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My biological mother’s name is Anna and my father is Peter. They met in high school when she was sixteen. He was her first kiss, I think. I’m not sure if she was his. At the time of my conception, they had known each other for two years. I don’t know why he was home from college in the middle of a semester, but I imagine that my mother was the light in the dark depths of February, I imagine it had something to do with her her thick curls, her hazel eyes, her tender mouth shaped just like mine, here. I imagine it was her laugh that he loved the most.

My mother did not laugh when I came into this world and into her hands. She held me for seven long days with tears down her cheeks, her hands still and paralyzed with the weight of the decision before her. She loved me so much, I know. But at eighteen she wrestled with depression and anxiety that vined around her and settled stones into her belly where I had once grown. At eighteen, she held a child in child’s hands. I can see her, there with me, her dark head bent down, her spine curved, the pale expanse of her unlined neck peeking out from the hair and hospital gown. I cried with her, so much that the nursery staff nicknamed me “Mona.”

It’s been twenty years since she placed me with my adoptive family. I haven’t seen her since.

I’ve known I was adopted since the beginning of time, it feels. My mother, Marie, an adoptee herself, discussed it openly with me. With my toddler hand pressed to my her chest so that I could feel her heart beat in reassuring syncopation, she told me that not all mothers grew their babies in bellies. I had sprouted in her bone marrow, in her wildest dreams, in each chamber of her heart.

My baby sister happened in much the same way. My mother told me to wish on stars for her, to find her in my dreams. After a year and three months of peering up at the night sky and clasping my hands together like I’d been taught to at church, my parents brought me home to a pink new thing named Rachel, two days old.

I found it strange and almost magical that my friends’ mothers had grown them like root vegetables in fertile soil. I didn’t find the disparities until I grew up and away from my family, growing into traits and gestures and features foreign to everyone I knew.

I’d never seen anyone who looked like me, not in the exact way that passes through families. My best friend looks just like her sister. They bear their mother’s smile, their father’s nose. Even their eyebrows belong to somebody - thick and purposeful like their Italian grandfather’s.

In my family, we are separate planets in the same orbit, circling the sun of our differences. My mother is Norwegian but her younger siblings’ veins run with Polish blood. Nobody knows quite where her oldest brother, another adoptee, comes from, his past like a chalkboard just wiped clean, history blurred and lost and obscure. I’m the mutt, eastern and western Europe dumped into a pot and stirred. Rachel, my sister, is Guatemalan.

My friends grow like carrots in a field of carrots but I sprouted an apple tree among peaches and green beans and lettuce heads.

I look for myself in the faces of strangers. Everywhere I go, I watch for my mouth, my eyes, my nose. When a woman with a round face and large eyes smiles at me on the redline, my heart stumbles in my chest. When I catch a profile like mine as I walk back to my apartment, I have to stop and press a hand against the cool of the building next to me, ground myself. Time does not distance me from Stacy. Her blood in my veins calls out for home like a homeless woman lost in the wilderness of her own mind. I have always wanted to know.

At seventeen, I searched her name on Facebook. One woman stood out in the sea of Anna's. Something about the part in her hair, I think. The lips like mine. She had an arm around a small blond boy. I liked the thought of having a brother. In searching for her, I had bare minimum - her age, her general location at the time of my birth, her last name. This Anna matched all of these, but it was more than that. For the first time in my life, I had a feeling. Sometimes seeds carry on the wind, you know, growing trees far from where they began. I was an apple tree surrounded by root vegetables. And this woman, she was an apple tree too. Her smile felt like coming home. I typed her a message with shaking hands. My name is Sarah Vesely. I said. I’m looking for my birthmother. I said. I think you might be her.

She didn’t respond.

In the three years passed, I’ve thought of her often. I’ve looked at my hands and wondered if she wrote, too. I’ve sat in class and wondered if I’d ever passed her in the street. Every November 8th at 5:44 pm, I would have bet money that we were there in separate moments, separate worlds, separate parts of time, sharing thoughts of each other. I have wondered where she lives, what she does. I have wondered if she’s happy.

I look for myself in strangers.

Two Tuesdays ago, she sent me a friend request.
  • Listening to: urban photograph - urban cone
  • Reading: love medicine - louise erdrich
  • Watching: pramface
a piece i wrote way back in december or something like that was mentioned as one of elite literature's picks for lit of the week!

beneath the sea, the chosen piece, is in my gallery. thanks to everyone who's read and faved :)


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Artist | Student | Literature
United States
college student, writer, feminist.

lover of words and souls.

disordered mind, full heart.

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SpiralingSpontaneity Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday <3 (:
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Student Writer
Starry-Eyed-Writer Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Happy birthday :)
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Student Writer
emilyericson Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You have the same first AND middle name as my sister with the same spelling, and your birthdays are exactly one day apart. Hers is Nov. 7, 1994. Congrats on the DD!
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student Writer
Aha that's pretty cool! And thank you!
petrova Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist
Happy birthday! I hope you have the most wonderful day ever with lots of laughter, cake and fun :hug:
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Student Writer
aww thanks :)
petrova Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Hobbyist
you have been featured here: [link]
feel free to favourite the feature :heart:
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Student Writer
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