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Old 05-27-2007, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
2,267 posts, read 229,631 times
Reputation: 685
Default I am adopted, I found my biological family when I was in my 20s.

I thought I would share my story because I know there are alot of people out there on both sides of this issue. Its evidently not too common to find someone who has found their birth family.

I have always known I was adopted, I am not sure that was the best idea because I grew up thinking I had done something wrong and thats why I was given up for adoption. Of course over the years, the thought of when to tell and how to tell your child they are adopted has changed...

When I was in my 20s, I found my birth Mother and found that I have two brothers as well, they are my half brothers but I don't think of them that way unless it relates to something nasty they have inherited from their Father...lol.

My biological Mother and I talk often, while I care about her a great deal and she is of course my Mother, I call her by her first name. You can't go back and fill in the time that was lost by me growing up elsewhere...we just don't have the history for me to feel like she is really my Mother.

I couldn't have hoped for a better reception when I found them, they were all aware of my existance, including her then husband...they treated me like a long lost family member and were thrilled to have me found.

I was lucky in that I had some invaluable help in finding my birth Mother. I was able to get her name and that of my birth Father from a court order that my adopted Father gotten for me. I was born in California so I found someone who helped me free of charge find information, she had insiders access to alot of info.

There are plenty of groups out there that do the same today...I just hope that anyone thinking of finding their birth family, thinks about it before they do so. It can be a very destabilizing thing even when you have the fabulous outcome that I did...I can't imagine how hurtful it would be to go through looking for them and then end up being rejected.

I am looking forward to my Mother and younger brother coming to visit sometime in the next couple months.

Do you have any adoption stories to share or do you have some questions but don't know anyone who has gone through this, please feel free to ask either in this thread or privately. I would love to feel that my experience could help someone else.
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Between Here and There
3,684 posts, read 8,320,783 times
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All three of my sister-in-laws were adopted. One of them was never interested in looking for her birth family, one was but couldn't find them and the other found her birth mom at 18 and her birth dad at 20. She has had a relationship with both (her birth dad recently passed away) as well as her birth siblings (from both her mom and dad) for about 18 years now. She is very happy to know them but after getting to know them she felt lucky to have been raised in the family she was adopted by. In her case her birth mom was very young, her birth dad wasn't involved (he didn't know until years later) and they were both very poor. My sister-in-law had some serious childhood medical issues that were resolved only because her adoptive parents had the resources to do so, she probably wouldn't be alive today if she hadn't been adopted. So all in all a very happy story for her. The sister-in-law that never looked has never seemed unhappy about it, but the one that did look and couldn't find hers seems to be a little messed up about it, but she didn't want to look until her adoptive mother died so that could be why. Adoption is a great thing, but from what I've seen it works out better for the kids if they know and it's just part of their live from a young age, rather than springing on them when they are older.
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Old 05-27-2007, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
2,267 posts, read 229,631 times
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Everybody deals with being adopted differently, I don't think there is a right answer when it comes to the question of whether or not they should search for their birth parents...it can be a very upsetting time even under the best of circumstances.

I believe that I had a better life in my adopted family but there was alot wrong with it as well. I also had a major medical problem that I doubt many families would have had the resources to deal with...

I am very open about it because I have always known, I grew up in a town where everyone knew I was adopted...it was never a secret.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:50 PM
 
4,193 posts, read 59,980 times
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oh what a wonderful subject. Esp since my dh just found his birth mother in the past four weeks. He has been searching on and off for about 6 years. She put her info out there years ago and waited for him to contact her. He has had three letters and some photos in the past three weeks. He has written to her four times. He is dying to meet her, but she lives in England and we live here in NY. He has a half sister and brother.
He found out he was adopted at 17 and always thought she jsut didnt want him. In fact, it was the opposite. She cared for him for 4 months and then took the ferry to Ireland and had him adopted there.

I will be back with more questions I am sure. Right now it is high and lows.
dorothy
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
2,267 posts, read 229,631 times
Reputation: 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by okaydorothy View Post
oh what a wonderful subject. Esp since my dh just found his birth mother in the past four weeks. He has been searching on and off for about 6 years. She put her info out there years ago and waited for him to contact her. He has had three letters and some photos in the past three weeks. He has written to her four times. He is dying to meet her, but she lives in England and we live here in NY. He has a half sister and brother.
He found out he was adopted at 17 and always thought she jsut didnt want him. In fact, it was the opposite. She cared for him for 4 months and then took the ferry to Ireland and had him adopted there.

I will be back with more questions I am sure. Right now it is high and lows.
dorothy
I would LOVE to hear more of your story...I am glad for him he was able to find her even though she was back in England...that must have made it hard.

Was she aware he was in the US??
You say she put her information out there, how did she do this? I ask because I am trying to help someone find their birth family and I am looking for as many sources as I can find to help her list her information in the hopes her Mother is also looking.

If you check the airlines, you can often get some good deals on airfare but you have to watch closely.

Good Luck to you both. Its always a wonderful thing if the biological parent is really wanting to find the child, I have heard stories where the opposite is true and its like being rejected all over again.
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:05 AM
 
4,193 posts, read 59,980 times
Reputation: 1983
Hi there
I dont know how she was found. I know that dh was on a website or two that researched birth mothers in England. What you have to understand is that in the 60's and 70's in Ireland, many unwed mothers went to England to have their babies and have them adopted. Many of those babies ended up back in Ireland. Her reason was that she was told if he was adopted in England, chances are high that he would have been adopted into a Protestant family. Now these days there is nothing wrong with that, but this was the 60's in England. She obviously wanted him raised in a Catholic family.

I dont know how she put her info there. She obviously wanted to be found.

A question for you ; How soon after you found your BM did you contact her by phone or meet her? He knows that he needs to take baby steps, but of course would love as much info as possible. Her children want to e-mail my dh ; he is ok with that.
Thanks
Dorothy
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:39 AM
 
9 posts, read 29,947 times
Reputation: 11
I see you spent a lot of time searching for your birth parents. My only advice to you, if your parents that adopted you have treated your well, then please do let them know and respect them. They love you. My only experience, thus far, with an adopted child, is the senior high school students I recently employed. One was from hell - rebelled and stole from me big time thinking I owed him the world. The girl did a fairly good job doing homework from 3:30 to 7 with my child while i was still at work, but she had some issues and when push came to shove as it was evident she was bitter of being adopted by an italian family and being vietnamese as she is now going to go on to college - when she disrespected me in my house recently i told her "you have parents that love you and are busting their butts to send you to the best college so get off of that adopted pity pot issue. there are kids whose parents who never planned college for them and you don't fall into this category so do not forget how your adopted parents have taken care of you from birth and loved you". just a thought for all out there that might forget to love back the parents that raised them. you sound happy - glad for you. good luck.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
2,267 posts, read 229,631 times
Reputation: 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by okaydorothy View Post
Hi there
I dont know how she was found. I know that dh was on a website or two that researched birth mothers in England. What you have to understand is that in the 60's and 70's in Ireland, many unwed mothers went to England to have their babies and have them adopted. Many of those babies ended up back in Ireland. Her reason was that she was told if he was adopted in England, chances are high that he would have been adopted into a Protestant family. Now these days there is nothing wrong with that, but this was the 60's in England. She obviously wanted him raised in a Catholic family.

I dont know how she put her info there. She obviously wanted to be found.

A question for you ; How soon after you found your BM did you contact her by phone or meet her? He knows that he needs to take baby steps, but of course would love as much info as possible. Her children want to e-mail my dh ; he is ok with that.
Thanks
Dorothy
My Father got his attorney to get a court order to open my adoption information so both of my adopted parents were aware of the entire process.

I remember the night I spoke with my birth Father, he told me that my birth Mother's entire family knew about me, her children and her husband. I got the phone number and called her that night. I had previously been working down a list of people with the same last name which was relatively unusual in the US with that spelling, hoping to run into a male relative of hers, asking for her by name and telling them I was doing genealogical research, then I got a break and was able to communicate with my birth Father.

When I called my birth Mother, I asked her are you, then gave her first, middle and maiden name...I had done this so many times before when speaking with families of the same last name...evidently when I did this, she gripped the side of a table and turned white...she was affraid there had been a death in the family, then I just told her who I was...odd to think you can speak to your own birth Mother and she didn't even know my name...isn't that how you normally introduce yourself, with your name and then they know the significance...I had to tell her that I believed I was the child she gave up for adoption, I told her my birthday and time of birth, the name of the doctor AND the hospital.

We spoke back and forth and within a couple months she came down to visit, she stayed with my adopted parents. She even said that my Mother reminded her alot of her own Mother, My adopted Mother is old enough to be my grandmother.

Every situation is different. One thing I can tell you is meeting the entire family can be very intimidating...in my adopted family there were no cousins, aunts or uncles. I remember the first time I met the entire pack, I felt shell shocked. They were all very nice and so happy to have found me but I didn't know what to think. It has taken me time to adjust but I am so glad I found them.

Over time I have seen so many things we have in common...things you would think are environmental but I do just like my Mother. Or interests just like my Brother that again you would think we would have in common because we grew up in the same house.

The best thing I can tell people is don't be in such a rush...slow down, don't let yourself be overwhelmed because it can happen, even if your the one who started the search, it can get strange...I would think going to another country would just add a new twist to it. That alone can be intimidating if you have never been there. I'm glad its the UK for your husband, they are different but not as different as it could be.

One thing I don't think people can understand who are NOT adopted is that when you have the need to find your biological family, that does not mean you don't like or are unhappy with your adopted family, they are two unrelated things to me...I have a moral right to know the woman who gave me life...its that simple.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:17 AM
 
4,193 posts, read 59,980 times
Reputation: 1983
We have been in the UK many times, and also his bm is irish ; we are too, jsut froma different part.

I totally understand the relationship between dh and his adopted mum. He says ; she is my mother, has always been and will always be my mum. He actually feels like he is betraying her by even looking for his bm, and now that he found her, feels like a traitor to her.

His adopted mum raised him to be a great husband, father, son and person. He will always be thankful for that and also for his adopted father. They are his parents, they are our children's grandparents. He really is the best son his mother can have.

But there was always a nagging thing in his head to close out some questions. He feels very alone at times as he and his sister do not get along, do not spend time together ; for various reasons. It has never been a great relationship. Both are adopted, 4 years between them, she is extremely intellegent book wise and very educated. However, we are the lowly self employed not college educated(in her mind) and so we are not worth it. She has not spoken to her mother in well over a year, hasnt gone home in 8 years.

So this gives my dh a chance to have a family that maybe he has a little in common with.

baby steps ; I keep reminding him.
thanks
dorothy
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:48 PM
 
743 posts, read 1,528,525 times
Reputation: 231
Lisa from Darby (I know you from the Religon forum...and just saw some recent posts here by you)...my sister and I are also adopted (from different birth families). I have not searched for my birthparents, while she has and found them years ago.

Her birthmother turned out to be a little differnt; somewhat "needy" is how my sister put it. I think her birthmother is more invested in the realtionship than she is (although she searched for her for a long time....I think she thought she was going to find a glamorous, exciting, jet-setting mother that our mom never was)

I see each other 2-3 times a year, I think and my sister has been in contact w/ her half siblings, as well.

What's really intersting is what evolved after she found her birthfather. She called his home one day and introduced herself, then heard a long pause.....then he stammered a little and said they would have to talk another time since he was a little overwhelmed. Well, when my sister didn't hear back from him for weeks or months (not sure which), she called again....and talked to his widow! He actually had a heart attack shortly after she called (I tell her that's why I'm not searching..don' want that on my consciense...lol).

My sister never go to meet him....but she kept persuing his widow to meet her half brothers and sisters, even after it was clear this lady was not embracing this. Apparently, the siblings knew nothing of their father's one night stand when he was 20, years before marrying their mom....

My sister has this "I have a right to know" attitude and she wrote letters giving her an ultimatum...either she tells the siblings about my sisters existence or my sister contacts them herself. Not sure how this is gonna turn out...but, my question is WHY?

Even though I'm very curious, the main reason Ihaven't searched is due to the fact that I feel i would be violating my birthparents privacy. They have built lives within the last 40 years....I would like this would be so intrusive. Alos, after the first meeting (seeing the physical resemblance, finding out the details, etc) what happens to the "relationship" after that? Who defines it? What if one party wants or expects something that the other one did or didn't expect? Even though my sister can't seem to understand why I'm not itching to search (as she has always been), I'm not sure I want to open that can of worms now...or, if ever.
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