I was nine years old when I was adopted by 'the Father', as I call him. He has many children, so many, that I don't know them all, haven't even met them all. My 'real parents' weren't able to take care of me. They loved me, I suppose, they just weren't mature enough to provide all the things a child would need. The Father adopted me before my parents had to relinquish me to an orphanage or the State. For that, I'm eternally grateful. Actually, I'm grateful for many things the Father has done for me. I only wish he loved me. Some of his other children, the ones who are close to him, drop the definitive article, the formal title and just call him 'Father'. They say it with such love and reverence that it makes me jealous. I wish I could be close to him, too, to feel like his real daughter after all this time, instead, I still see myself as 'adopted'. Cared for, taken care of, but not truly LOVED, not like I'm a full family member.
The Father is a kind man, caring & nurturing, I know he's tried to form a relationship with me, but I resist. If I'm honest, it's because I still hold a grudge against him for not formally adopting me, not completing the process. He never gave me his name, I still carry the last name of my first parents. At first, I thought it was a trial period, to see if I worked out and if not, he could let me go to someone else or maybe the orphanage, afterall...or the State. I've dreaded that for as long as I can renember, had dreams about it, nightmares, really. It feels so real, being told that I just don't fit in with 'the Family' and I'd be happier somewhere else. Then they drop me off at some rundown, institution for unwanted children. It's tiring to live in a constant state of fear. Fear of being abandoned, put away, shipped off. It never happened, though. To be honest with myself, I know the fear is of my own making. The Father has never said I was being tested, never told me I was in danger of being let go. No one has. Everyone has always treated me with care and concern and told me they loved me, even the Father. I just cannot get past the fact that he never gave me his name, never, not in the 30 years I've been his daughter. Yes, 30 years! I'm 39 years old and I still feel like that 9-year old waif; unwanted, abandoned, a burden. I'll be turning 40 in two weeks and I'm dreading it. The Father is giving a celebration in honor of my birthday and my joining his family. Just like every year, just like he does for all his children. But all his other children bear his name, and I don't.