I don’t know how to write this post and to make it cohesive at the same time. My thoughts are jumbled and confused, still left unprocessed, but they sit on the tip of my tongue waiting to be told.

I’ve searched for many years hoping to find home—to understand home. I thought that home is where you grew up, where your first memories were made and with those who surrounded you in those moments. For some it is, unfortunately for others, it is not. A part of my heart resides in a little town far from where I am now, searching for something, someone, there. It wanders around determined to find the people who created my very existence, my first memories, the ones who were meant to love and cherish me but did not. As I returned to that place surrounded by people who once tried filling that void and replacing it with home, my heart sunk. It didn’t break or shatter, it sunk into a depth it had only sunken to once before and I was sure it’d never be again. As I went through the day the amount of disconnect required for me to be able to function within this family without a breakdown was uncomfortable but comfortable in the most familiar ways. It was forced. It was required. In a moment’s time, I was trapped in a place I had not returned to in the years I’ve been here. I’m not a crier, but as I lay in bed that night knowing that I wouldn’t return again, I sobbed at the loss of what I believed to be home. I sobbed at the loss of a precious soul that connected me to that home and the reality that unless she comes to me, I will not see her in living form again. The next morning I got up and I left behind what I thought I always understood, for a second time. I travelled to an aunt’s house who, for lack of better words, was my last stop, my reassurance that this was right. As we conversed for a few hours about not only my visit but the issues it’d bring up, my school, my cousin (who too was adopted), and life in general she asked: do you feel calm enough that you will be able to return again? Do you want to come back? And I didn’t. I don’t. I can’t. She led a false hope that what I’d left only hours before, even three years ago, was still home. I sat in the airport searching, again, hoping to find and understand what home is. As I watched airplanes take off and land I wondered how many passengers were seeking just as I, a place to belong, a place to feel loved, a place to settle their hearts. As I landed back in my state and walked off the plane and into the arms of Becca (who’d accompanied me on the trip) there was an instantaneous feeling of relief, an understanding that it was okay to let my original home go. Today, as I sat on Bailey’s porch recalling her concern for me last night, asking me to wake her so she could make sure I was okay, I felt a brief sense of surety. I remembered a time, three years ago, when I sat on this very same porch terrified of the woman inside of the house behind me. I recalled a time that I yearned to go back to where I came from, where things felt comfortable and safe…and how in the very moment the universe flipped and this place became comfortable and safe while the place I come from was unnerving and daunting. As Grace sighed in relief when I told her I was back and the eagerness she had to schedule a meeting as soon as possible confirmed that here, I have a slew of people who do love me, who I can be me around. I have a place where I can turn to when I struggle and the people around me understand. In that moment I realized that over the past three years, the women and their families here have cracked my deep, thick walls just enough to free me from my self enough to know that it doesn’t feel good to not have anyone. They’ve helped me heal enough to understand that I don’t have to lock every decibel of my heart from the world, that some people can handle me. Like many, I’ve searched my whole life to no avail…and still it is uncertain where my home is. I still don’t feel I can or do belong somewhere with someone. But slowly, my heart is creating a home here… with these people who refuse to give up on me and continue to put their hearts into helping mine be free. I may not know exactly where my home is, or if I have one at all, but I’ve found a home here, in small increments. A home that may not always be mine but for now can be mine.

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