Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dear Diary (1968-69) .....

My grandmother kept a diary for years and faithfully wrote entries every single day.  I received a diary when I was 11 (birthday present, I'm guessing) and made a rather half-hearted attempt to keep a record of my life.  Unfortunately, I wasn't very good at it, and I had a younger brother who kept stealing it to read it (even though there was very little written inside -- go figure).

I did make some notes about life with my new adoptive "family" during my first couple years there.  I'm transcribing them now just as I wrote them then.

Friday, December 27, 2013

One of two .....

As I posted earlier, upon my arrival I was informed that I was now "one of four" kids and, therefore, not entitled to anything other than what everyone else had.  However, the reality was that there weren't four kids living at home at that point.  My uncle's daughter had left for college that Fall, and once she was no longer a permanent resident, my uncle and his wife opted to send their Down Syndrome son to an institution in a city two hours away.  Their daughter had been his primary care-giver, much more so than his parents, and he was too much trouble(?), too difficult(?), too time-consuming(?) for them to handle without her.  They never told me the real reason, and I never asked.  He lived at the institution full-time, coming home only every other weekend, until he moved to an adult group home several years later.
Therefore, the only other child living at home was my younger brother.  Recall that he was both my biological brother (adopted at the age of three months) and, soon, my adoptive brother as well.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fish out of water .....

I'd lived my entire life in cities; first San Francisco, then a small city in the Midwest.  My uncle, however, lived in a New England suburb.  Despite its size (pop. ~15,000), it was far more cosmopolitan than the city where I'd been living (pop. ~600,000).  Its location, approximately one hour outside New York City, meant that many of its residents worked in "the city" and, in fact, many were (and still are) at least semi-famous:  novelists, actors, politicians.  One of my classmates-to-be was a child model and had, by 6th grade, already appeared in several magazines.

It was vastly different from what I was used to.