Nowadays, television is only interrupted by special news, disasters, or an emergency. This break is for something wonderful. In the past month, I have received so much emotional healing in rejection, and I know it will continue. Healing comes in a multitude of ways, not the least of which is learning your roots. Click to Tweet #amwriting #rejection #APD #ancestry
When you’re adopted, especially back in my day, you knew nothing or virtually nothing about your birth parents. In some ways, it’s like amnesia or being kidnapped by Indians. You just don’t know.
It’s natural for adopted children to wonder where they came from. I never really did, because to me, once I understood why I was adopted and what it meant, I didn’t care to learn about my birth mother. She gave me up so I could have a better life. When I reached a certain young adult age, Mom told me about my birth mother, Audrey. Here’s how the story went.
Audrey and her mother drove up from Texas to Manhattan, Kansas, where she gave birth to me. My uncle Phil was a doctor, and he delivered me. I’m guessing that possibly Audrey and her mother may have stayed a few months. Phil knew that my folks, Don and Dorothy, wanted another child. They’d adopted my brother Duane, in 1949 through the Kansas Children’s Service League. They’d put in for another adoption, this time for a girl, but it had been five years, and they heard nothing. In the meantime, in 1954, Phil gets a new patient. He then becomes sort of the catalyst for a private adoption between Audrey and my folks. There was a local lawyer involved. I still have the legal papers.
Although a number of people through the years suggested I search for Audrey, I never did. I thought about the consequences to her, to her family, and decided against it. It was entirely possible she had never mentioned to anyone that she’d ever had a child out of wedlock. She died in 2004. If you decide to find your biological relatives, do so with discretion, thinking of their feelings first. Click to Tweet #amwriting #rejection #APD #ancestry
Fast forward to about four months ago. With all those commercials on television about ancestry, I finally decided to do a DNA test. I went into it with two goals: 1) to learn my ethnicity, and to my shock, I’m 99% British. Not an Irish drop in there, well maybe a drop; and 2) to confirm that I would be a DNA match for Audrey. I used Ancestry.com. To my knowledge, she never had her DNA done, but I’m in a family tree with a DNA first cousin (another adopted person), to whom she was a biological aunt.
And when I saw a picture of her, my goodness! I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, I look just like her!” The red hair, thin lips, similar nose, chin and underneath (no “real” double-chin [yay!]) and pale skin. Our eyes are different, though.
All that alone brought huge healing to me. But the story doesn’t end there.
On Sunday, I received a comment on this blog (another post) from one of my biological siblings who is not on Ancestry. I’m hoping we can connect soon. (We connected the day this posted). I was flabbergasted to hear from a sister, out of the blue, via a cousin, who is on Ancestry.com.
If you have rejection issues from being adopted, do a DNA test, and find your biological family tree. I have 1,000 DNA relatives on Ancestry. Knowing that a sibling reached out to me when I didn’t ask, has brought more healing on top of knowing where I came from, and confirming the biology of who I came from. Healing comes from revelation and acceptance without judgment. Click to Tweet #amwriting #rejection #APD #ancestry