The Missing Piece in My Life’s Jigsaw Puzzle
'N' Level student-inmate from Tanah Merah Prison
My name is S. I am 40 years old. So, why did I choose the title; ‘The Missing Piece In My Life Jigsaw Puzzle’ is because I would like to share the most important issue, which I came to know, about myself when I was about 13 years old. My father’s name is S and my mum’s name is K, but eventually I did not grow up with them. I grew up with my grandparents, granddad S and grandma M. By the names I have given here, I believe that readers should know that I am from an Indian family. Well, before I come to the missing piece let me share with you a little bit more about my grandparents. My grandparents have six children and my father is the eldest, followed by five sisters. My grandfather was the sole breadwinner, till my father and my five aunties started to work, whereby my grandma was a humble and loving housewife.
So now, let me come to my part of story. I was born in February 1975. Ever since I was a baby, I started to live with my grandparents. As I grew up and started to go to kindergarten and then to primary school; I will only go to my parent’s house during school holidays. As I started to go to Secondary School; and somewhere near my mid-year-exams during my Secondary One, I was very curious to know why was I not living with my parents. What triggered my curiosity?
Well, there was an orphanage near my Secondary School and some of my friends in school were from that orphanage. So when I get to know them and some parts of their family background, the question of why I am not living with my parents raised in me. As days pass by, this question was always nagging inside me; I lost interest in many things, such as soccer, which was my favourite sport, movies, studying etc. However, I did not have the courage to ask my family members. In the end, one of my Aunties who was close to me saw the difference in my attitude and comforted me. At first, she took the soft approach but I just told her that I was stressed due to my exams.
She came on me harder with some anger, because my attitude after my exams did not change. Then, I felt that she was the right person for me to share this burden, so I asked her; why am I not living with my parents and why am I living with my grandparents? I also asked her, why is it only during the school holidays that I am allowed to go to my parents’ house? She was shocked and I saw tears in her eyes. I asked her why is she crying? She brought me to my grandmother and told my grandmother, what I asked her and she even told my grandmother that it was the right time to tell me the truth. What truth? What have I, not known for the past 13 years? My grandma then asked me to sit down on the dining chair and started to tell me, who I actually am…
I was born in February 1975 at Thomson Road Singapore General Hospital (Wow so long ago and I do not know about such a hospital but my birth certificate is stated as such). As a baby, I was given to the Welfare Department, which is the current Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to be given up for foster care. During those days, my grandmother used to look after the children from the Welfare Department, so that is how I came into her loving hands. Eventually and by God’s grace she got so attached to me that she wanted to adopt me but the Welfare Department did not approve her application because she had six children and her own (one boy and five girls). She was so attached to me that she told her son, S, to adopt me and give me to her and that she will take good care of me. So, S and his wife, K adopted me. When the adoption was approved, my adopted father and mother let me live with my grandma. My granddad and her are the ones who took care of me and provide me with my needs.
Ever since then, I was living with my grandparents. As my grandma was telling me all this, I listened to her patiently with full of astonishment. Every time she said about my adoption, she will assure me that the whole family loves me a lot. Then finally, I asked my grandma, who are my biological parents and the answer she gave me was, that she herself do not know.
Well, there goes the most important piece in my life’s jigsaw puzzle. No actual, biological parents…Wow... what a life to live without parents. After knowing the truth from my grandma, I still call her as my grandma because I was blessed to have such a loving woman as my grandma. After her children, she lived a life just for me. Whenever I see or walk pass kids holding hands with their parents, my heart will have a pinch saying that, I am not gifted to hold my parents (biological) hands. I tried to trace back to fill in the missing piece but my efforts had gone in vain. Now at the age of 40, I feel relieved that I have got the chance to spill this burden in writing. However, I know for sure that the missing piece of my life’s jigsaw puzzle about my biological parents will never be found and fitted in…