The overwhelming physical proximity of my mother Rosella caused me to writhe in my seat. She cleared her throat and stated, “I am not your real mother.” At that moment I needed spontaneous love and reassurance. I desperately wanted her to stop talking and hug me, but no hugs were forthcoming. She simply abandoned me to clean my bedroom and resumed her normal duties in the kitchen. Learning that I was adopted on my eighth birthday triggered gloomy feelings of isolation, combined with an unnatural fear of rejection and abandonment, that eventually matured into a nefarious sense of genealogical bewilderment.
Chapter 12 – First Lilac Club
The shady, compact space under the lilac bush in my backyard provided a secure environment where my girlfriends and I felt relaxed and comfortable. The proximity of the seating arrangement facilitated intimacy, whispering, and the sharing of secrets. Only then did I decide to tell my girlfriends I was adopted. Grace was whimsically optimistic. Kathy was fidgety and uncomfortable. Renee was bewildered and embarrassed. Diane was the oldest and most mature. Her words were reasonable and comforting. The First Lilac Club was an instant success because it encouraged camaraderie, sisterhood, and bonding between members. We became very comfortable sharing secrets with each other and my adoption became a favorite reoccurring topic that alerted me to the possibility of becoming an adoption detective when I grew up to solve the mystery of my own adoption.
“I will never forget the day I shared my deepest personal secret and story of adoption with my girlfriends under the shade of a lilac bush in my backyard—an historical event celebrated and memorialized by the founding of the First Lilac Club.” —Judith Land