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.

Baby Bird Found?

Hello all!

I’m back, after a hiatus. The summer days are almost over, my autoimmune disease is relatively under control and I have some amazing news! Can you guess from the photo and title of this post what it might be?

A while back, I decided I’d had enough of the dithering. Name of my biological mother in hand and an idea of the community where she might live, I found two possible addresses that could be her. My daughter and I bought two blank note cards and in each, I put a short note saying I was adopted and looking for genealogical information about my biological family. I put in an email address where I could be reached and thanked both recipients for their help in advance.

When they were ready, my daughter and I walked down to the post office to mail them. Once we got there, we turned around to go home, as I realized I was no nervous I’d forgotten them on the table. Another walk to the post office, and they were in the mail.

A few weeks went by, no response.  I was feeling a mixture of anxiety mixed with rejection. I took it as an indication that I had been right all along. No mother could love or want a child conceived in the circumstances I was. I was sad, but it was about what I’d expected.

Then it happened. I was having coffee and getting ready to start work for the day when I got an email form an address I didn’t recognize. I opened it and started to read.

By the time I finished the first line, I knew I had a half sister. She sent me a long letter and told me that our biological mother had gotten my note and I would hear from her soon. I can’t say how I felt at that moment, as I really can’t explain it.

A few days later, I got another email. It was from my biological mother! She wrote me a long letter and told me about herself, a bit bout her family,  details about her pregnancy and why she chose to give me up. She didn’t know I already knew about my genetic background, and not wanting to overwhelm her, I didn’t tell her I what the DNA testing I’d had done had revealed.

Over the summer, I have learned more about her through her emails. I also have a half brother, and it’s been interesting to see the similarities between my biological family and I. She told me how she hadn’t really realized she was pregnant, but her school nurse did. Once her family found out, she was promptly sent to a maternity home. After I was born, she was allowed to care for me for a couple of days in the hospital before she had to go home, and the last she ever heard about me was when I was four months old and she had to go to court for the final adoption hearing.

She said she had never stopped thinking about me, and had spent many hours wondering where I was, how I was doing, what I look like and if I was happy. She’d even tried to find me, but had no luck. 

I didn’t want to ask about my biological father, but I figured she had to know the question was coming, so I asked as gently as I could.

I know now. She was abused by a brother. My father is also my uncle. There is no doubt about where I came from. I also know my biological mother loved me, and that is huge.

More about this is my next post.

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