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  1. #1

    Question any adoptees out there?

    and care to share your story if you searched/met, etc your birth family?

    ~~~ posting as an alter~~~

    I've always known that I'm adopted, have never had that "burning hole" need to know... mostly as I don't really know where I would place any birth family in my life... it's hard to describe.

    quite inadvertently, last year, I learned my birth name. Both of my parents are gone now, and learning my name at birth has raised some questions that I just can't seem to set aside. I've been thinking more and more of starting a search, I am just afraid, I guess, of the can of worms it might open, and I'm just not sure I want to deal with it on an emotional level.... plus, as my records are sealed, I need permission from this one and that court just to get started, AND it's costly, which aggravates me, as it's MY info I have to jump thru hoops to get at....

    anyone out there care to share some thoughts or feelings for me? if you happen to be a birth parent who gave up a child, I would also welcome your thoughts or feelings, and thank you in advance, I know well how touchy a subject this can be.



  2. #2
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    ~~~Posting as an alter~~~
    Interesting that you post this today as it is my bday.
    My story is similar to yours.
    Private adoption at birth. Adopted at 3 days old. I inadvertently found paperwork years ago with a few names on it. Casual search doesn't reveal anything useful.

    At this point in my life I know that my adopted mother could not handle (emotionally) me doing a search. There are really only two parts of my life that I wish I had more information on: family medical history and heritage. It's believed I have some amount of Native American blood, but no way to definitively determine that.



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony View Post
    ~~~Posting as an alter~~~
    Interesting that you post this today as it is my bday.
    My story is similar to yours.
    Private adoption at birth. Adopted at 3 days old. I inadvertently found paperwork years ago with a few names on it. Casual search doesn't reveal anything useful.

    At this point in my life I know that my adopted mother could not handle (emotionally) me doing a search. There are really only two parts of my life that I wish I had more information on: family medical history and heritage. It's believed I have some amount of Native American blood, but no way to definitively determine that.
    Happy Birthday!!

    one of the things I have read is that in the case of the agency that handled my adoption, sometimes birthdates are changed, sometimes by days, months, or even years! so searching my birth name and date of birth, nothing shows up.....

    according to the information I found out, my "story" is a bit different than what I was always told.... no paper work for me to find, as my mom always told me they never got any (?) I've always known, and at one time when I went thru a period that I felt I wanted to know a little more (pregnant for the first time, and a little bit worried about what my baby would "look" like) she actually got my non identifying info for me. it does little to help.

    heritage is definitely a question for me, I was told I was one thing, but in fact look something else.

    feel free to PM me if you want to take this off line



  4. #4
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    I'm an adoptee - but before I get into the story, I should warn that my experience has definitely not been typical!

    I was adopted at 6 weeks old through the state of CO social services. My adoptive parents raised me with full knowledge that I was adopted, though it had been a sealed court adoption, so all I knew growing up was that my birth parents had been college students, unable to keep me, etc.
    I remained very curious, of course, about my heritage and whatnot, and at age 13 I wrote a letter, with my adoptive mom's help, to the CO Social Services folks asking for more info. They sent me a 3-page letter telling me everything they legally could - birth parent's ages at my birth, heritage, physical descriptions, college majors, hobbies, etc. Not enough to start a search with, but enough for me to look at and say, WOW, I am so much like them! It really was a help to me during that very difficult teenage period where you feel so adrift in your personality (which I especially did, as I felt I was not similar to my adoptive parents at all!)

    Well, in my early 20's (this would have been the late 90's), my stepmom (married to my adoptive father, now deceased... yeah, complicated) put me in touch with her niece, who was working with a program in Colorado called Colorado Confidential Intermediary Services. This program was designed to connect adoptees and birth parents, through the courts, and allow them to initiate contact via an intermediary and decide if they wanted the records to be opened. I don't know if it still exists or if there are similar programs out there.

    My adoptive mother was so in favor of me doing this, working with CCIS, that she paid all the fees, and we got started in the search. Despite the intermediary having access to the adoption records, she still had to track down my birth parents in their current locations (and of course my birth mom now has a married name). It took several months, but one day I got a call that she had located my birth mom and that my birth mom had agreed to exchange letters with me.
    The letters had to be done anonymously, until we both agreed to release our information to the other. So we wrote these letters telling each other all about ourselves but trying not to give away any identifying details. We made up aliases. Mine was "Twinkly Eyes". We exchanged letters this way for several months, sending them to the intermediary, who would re-package them and send them onward.

    I just found the first letter she sent me, after we signed the release paperwork and opened up to real communication. It tells how she felt seeing photos of me for the first time, and whose eyes and whose nose I have. It describes how the conversation with my younger half-brothers went, when she broke the news to them that they have an older sister they'd never met.

    From there, we moved on to email and then meeting in person. She visited me first (we live many states away from each other) and then I visited her. The first time I met my brothers, we stayed up until 6am talking. Even now, we don't get much sleep when we see each other; we're too busy catching up on years.

    I never did find my birth father, and I've accepted that. I have a great relationship with my birth mother, and my adoptive mom has a great relationship with her too. I count myself blessed that it worked out the way it did, because I've heard so many stories where the adoptee finds her birth family and learns they are cold or manipulative or some other form of unpleasant.

    Despite those stories, I urge other adoptees to look. It's important to know who you are. Don't be surprised to learn just how much of a blend you are, though, between your birth family and the family who raised you.

    Good luck!
    And feel free to PM me if you ever want to talk about it (though I'm happy to answer questions on the forum too)


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    BigRedBoo, thank you for posting that info. A very dear friend was adopted from Ft. Carson at 1 day old and being newly pregnant, would love to find her birth mother for some health info among other reasons. I am going to pass along the organization name to her.
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"



  6. #6
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    rustbreeches::: I know how your friend feels, that's what made me want a little more info when I was pregnant for the first time. In this day and age of how one's relatives' medical history affect us, it's really hard to not know any info! It's really hard to go to a new doctor and fill out all those forms with "I don't know" and sometimes they look at me as tho it's my fault I don't have the information they want.



  7. #7
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    Another adoptee here! I've posted about my story before and if I have time to go back and link to my previous posts I'll be happy to I've been quite fortunate to have had a great relationship with almost everyone involved, and finding my bio mom was really easy, despite it being a closed adoption (because she was actually looking for me previously... Wonders of the Internet!)

    Hit send too quickly if you or anyone has questions or wants to talk, just ask!
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  8. #8
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    Another adoptee that didn't know! I didn't find out that I was adopted until a couple of years ago (in my 40's!). My dad had a stroke and my older brother (also adopted) found the paperwork. Apparently my parents had no intention of telling either one of us. My mother was killed in a car accident when I was 20 and my dad is in too poor of health to ask any questions.

    My brother was adopted out of Boise and my brother just had to inquire at the vitial statistics office and there was a letter waiting from his birth mother that she wrote on his 21st birthday. They have since contacted each other and met. She just assumed that since she had given permission and written my brother a letter that he didn't want anything to do with her, how sad that she had to feel that way for 20 some years.

    I was adopted out of Washington and anytime I asked my parents why I was born in WA when they were living in Idaho, I was told my mom was visiting her cousins (who I have never met and my parents NEVER traveled). Washington has closed records and I would have to go through an intermediary (like BigRedBoo did), I have neither the time nor money for this. It makes me feel bad that my birth mother could still be alive and just think that I don't want to meet her. I think that my personal history should be just that, mine. Why should I have to pay to find out my medical history and who my birth parents are?
    "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miichelle View Post
    Another adoptee that didn't know! I didn't find out that I was adopted until a couple of years ago (in my 40's!). My dad had a stroke and my older brother (also adopted) found the paperwork. Apparently my parents had no intention of telling either one of us. My mother was killed in a car accident when I was 20 and my dad is in too poor of health to ask any questions.

    My brother was adopted out of Boise and my brother just had to inquire at the vitial statistics office and there was a letter waiting from his birth mother that she wrote on his 21st birthday. They have since contacted each other and met. She just assumed that since she had given permission and written my brother a letter that he didn't want anything to do with her, how sad that she had to feel that way for 20 some years.

    I was adopted out of Washington and anytime I asked my parents why I was born in WA when they were living in Idaho, I was told my mom was visiting her cousins (who I have never met and my parents NEVER traveled). Washington has closed records and I would have to go through an intermediary (like BigRedBoo did), I have neither the time nor money for this. It makes me feel bad that my birth mother could still be alive and just think that I don't want to meet her. I think that my personal history should be just that, mine. Why should I have to pay to find out my medical history and who my birth parents are?
    exactly how I feel!!

    my condolences about your mom. my mother just passed a couple of years ago, and if she were still alive, I know that I could question her about the info I jsut found, who knows, she might just tell me lots more!

    I think it's a really cool thing that your brother had a letter waiting for him, sometimes I imagine that the woman who gave me up is waiting to hear from me, but where I live, it's much easier for her to find me than vice versa....



  10. #10
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    I just went back and found another thread, reading all the posts with interest, but won't link it here out of respect for the OP of that thread....



  11. #11
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    The stories of people not being told about their adoptive status just seem heartbreaking to me. I can't imagine what it'd be like to have that bombshell dropped, especially later in life. Hopefully this isn't done much anymore, because there is nothing shameful or lesser about being adopted... Gosh, the idea hurts my head!

    Miichell, I don't know if you've checked online but I found my birth mom and my brother's through registry . adoption . com (or dot Org?) they made the first reach by creating listings but it's free to do so and if you're interested, you might think about listing yourself there as well. Proceed with some caution though because anyone can see or make a listing themselves, you know?
    The forums on that site are HUGE but I think organized well enough, you can read and search boards by state, adoption agency, month and year,... So many people looking for the unknown. We're really not alone, us adoptees
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  12. #12
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    For those that are adopted: Did your questions/curiosity intensify or change at different times in your life? I think 'heritage' and 'medical' came more to the forefront once I myself became a parent. Whereas the 'why' was more a question in my teens/twenties.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS View Post
    For those that are adopted: Did your questions/curiosity intensify or change at different times in your life? I think 'heritage' and 'medical' came more to the forefront once I myself became a parent. Whereas the 'why' was more a question in my teens/twenties.
    for me, it has come and gone all my life, but it was most intense when I was about 5 months pregnant with my first child. all of a sudden I was terrified my child would come out completely unlike myself or my husband at the time. looking back I think it was a bit of hormone induced panic, LOL

    I don't feel incomplete, or ...... ? I don't know how to describe it, really, I am sure I can live the rest of my life without knowing, on the other hand, to at least know my medical history, heritage, etc, will put to rest all those voices in my head that wonder this, and that, and that, KWIM?



  14. #14
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    Has anyone considered genetic testing for the BRCA1?



  15. #15
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    Pony, I did the test but only because my biological mom had breast cancer and had been tested positively for the gene herself. I can try to answer questions, but I really don't remember how much it cost or if insurance covered it... It was a simple blood test though
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  16. #16
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    I'm not a parent yet but the kinds of things I was most interested in finding out did shift focus as I grew up. It was strong as I graduated high school and went to college, especially thinking about where to go and what to major in. The milestone birthdays, too Also, I knew my bio mom was 21 when I was born, and when I turned that age I really thought about her, or the idea of her, a lot.
    I know that had I not found her already, I would have definitely had an increase in interest once pregnant. The coolest thing was sitting around the table with her and her siblings and parents, my bio cousins running around, and looking at the features we all shared. Granted I look most like that side and nothing (but skin paleness and reddish tones of hair) like my bio dad's side. Me and maternal family share strong resemblances, which was fun and unnerving and I would have to focus on what they were talking about because otherwise I'd zone out thinking, "omg that is so my smile/nose/profile/laugh..." But then again they'd interrupted each other to be like, "whoa, T, she has your hands!" or something
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  17. #17
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    I was adopted at a week old in a private, closed adoption. Growing up, I never had any curiousity or desire to learn about my birth parents. Then 3 years ago, my mom had a heart attack/stroke, and while packing up stuff to move her closer to me, I found my adoption records, which included my birth mother's name. Since the name isn't that common, and I was born in a state with a very small population, it was easy to find information about her just through a google search. And what I found was that she had died several years earlier from breast cancer at the age of 60. I also discovered that I have what may be half siblings (or may even be full siblings, it's a long story). But I really don't have any desire to contact them. I'm just glad I found out about the breast cancer since I was just at my early 40's and that encouraged me to stop putting off mammograms. I'm also considering getting the BRCA1 test done, but haven't gone any further than just thinking about it. Honestly, I'm so busy taking care of my mom now (who also has severe dementia now) that the idea of adding more people to my life is just overwhelming.

    ETA: The man I believe is my birth father is still alive, so there is the possibility that I could contact him. OK, here's the long story. My birth mother was in HS when she got pregnant, that much we always knew. On the adoption records, which were not finalized until 6 months after my birth, I am listed as "Baby Girl XXX" and XXX is the last name of the man my birth mother ended up marrying right after HS and having a family with. And then my birth mother's name is listed with her maiden name. So my assumption is that my birth mother/father, were HS sweethearts, got preggers, gave me up, then went on to get married. That is why I think their other two children are actually my full siblings. But still, I really can't fathom contact them at this time. Although I do wonder if they are all tall (I'm 6'1", female) because my entire life people have asked if my parents were tall...
    "Ponies are a socially acceptable form of child abuse." - said by a friend when asked if she was going to find a pony for her 5 year old daughter.



  18. #18
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    here's something that always *sorta* irritates me-- when folks ask questions such as "did you ever meet your "real" mom (or dad) or.... "is your brother/sister your REAL brother/sister?? << to that one I usually answer, no, made of wax, can't you tell?

    to the real mom or dad question-- the parents who raised me were real (they are both deceased, that's why the past tense) they were/are the only PARENTS I will ever know........ but I find it's really hard to make others understand those feelings. we were raised that biology really doesn't matter, it's love and nurturing that make a family, regardless.


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  19. #19
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    As an adoptive mom, I want to say I'm sorry that all of you that are late discovery adoptees don't know your personal stories. I am so glad that I have a continuing and good relationship with my sons birthmom. That way both his adoptive and birth families can make sure he knows his story.

    As someone has already mentioned adoption . com has a great reunion registry. They also have a bulletin board set up the same way as COTH. There are a lot of great, supportive, people on that forum who can offer experience to those who want to look, and validation to those who do not.
    Last edited by rider25; May. 26, 2013 at 02:04 PM. Reason: spelling



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynamewasangela View Post
    here's something that always *sorta* irritates me-- when folks ask questions such as "did you ever meet your "real" mom (or dad) or.... "is your brother/sister your REAL brother/sister?? << to that one I usually answer, no, made of wax, can't you tell?.
    Adoptive parent here - and I hate that question too. My girls *are* bio siblings, but it's such an intrusive question once people find out that they were adopted. Does it really matter? (Especially annoying for mere acquaintances to ask. Our good friends - of course they ask, although I think it's pretty obvious).

    I, too, am sorry that some of you found out about your adoption later on in life. As adoptees, my girls have a bittersweet situation, but one thing they always knew was how much we wanted them, and how hard we worked to get them.


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