Little Sister, Penny

January 15th, 2014

Three StatuesMy mind was a blank slate regarding my birth siblings. Born of the same mother, as far as I knew our resemblance would end there. Before we met, my half-sister, Penny and I began to correspond. Her writing blessed me beyond belief with welcome. I was not too nervous over meeting her, but church family experiences had conditioned me to expect jealousy to raise its dirty head after the initial welcome. Unfortunately human nature tends to fear loss of position, friendships and even love when ‘newbies’ come on scene. Such fear is often sub-conscious but may be evidenced by negative, self-protective reactions. Having learned this, I put myself, as much as possible, into Penny’s shoes and wondered if she ever… [more]

Bonus Siblings!

January 15th, 2014

3 DucklingsFirst and foremost, let me say this: I was blessed with wonderful siblings! I'm not talking about my natural siblings, I'm talking about my adoptive siblings. We were six in all, with the last four of us being adopted. Although my older sisters remember helping mom care for us, and often remind me that we younger ones were the source of many of their 'woes', my memories of childhood center mostly around our parents' 'Second Family', my three brothers. I was, of course, a tomboy...I played in the mud-puddles, 'fished' from ditches, climbed trees, threw and bat a baseball as well as any of them...although the eldest, I'm sure, would beg to differ on that point! I grew up feisty… [more]

How to Handle the Naysayers

January 11th, 2014

GRACELadies and gentlemen, if you plan a search, or have yet to reunite physically with birth family, do this: Wear your armor of faith and wear wisdom like a cloak. Don’t go in without these. This sort of reunion is nerve-wracking even when everyone treats you kindly. It has the potential to pierce your heart if any are hostile towards you. I can honestly say that even though I was forewarned of those who were against this reunion, I wasn’t hurt by them.  And unless they read this, which they most likely won’t, those who were against my being there never knew that I knew about their attitudes. You don’t have to let everyone know everything you know…certainly not right… [more]

Expanding Horizons~Part 2

January 11th, 2014

0315021444Later, we gathered for a while in my birth mother, Vi’s, home. It was a lovely old home she was renovating, with a front porch on both stories, built on land that rolled slightly. Definitely the kind of home I would have chosen. There, I met my half-brother, Bo, whom I loved on sight, my mother’s closest friend, Mary, and dear, dear, Uncle Giles, who is sweet to me to this day. I’m not sure if I met more that day or the following day…I do remember being dizzy with joy throughout the week-end at the unexpected love reception I was encountering…and so mentally, emotionally and physically tired I could hardly stand it. Other than my discomfort at being an ‘oddity’ to my… [more]

Expanding Horizons – Meeting Family

January 8th, 2014

Cindy and MomIn “Aunt Bea, She Ain’t,” I quickly came to the realization that my birthmother was not exactly the kind of woman I had envisioned most of my life. I also learned that this didn’t matter a single iota. I was to learn over ensuing days and years that although quiet at first glance, she was a private, strong, somewhat sassy, warm and gracious person. She had made a few mistakes, just like the rest of us, but in her case, some of those mistakes were hung out on the line for all to see. And in small towns, we all know how long it takes for those clothes to dry. Undaunted, she went to school, became a beautician, started… [more]

Aunt Bea She Ain’t!

January 7th, 2014

Cindy and Rachel meetThe only pictures she sent were about twenty years old; my first clue that she was just as afraid of my opinion of her as I was of her opinion of me. I had a long-time fantasy she would look and act like Aunt Bea. So far, nothing she had revealed had destroyed the fantasy…except maybe the part about her owning and operating her own beauty/tanning salon. That might change things a little. …Or a lot. The period of time between, (see "Hide or Seek"), our initial phone contact and this monumental Day of Meeting had prepared us, somewhat, for our first physical encounter. (I mean, really, how prepared can one be for such an event as this?) We… [more]

Hide or Seek

January 6th, 2014

peekaboo bunnyOf course, we didn’t talk about retrievers. In fact, that first conversation with my birth mom may have been the only time they were mentioned. The initial shock of having found her, and so quickly, had me temporarily addle-brained, but with subsequent days and conversations, we became phone and e-mail friends. She went out of her comfort zone to learn how to use her computer so she could write me, but preferred phone conversations. It was only about a week before she began asking when we were going to be able to meet. Until her open door invitation, I thought I was ready. I wasn’t. Not only did I have a full time teaching job, it was my busiest ‘season’… [more]

Tears and Retrievers

January 5th, 2014

HAPPY TEARSMarty did tell the truth. He did call his sister. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall to hear him begin that conversation! Was he abrupt and to the point; soft and shy? As he’d told us, when his little sister became pregnant, he’d been underway with the Navy and had remained so until sometime after she’d given birth. Her pregnancy was never discussed. Perhaps if ignored, that whole episode would just go away. How sad for her, how very, very sad. But for him at this moment, how awkward…and yet to be the bearer of what he hoped would be glad tidings… Waiting in limbo, I did a lot of self-talking about how I would react if she… [more]

An Uncle Found

December 5th, 2013

Needle in HaystackHazel had given us Marty's name. (See that story HERE.) It was sudden and unexpected. At first, she had nothing to offer, but after a bit of time on the phone with my husband, Hazel came through. There's more to her story...I'll continue with that a bit later. Could it possibly be that only that day, I had received my non-identifying information in the mail, and by that evening, I had found my uncle? Yes. It is true. As it turned out, Marty was my uncle. My mother's older brother. He obviously loved my birth mom because as my husband revealed her full name and started asking questions, Marty became defensive...aggressively so. This man was a protector. As I… [more]

Moving from a Name to a Voice

November 21st, 2013

ON PHONEWith me sitting alongside him, my husband called every male name on the list. Every time he dialed, I held my breath until someone answered. Every time no one answered or the voice on the other end claimed no knowledge of my birth mother, my heart sank a little lower. I knew I shouldn’t feel that way-we'd only begun our search-but this phase was like slow torture! Finally, we came to the end of the list without even a clue of her whereabouts. I was beginning to feel a strong kinship to the little Dr. Seuss bird, silently asking every semblance of life, “Are you my mother?”  But my husband left our number with every one…and by the way… [more]