Yes, my adoption story was one I didn’t find the full truth about until about 20+ years ago.
And to be completely truthful here, I am still awaiting some truths.
This is when my search for my birth parents changed direction. I had no idea the tru circumstances of my coming into being. The truth I found out was only revealed after I did some basic leg work and kept requesting information. So, my truth I found out when I reached out to the adoption records department through the NYS Health Department. Much of it was general, no history on the parents. Commonly referred to as ‘non-identifying’ information. They sent me my file and it read read ‘released due to neglect.’ Also in it was a corresponding police report ID #; I had a mission ahead of me.
The next step took some time, but I was able to obtain the original police report. It would be up to me to continue to find any of my identifying information. To utilize what was available. DNA, at that time, was financially out of my reach. I hit the pavement. I tried to connect with the police officers in the report, I searched newspaper microfiche. From there I found the correlating news story. The car belonged to a middle aged woman named Josephine.
Small world, or my world which is actually 4 degrees and not 6 degrees of separation; my partners / SO’s 2nd cousin actually held me while waiting for the police to come and get me when I was found that fateful day 53+ years ago. But the ‘coincidences don’t end there.
As chance would have it, a friend of mine went to high school with Josephine’s daughter. This helped with facilitating a meet and greet. I was fortunate enough to meet Josephine, and her daughter, in the flesh. I don’t think she was able to see me as anything other other than the adult that stood in front of her. She couldn’t fathom I was that infant that was left alone with literally nothing but the clothes on my back, a blanket and a religious medal. In Josephine’s aged years, she questioned me; why did you leave that baby in the car. I really was unable to answer her.
My whole life I knew I was adopted, but the story I was raised with was quite different from the truth. It seems that is a common theme, the truth evading me. From my parents [adoptive ones, the ones that earned the right to be called parents], trying to protect me to the current situation. But here, I don’t think ‘Linda’ [birth mother] is trying to protect anyone but herself.
I reflect on so many things now. It is with a different perspective. Now I look at it as a mother. I also look at it as lost sister, lost daughter, lost granddaughter, lost niece, lost cousin, and lost aunt. Overall, that is OK because I did not want for any of those relationships.
Random thoughts that seem to plague my waking hours:
- The hardest thing for me now is still wondering what the exact truth is.
- To some it might seem trivial, but I have never known what my actual birth date is since they guesstimated my birth as 12 / 24 hours before I was found.
- What is it that led ‘Linda’ to that fateful decision?
- What was going on in her head.
- All these years, she never tried to find me.
- This secret was best left a skeleton in her closet. But the truth is rearing it’s head.
Not looking for justice; none if this is about that. The crime itself has long passed its’ statue of limitations. Answers, truthful answers to just some of those plaguing thoughts.
For some time after I found out the truth I was pretty unhappy that this truth, my truth, was always kept at bay. But then it occurred to me my adoptive parents, the family that made all the sacrifices to raise me; were just trying to protect me and possibly put a better spin on my birth parents.