Congratulations, it’s a girl! ( 47 years later)

It’s Wednesday afternoon, and time for another post from me. Today’s topic for discussion?

My “other” families. 

I’m still getting used to having a second/third  family. For most of my life, I knew they were out there, but they were nebulous, sort of like ghosts. I hadn’t given much thought to finding them, but assumed that if and when I ever did, it would go well. I find the pieces of myself that always felt like they were missing, and I’d be whole.

That didn;t happen.

My other family, for the most part, probably doesn’t know I exist. If they do, they may wish I never existed. To the ones who know about me, I was a disruption ad something to hide. I was like a dandelion seed launched into the wind, hopefully to take root somewhere else. I know it may sound odd, but I could have lived with that. I grew up in a household that may not ave been perfect, but there was lots of love to help salve any wounds,


For all those years ( 46.9999999999 of them,…I found out the truth on my birthday…happy birthday to me!) I had a vision in my mind of meeting my biological father. Since the information my mom and dad were given implied he had no idea I existed, I thought I’d have to do a lot of looking, but I’d find him one day. He’d be gentle and kind, maybe married with kids, and be surprised and happy to discover he had a daughter he never knew about.

That didn’t happen.


The truth has come out, and I don’t know if he even knows I know. One of my fears is that  one day I’ll get a call or email from one of my half siblings/ nieces/nephews on his side, wondering who I am and why they have a half sister they never knew, and who is also their aunt. How can i tell them the truth? Is it even me job to do that?

This is where I’m hoping that somebody can lend me a helping hand. Is there anyone out there in the cyber universe who have found this out about your father? If so, and you don’t mind sharing, what happened? How do you feel about the situation? Is there any advice you could share? If so, I’d really appreciate it. 

As a side note, I’d like to put a call out to those who follow my blog to make a donation to the efforts to help those affected by hurricane Dorian. There are lots of reputable agencies out there, and they can make sure the money goes where it’s most needed. Every bit helps. I’ve made a donation already to the Red Cross, which has relief efforts underway.

Is the really how society sees us?

Well, just when I thought I couldn’t see a more hurtful attitude, it was in an article that I learned about today. It had been shared by an individual who didn’t seem to agree with it and who was trying to encourage conversation about adoption and donor insemination.

I’m all for that. Openly discussing a topic is a wonderful thing.

What I didn’t agree with was the piece’s attitude towards those who are adopted or conceived through donor insemination. The author implied that the adoptees or those who came about due to an anonymous donor should be grateful that they merely exist and have no real right to want to know about their biological origins. How dare they want to invade the life of their biological mother or father?

Even worse, is the idea that if men or women think their future progeny may try and find them at some later date, they may not want to get involved in the process. While I can see that would be a very unsettling prospect, especially for the company that may stand to lose financially,

It’s as if they should just sit there and shut up. I take great offense to that attitude.

Why are we seen as different?

Many people have a desire to know their biological origins, whether they are adopted or not. Just look at the popularity of DNA testing and genealogical sites. I do believe this is part of human nature. A desire to understand ourselves and our place in the universe.

Lots of people brag about a famous relative or a relation who has done something special. That’s really normal and gives people a sense of who they are. As an adoptee, I don’t really get the chance. While I am very proud of my adoptive fmaily, I’d still like to know and understand my roots.

That’s so normal, but why, as an adoptee, do some feel I should be made to feel ashamed for wanting to know what most others take as a given? Is it really that bad? Is it wrong to wonder why I’m autistic, why I like to write more than speak or even why my hair is so damned curly that I look like Art Garfunkel every time the humidity gets high? Is it wrong to wonder where one of my kids who had her first book published at 12 got her talent for writing fiction? Why shouldn’t I know why I have a disease that is slowly taking away parts of me and may well lead to the end of my life?

Why shoudl I feel ashamed for asking what is seen as almost a basic human right for everyone else? Why am I made to feel like a beggar, hoping to be tossed a few scraps of information?

The right for privacy

All of this being said, I can also understand a person’s right to privacy. For some biological mothers and fathers, that is paramount for a variety of reasons. For some, giving up their child was such a difficult time that they don’t wish to be reminded of it. They were told they would soon forget their child and go on to live the rest of their life. They took that to heart and pushed it down so they wouldn’t have to deal with it.

One woman I spoke with told me that she had given up her son and gone on to finish school, get married and start a family. Her husband didn’t know about her first son, and she was able to bury his memory really deeply, but it did come out. She told me how, after her first child was born she couldn’t stop crying. Her husband wrote it off as “happy tears”, but the reality? She was mourning for the baby she never even got to see, let alone hold, tell him she loved him and say “good bye”.

For her, the only was she could cope was to pretend it had all either never happened or at least that it was so long ago it didn’t matter. She also said she would like to know how he’s doing, but a relationship with him would be too painful.

For others, the conception of their child was really traumatic, and seeing them may well bring it all back. I think that’s the boat my biological mother is in. If she sees my face, she’ll also see her abuser. I’ve seen a photo of her on a site for her local newspaper, and I look just like her. I don’t know what my biological father looked like, but I do look a lot like her brothers ( as would be expected if one of them is my father).

In the case where a spouse gets pregnant from an affair, there could also be a desire to keep the child under wraps as they are walking, talking proof that they slept with someone else.

Underneath all of this, there is an undercurrent of shame, at least for people my age and older. Many people forget how there was so much stigma about being an unmarried pregnant teen or woman. You were a “fallen woman”, and many ended up go to a maternity home to have their baby, give them up and then go home as if nothing had happened. They would tell friends they were going to visit a relative or make some other excuse, and then return a few months later.

It’s not like that so much today. Bering single mother isn’t seen as being terrible. It’s not ideal, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of either. Up until not that long ago, it wasn’t like that.


Some NPE who were conceived using donor sperm or eggs feel they are in the same boat as an adoptee. They may know a few facts, but they still want to know more. I can understand that, and to be frank, shouldn’t they have the same right to know where they came from as anyone else?

Looking ahead…

One of my kids is in law school, and in one of her classes, they briefly touched on the future of DNA testing, privacy issues and the laws as they currently stand today in my country. The laws that exist to directly address this are scant to non-existent ( although it may fall under general privacy and adoption laws in some ways). This is an area that may very well see some signification changes as the laws catch up to the technology.

As an adoptee, biological parent, adoptive family, NPE or a member of the public, you have been tasked with a great responsibility. You have the power to help drive laws and public policies and positive create change. I issue you the follow challenge:

Inform yourself. Do lots of research and look at the issue of adoption and privacy from all sides. Put yourself in the shoes of each of the stakeholders and try and look at the situation from their point of view. Share and discuss your opinions and if you feel really passionate, contact you politicians and lawmakers. This time, maybe society can get ahead of technology.

Many times, laws are drafted to be black and white, free of emotions. In this case, the emotions of all parties should actually be the driving force.

Adoptees, NPE and other in a similar situation didn’t ask for the hand they were dealt. We just want answers to one of the most basic of human questions… where did I come from?“. Surely, there is a way ahead that benefits all parties involved.



An angry day

Last night, I was working on a guest blog post I had been asked to write about my NPE experience and how I was dealing with it. I wrote a piece, tried to be as informative as I could, had one of my adult kids edit it for me and sent it off. It was chock full of positive language, and when I wrote it, I really did mean every word of it.

Today, I feel like a hypocrite. I am not okay.

I’m sorry if this post is somewhat scattered and angry. It’s just been a bad day.

Are you my mother?

I am 95 percent sure I found my biological mother on Facebook, along with some of what are my aunts/sisters and uncles/brothers/father(?). I bit the bullet and sent messages to each of the profiles that are my biological mother’s ( she has about five of them along with profiles under a different first name. Oddly enough, it’s the same first name as my adoptive mom) along with friend requests, and I also did the same with two of her sisters. I never said why, just that I was looking for this particular person.

The end result? I got the rejection that is the deep down fear of many adoptees. The friend requests sent to her sisters were rejected, the messages never read. I don’t know if the requests have been seen by my biological mother or not.

This leads me to the two feelings that I have found to be the most difficult to deal with. The sadness and the anger. Neither is rational, and I am disappointed in myself that they are there.

Sometimes, I feel just like this little bird…

What’s wrong with me?

I know there is no logic to it, but it’s hard to deal with this feeling of rejection. Heck, the one person in the world we are supposed to know loves us is our mother. Before I received the NPE result, I assumed mine loved me. She loved me enough to allow me to be born and then to give me up. I know the paradox of giving a child up equating to love, but in this example, it really does.

I don’t think my mother loved me, and that is incredibly sad to me and hard to write. The logical side of my brain tells me this is to be expected. Her whole pregnancy and me being born, let alone having to see me was just a big reminder of her abuse. She may well have been told to hide what really happened, and it could be that’s the origin of the fairy tale I was told. I wonder if she even started to believe it herself?

My friend who was also adopted, had a similar experience to mine. The difference is, her birth mother was attacked by a group of men and has no idea which one is the father. Right now, my friend is coping with her own difficulty, as she’s had a DNA test done and some biological brothers and sisters have popped up. She’s struggling right now with what to say to them to explain why they have a newly discovered sister in her 50’s.

I know it’s not fair to compare the two women, but it’s hard not to. Why is her mother able to have a relationship with her, but mine can’t with me? Does she imagine I’m really that horrible?

I know, in the rational part of my mind, that this may simply all be too much for my biological mother to cope with. I also know it’s not “me” she’s rejecting, it’s the situation. Even so, it’s still a blow.

I hate to admit this

If I look deep down and am honest about it, there is also a lot of anger about my situation. I hate that it’s there. I don’t want it to be, but again, it is what it is.

Why am I angry? There are several reasons.

First, I’m angry that I have been lied to by so many and for so long. I’m not even sure where and when it started, or even why. If I’m in a charitable mood, I think it’s to protect me from an unsavory truth. If I’m feeling low, then it becomes a whole lot darker. Was the lie of my origin crafted to protect my mother’s abuser? I expect knowing that I was to be bundled off to a foster home once I was well enough to go home from the hospital was actually a huge relief to my biological father, not to mention the rest of the family.

Secondly, I’m angry that I’ve been made to feel like I’m a beggar, pleading for information, both medical and genealogical. Again, in a charitable mood, I paint this as being due to a desire to protect me from a painful ( and let’s be honest, for my biological fmaily, embarrassing) situation. I understand that, but who asked anyone to do this? For goodness sake, I’m in my late 40’s and am able to weight the positives and negatives of a situation and determine what is best for me. I don’t need a stranger, or group of them, to decide this for me.

If asked what one of the most unsettling aspects of all of this is, while it’s hard to pick just one, it’s this odd feeling like I am walking evidence of a crime. I wonder if my mother’s abuser ever had to face justice for what he did to her?

A few final thoughts

I apologize if this post was sort of all over the place and rather whiny. That’s not my intention. One of the reasons I started this blog was to write about my feelings and experiences, as it helps me to work through them and maybe, it will help someone else too. As usual, please feel free to comment and share your own story.

It really does help.


So What’s Your Story Anyway?

I’d prefer to remain a anonymous, and when you find out why, I think you’ll understand.

In the beginning…

A little less than 47 years ago, I was adopted as an infant by my mom and dad who already had an adopted son. They were really wonderful parents, and I had a normal enough childhood.

They had always told me that I was adopted, and the way my parents framed it was they had wanted a little girl to love, and when they saw me, they knew I was the right little girl for their family. I knew right from the start I was adopted, and my mom and dad told me my biological parents were young and couldn’t care for a child. They felt that giving me up would give me a better life, so that’s the decision they made.

The early years…

When I turned 12, my mom and dad gave me all the records and other information they had regarding my adoption and we went through it together. They told me if I ever wanted to start trying to find my biological family, they would help me in any way they could.

I didn’t feel the need to. I felt secure in my family, and didn’t feel any real sense of curiosity. In my mind, I built up a picture of what my biological family was like, what they were doing and where they lived. It was nothing special, just ordinary, but it was comforting to know they were out there somewhere if I ever wanted to look.


What changed?

I lived my life. I finished high school graduated from university, got married and started a family. Due to being a military family, we moved around a lot, and eventually moved to the city with the base that would be my husband’s last posting. We started to put down roots, bought a home but then my mom got sick.

My mom passed away from cancer, and then, one by one, my kids started getting sick. Then I became ill, and it was all autoimmune related. We weren’t getting many answers about why this was happening, so I decided to try and find some.

I sent away for my original birth certificate and signed up with a site to have my DNA tested to try and find some relatives. I had to wait a few weeks, but the results eventually arrived.

I admit I was getting really excited, and even my husband, kids, dad, and aunt were also on pins and needles. I got my birth certificate and a few days later, my DNA results were in. I thought I might get some answers.

The elation

I logged into Ancestry and was greeted with lots of matches. All of a sudden, I had a whole slew of biological cousins! Without understanding that a fourth, fifth or sixth cousin is actually quite distantly related, I started contacting as many as I could. They were all friendly and kind, but couldn’t help.

That’s when I started to notice that, compared to a lot of people, I had relatively few cousins, but I didn’t know why. I brushed it off and decided to take a closer look at my birth certificate.

That was the first sign something was wrong.

The deflation

When I compared my original birth certificate with the one my parents had been given, I learned several things. First, I learned I had been born two months premature. My second birth certificate lied about that. I also had my mother’s last name and some other information, but it wasn’t adding up at all with what my family had been given.

I looked for women with her name from the community listed as being her home town, and found nothing useful. I tried reaching out to people with her last name, but all I ended up doing was consoling a man who was my age and who had just found out he was adopted. I was able to help him a bit, so I guess that’s one good thing from this whole mess.

I sort of had this image in my mind that I would find my biological mother and we’d connect. I could ask questions of her, she could ask them of me and we could go from there. I thought the same things about my biological father. I wasn’t expecting sunshine and roses, but it would have been a positive experience.

I had no idea it could get so complicated