Uncharted Waters

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Yes, this blog is about my search – but my search started when my adoptive mother was on her death bed 24 years ago. My sister; also adopted, and I found our adoption paperwork. It was, I thought at the time, the key leading to all my answers.

It was not my key I held; but my sisters. It held her name and from there her truths would unfold. Almost 22 years ago, I was able to give her the gift of her biological family. I had connected some info on an adoption bulletin board on AOL. That first contact find was made in the middle of the night and I had to wait until at least 7:30 AM before I could share this my sister, JA. I don’t remember if I even slept. I remember she wasn’t as keen on finding her family as I seemed to be; but she wanted her truth. She found out her truth and so much more. She learned of a family that had always been searching for her. 

The post on AOL was a maternal aunt searching for her and a full brother that had always been looking. Hours passed in the day before I was able to catch up with JA and find out what had transpired when she had spoken to her aunt. 

JA had another large family. There were several  siblings, the paternal side practically tripling the maternal side. I think 7 or 8 paternal siblings, one full brother and 2 maternal siblings. 

Well, there’s a brief history; but why am I sharing this. I am in ‘Unchartered Waters.’ You see, one of JA’s paternal siblings, a sister younger by about 16 months, Trish, is leaving this world momentarily. She has fought the good fight against pancreatic cancer and some other complications. Trish will be leaving this earth a loving and brave soul with cherished memories of her left behind. I really didn’t know her at all; but I am plagued with these thoughts and emotions.

  • This isn’t my sibling, but I am so truly saddened.
  • How do I help my sister, JA?
  • How can I be there for her?
  • What can I do to save her from this pain when I cannot share it the same way?
  • No matter what had transpired with us, drifting apart and coming back together nothing would / will ever stop me from protecting her.

Memories from childhood and memories from adulthood creep into my mind . Memories of me stepping up to be there, support and even protect JA. Memories of JA always being there for me. Memories of experiencing the sadness of death of family members when we were young and so were they.

We were there, as much as children can be there, for the rest of the survivors. We were bereft because we too had lost them forever.  We were much younger than those that had fallen from this place of the living. Maybe too young to be able to really express ourselves. We were mourning our cousins, aunt, uncle and grandparents. They were more than family; they were our lifeline after our parents, sometimes our protectors, our confidants, our friends & playmates; they were our beloved.  

Final thoughts

  • Appreciate the here and the now!
  • Reach out and let those important to you know, they make a difference to you!
  • Let those you care about know they are important!
  • Take a moment for yourself, take a deep breath and enjoy a moment just for you! 

To you, my dear reader, I say thank you for letting me share this slightly off topic post.

 JA always my #1 sister, my friend, my go-to, and so many more things that  are too long to list; but if you are a sibling, then you know the list! And thank you for being you; you mean the world to me and make my world better!!!!

♥♥♥♥

 

Documentary?? Too Good to be true … but THANKS Universe – I would love to!!!

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Since I found out my true story; I tried to do the search thing ‘old school detective style’. It hasn’t yielded any insight into who my birth-parents could be.

After years of disappointing efforts I was enchanted with affordable DNA testing. Here again, my hopes were raised; but not too high, my *closest public relative is about 3.8 generations* from me. There are second cousins on one of them; but for whatever reasons they have chosen to remain that way even after I had contacted them a few times.

However, DNA testing has been incredibly successful in other ways. So many things have come to light: my nationalities, a plethora of family from my ‘Original Tribe’. In addition I have been privy to many family stories – that may or may not also belong to me – yet I have a sense of ownership because even if they aren’t ‘mine’ per-see, they are the stories of my cousins!

In my quest to find my Original Tribe; I have been on adoption sites for years and more recently on Facebook Adoptee / Triad pages. I sporadically will visit the pages. One lucky day, I noticed this post – a lovely woman posted her friends email address to contact if you are interested about your story being documented. Well, it happened to be a great day for me!

I sent a quick email stating my interest to share! Recently, I was contacted by the woman who just completed this documentary – https://www.feeln.com/films/journey-of-dreams. [they are connected to Hallmark – WOW] She had been busy wrapping up a film and hadn’t forgotten about me. ‘Can I share my story with her.’ Well, I gladly did!!

I shared my story; some information that I haven’t been extremely forthcoming about for no other reason than I just wasn’t comfortable; and it seemed that it may make others uncomfortable. I included the newspapers articles from when I was first found and the one from done 35 years later, one of gratitude to my birth mother for having me.

I also am fortunate to have a copy of my foster care records, and the accompanying police report from when I was found. Attached those as well. Being found abandoned at approximately a day old with no knowledge of the birth parents did not make for a successful police investigation. Fifty plus years ago; information was not as easily shared, computers did not exist as they do today and the idea of an **unwanted child** is much more accepted.

Well, I received a response; the team is now considering my story for a documentary. This is huge!! People have been reporting incredible success with just posting their stories on Facebook. A documentary! WOW!! That can be the path to the MY TRUTH that I seek. The path to finding my ‘Original Tribe’.

Thank you Universe!

Thank you to the wonderful people at feeln.com!

Thank you to my wonderful ‘Original Tribe’ family!

Thanks to my ‘Life Sustaining Tribe’, how I got to here and now!

And most of all to my spouse & children that propel every success I achieve!

Note:

*This cousin, ‘3.8 generations’, is one of my closest original tribe family. We are in constant communication and it’s wonderful! AND, there are more cousins that I am also in VERY close contact with, 4th generation and beyond. The thing is, we are friends because we found out we are family. It is a wonderful feeling! We text, email, talk, try to Skype, share on Facebook. We hope to meet soon; for me with two toddlers and working full-time, etc., I have limited time and energy right now; but I look forward to that incredible day!

I guess I would have to call them framily!  They are supportive and informative and try to help me find out more information. I feel so fortunate.

**Now, here I would like to clarify ‘unwanted child.’ I really cannot speak of my birth mother and possibly birth father’s true intentions or feelings. I do not know what motivated her / him / an unknown helper / them. What I do now, they had some kind of spirituality / religion and they believed in the miracle of life. I can only conclude from their actions that they probably knew they were unable to care for an infant / child and hoped for the best.

Reflection / Appreciation – paying it forward in baby steps!

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Today is a day filled with mixed emotions.

Each day I am on a quest for my roots, my past … but today is the present and a life is gift and reason to celebrate one another!

Today is almost like any any other these past months; I smell the coffee, my sons arise happy to greet the world, the Ewoks want breakfast and hunt me down as I go through the morning routine. The only respite from their jumping is to put a little bit of a treat in their food. Their food and water is down most of the time; Shih Tzu’s aren’t gluttons; in fact they are more on the anorexic side – at least mine are.

I ready for work; say my goodbye’s – thank my mother-in-law and request that she last another day and NOT quit as she is left alone with my energetic guys.

I am driving to work and there it is on the radio – a reminder that at 9:03 the first tower was struck. A moment of silence …

Sadness overcomes me and I remember that day.

A this time 13 years ago I was on a long haul to my office 45 minutes away – without traffic. I chose to drive the parkway adjacent to Jones Beach to escape the traffic. I was listening to an audio book, so I had no idea of what was unfolding.I felt the sun shining – it’s warmth beating down on my arm through the open window. A memory lingered of the evening before when we had been to MSG to attend an MJ concert.

Sadness continues to envelope me as I remember the next hour, the frantic phone calls, the looks of sadness, unknowing, confusion and ultimately despair on my co-workers faces. I remember everything about this particular day 13 years later and I suspect that I [with many many others] will always remember this day in it’s entirety, as well as the days that followed.

That day we waited to hear – the phone to ring to hear that familiar voice that would offer us a a semblance of peace for the moment. Finally to have our hopes realized; that family members were safe, and friends were safe, and friends families and friends were safe.

Not all the news was good – we were lucky our immediate family escaped – not unscathed but eventually made their way home where we had gathered and waited as a clan. My cousin living in Maryland had just given birth in DC. She was evacuated and had to leave the hospital on foot with her newborn in tow. Every time the phone rang that day – the air was filled with heavy anticipation of who or what we would hear on the other end. Physically cut off from getting them ourselves; we were left in an emotional state of uncertainty.

Today especially we remember as a nation those that gave their all; but they hadn’t signed up for this. Their families weren’t prepared for this. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, fire fighters, EMT’s, law enforcement for NYPD & Port Authority, stock brokers, waiters, waitresses, Pentagon personnel, military personnel, flight attendants, pilots, passengers and more  … people form NY, NJ and even from around the world. People!

I am proud to be a US Citizen and honored to be a New Yorker; proud of our strength and courage in the face of more than just adversity – but of a hate crime.

As a Buddhist I take the path of forgiveness and acceptance and even of non-violence. This act though tests my core beliefs and the ability of forgiveness. Acceptance – I have no choice; it has happened; I couldn’t stop it.I had no control over it. I do have control over my actions.

How can one person change the world.

One small act of kindness goes along way!

Realize that everyone is important regardless of their role in life; a job does not define a person; neither does their financial status. We are defined by our ability to love and care for one another.

                                   Smile at someone today;                                                                   make eye contact;                                                                          wave or say hello.                                                                  Care about another human being!                                                 The greatest gift any one can                                     receive is to know they are not invisible!