Hi everyone! Welcome to the newest addition to the Forums, Local Adoption Connections.
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Hi. This is the first time that I've ever written to you, but I would like to pass along some words of encouragement to everyone out there.
I was born November 24, 1958 and adopted on November 30, 1959. I was raised by two loving parents and an older sister (15 yrs. older). As long as I can remember, I knew I was adopted. There was a book at the library that we used to check out, called The Chosen Baby. I since have found a copy for my very own, yes, it's a very old book but still a very good one to explain to young children about being chosen and not born into a family.
All adoptees have questions about themselves, their heritage, why they were given up for adoption. If they say they don't, they are not only lying to you, they are lying to themselves. So when I was 25 yrs old, I went to the court house in the county that I lived in and was born in and did I ever get lucky! Not knowing if I could look at my file or not, I simply asked, gave my adopted name, etc. The fantastic woman behind the counter gave me my file and even photo-copied certain pages that I requested from it. Funny thing is, my birthdate on the folder was wrong. At the time, I did not realize how lucky I was until I had moved several times and thought I had lost the papers for good. I returned to the court house, repeated my request for my file and just about got my head bitten off for having seen my file, having had copies of it from the not-so-fantastic different lady at the counter. All I could say to her was, "oh, guess I'll have to search more for my copy at home" and I beat feet out of there let me tell ya.
Since the information in my file was relatively local and this is a rural area where pretty much everyone knows everyone else or knows someone who does...all I had to do was a little sleuthing and I found my maternal grandmother and aunts. No one had heard from my mother in 15 years. I kept in touch with my one aunt and about a year after I had found them, I received a call from my birth mother. She and I have kept in touch through the years. This past year, she has come back to Michigan for several visits, met my children, her new great-grandson and has met my adopted parents and sister and her family. The sweetest, nicest thing was when she thanked my adopted parents for raising me so well.
Our relationship is still in the young stage. I look at her and see alot of myself in her face, her laughter, her sense of humor. I feel more connected to the world because I know my heritage, my roots. I no longer have the question of WHY..what did I do that my mother gave me away? She had given temporary custody to the county to save us from her husband. I have an older half sister that was born May 25 or 26 (I'm not exactly sure which day) 1956 that was her husband's child. When I had begun my sleuthing, I had just happened to call one of his sister-in-laws and she flat out told me that if there were any other way possible to find my mother other than contacting her ex-husband, to do it. Do not call him, you don't want to call him, he is bad news, honey and you don't want anything to do with him! So when Momma (she lives down south and my other half sister calls her that, accent and all) (which I figure is a great way to differentiate between my two moms) said that her ex had threatened to kill all of us, I believed her. That is why she put us in foster care and left the county. I have filed papers with the court house and state to put my name on a list in order to find Tina Marie. I then got a paper back from a judge telling me that I have been assigned an advocate and the for a mere $200 and some odd dollars, this advocate will locate my sister and ask her if she would like to meet her long lost little sister. I am on a very fixed income, so nuts to that noise. I would if I could but I can't so I won't, in other words! All I need for them is to just give me a name and I can do my own locating, thank you very much!
That is my story in a nutshell. If anyone knows of anyone else who knows some woman, born in May that was adopted and looking, please feel free to contact me at Logically speaking, since Tina was 3 years old when she went into the foster care system and assumed adopted afterwards, then chances are, her name wasn't changed. That would be very confusing to a child plus all the other traumatic things that had happened before then. My name was changed from Tammy Jane, but then I was only a year old too.
So to all of you adopted parents, please don't ever feel like your child is trying to replace you, that can never happen. Momma gave birth to me, gave me up to protect me but my Mom and Dad were the ones who were there in the night when I was sick, at my school conferences and activities through the years, there the night that my son was born by emergency c-section, there whenever I've needed them. No one can EVER take that away from them, nor from you, no matter who they are. Momma and I can talk as friends, as adults more than mother and daughter. We're more confidantes than best friends because there are certain things that you never ever tell your best friend, much less your mom but Momma and I tell all, good, bad, and ugly!
To all of you adoptees searching, don't give up! Someone somewhere knows somebody else who has information. I think that is what forums like these are basically for. To help people find others who have been there no matter which side you're on...parents, birth parents, adoptees. Like the letter that I recently read from Paul. He needed to find someone who has been through the same or similar circumstances. People need to know that they are not alone and unique in their situation. That's what makes this forum so great.
I haven't adopted any children legally, though I have quite a few that call me mom. Some are from my years of driving school bus and some are from my children's friends. But I love them like they are my own, treat them like my own, and would do whatever I could for them. At one of my "children's" weddings, I wore a corsage and was introduced as her "other mom". Children don't have to be nurtured for 9 months UNDER your heart, they can be nurtured IN your heart to belong to you. One of my "children" committed suicide a few years ago and the motherly guilt was there, the grief (even to this day, I miss him terribly) that he had been in such pain in order to do that. So it really doesn't matter if parent and child are blood related. All good parents want the best for a baby, child, teen that they are in close contact with. You love them, nurture them, comfort them and "grow" them into adulthood the very best that you can for as long as you can. That's the best advice that I can give to anyone.
Thanks for listening, learning, helping, and being here!
Blessed Be!
I have adopted 2 children from Michigan foster care, have 3 bios and continue to foster through Bethany Christian Services.