Most people don’t understand adoption I know when I was younger I really didn’t. I didn’t grow up feeling like I was unwanted or unloved, but there was always a part of me that felt not quite while. Like something was missing, but I didn’t quite know what it was. I remember how my adopted sister and I found out, it was literally by accident. My mom was signing us up for school and my sister got tired of waiting for her to finish up and walked into the office and over heard my mom telling the principle that we were adopted. My sister ran out of the building and started sobbing I asked her what happened and she said “We’re adopted!”. My mom was trying to comfort my sister and then came to me and asked if I was okay and asked if we were still going to McDonald’s.
Since then I never gave it much thought, we grew up and my sister recovered from the news. We eventually started making up fake back stories about our biological families. My sister for instance said she was from Italy and I said I was from Ireland, we had fun with it and it never bothered me. I never really cared where I came from I knew I was loved and to me my adoptive parents were always my real parents and my adoptive sister was always my real sister. It wasn’t until we turned eighteen that my sister started asking my parents where she came from and who her biological mother was. Which for my parents was a very tough situation.
My sister’s mother was eighteen when she had her with no place to go so she chose to give her child up for adoption, by fates design she had given birth at the same hospital my dad was working at. My parents had been looking to adopt a child for a couple of years at that point and when the doctor who delivered my sister came to my dad and asked if he would like to adopt her, without question or hesitation he said yes. That was back in February of 1992.
Fast forward six months to a small town called Sharon in Pennsylvania, 6 miles from the border of Ohio I was born, August 27th 1992. My uncle who lived in Sharon practicing law was the one who helped my biological mother find me a home. She had signed over all legal and parental rights to me. My aunt and uncle took me in and contacted my adoptive parent’s back in New Jersey and asked if they wanted to adopt another baby and my mother drove with her friend the seven hours to come meet and adopt me. I was only a couple of days old at this point.
My life up until about six years ago had been uncomplicated, I wasn’t looking for my biological family, but my mother always insisted that we would find them. It never really mattered to me, I had asked my parents for my adoption paper work and I went digging myself. I didn’t know about my uncle being involved until I was twenty. He had refused to give my parents any information on my adoption other than whatever paperwork I came with so I had to go about finding my bio family almost entirely alone.
Over the years I had given up my search after many dead ends and bureaucratic red tape I had just simply lost the interest to keep looking, I had come to terms with never knowing my biological family. That was until my father became ill, I dropped out of college and moved home to help take care of him, my father past away in 2014 when just a couple days shy of my twenty-second birthday.
After his passing I emailed my uncle about the adoption and he gave me very little answers. I spent the next three years looking on my own for them, until I submitted an ancestry DNA test. I finally received my results May 25th 2017 and was connected with my second cousin Raine. She knew who my bio mother was and said she would message me on Facebook. She messaged me on Facebook and I froze. I had finally been confronted with this life changing situation, what in the world was I gonna do?
I had always had imagined a reunion with my bio family and had always thought it was going to be this amazing and loving experience. My expectations were high, when I should have kept myself guarded. I had found out my mothers name was Linda and I had five siblings! Three older brothers and two older sisters, a whole family living just a seven hour drive from where I live! It was crazy and exciting, but at the same time I had this nagging feeling I was jumping into someones life I had not been in for the past twenty-five years.
Linda and I had exchanged a few Facebook messages and she told me it was okay to contact my siblings to which I did and I was able to strike up a decent relationship with my brother Steven, but after awhile and trying to set up a time so we can meet in person. It felt that everyone was pulling back from me, I had just found my biological family and I felt I was already losing them. Maybe I caused issues, or opened old wounds that had been stitched back together for over two decades that I just unknowingly ripped open.
I was so scared I was losing them, I decided to pull back and give them their space. My intent was never to hurt anyone or force anyone to know who I was, but I had this desire to know more, like what do my siblings and I have in common? Do I have my mothers eyes or my fathers nose? I had more unanswered questions then I did before when I never knew them. I still hold out hope that one day when everyone is ready I’ll be able to make the drive to Sharon and I’ll be able to hug my siblings and my mom and thank her in person for making the toughest decision of her life and then maybe I’ll find out if I have my mothers eye’s and my fathers nose.