Updated: Aug 8
The first name on my birth certificate is “Baby”. The middle name is “Girl”. As the story goes, I was born to a 17-year-old, Czechoslovakian Junior in high school. She birthed me and then she gave me up. Within minutes, I was in the hands of strangers. I don’t know if she held me, I don’t know if she looked at me. I don’t know if she questioned her decision, or if it was exactly what she wanted to do. Abortion was legal, yet she chose to go through the pregnancy in its entirety. Inevitably knowing my beginning was our end.
Her decision showed me she had balls. She was a strong woman, who could go through anything if she believed passionately about it. I knew I came from that much. From a blood line that could believe in something deeply, make a decision, and see it to fruition. I held onto that truth as the only thing I knew about my heritage, my roots, about myself. I claimed it as the only known of who I was. I came from a woman with balls. What that gave me was an innate will, a capability, to fight for my convictions. In my eyes, it was the only way I knew how to stay true to who I was.
However, I would be lying if I didn’t admit, there is a void. An incredible one. A constant lack of belonging.
Some believe babies don’t remember. That may be true for some, but I was definitely effected.
From there, I was placed in a foster home where I was named “Amy”. Then, I was handed off once again, into the hands of the woman who adopted me, my mother, where I was given the name JoAnna. Which was shortened to Jo. Then lengthened to Josie. This woman, my mother, devoted her life to loving me. She was the most amazing woman I have ever met. Including to date.
She taught me what love was, how to be independent and how to believe in myself when things went dark. She knew the darkness was coming. So, she kept me in the light as long as possible to instill lessons she knew I needed. Lessons that would later save me. She loved me until her untimely death, when I was 14 years old. When I found myself, once again, in the homes of unknowns for 2 years. Back in the “System”.
No one ever called me Josie again.
It was the only name I ever identified with. The only name that represented love. I have been in the darkness. She was the light that led me out. I have now realized the love she gave me, I still carry. It still exists. I give it to myself daily. I am on the journey of rediscovering Josie. Allowing my most authentic self to emerge. In that process, I am also unbecoming all the other names that I have collected along the way. So, this is my blog, my journey, of remembering, of becoming, of rediscovering her teaching she instilled at the same time, not only resurrecting, but revealing my authentic truth. I not only want to become it, I want to record it, I want to share it. I want it written for my son to hopefully have a deeper insight into who I am or why I make the choices I do. I want to record it to allow myself to surface from the cracks.
It’s scary, but necessary. I am comforted by both facts, I have been loved and I have always been ok. I can do this. I have to. For myself. To heal. To recover. To exist. After all, I need to live up to my legacy of coming from a strong woman and remembering I too have balls.