My 23 and Me Journey - Part One
There’s something you may – or may not – already know about me……I’m adopted.
I was adopted by my family – my mom, dad and older brother – when I was 5 months old. The exact date I found my way into their lives was May 25, 1962. Officially theirs.
From the time I could remember I always heard “when we got you” or “when you came to us”……I never heard “when you were born”. My parents were always super open and honest with me about that.
But the whole adoption things plays an enormous role in my story. When every single therapist you’ve ever been to tells you that missing out on the immediate bonding, nurturing and loving from your mom while you hang out in an orphanage (maybe foster setting is a better term?) does something to the mind or spirit of even babies, well…….there must be something to it. And then, to be adopted into a family where my mom wasn’t a bonding, nurturing and loving kind of human…….but wait. I’m getting way ahead of myself.
Because I always heard the word “adopted” and as I got older and began to understand, I knew there were parts of me that I might never know. Whose fingers and toes do I have? Why do I love animals so much? Where did my creative side come from? What nationality am I? What’s my medical history? Trust me…..I could keep going. And I don’t know if it’s part of my natural character (I think it must be because I’m still this way) or because I wanted those answers but I became relentlessly curious.
When I was given up for adoption, the laws were pretty strict. Basically, there was absolutely no way I was ever “legally” going to know anything. The adoption records were sealed and as far as the world was concerned, I became someone at 5 months old. As I got into my teens and the more of a struggle the relationship with my mom became, that wasn’t good enough for me. I was determined to find what could have been my story.
I knew there had to be someone out there that was thinking as much about me as I was of her.
The curiosity ebbed and flowed over the years and usually when something ugly happened between my mom and I, I’d start trying to search again. But it wasn’t until 1987 that I got serious and accomplished my goal. I found my biological mother. And that’s a whole shitshow of a story in itself and we don’t talk. Ever. But I’m getting off track. (Nothing new there!)
For so many years, finding my bio father wasn’t that big of a deal for me. I adored my dad. He was a kind, gentle man that everyone loved and he modeled the important things for me – morals, integrity, and how to live right. Don’t get me wrong, we had some struggles. But I think most of them came from the fact that he absolutely wouldn’t go against my mom.
It wasn’t until just last year that finding my bio father became a thing for me. I had been lied to so much over the years by my bio mother about who my father was and something inside me shifted back to that young girl that was determined AF to get the answers. So last summer I purchased a 23andMe DNA kit, spit in the tube, sent it back and waited.
But I didn’t have to wait. The answers had been sitting there for a couple of years and I didn’t even know it.