Posts Tagged ‘song’

Singing to Christine, an Adoptee’s Song

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

I was adopted when I was just over two-years-old. I know I was born at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, PA on January 2, 1970. My biological parents named me “Christine.” That’s all I know of my life before adoption.

I was adopted into a wonderful and loving family. They chose to name me “Amy” and keep “Christine” as my middle name. My parents were always very open with me, and told me from the time I was young that I had been adopted.

I don’t know what happened to my biological parents, but I pray for them. I don’t know if they were married at the time of my birth, or if they might still be together. I have so many more questions than answers. I try to accept that the answers might never be found.

Ever since I was little I fantasized that my birth parents or sibling(s)—if I have any—would call me, show up at my door, or in today’s world, shoot me an email! After the birth of each of my children, my curiosity grew even stronger. The first two years of each of my son’s lives was emotionally difficult, and that took me by surprise. I’d look at them and wonder where I was during that same age and stage. Who taught me to walk? To talk? How were my first two birthdays celebrated?

The wondering only increased after my youngest son was born. My first two sons take after my husband’s side of our family; whereas I’m often told my youngest son is my twin. The first time I heard that, it stopped me in my tracks. Up until he was born, I had never experienced what it was like to look like someone else. But here was my youngest with my same grey-blue eyes, blonde hair, and big smile. We even scrunch up our noses in the same way, and have similar personalities.

I became more interested in the story of “Christine”—the 2-year-old girl that had been me, until, overnight I became Amy. Like the flick of a switch, Christine was given a new identity and a new life. Is there someone out there who knows Christine’s story and can fill in the blanks for me? I would like to think there is.

We need our stories. They define us. They help us heal. And they help those around us make peace with their own stories. I feel I have a book whose first two chapters contain a couple sentences and then end abruptly, as if the writer just decided to get up and leave. I hope to fill in those pages some day. I wish I could hear Christine’s voice.

At the same time, I must be ready to hear that story, hear a story that I may or may not want to know. Maybe leaving the first couple chapters blank would be better, less traumatic for it to remain untold.

Yet, there is a void in me. I have filled it with “what-ifs” and fairytales. When I was young, I’d watch TV and look for actresses and personalities with blond hair and similar traits to me. When I first discovered Joan Rivers—someone who likes to talk as much as I do—I joked that she could be my biological mother.

What makes me feel most connected to my birth parents is Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram’s song, “Somewhere Out There.” If I happen to hear it on the radio, I sing along until it makes me cry. It’s like a lullaby comforting the two-year-old that lives deep within.

Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another in that big somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star

I have been a singer since I was little. When my parents first realized I had a singing voice they told me that it was a gift from God. While I believe this is true, I often wonder if my voice is an inherited talent. I’ve written music for many years, especially for people who have died. Writing a song gives me a chance to express thoughts and feelings I often keep hidden.

While I have gained an amazing family and life, for me, being adopted, has been a real loss. With every milestone, every struggle, and every life changing event, I revisit being adopted. Writing and singing allows me to get in touch with those feelings of loss, and I heal a little bit more with every note I write and sing.

Image: Provided by Amy Christine Lukas, taken 1972, shortly after her adoption.

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