Saturday, November 8, 2008

My "Kuwaiti" Heritage

So many people have asked me about my Arab heritage that I decided to post “my story” here in my blog.

I was born and raised here in the United States. My mother was American and married to my father who was Kuwaiti. Towards the end of my mother's pregnancy my father’s mother become very ill in Kuwait. He returned back to Kuwait. For whatever reason my mother decided that he was not going to return to the states. At the time she worked for an older couple who were unable to have children of their own. Knowing this she approached them about adopting her unborn child (me) and they quickly agreed. The adoption (however illegal) was put in motion. When I was two days old my adopted parents took possession of me. Soon after my birth my biological mother left **** and moved to another state. When I was less than a month old my father returned to the United States from Kuwait. He went to where she had been employed and questioned my adopted parents about his wife and child (me). They emphatically denied having any knowledge of their whereabouts. He returned many times begging them for any information they might have about us and was repeatedly told they knew nothing. The last time he come to ask them about us my mother had me in her office. My father seen me and ask her point blank if that were his child. He was told absolutely not. (This part was relayed to me by my Aunt who was in the office at the time) My adopted parents become so scared that my father would somehow find out the truth that they decided to move from ***** back to their home state where most of their family was. My Aunt and Uncle (who had been in the office the day my father had ask if I were his child) stayed behind to take care of the selling of my parents business before joining them. Before my Aunt and Uncle left, my father returned one last time but of course he was lied to again. He gave them an envelope and ask them if they ever saw me to please give it to me. ( I would know nothing of this envelope until almost 30 years later)

My adopted parents were wonderful people even though they had told lies. People who are desperate will do and say things that under normal circumstance they would not. This was their case. I had a wonderful childhood. I was raised very strict, my adopted father was a Southern Baptist minister. I was brought up on a large ranch with all that implies. The community I grew up in was VERY backwards and uneducated. I was told at a very young age that I had been adopted and at that time I could have cared less. I was loved more than imaginable, well cared for and absolutely lacked for nothing. Being the only child I was spoiled rotten.

When I was 16 a young man with whom I had grown up with but was several years older than I was, from a very well known family in our community ask for my hands in marriage. (Yes, believe it or not this was a common practice in some parts of the US) Having been raised the way I had been and with the mentality that this was what young ladies were suppose to do, I agreed. A little over a year later my son was born and then two daughters followed. Since my husbands family was quite wealthy I was afforded private teachers and was able to finish my education and even go onto college. As the saying goes, “crap happens” and after 7 years of marriage we divorced. I was in my first year of Law School and somehow even though I was now a single mother with three small children I was able to finish Law School and pass my bar’s. Life was good. I had a successful law practice and I was able to purchase a large ranch of my own and began raising registered Quarter Horses. (From my earliest recollections we owned horses and even after I married, my husband and I rodeo’ed as much as possible and my children grew up on the backs of horses, so they have always been my passion)

In 1995 I met an incredible Arab man from one of the Gulf Coast Countries and we married. I have to say that my family was in total shock, well most of them anyway. Keep in mind the community I come from and their mentality. However they soon learned that he truly loved me as well as my children and prejudices were put aside. I wish I could say the same for his family but that was NOT the case. That’s “another story” though. My husband, “S”, knew I had been adopted and he was the one who actually got my curiosity peaked about my “real” parents. When the subject was brought up in front of my adopted mother I could see the pain in her eyes and since I had lost my father some years back and being her only child I did not want her to feel as though she was loosing me too so “S” and I decided to try other ways of locating my biological parents. Because of the nature of my adoption (illegal) we ran into dead ends everywhere we turned. Well, almost. One day while I was in my office my Aunt called me and ask to speak to “S” and I. My Aunt and I had always been very, very close and she had grown to love “S” very much. After work “S” and I drove to her home. I honestly thought she was going to make known to me what she wanted me to have after she had passed but that was not the case. Nothing or no one could have prepared me for what I was about to learn. She told us that she had something very important to give to me but she made “S” and I promise we would not say anything to my Mom until after she (my Aunt) had passed. (My Aunt had been diagnosed with cancer and told she would not live long) Not having any idea what she was about to give me, we agreed. She handed me a worn and faded envelope that had never been opened. On the outside of the envelope a word was written in Arabic. “S” took the envelope from me and began to translate for me and my aunt. The word on the outside spelled “Amirah”. Inside the envelope was the letter (written in Arabic) from my real father along with his picture and a picture of him and my real mother together. My Aunt had kept it for me all these years. I can’t begin to tell you the emotions that I felt and I can’t tell you all the letter said because I wouldn’t be able to finish this post for the tears.

The letter held almost every answer I had ever had and in the end it led us to find my real father's family. A new chapter in my life was about to begin !!

**Since this post is long enough already, I will post about the first time I spoke to my father's family next week sometime. ** Thank you for taking the time to read this. ~ Amirah ~


Akabaneq8 said...

that's .. an unbelievable story ... i felt like watching a movie somehow .... wow .. you really had major events in your life .. made your life hard .. but you are a strong woman ...just raising a family when studying is hard .. how about having children with no father ..
donno what to say ....

eager to see your next post.

Q8 Amirah said...

Akabaneq8 ~ Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I know it sounds unbelievable and somewhat like a movie, for me it was more like a bad nightmare :)

I'm glad you feel as though I am a strong woman, however, you have never seen me in a blubbering heap on the floor. LOL

I'll try and make another post later this evening. Take care.
~ Amirah ~