Not even sure where to begin with this post. And truthfully, I don’t even know if it is something I should post. Well, at least not yet. With the exception of one person, it’s not something I’ve told my surnamed family about. I’m not really sure why I haven’t, aside that I feel that I think it might hurt my parents.
Twelve years ago, way back in October 2008, I wrote about being adopted. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait….
Done reading it? Good. On with this story.
Back in January 2018, I sent in a DNA sample to 23andMe. The Husbear bought me one of those kits as a Christmas present. He knew the adoption question was something that was weighing on my mind again. I was going to be 45, and I had started having some medical issues present themselves that weren’t typical “wear and tear”. I was hoping to find a connection from the results, but alas, no such luck. The closest relations were all 3rd to 4th cousins, which is pretty much the equivalent of my relationship with you.
So in May 2018, I sent in a second DNA test through AncestryDNA. I figured the shotgun approach might work since most people only do one service or the other. And again, the closest relations were 3rd cousins or more out. I’m pretty sure I’m closer to bacon than I am them.
I was disheartened, but I figured that was probably how it was going to be. My brain assumed that anyone who gave up an infant through a service that sealed the adoption more than likely wouldn’t be out there providing their DNA to be matched.
I’d check back in periodically to see if any closer relationships surfaced, usually after the holidays when those kits seem to go on sale and people give them as gifts. But still no luck.
Until March 23rd of this year.
I received a message notification through one of the two services (AncestryDNA to be specific) from someone who showed up as “Close or 1st Cousins”. He shared a story that his mother had recently shared about giving up a son for adoption when she was a teenager. After multiple back and forth questions and answers relayed through him with his mother, we validated that his mother was in fact my bio-mother. (I know one or two of you read that in the Maury voice, didn’t you?)
My email address was passed on to my bio-mom, and we began to communicate. More of the same questions essentially, and some basic history about each of us. I’m not sure that either of us really knew how to begin or what to say. I was happy she was willing to communicate. Having read/heard many adoption stories, it was something for which I was prepared to not happen.
We have been in relatively (no pun intended) constant communication since that time, learning about each other, and me about my maternal side of the family. Medical history has been a little, well, lacking. Lacking may not be the right word. There’s not been any real medical issues that run in that side of the family that have been communicated so far. So there’s that at least.
One of the other surprises was discovering I have 5 half-siblings on my maternal side, 3 sisters and 2 brothers. I’m in fairly constant contact with two of the sisters and one of the brothers. The two sisters each reached out to me after the initial contact with my bio-mom. They had been made aware previously about the adoption. We seemed to click rather quickly (in my view at least). There’s definitely a separated-at-birth vibe going on between us. A plethora of interests, talents, quirks, and the like. As for the other sister and brother, contact hasn’t been made at this point.
As for my mental state about this entire chapter, I’ve actually been… well collected. Much to the surprise of people around me. I think even the Husbear is surprised. Don’t get me wrong, I was anxious and am excited. But I don’t know if it’s all because it’s something I have mentally been processing most of my life, going through so many variables that nothing really would have surprised me? Or if the medication I’m currently on for other issues has helped me maintain an even keel (* I’ll be posting about that at some further date. That’s what we do now when we’re less young, right?).
I just know I’m happy this chapter opened and has proceeded the way it has thus far. And for the dumpster fire that 2020 has been, this–for me–more than makes up for it.
Until next time...