Friday, November 30, 2007

Settle In, Get A Snack

I was born in Alabama in 1968. I was given up for adoption at birth. Back then, girls who weren’t married didn’t keep the babies unless they wanted to bring shame on their family. I was placed in a foster home until the paperwork for the adoption could be completed. I was two months old when the adoption took place.
I often say that if God had let me hand pick my parents, I couldn’t have done a better job. I was adopted by a wonderful, loving couple who were unable to have children of their own. After they had turned in their paperwork to be on the list for adoption, they waited only 6 months before they got the word that I would be theirs.

I knew I was adopted for as long as I can remember. My parents never withheld that information from me. When I was younger, people would often ask me if I wanted to find my birth mother. I never really gave it much thought until after I became a mother myself right before my 30th birthday. I figured it would be good to find out more about my medical background and - as a mother - I realized that if I were in my birth mother’s shoes, I’d want to know the baby I had to give up was happy and healthy and had a good life.

I still didn’t really act on finding her at that time, though. I did visit some adoption websites and check if anyone was looking for someone with my same birth date and details. I never found anything.

The summer before my dad passed away, Buddy and I were visiting and I was working on Dad’s computer (I was his IT person, LOL). When I was finished, he said, “There’s a box in my closet you might be interested in looking at.” I had a feeling it had something to do with my adoption and I really did not want to get into that that day. I said, “Dad, I don’t have time now, but I will look at it soon.”
Several months later, Dad passed away and I spent the next 14 months taking care of my mom - she was in bad health even before Dad died, and she needed me. One night, she fell and broke her pelvis. I had to coerce her into going to the hospital. I spent a lot of time going back and forth from their house to the hospital and one day, I decided to look in that box.

I had a name. A different name than my current name. I thought, “She named me. She cared.” Somehow it just seemed like proof to me that perhaps she really didn’t want to let me go, but circumstances prevented her from keeping me. There was another document in the file regarding the laws in Alabama in regards to a closed adoption. The legislation had changed in the year 2000 to allow adoptees to petition the court and receive copies of any documents in their sealed file. I sent $20 and my info - I received my original birth certificate with my birth mother’s name and address on it.

In doing some research online, I located a woman in the area listed on my birth certificate who operated as a “Search Angel”. She helped adopted people looking for information in her city and gave them what she could find. She was an angel, alright. She emailed me back within a few hours with details about my birth mother’s parents and their last known address - in North Carolina - and their death dates. So, I had quite a bit MORE information.

I kept searching online and finally found my birth mother, but couldn’t find a phone number and didn’t want to send a letter. So, I entered my information that I had into a few adoption websites and hoped that someone would be looking for me and find the trail I had left.

A year after I had entered that information, I got a phone call from a younger female. She is my biological sister and is 6 years younger than me. My biological mother had gotten pregnant when she was 17 and had me 3 days after her 18th birthday (I knew that already), but several years later she and my biological father got married and had two more children. A third child was stillborn. They had gotten divorced in the early 80s. My biological sister and I traded pictures online and she could be my twin.

Anyway, after I spoke to my sister, several hours later, my biological mom called and we talked for hours. I still talk to both of them and we email frequently. We plan a get together soon, but my sister is in school, studying for her LPN and really can’t get away until after mid December.

Oh, and this is probably the funniest thing: when my bio parents got married - he was Catholic, she was Presbyterian and they really (in the hippy dippy 70s in San Francisco) wanted to find a religion they could both practice and feel comfortable. They settled on Judaism. So, my sister and brother were raised (and still are) Jewish and I am Catholic.

I have not spoken with my brother and my bio father is still unsure that he wants to get involved. I'm not sure he's convinced I am his, even though the pictures don't lie. That's okay. I'm not looking for replacement parents. I was looking for some insight into my ethnic and medical background - I'm Irish, baby! Whooot!

Also, my bio mom is only 4 feet 11 inches. I am nearly 5 foot 9! LOL. I think that is hilarious. I think I'm the tallest in the immediate family.

I'm enjoying getting to know this new side of my life. I've learned so much and I think I've made my bio mom happy and helped her realize she made the right choice. For both of us.


  1. What a wonderful story. Good luck with all of this

  2. What a wonderful story. Good luck with all of this

  3. I simply think it's so wonderful that you're bio family found you.

    My immediate family is tiny, but my extended family is huge (one of the great-grandma's had 24 children). I claim all of them even if they don't always claim me ;)

    And you find that no matter how much family and friends you have, your heart expands for each new one and never decreases the amount of room the ones who came before fill.

  4. Oh, what a beautiful story. I'm glad you spoke with her. The rest will come in time. Isn't it wonderful to find more family?

  5. Agreed, a beautiful story and, in the realm of adoption stories, wildly successful.

    My husband's isn't done yet, so I don't feel like I can adequately write it. But to have seen a photograph of his birth mother and half-sister - to see someone other than my children who looks JUST like him - is amazing stuff.

  6. Wonderful story thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend.

  7. I'm so glad for you! I'm sure you must look forward to meeting them in person. Heck, I just found out about this and I'm looking forward to you blogging all about it :)

    I've often wished I had a secret sister out there somewhere.

  8. You know that our stories are very similar. I always wanted siblings, but my birth parents couldn't have any more kids, so they adopted two.

    I hope you can soon meet your birth mother, and don't have to wait as long as I did (age 57).

  9. What a blessing!

    I am so happy for you!

  10. Oh, thanks wyldth1ng! LOL. Just what every girl wants to hear. Luckily, I don't feel my age. :-)

  11. for the hard question and coming from me you know why....which name would you have wanted the birth one or the adoptive one?????

    I am not adopted but I would have liked the names....Alexis, Sian, or Franchesca....AND a middle name too thank you very much!

  12. I still think it's wonderful every time you write about your biological family.
    I know that after finally getting in contact with my half sisters, we are still building relationships and it is wonderful.
    Sometimes it is strange though. To talk to someone who is so much like me but didn't grow up around me can be weird.
    That's just me though...LOL

    I'm very happy for you! I'm sure Buddy and Sissy will enjoy having an extended family to grow up with!

  13. That is so cool! I am so glad you found each other and are going to meet up.

    My BIL was adopted, and has found his biological father. I think it was good for everyone involved. My husband said it was really eerie, watching when he finally met his Father. He said they had so many of the same mannerisms, it was unbelievable that he hadn't grown up around his father.