5 Pieces of Information I Wish I Had About My Birth Family

Even after discovering my birth family, I still don't have all the answers I'd like.

Tom Andriola May 15, 2016

It took me a long time to track down my biological parents, but I found them. Prior to my search, I often wondered about my birth family and what they were like. But even after I discovered who they were, I am still left wondering about some things that I have either never had an opportunity to ask, or just can’t be answered to my satisfaction. These are 5 pieces of information I wish I had about my birth family.

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What were my biological grandparents like?
1. What were my biological grandparents like?

By the time I found my birth mother when I was 26 years old, her father had already passed away and her mother had Alzheimer’s disease. I have often wondered what they would have been like as grandparents in their healthy years. When I met my biological father at the age of 40, I didn’t get much of an impression about what his relationship was like with his parents. I am curious about what it would have been like to know them earlier on as well.

Would things have been different now than they were 45 years ago?
2. Would things have been different now than they were 45 years ago?

Out of wedlock pregnancies were frowned upon when I was born in 1971. To complicate things further, relationships across two different religions were not encouraged either. My birth mother was Catholic and my biological father was Jewish. Back then, a long-term relationship like that never had a shot. I wonder if it would have been different if the same thing happened today. Perhaps they would have remained together and I wouldn’t have been placed for adoption. Who knows?

Why didn’t my birth mother have any more children?
3. Why didn’t my birth mother have any more children?

When I met my birth mother in 1997, she told me about herself, and I learned that she never had any other children. I was shocked. For some reason, I had automatically assumed that I would have had some half siblings on her side, but that wasn’t the case. I often wonder why she chose not to have any more children, and if it had something to do with the fact that I was born under less-than-ideal circumstances and had to be placed for adoption.

What would it have been like to grow up with my half siblings?
4. What would it have been like to grow up with my half siblings?

My biological father had three children after I was born and placed for adoption, two sons and a daughter. I wonder what it would have been like to grow up with them. While they are not interested in pursuing a relationship with me now---I think they were surprised to learn about my existence---they seem to be close to each other, and I think I would have enjoyed having three half siblings to be close to growing up.

Where would I be now and what would my life be like?
5. Where would I be now and what would my life be like?

What if my biological parents had stayed together and raised me? What if I grew up with my birth mother as an only child, or with my birth father and my three half siblings? Each of these three scenarios could have resulted in vastly different life experiences for me from the one I am living now. I can’t imagine where I would be living, what I would be doing, and what the context of my life would be like. I will never know if it would have been better or worse, or what path life would have lead me on. But that’s okay. While I didn’t have the best childhood growing up, I am grateful for the good in my life that I have now, and I strive every day to build upon the positives.

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Tom Andriola

Tom Andriola advocates for adoptee rights and shares his personal experiences about being adopted and his successful, independent search for both biological parents. To see more of his writing, visit Tom's Facebook page.

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