Or ‘Emotional Roller Coaster’
It’s been an odd month. I’ve deleted and resurrected this post three times, trying to wrap my head around recent events…
Not sure where to start, so it will begin where I did: California in 1956. Young woman becomes pregnant with spawn of cad and a couple takes the baby girl (me) at birth. Young woman then marries and a couple of years later has another little girl, which she keeps.
I’m the puppy in the box, the one she gave away.
I’ve known my adopted status for most of my life and have felt every emotion you might expect.. especially gratitude for having the parents I did, even though everything wasn’t always perfect.
Well, not long after I found my half-sister on Ancestry, I also discovered a picture of my birth mother. Taken in December 2015, she is standing next to my half-sister and they’re both smiling.
I look like her. Especially my silly eyebrows. I could look at that picture for hours and hours…
But there, right there amid the surprise and happiness, came anger. They were together and I was the puppy in the box nobody wanted.
I’m sure that giving me away was right for the both of us or she wouldn’t have done it…. but… I never felt abandoned until I saw her face.
I’ve been trying to contact my half-sister on Ancestry for six months… but she’s not been back to the site. I don’t want to upset anyone, let alone my birth mother… she must be in her 80’s and probably hasn’t thought about me in… oh, 60 years?!
So there’s that. I’m honestly trying to forget about it when.. cue birth father.
Ancestry updates my DNA matches and casually says ‘this is your father’. It’s not the man I was led to believe was my father, but it fits even better. And dammit, DNA is usually not wrong. He’s still alive and active on the site, with a full family tree (yay!) so I message him with the usual disclaimers and facts.
He says he knew someone by that name in 1956. And that’s it. That’s as far as he’s prepared to go.
Okay. It’s not like I expected a party and “welcome to the family”. I have a family.
Then I see a picture of him and now I know where I got my eyes.
So, back to the data. Ancestry.com is a treasure trove of information! I followed a line on my maternal side back to an Irish village with the O’Rourke (later Rourke and Roarke) clan in the 1700’s and read anecdotal information about those ancestors fighting for the Brits in the Revolutionary War, then switching sides to us. Guess they wanted to stay here.
Yesterday I went back to 1700’s Germany with the Fritsch and Leppert families. It’s like Disney World for adults, especially those of us who were adopted.