Discovery

My cousin told me I was adopted. She was tormented by indecision. My adoptive father was a very harsh man and those that knew were sworn to secrecy, or threatened to it. She is older than me so she has known this fact all of my life. She was inspired to tell me because we had been discussing the story of another cousin who was adopted, who had somewhat recently found her biological mother and has since developed a relationship with her and her half siblings. I told her that I thought that was very nice, and also rather tragic that it took so long – how many years wasted that they could have known one another! It was that sentiment that inspired her, and even that took her several weeks of agonizing before she finally broke down and told me.

I was, predictably, in shock and denial at first. My ramblings about the internet since have led me to many, many adoptee stories. Not as many LDAs, but a few. I have yet to come across one that was as wholly blindsided as myself. Honestly, it makes me feel a little dumb. Everybody seems to have had feelings about it or suspicions. I reached out to the adopted cousin (who, as it turned out, also knew my truth) and she told me that a lot of little questionable things that I dismissed in the past will start coming to mind as I walk this path. None have, as yet. My adoptive mother at 42 was old to be having a baby in 1965 but I was satisfied with her explanation that they had found a doctor who helped her carry after having had difficulties. My middle brother who is also adopted and I look nothing alike, but even that never engendered any real suspicion – even about him specifically, since I at least bear some faint resemblance to our parents but he does not. Our birth certificates, altered as I now have learned, bear our adoptive parents’ names. I was just truly not at all suspicious that I was adopted.

I contacted a cousin on the other side of the family, who confirmed the truth, so there was nothing for it but to accept this strange new reality.

6 thoughts on “Discovery”

  1. All my extended family relatives knew. The story they tell me now is that they just assumed our parents had told us. Its so hard to believe that it just “never came up.” My father passed away last year, and my mother now has dementia. When my sister told her that we now know, she was actually happy. “I wasn’t allowed to say anything,” she told us. So like you, I had a father that swore others to secrecy.

    1. It’s really amazing. I get the level of secrecy given the stigmas at the time but it just seems basic common sense, a basic human right to know that truth about yourself and decide for yourself how you want to handle it. I read your blog through and really enjoyed it. I’m rooting for you! Hope you find more to fill in your story.

  2. Hi. Our stories are very similar. A cousin confirmed that my sister, Melissa, and I were adopted. We are not biological sisters. It seems all wrong for parents to withhold this information from their children, especially when they become adults. I wish you all the best as you explore your roots. Just to warn you, learning about your biological family may cause you pain. Still, I believe we all should know the truth about our roots. Good luck. Lynne

    1. Thank you Lynne. If you’ve read further along, I’ve had so far an amazingly lucky journey. I was preparing myself for possible unpleasant truths, but I agree with you – an unpleasant truth is still better than a lie no matter how nicely dressed it may be. Good luck to you too – have you gone on your own path of discovery and reunion?

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