Baby Blanket

Relationship: Im/migrant
Hand stitches baby blanket made for me.
Hand stitches baby blanket made for me.

Knowing the history of my family is difficult. A closed adoption makes things like that hard to figure out 22 years later. From the very little I've learned of my birth family, I know that I am a quarter Colombian and that I am significantly Irish. My freckles and green eyes always gave that away, though. Growing up, what always shocked me was my Colombian ancestry. Being a quarter of anything is a pretty significant amount of something to be. However, I never felt Colombian. I never looked Colombian. I never knew anything about Colombia. As an adult, it feels wrong to even claim that part of me after years of ignorance. My adoptive family, rather, is pretty much completely European. Mostly Danish and English and a little bit Native American. This is, oddly, what I grew up telling people I was too. As a child, I would go on and on about how my great grandfather moved to Bakersfield from Denmark. Was this really my history though? As an adult, I would say yes and no. My story of migration is both external and internal. I have migrated from one background to another and I have migrated from one family to another. I moved from the arms of my birth mother into the arms of my adoptive mother. The mother I will always call mom. My extended adoptive family welcomed me with open arms. A symbol of this welcoming was the creation of my baby blanket by my great grandmother. She stitched every stitch by hand and gifted it to me as a way to say, "You're home now." My mom would sing me "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as I fell asleep holding my treasured blanket. 

Place(s): San Luis Obispo
Year: 1997

– Jenelle

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant