I was my mother's caretaker at the end of her life. Just before the end, a DNA result informed me that my mother was not my biological mother. The news sunk in when it was too late, my mother couldn't speak, and certainly she couldn't answer why she kept such a secret. The promise of duty and dignity took over and I saved my search for when she was gone. She was Eighty-eight years old and I was Forty-three when she left my life on this earth. Her time was full and it ended peacefully, just as she wanted. But my life was turned upside down; I was set on a roller coaster path three years long.
I've learned about the many sides of adoption, been awakened to what a mother feels when faced with no other options other than to give up her baby, and witnessed the difficulties in changing laws in hopes that one day every person can have their original birth certificate.
As a previous foster parent, supporter of children with special needs, and educational advocate for children who are wards of the state - I had already learned so much about adoption and how it can affect the child and both families. Now, I see my education to be more complete through my eyes as an adoptee, a child of adoptive parents who loved me(and who lied to me), and my mother's first born baby whom she had to leave in another town and "forget about."
Rarely are people brought to a path so directly. When that happens, you are forced to open your eyes to what you are supposed to learn, and share. My life has completely changed and so has my husband's, son's, and daughter's. We've all been impacted by learning that I was in fact adopted. But I have to say, we are the perfect family to deal with it, and to use it to share our stories. We have brought attention to much needed legislation, and work to unify efforts to educate and support adoption reform. (Have you seen "denied."?
It has been a three year roller-coaster of writing, excitement, sadness, volunteerism, reunion, loss, hope, and purpose. I'm most proud of, Late Discoveries, An Adoptee's Quest for Truth. From the beginning of my mothers diagnosis, I knew I would write a book. I was open to how to deal with that time in my life, however, feeling unprepared to care for my terminally ill mother. I didn't gain specific nursing knowledge, but I gained a sense of purpose. It began as telling my mother's story, but soon turned into much more.
Three years to the day of the DNA test results I received my advanced copies of my book. It was truly surreal. As I held a copy in my hand I thought, I hope all new late discovery adoptees who find their way to this book will know that they're not alone. Check out the book trailer.
The pain is unbelievable and the damage to the psyche takes time to prune, tossing out all the feelings that aren't ours, rather they were placed upon us. May all LDA's know they are never alone, we are a growing group in the world today. Our ages range from 18 to our 70's, and while we have varying stories, our sense of loss and sadness from the lies is the same. If you, or a family member/friend is a LDA, join us on facebook today.
In closing, are you sure you're not adopted? Really, are you sure?
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