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Saturday, June 25, 2011

How Is It For You?

Von writes:-
As you may know I'm still looking for an adoptee blogger older than I am....it gets lonely in this decade sometimes, even mothers are younger than I am!
So what's it like being an adoptee for this long? It will be 67 years come September, so plenty of time to get used to it you'd think. During that time progress was mostly very slow. I waited until I was 32 to know the name of my mother and my own name.
They were given to me on a tiny scrap of paper, by the man I called Dad, who seemed at that point by the accompanying spiel, to be indicating he thought it was a good idea if I found my family. I felt he was washing his hands of me and maybe he was, given the later developments. The story of my mother being a medical student and a talented pianist couldn't have been more incorrect! I learned around that time never to trust anything you are told about your adoption or family unless you see written proof.
That red herring was to waste many years, although a pleasant correspondence ensued with the medical student, by then a Doctor and still very possibly a relative.She and my mother shared a name and year of birth. I learned too that these coincidences pop up all the time in adoption and I'm still trying to find the time to have a good think about what it means.
My disinterest in my father and his family was changed by reunion with my mother, but it still took many years before I pursued that. A genealogist friend changed my lack of knowledge overnight and I was soon in contact with those of my half-siblings who wanted to know me.
I am here a few years later having run the gamut of emotions, hopes and dreams, with the door closed on most of my biological relatives. The damage on one side is more than I can cope with or want to cope with and on the other side relatives are few. Oddly enough I pass the practice of one cousin almost daily, it reminds me of his mother, after whom I was named.
I've done reunion. I've been lucky to have the legislative support and the opportunities to know and to understand my family history on both sides. I have a collection of wonderful stories; enough for a book about my Great-Great Grandfather and some very special mementoes, including photos. I am content to know my background, to have a context for some of my traits and need nothing more.
At this time in my life I accept myself for who I am; accept with gratitude that I am able to know all I want to know and more. I am comfortable with being an angry adoptee when it comes to injustice and the rights of adoptees and feel particularly strongly about stigma, the adoption myths, untruths and the lack of ethics in adoption.
I have a fulfilled life in a beautiful place and have achieved more than was expected and haven't finished yet! I expect to keep on learning, changing and having new adventures for as long as I have. Adoption teaches us resilience, survival and tenaciousness, what a shame it would be to waste any of it!


  1. Great post Von!

  2. Great to know more about you and your personal history, Von. Your friend in spirit...

  3. This is a great post. I love the accompanying picture; so fitting.

  4. My Dear Von,
    I am a 77 year old adoptee, living in England. Your story moved me and the last sentence is the most valuable and true statement. However, I have never contacted my mother who was 17 when I was born, partly in case I caused her embarrassment, and partly in fear of rejection. After a dreadful childhood, I found my own way, was happily married and have lovely daughters and grandchildren. One always feels different. The proudest thing in my life is the fact that my daughters say they had a happy childhood. I wish you every happiness. Love - Ruth


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