Modern rules of adoption, in order to avoid psychological trauma, it is recommended to inform the adopted children of the history of their appearance in the family as early as possible - otherwise the adopted adults may feel that their life before they learned the truth was a fake. However, in some families, the "secret of adoption" is still kept for decades, citing the unwillingness of the adopted child. Our hero found out that he was adopted at twenty-four years old. We asked him how he felt at that moment, whether he was offended by his parents and how his life was arranged “after”.
Interview: Margarita Zhuravleva
About two years ago, I felt that something was wrong in my life. I couldn’t explain what it was, but it seemed that the “who I am” scheme simply didn’t add up. Apparently, I started to get depressed. I went to a psychotherapist and there I realized that some of my problems and questions to the world are related to my relationship with my father, who died eleven years ago.
While he was alive, I had the feeling that my dad was fencing off from me. Why weren't we as close as we could be? I asked my mother about this, but each time she replied that my father just worked hard to feed his family and could not devote much time to me. “But we loved you anyway,” my mother used to say.
In my childhood, my mother always spoke for two, for herself and for my father. Dad didn't talk to me very much. In a sense, dad was a tool to control me: when at the beginning of adolescence my mom could not cope with my temper, she called dad. I remember hiding in my room, barricading myself there. Dad was not a tyrant, we just didn't have any intimacy, I never felt warmth from him, he never encouraged me. So I remembered him - we sat in separate rooms, met in the corridor and at the table in the kitchen, ate in silence, dad watched TV. When I finished eating, I would get up and put the plate in the sink - that was our whole family evening.
Dad just worked hard - for a while I accepted Mom's explanation and thought I was calmed down. But this did not solve my problems, it only masked them. I could not move on either at work, or in relationships with people, or in my relationship with the world. I had the feeling that I was stuck at some level, and I simply did not see the next step - where I should go and why.
Why have we never watched or re-watched the video where I was little? Why did my parents never tell a single story about how my mother was pregnant with me? My friends, who have children, constantly recalled how one wanted to cry all the time during pregnancy, and the other at McDonald's. And my mother didn’t say anything like that. But I kept arguing with myself: why did she have to tell me about this? Maybe it was a difficult period for her.
I also often thought about our family photos - we had a lot of them, especially from the youth of my parents. And we didn't have any pictures of mine at all. I asked my friends if they have photos where they are taken from the hospital? Many had. But I myself explained their absence by the fact that, probably, my mother was superstitious and did not allow me to film. I got my first photos when I was about six months old. In general, everything that came to my mind, I found excuses.
Two months ago I woke up and thought that something was wrong after all. I thought about this all day at work, again began to ask my friends about photographs from their childhood, about the stories of their mothers. I also suddenly remembered that I had a birth certificate from a different date - a few months apart from my birthday. Mom said it was a copy, because the first one was lost.But she is such a neat person that she even keeps a copy of my first passport in a separate folder in the dresser, and this folder bears the signature “Copy of Yura's first passport”. Mom just couldn't lose my birth certificate.
And most importantly, when you look at friends and their parents, you immediately see who is whose copy, in any family a child looks like a father or mother. And I looked at my photos and realized that I was not like anyone else. But I persuaded myself over and over again - maybe my eye was blurry? I asked my friends, they said: "Yura, you really are not like them."
It all came together in a chain of some inconsistencies and inconsistencies that had to be somehow resolved, but it is not clear how. Until you ask, you don’t know, but it’s scary to ask, this is not a question from the “ask and forget” category. This question needs to be supported by something. Even if you are right, you will have to explain how you understood it. And if they tell you that you are wrong, you will need to explain why you thought so.
I was nervous all day and realized that I could not go home, because my mother would see what state I was in and would start asking me questions. At that moment a friend wrote to me and invited me to visit. I told her about my torment, and she asked me what would happen if the answer turned out to be this or that. I immediately said that nothing will change, my mother will remain my mother, but I am afraid of offending her.
I arrived home at one in the morning, my mother was not sleeping, she met me. I thought, why is she not sleeping? Maybe this is another reason to talk right now? I didn't know where to start, with an apology? Or with some stories that lead to the question? It seems to me that even if you prepare for such a conversation for a week, you still will not be ready for it, all your words will simply fade away.
In general, I pulled myself together and said: "Mom, I can probably offend you now, but don't be offended, I have such a question …" Mom jumped out of bed: "What happened?" I continued: "I have a lot of thoughts here, I repeat once again, please do not be offended." Only the night light was on in the room, the light was off everywhere, and I could not see her whole face, but I saw her eyes, which became huge. I think I even heard her heart beating. And I understood that she was nervous, but for a while I could not say anything. True, I so wanted to know the truth that any outcome of events would calm me down. In the end, I said: "Mom, it seems to me that I am not your own son and dad."
Silence. I don't know how long it lasted because I said and my ears rang. And so I sit and understand that something will happen now, for which I really am not ready, although I seemed to be preparing. And then my mother says in a quiet, quiet voice: "Yes, you are right."
What emotions did I have at that moment? None, because my mother started crying. And I didn’t have time to think, I ran to hug her, and tears began to flow too. Mom said: "I was very afraid that you would leave me." Although I have never really thought about this in my life. And I don’t think so now. But my mother's fears did not offend me, I understand her. She said that she wanted to tell when I was eighteen years old, but saw that I was not ready for this. And I agree with her, at that moment I really was not ready, everything happened in the most correct way. It is simply inconceivable to me how she could keep this secret for twenty-four years. And to be honest, I myself was surprised that I could ask her about it.
We sat with her until six in the morning, I had a lot of questions. It was as if a stone fell from my soul. During these five hours that we talked, it seems that eighty percent of my problems were resolved, everything fell into place.
I saw my mother's reaction - she exhaled in one moment. We were sitting in the kitchen, she took a huge breath in and out. And I realized that now a completely different life will go. The next day we went to Auchan and, it seems, bought it in its entirety. We just walked past the shelves and Mom would say, "I want a pink mop." And I said, "Take it." "I want a coffee machine." We took this car. "And let's give this to someone?" I remember we had two coffee machines in our cart, six huge baguettes.With sesame seeds - I really wanted to, with cheese, bacon, regular and some other. When we got to the checkout, we had a lot of fun. We did not notice how three and a half hours flew by.
When we arrived home, I said: "Mom, what did we buy with you?" Why did we have so many baguettes? Why do we need two coffee machines? And two huge bags of chips? With bacon and cheese. We didn't eat them, we threw them out later, they got damp. But that was therapy. We felt ourselves to be very close people, best friends.
Mom told me that she knows practically nothing about my biological parents. I now call them "parents", but for me this is a very difficult word, it contains a lot of emotions. Mom never saw them. I was given birth by a woman who already had one child, from some random man, my mother said that it was a soldier. At birth my name was Sergei Sergeevich Zhdanov.
Dad and mom lived together for thirty-six years and sixteen of them tried to have children, so they decided to take this step. Mom said that they came to the baby's house just to see how everything was arranged there, and they began to show her the children.
“I went to each cradle, there were several of you, I came up to you, and you were lying, looking at the ceiling and as if you were looking for something there, and then you saw me and shouted. I removed my head, you stopped screaming, looked at you again, you scream again. I didn't know if they would even let me adopt a child, but I began to wear diapers and food for you. This went on for two weeks. Then they called, they say, come, you passed the medical examination. I run headlong into the baby's house. " According to the rules, the head physician had to tell the mother about all the children, who was sick with what, who had their parents, so that she could decide who to pick up. But my mother didn’t listen to anything and said: “I don’t need anything, I want to take this particular boy”.
They named me Yuri Vladimirovich Melnikov, changed my date of birth from July 18 to December 23. I read later that the secret of adoption allows the date to be changed within six months, so that parents can somehow disguise the appearance of the child, if it is important to them.
Mom said: “We changed everything, made a new date of birth, we were given documents, everything seems to be fine, but I walk around the apartment with you in my arms and think - after all, I took the last thing from you, what you had from birth, date and the name, and I couldn't do that. " She went to court to change my date of birth in the documents to the real one, so I had the same birth certificate with a different date.
I believe that my mother is a heroine: when you carry a child for nine or even seven months, your maternal instinct wakes up, you have time to prepare for this, it somehow fits in your head. And then in two weeks everything was decided. It seems to me that in time I will also adopt a child. We used to have an orphanage next to the house - it is small and there are few children. And also a huge playground. And I was always offended why the children from the orphanage were always separately, they were not taken anywhere. They kept their flock. They were just afraid.
I also asked my mother what she thinks, is that why we had such a difficult relationship with my father, not the way I wanted or did we want together? Mom answered yes, probably. The parents met when mom was fourteen and dad was sixteen, and since then they have never parted - except for one case when mom was admitted to the hospital for ten days, and dad left alone on a planned vacation. And then I appeared, and mom had to choose between me and dad, who was used to having all of her attention on him. Probably, dad also wanted me to appear, but he was just not ready for this. Mom says that dad was not at all against adoption, but when you become not two, but three, this is a different situation.
I was offended by my father, for ten years since his death I tried to understand why he was so detached. Mom all the time took me to different circuses, theaters, arranged birthdays for me, but dad seemed to be gone. Now everything has become clear, but I do not blame anyone.
I don’t want to look for the man and woman from whom I was born. I wonder, of course, why they did this. But if I had stayed with that woman, I would have had a completely different life, and I do not need another. And there is also a question - who do I look like more, like dad or mom. It's still interesting to me. But I understand that I don’t know the answer.
Images: Valenty - stock.adobe.com (1, 2, 3, 4)