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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I have a new relative...a niece!

I guess I will have to start at the beginning. My twin sister and I were born to a 40 year old, mother of 5, divorced lady. I was born with a "club" foot and our biological mother was, in my opinion, led to believe that it would be a very costly expense to deal with. I honestly don't know how she came to her decision, but she put us up for adoption. Back in the early 50's, it was a direct adoption, one where a physician made all the arrangements between parties and finalized through the legal process. My father (adoptive) always said he put us on "layaway" till he could convince our mother (mean adoptive) to proceed with the formalities. She finally agreed, after my father said he would set her up with her own apartment (he owned the building), so she would have a place to "get away!" Lucky us! I have to note, they had adopted a boy 13 months before. There were no biological children between the two (which was a good thing), and they were of the old school training and had to have "heirs" - especially a son.

Fast forward to 1988. My mother (adoptive) was mean, cold, calculating and manipulative, and always said that we could never find our biological parents, as it would be a slap in HER face. Oh really. A friend and I headed to Parkersburg to start checking the birth records, which are not birth certificates. The filing is completely different. Being a twin - our birth record stood out like a sore thumb. Here's a bit of irony...on our birth records, we were named by our biological mother as Marilyn and Carolyn - our adoptive parents named us Marie and Caroline - pretty damn close wouldn't you say? So on to Charleston, WV to check through the records on file with the state. I found our mother's name, yet no father was mentioned anywhere. OK - you deal with what you have. The search began through City Directories, and I was able to follow my mother's addresses and children who lived with her, till they moved out and were listed elsewhere.

I decided to take a chance and wrote a letter to the child who lived with our mother the longest (he would have been the baby), and mailed the letter. I never heard a thing in return. Three years later, my letter is returned to me with the notation on the outside "not at this address!" ????? How weird is that? Strangely enough, the daughter I had given up for adoption contacted me (I had made it easy for her to find me), and now the urge to find my biologicals became stronger. I had addresses for 2 of the five children (my half-siblings) and headed to Parkersburg to the first address I had. (btw my daughter accompanied me)

I pulled up in front of the house and there were 3 women sitting on the porch, and I was a nervous wreck. How do you approach someone and ask all these personal questions? Finally, I just approached the older woman, she was very nice, and I asked if she was related to Thelma D., and before I could go on, she (Peg) asked if I was Marilyn or Carolyn? I can't explain the feeling that went through my entire body. My daughter came running up from the car and we all started crying. This new half-sister got on the phone and called sis Betty...and within 40 minutes, Betty and her husband and 2 children were all there and the talking never ceased. I came home and told my twin and she was ecstatic and we went back to Parkersburg the next day for more introductions.

I have to note, the half-brother to whom I wrote the letter had apparently passed away several years before I sent the letter - so where or who had that letter so long, remains a mystery.

My husband passed away 10-12-00 and my sister Peg passed away 2 weeks later, and my twin passed away (at 49) in march '01. That was a very hard time for me, but now I had an extended family for support. Also, out of the 5 children my biological mother had - 4 living at the time - the 2 oldest siblings refused to admit we existed or to meet us. That was fine with me - I wasn't upset at all - I figure there are shallow people everywhere.

My nieces and nephews have been good to me and keep me informed of my half-sisters health issues and all is well. And this morning...while deciding which issue I want to tackle...I get a notice from Facebook. It is a woman asking if I was possibly related to so and so and a few other questions...my heart is racing...I HAVE A NEW NIECE!!! And she is 8 months older than me...I love it. She is the daughter of the oldest sibling that refused to acknowledge me and she wants to know about me. Believe it or not, we went to the same high school and she graduated a year ahead of me...I had to rush to the basement and swat the cobwebs to get the old yearbooks out. I'm looking to see if I recognize her and there is something vaguely familiar, I would love to see her now - we are 40 years older and I am sure much more lovely. She has 2 brothers, now I don't know if they want to know about me, but my family is getting larger and I love it.

Without finding my biologicals, I would be the last lonely member of my adoptive family. My brother (and I use the term loosely - he was a bastard, a**hole SOB) died in October '02 I believe, the family never really contacted me. I have called it the "orphan" syndrome. All I had was my kids - but sometimes we need a larger network - and I have one.

Aren't you all glad to NOT have a political statement from me at the moment...dream on the day isn't over!!!


Anonymous said...

What a fascinating story! I'm so glad you found them/they found you.b

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Very cool story. Sounds alot like my own. I considered myself an orphan until the Summer of 2007 when I located my biological mother (and full sister I never knew I had!)

Chickie said...

Wow. How awesome that you were able to find them!