I was put up for adoption in 1968. I was born with (mild) cerebral palsy, 2 months premature and weighed 2 pounds at birth. The cerebral palsy diagnosis would not come until later when I was about 2 years old. After birth, I spent a good deal of time in the ICU, then went into the foster care system and lived with a foster family until I was 18 months old when I actually was adopted by my parents.
We are a small family, just my Mom and Dad and 2 older brothers. My parents wanted a girl and had 2 boys already, so they decided to adopt me. It seems I always grew up knowing I was adopted. My Mom always made me feel special because I was especially "chosen". I did not grow up angry about it, but, it *did* make me wonder things. Did I look like someone? Did I have siblings? What is my medical history? Well, you can imagine the types of things you may want to know about your biological family. I knew nothing. Adoptions were still "closed" in the 60's it was difficult to find out much of anything. When I was in my 20's I had contacted the county requesting my records but all they had available to send me was my birth certificate. When it arrived, I was disappointed to learn it had my adoptive parents name on it and no biological information for me to pursue. I placed a couple of notices over the years on some adoption registry websites and searched adoption registry sites in case someone may be looking for me. I never found anything and had resolved myself to the fact that I would not find my birth parents. I was okay with it honestly, except that as I got older, more and more health issues began to arise where having some genetic information could be very helpful and that had always bothered me.
Now the story jumps way ahead to 3 weeks ago. My husband and I began watching the TV show, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and he began saying how he was really interested to trace his Swedish / Norwegian roots. After talking it over with his parents they decided they were interested as well so he signed up for an international account at ancestry.dot.com. It's kind of expensive so they would do 2 months worth of research and call it done. I was not really into it personally, but it makes my hubby happy so that's what matters most. We are working on our respective computers one night after dinner and Dave casually says, " I sent your birth information to a lady named Judy in San Diego who runs an adoption registry search and she thinks she *may have a couple of possible matches* for your birth mother." I look at him just blinking, not knowing what to say exactly, and I said, "You did what, why did you do that?" He repeats himself and says he's felt so badly because he's been working on his family tree gathering so much information and each time he would come to our family (myself, dh, son) he had no information to fill in for me. It's late when he tells me all this and I am tired, so I go to bed.
The next morning there is an email from Judy the woman from the adoption search registry and she has narrowed things down to one birth name, my Mothers last name only. The next 3 nights, DH and I get online and begin hunting that last name. He gets on ancestry and I am on the web. He's searching birth records, marriage records, death records and I am trying to do the same. We work on some possible leads but at this point nothing is confirmed for certain. I give up around midnight and go to sleep. Next thing I know I am being awoken by a yelling, ecstatic husband who says to me: "I think you have a sister, I found a message, and I think I just found her, come see, come see, I found a photo!!! I get up out of my bed, get dressed and shuffle out to the PC and look at the pic. Hmmm. Could be, but I don't know. I am skeptical at this point and Dave is saying he sees such a resemblance between us, that he got chills when he found the picture. Where does he find the picture and message? On an old message board of ancestrydotcom's website.
Here is the message that was posted. Notice the date is 10 years ago.
[quote]Posted:15 Jun 2000 LOOKING FOR SISTER DOB 11-11-68 IN SAN DIEGO FEMALE BIRTH NAME TRACY L. XXXXXXX WAS PUT UP FOR ADOPTION 1969?. PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO REGARDING FAMILY MEMBERS, E-MAIL ME[/quote]
Well, when I saw that message with my first and middle name and correct birth date and birth place I knew it was someone looking for me. I was absolutely floored. I can not explain the feelings. Even now almost 3 weeks later, I am still trying to put it all into words and it's absolutely surreal.
I've had a good life, a somewhat typical, yet great childhood with wonderful parents who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at the end of May. I married and had a son with a wonderful man whom I have been with for the last 18 years. His parents are still married and have been together for as long as my parents.
I am so very blessed and fortunate to have had all this. Much more fortunate than my new siblings were and I guess that is the guilt that I feel. My bio mom could have so easily aborted me and she chose not too. She made the very, very difficult choice to put me up for adoption so that I may grow up to live a life with the medical care that I needed ... A life she knew that she was not in a position to provide at the time. She took a huge chance and always wondered if I was happy. I understand, and I am not angry or upset, for I am grateful. More than I could ever express in words. Thank you Mary Lee for taking a chance on me. May you rest in peace.
Edited to add: My bio mother, Mary Lee, passed away at age 38 when I would have been a freshman/sophomore in high school.