So much to be thankful for….

IMG_3524So, I am back home in Indiana and am still reeling from the past week that I thoroughly enjoyed!  Was that for real???  It was such a special and fun vacation on the beaches of Alabama!   And while that is my happy place and I always love going there…It was the people surrounding me that made this one like none other!

I just wanted to share a few more thoughts that might encourage another foundling or adoptee, who is thinking about searching for their biological family, to just go for it!!   I have said this before and I truly mean it…If I had only found my original closest DNA match from my initial Ancestry test, which was my Aunt Nan, I would have been happy with the results!   She and I immediately bonded and she became one of my favorite people very quickly.   She accepted me and welcomed me and made me feel loved by the second time we talked!   She, alone, would have been worth doing the test.   But all of the other family members that I have had the opportunity to connect with from meeting her, as well as others I met from these test results, and a subsequent 23 & Me Test, is truly nothing less than a MIRACLE to me!!  I know it sounds dramatic, but it really did change my life!

Has the whole journey been perfect?  No!  Has the journey been an easy one?  No!   Have there been frustrations along the way?  Most definitely!   Has everyone been welcoming and accepting?   Hell no!!   Has there been hurt and rejection along the way?  Absolutely.  But, do I have any regrets about searching for my biological family?  None.  Zero.  Nada.  The good has so far outweighed the bad!!

If you are thinking about searching for your biological family, I would just caution you to be realistic in your expectations.   Everyone may not be thrilled that you found them or made contact.   Does that hurt?   Or sting?  Of course it does!  And the closer family they are to you, the more it stings and hurts.   In my case, when I tried to contact my biological mother initially, the reaction I got was complete and total denial.   And she was angry that I had made the contact.   How did that feel?   It felt awful…It hurt bad.  Not at all the way I had dreamt about an initial conversation with my birth mother if I ever found her…There was no warm and fuzzy.   She tried to convince me that I belonged to her older brother?!   Who lived several states away.  In a nursing home.  And who had dementia.  I remember feeling very discouraged because it didn’t sound like he would have a plethora of information to share?

But, did I let it stop me?  Or destroy me?  NO!   I reminded myself that I was raised by a wonderful Momma who always made me feel loved and wanted.  I wasn’t searching for a “mother”, because I already had the best one I could imagine and even though she was gone, she could never, ever be replaced!!  I reminded myself that I began this search with the goal of finding out if I had any siblings out there!  And guess what?   I did!   I am not sure how many or where they all are or who they are now, but I definitely had siblings!   I also reminded myself of my own immediate family and some special extended family members and how blessed I was to be loved and supported by them on this journey!

Thus far, I have been able to connect with and meet three of them.  I met my youngest sister, Sissy, first when she flew to Florida in May 2017 on my first visit to Aunt Nan’s.  Sissy was the only child kept by our biological mother.   I also got to meet my cousin, Carla, on this visit!  Sissy and a friend of hers were instrumental in finding our oldest sister, Patty, this past January!   And I met Patty two days later because it just so happened that we only lived about 2 1/2 hours apart?!   Since then, my two sisters and I have spent time all together on a couple of mini-vacations…one including all of our husbands this past spring.   My son, Alex, and I flew to meet my brother, Michael, and his son who lived in Boston last summer.  On second trip to Florida with my husband, Brad, we were surprised by Aunt Nan’s sister, Aunt Carol and her husband, Uncle Vernon who came down from Georgia!  We also got to meet Aunt Nan’s daughter, Missy, and her kids by swinging by her home for her daughter’s graduation party, on our drive back to Indiana!   Last summer, I also connected to some other cousins who belong to Aunt Nan’s older brother that I mentioned earlier, via Facebook.  Last fall, I got to meet several of these cousins and second cousins, when I got invited, as a plus one, to a wedding!   In addition to those who live in Indiana, I got to meet cousins and second cousins from California!!

Last Thanksgiving, Aunt Nan came to Indiana!   My first holiday with newly found biological family….It was amazing!!   And at Christmas, she came back to Indiana and stayed for a week!!  And my brother Michael flew back to Indiana and actually met Aunt Nan for the very first time…this was a great Christmas surprise!!   Then Sissy flew in after Christmas to be there for my birthday.   They got to meet my kids and my grandsons, and my husband.  We met up with some of the Indiana cousins and my brother got to meet them for the first time.  And Aunt Nan and Sissy enjoyed seeing them again.  After meeting Patty in January, she and I flew to Aunt Nan’s to for a surprise visit…She hadn’t seen Patty since she was a baby?!   It was amazing!  During that trip, Patty and I also got to meet another Uncle named Greg who lives in Florida too…And he also remembered Patty as a baby.

This spring, after finally getting my original birth certificate and then my adoption papers, I learned that there were definitely 2 more siblings out there that we continue to search for!  I also got to meet a cousin who actually remembers me as a baby!!!  She also remembered my sister…And the two of us together!!   She didn’t actually remember the brother that I also reportedly had, but remembers hearing about him.  She and other cousins from this part of the family that I got a chance to meet said that the three of us were left with their Uncle and all got adopted out to different families.  They didn’t know where we all ended up or who we became, as obviously our names changed.  But I did learn that MY first and middle name were never changed, as I had been told by my biological mother.  I also learned that my actual biological father was not who I was originally told it was by my biological mother.

CeCe Moore dug into my DNA results again and narrowed my father down to one of three brothers!   The sad thing is that they have all passed away, making it nearly impossible to know which one I belonged to, unless my biological mother were to tell me.   Thus far, she has been unwilling to do so and actually said she “didn’t want to talk about it anymore”…And that “It was none of my business!”   I have connected with some cousins from this family and actually met two of my second cousins who live about an hour away.    They are soooooooo nice!!!   I hope to meet some more of this family in the near future and they are trying to help me unravel the mystery.   They have provided me with some pictures of two of these brothers.   I truly appreciate them trying to help me too.   I won’t give up…I will continue to work at finding the answer to this mystery.  And I will continue to search for the other siblings that are out there.    But if I don’t ever figure out the definitive answer about my biological father or find these other siblings, I will still be overjoyed with the wonderful family members that I have found and connected with, who want to be connected to me!   I am truly thankful that my family has grown by leaps and bounds this past year!!

So if you are on the fence, do a DNA test and move forward with your search!!!   And focus on and embrace the positive parts of your journey!   And if you find negative pieces of the puzzle, it can go a long way as part of just “knowing” and of “closure”.   Just be prepared for that part of it….Like most things that happen in our lives, there is good and bad.   At least in my own personal situation, the good has been so good, that I can’t even imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t gone through with it!!!

 

 

2 thoughts on “So much to be thankful for….

  1. I have so enjoyed reading your story! It’s an amazing journey isn’t it? So many ups and downs but oh so worth it!
    As an adoptee I have realized that everything happened as it should have. I was blessed with my adoptive family and “most” of my biological family😁

    Like

    1. Thank you Toni!! I appreciate you reading and following my story.
      And yes…Ups, downs, sideways…you name it?! But the journey is very worth it!!
      I’m glad you seem to have had a positive outcome too😊🤗

      Like

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