Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Search

I am sharing in the hopes of helping others who are searching for their identity and their birth families lost through adoption. There will be three parts to this post as I think it is the best way to break it down and I'll warn you now there is no happy ending but I am stronger and still standing for having searched. What shapes us inside has a lot to do with our weight and fitness journeys....this is hard to type so wish me luck.

Early Years of my Life:
I grew up knowing that I was adopted. One of my earliest memories is of me saying that I was my daddy's adopted "angel" I am not sure how old I am in that memory but young 5 or 6 ish. I was lucky in that my parents wanted me and loved me and they took very good care of me. I had a great childhood up until I was 11 years old then my mom had a massive stroke that completely changed her personality she was in the hospital for 6 months having to relearn everything walking talking how to feed herself just everything that you and I take for granted.

After she came home she was partially paralyzed and walked with a limp didn't have use of her right arm anymore she was a completely different person and we didn't get along for many years but that is another post. Once I entered my teenage years being adopted meant something different to me. I wandered who do I look like? basic stuff that people who grow up in there biological families take for granted. I began to feel like I didn't fit in my family anymore and this is when I first started to have weight issues. My parents refused to discuss this with me when I was a rebellious teenager. I was scared I would fall in love with my "brother" without knowing it stuff like that.

I got married the first time at 21 and had a baby at almost 25. That was so exciting to finally have someone who looked like me! My son has my heart shaped face and the shape of his fingers and toes and head are mine as well. He is skinny by some fluke:)

The Search
Skipping ahead to when I turned 40 being adopted and not knowing about my biology really began to bother me a lot not just when by birthday rolled around. I made the decision to search for my birth family. It seemed so easy with the advent of the Internet but it was not easy at all the more I looked for my birth mom the more painful it became to see that no one was looking for me. About this time life got in the way with home life, job, my mom getting sick so I had to stop for a few years.

Then in 2007 I paid the Children's Home Society 500.00 for my non-id information and to search for her and to let her know I was open to contact. Florida is a closed adoption state and my adoption was handled through this agency so they hold all the answers just so you know the process. The agency sent me paper work to fill out and have notarized and then they had to look in the archives for my information. It took three long weeks to get my non-id information back. Every day while I was waiting I would rush out to the mailbox hoping for "the letter" Finally it arrived and I had some basic information like nationality, where I get my height a little bit about her family, not much at all about the birth family just some really vague information about him his physical characteristics education etc.

The Results:
Once I got the non-id I had to call my searcher and give the go ahead to contact her. The agency sent her a letter around Christmas time that year and there was no answer. So they sent her another more strongly worded letter and my birth mom called and spoke with my searcher.
My birth mom was upset at having been "found" after all these years she said she felt her rights had been violated. In 1964 she was told by the social worker to forget about me to forget that she had given birth. They were cruel to the birth moms back then I think. Back to my story, my searcher explained that I needed updated medical information for health reasons and if she wouldn't give them to her I could sue her to get her to disclose this information so she reluctantly gave me the information I needed and it was shocking! (You have to try to prepare yourself for whatever you may find out)

Even though the info was shocking it helped me to make sense of my life issues. My birth moms mom was a alcholic who committed suicide the year after I was born. My birth mom herself had a hysterectomy at 26 due to cervical cancer, she has been married three times. I don't know if I have siblings but I hope I do:) Her dad died of lung cancer but was a heavy smoker and I don't smoke never have or drink anymore I quit back in 1994 before it got completely out of control. I fell in love with a alcholic though....those are the some of the shocking highlights though if you have questions email me at

Even though I have let this drop for now its not over and it will never be over until one of us dies. In my heart I keep hoping she will change her mind and contact me though the agency. My searcher said due to her age she was 60 and life circumstances she hasn't told her family now that I exist that is probably why she wasn't open to contact.

I don't regret the search it was some of the best money I ever spent.... I may try again I'm not going away!! I am strong, resilient with a great support system.. I hope this helps someone out there please let me know if it does or contact me with questions....til later.


  1. Very powerful story, Susan. I hope you find peace.

  2. Thank you Susan for sharing this. I sent you a message on Facebook.

    I know exactly what you are feeling right now as I've been through it.

    I'm proud of you for searching. You never know what you will find, but knowing is your RIGHT and I'm glad you found out.


  3. Wow Susan - that is quite a journey. I feel sad that your birth mom was told to forget you - I'm sure she never did, though. Hopefully she will come around to this soon; who knows what kind of ending your story will have?

  4. Wow Susan! What a story! It has not swayed me. My first step is the Non-Identifying and then I will decide if I want to persue it. California is also a closed record state but I am going to try under the medical condition circumstance and see if that works. I have a disease called NLD that they don't know much about and it would be beneficial to know if they had it too.

    I have heard more negative stories then positive to tell you the truth. I guess I will just have to wait and see how this all turns out.

    THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for posting this Susan and offering your help with my search. You are a wonderful lady!

  5. Oh Susan, this is so painful to read. My heart aches for you. You sound so strong and I hope you are. I have 3 like people in my life. A dear friend had a wonderful adoptive family but started her search like you in her forties. It almost totally consummed her life, psychiatrists, flights home to Ireland, drinking binges and tears in the night. She once landed on her mother's doorstep only to be turned away, and as het mother was in her 80s thought time was running out. They finally met and had dinner and my friend got a lot of questions answered. They correspond hardly at all but my friend is now satisfied and content with it.
    A second friend was in the hospital at 17 with her new son. Her own mother came with 2 nuns to take the baby without telling her. A kind nurse tipped my friend off and she and her son slipped out the back door. This was a cruel world for unwed mothers in 1969.
    The third is my own son-in-law. He is 38, adopted and has no wish to contact his birth family ever.
    A lot of people don't get the happy ending, but sometimes reach a place of acceptance, but it can take a lot of time. I do hope things will work out for you. My friend tried to explain the'hole in her heart' feeling that overwhelmed her, but not having that experience I couldn't
    understand, only listen, and I can offer that to you as well.

  6. I admire you for telling your story even though it is shocking and my heart goes out to you. Know that you have done everything in your power to find her and now it's up to her. It's her loss if she doesn't want to meet you.