Although mildly curious, the thought of truly searching didn’t hit me until I was in my 20’s. At about 25, I decided that I’d like to know my medical history, and perhaps even find out if I looked like anyone out there in the world. The funny thing is, I’ve always been told that I looked like my mom – and sounded like her – we always got a chuckle out of that.
So, Mom and I went to St. Joseph’s to see what we could find. Pennsylvania is a sealed-records state, so we really hit a roadblock. A prim-and-proper sort came out to greet us, and handed me two pieces of paper – one for my birthmother and one for my birthfather. It had their ages, height, hair and eye color. Oh, and their religion too. Big whoop.
They were so adamant about “identifying information” that they wouldn’t even tell me if my birthparents were from “east of the Mississippi, or west of the Mississippi”.
Something about that just made me mad. Here I was, an adult, and I was with my mom, and the person behind the desk held information that was important to me – and I couldn’t get it! It made me more determined to find out.
I had limited information from my parents. They believed that my birthmother was from California. I knew she was of French descent, and my birthfather of German. I knew where I was baptized. So, I decided to start there.
It was amazingly simple- I just called the church with some cockamamie story about losing my baptism certificate. They GAVE me my birthmother’s name – Desormeaux. Success!! I THOUGHT with such an unsual name that I’d locate her in no time!
I looked up every Desormeaux in California – (this was before the internet) – and I called them. It wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. Not one of the 6 listed Desormeaux was who I was looking for – but one of them suggested I try NEW ORLEANS since Desormeaux was a French name. Okay – well guess what – Desormeaux is to the French what Jones is to the United States! LOL So, I called a few – and one of THEM suggested I try CANADA! Okay, I could see this wasn’t going anywhere, since it wouldn’t be possible to call thousands of people all over the US and Canada named Desormeaux.
I gave up at this point. And it was okay. It just wasn’t the right time yet.
One important note – St. Joe’s told me that I could leave a letter in my file – stating that in the event either of my birthparents decided to seek ME out – I gave St. Joe’s my permission to release my personal information to them.
And that’s what I did.