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Posts Tagged ‘half-sibling’


Friday finally rolled around – I thought it would NEVER come! Pacing, staring at the phone, crazy! RING phone! – And in the same thought – Oh my God! What are we possibly going to say to each other?

It’s funny – you get consumed with “the search” and when reality slaps you in the face – you have a whole other set of issues to deal with – and you have to deal with them fairly quickly! And you have to have courage. Something like this definitely takes courage…

Finally the phone rang. It was my birth mom, Jeanne. I could tell she was nervous as well, so that helped. We did the dance most adoptees and birthparents probably do the first time you speak. “How ARE you?” “I’m fine – how are YOU?” LOL – good god – REALLY? Awkward City!!

So, we then quickly got to the snapshots of each of our lives. Jeanne is married and has 2 children – a boy and a girl. So I have 2 half siblings. I am excited about that! There were odd coincidences – she had been pregnant with twins – a boy and a girl, and she lost the boy. She had named him Christopher. And, she lost him at Christmastime. We talked for quite a long time, and it was nice. And it became easier. I could tell she had quite a story to tell. All that had happened to her leading to this day.

We decided that we would meet. We (snail) mailed each other a picture of ourselves so that we’d know who we were looking for at the airport.

Jeanne was to come to Scranton within a week.

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Years went by since I tried to find information about my birth parents.  I lived in Virginia when I went to St. Joseph’s with my mother, and left the letter giving my permission for them to release my information to my birth parents if they so desired.

One day the phone rang.  It was mom.  She said “are you sitting down”?  Hmm.  This might be interesting.  I wasn’t alarmed because she didn’t sound upset.  “Go ahead mom – I’m sitting down.”

YOUR BIRTH MOTHER IS LOOKING FOR YOU.

Wow.

What a rush it is to hear those words.  A million things go through your mind.  Now what?  Whoa – am I READY for this?

Finally – my birth mother had contacted St. Joe’s.  They looked in my file and there was the letter I had left years ago.  The contact information I had left indicated my phone and address in Virginia.  I had moved back to Pennsylvania and never thought to update it.  Luckily, they had my parents phone number and they called them and told them the news.  I was to call St. Joe’s.

So, I called – and yes, it was true.  My birth mother wished to have contact.  It was a Wednesday.  I was to wait until Friday for her call. 

Really?  They tell you this BIG news, then make you wait.  They STILL wouldn’t tell me anything about her.  I didn’t even know where she would be calling me from, or what time.

So, I waited.

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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.

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I’m going to blog about this in chapters – so as not to bore anyone! lol  But perhaps, it will be interesting to some, and hopefully, helpful to a few as well 🙂

I was born in Scranton, PA.  I don’t know or remember when I was told I was adopted – it’s just something I always “knew”.  I think that is the best way – I don’t remember any shocking story about anything.  My parents made it into a beautiful story, that always made me feel special.  It was always just a part of “me”.

My parents applied to St. Joseph’s in Scranton to adopt a baby.  They applied in August.  I was born in September.  They had the usual background and home checks and waited.  Suprisingly, they didn’t have to wait very long.  They secretly wished for a girl, but of course would have been thrilled just to have a baby – son or daughter.

On December 21, Mom was downtown shopping – she had taken the bus, and Dad was at my grandparents house.  And, they got “the call”.  – Come and get your new baby – TOMORROW! 

Dad ran to the busstop, and waited for Mom.  When she got off the bus, he told her their news.  It was snowing.  It always played in my mind that it must have been such a special moment.

Mom was lucky – she had four sisters – and three of them had children – so they knew just what to do.  They put together a baby shower in record time, so they’d have what they needed to welcome their new baby.

The day I was adopted, they brought Mom and Dad into the Chapel at St. Joe’s.  The manger was set up, and they wanted to give my parents their baby in front of the manger.  It was December 22nd. 

They told my parents, that they had chosen a baby girl for them – me 🙂  And, I was handed to them in front of the manger.   They named me “Mary Christine” – partly because my grandmother’s name was Mary, and mostly because it was Christmas. 

We always celebrate my “second birthday” on December 22nd – How cool is that?

Forever grateful to my parents.  They have given me a wonderful life.  Great family, childhood memories – the works!

Tomorrow – I will tell you about “the search” – how it came to be, what happened, and how it all has played out.  I do want to say, that I was never an adoptee who had that “burning” desire to seek out, or felt that “part of me was missing”.  I just wanted to know who I looked like, what my medical history was, and whatever else happened – happened.  My parents will always be my parents.  My birthparents are my birthparents.  Your true parents are the people who raised you, and took care of you your whole life.

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