my father left her pregnant and then eventually with a baby to raise on her own. She tried to do what she could for me but, she really didn’t have the means to take care of a child, she was a child herself. She started traveling back and forth to the city, where she spent nights experimenting with things that would soon become an addiction for her. I believe this addiction was a result of being not only denied, but denounced by family during her pregnancy with me. She was trying to fill a void, that only the love of your family can fill but, when your parents can’t love you the way you need to be loved sometimes you fall into the arms of something or someone that doesn’t really love you but, makes you feel good….
Because of this new lifestyle that my mother took on, my godparents stepped in and took care of me. They went to court and were approved guardianship over me. From what I was told, I was the first Great Grandchild so, I was kind of a big deal… Lol. Other family members wanted to take me in but, my godparents felt that they had been named godparents for a reason and they were going to take the responsibility for me. So, from the time I was about 6 months old I lived with my godparents.
My godparents raised me the best they could with what they had but, they weren’t perfect. No family is. They worked hard to not only provide what I needed but, also most of what I wanted. I will forever be grateful for their sacrifices because you see when I came along their children were practically grown. They didn’t have to start over but, they did… For ME!
For years they tried to legally adopt me but, my biological mother just couldn’t let go. When I was younger, I never really understood why she wouldn’t just sign over her parental rights. Just let me have a normal family where I had the same last name as my parents, where I wasn’t consistently asked by insensitive teachers if my godmom remarried or got married (finally) or just automatically hyphenated my name on school documents because that just made sense to them when they noticed my godparents last name was different from mine. It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I finally understood the bond you have with your kids. You NEVER want to let them go… No matter how far away they may be or how old they get. You want everyone to know that’s your baby…. I think that was my mother’s intention. In her mind, eventually she would get herself together and she would come back to get me but, that day never came.
She would call from time to time, and promise to come see me or come and get me for the weekend. I would be so excited, sometimes my godmom would even let me pack my stuff and then the day would come for her to pick me up and she didn’t make for one reason or another. I know that she was well intentioned, she just wasn’t in a place to take care of me. But, she wanted to be a part of my life. My godparents did the best they could to keep us in contact with each other but, over time things drifted apart…
I continued to grow up, life continued to go on… Since then I’ve tried to connect with my mother a few times but, unfortunately, we both haven’t been in a space for it to really work. I do wish her the best… I pray for her and I hope that one day she’ll be stable enough where she can meet her grandchildren but, for now I just love her from a distance…