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Can't win for losing. SIGH.

Monday, March 22, 2021

No, this title is not a cute play on weight loss words.

I wish that it were so.

The reality is that I feel... so much... too much....
(though I am, overall, fine)

Words are not enough to tell all that I feel, all the time.
(though I am, overall, fine)

I am not sure that I want to write here, today, but I'm going to start and see where writing today takes me (not sure I'll leave it here even if I do post it). Perhaps this is where I need to be.

It's almost a year since my Mom died... ten months, almost, to the day.
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Even beyond the realm of a pandemic, this has been a year like no other I've ever experienced....
...soul-searching to depths I could not have imagined existed.
...moving forward simply one breath/prayer at a time.
...roller-coaster realities resurfacing without care or concern for compassion, or mercy.
...digging deep, and then deeper still... without a shovel... emotional fingernails left torn and bleeding.
...trying to remember who I am despite... all invitations to be otherwise.
...and then some....

Saturday was yet another turn of the screw.... the mother of all possible 'then somes'.
(though I am, overall, fine)





My sisters and I received (Saturday, March 20/21) an email from a young woman claiming to be our niece. More to the point, this young woman stated outright that my Mom, at age 17, had a baby and gave it up for adoption (her mother)... three years before I was born.

This woman claims to have records to support her assertions.

She claims that she got the full details of the adoption just days before my mom died.

She claims to have been searching for years now for information about her own mother's biological family.

She claims that early in her search local post-adoption services indicated my Mom refused contact.

She claims to have been contacting other members of my extended family in the hope someone would respond (I find this most egregious of all... from my point of view, I feel that once she was refused contact with my Mom, she should have stopped digging out of simple respect).

She says nothing specific about her own mother.

She offers no details about herself, other than a first and last name.

She apologizes profusely for inserting herself so abruptly into our lives... yet she's persisting in her attempts to push into our lives.

If this is a scam, it seems terribly cruel under the circumstances.

If this true, it is terribly intrusive under the circumstances... I can think of a dozen better ways to have approached us.

If there's an emotion, I'm feeling it.

Never, in 60 years, has there been even a whisper of such a possibility in our family history.

One thing is for certain, nothing about this changes who my Mom is to me... though, if this is true, I am so sad for the burdens she carried all alone throughout her life. I wish she would have trusted us more to love her just as she was.

Another certainty... if this is not true, I hope this woman knows how to hide, and hide well, because this will not end well for her.





We've responded to this woman's email with no verifying information, other than to let her know she has found the woman for whom she has been searching (my Mom) (at the very least, we want her to stop contacting other people).

We indicated, very specifically, what we require from her before we would even consider any further contact... primarily A LOT more information, and copies of all documentation in her possession supporting her claim.

I spent the morning submitting to post-adoption services my own request for information about any possible adoption involving my Mom... it's going to take as long as 16 weeks before we get any answers.

I checked with several DNA labs... not a viable option under the collective circumstances, and cost prohibitive.





...and now I'm writing here. Not sure why.... But I'm going to let it stand for bit.

Perhaps I just need a place to say what cannot be said out loud within the reality of my day-to-day world.

My friend WATERMELLEN asserts blog responses are often better than the blogs. I concur.

I'd appreciate hearing what you think.

I'd appreciate knowing if anyone has had experience that is in any way similar.

Mostly, I appreciate this place and all of you.










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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ISNESS
    I, too, would be suspicious, especially when the young woman says nothing about her own mother.
    Why is not the mother = her mother - contacting you that would be more appropriate. Well, when you don’t feel like proceeding, don’t do it. Could you ignore it? These lives are different and always will be. People won’t suddenly like each other just because of sharing some genes. I would not give anyone who contacts me this anonymous way any information about me nor my parents, siblings.

    Once, someone contacted me BCS of my last name, which is my husband’s—asked few questions about some aunties who long passed away. I refused to feed him with more information and apologized wished him luck and happiness. That’s it.

    I hope you are calmed in the meantime and forgot about it. emoticon

    Also want to thank you for your encouragement, Ramona, it feels good to have a friend in far away Canada!

    ivana


    36 days ago
  • F8CONE8
    I am sure this is difficult for you. Please just know how much your mom loved you. Nothing else matters.
    49 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    emoticon
    53 days ago
  • LIBELULITA
    ((((Hugs)))) I put myself in your position, and imagine myself recieving news like this when I was still reeling from the death of my mother....you must really feel devestated, like the rug has been pulled out from beneath you. I have no words....but my heart goes out to you and your sisters.

    I don't know if you have the same programme on the television as we do here "Long Lost Family"? There have been a few cases there where, the child put up for adoption tried to reach out to their birth mother, was rebuffed, but then, after the death of the birth mother they then reach out to their natural siblings in the hope of "belonging", finding out about their mother, or just to see others that look like them for the first time.

    I also believe in gut instinct, and yours seems to be very strong on this, so you are absolutely right to proceed with caution.

    Thinking of you, and here for you if you want to talk emoticon emoticon
    53 days ago
  • WEAVERNI2
    So many comments have said all I wanted to say. Such a difficult position - all wanting to do it the "right way"! emoticon
    54 days ago
  • GARDENCHRIS
    i can understand you pain and grief during this time and now this comes out. I can understand how disconcerting this might be......but for just a moment put yourself in this woman's shoes. all her life she just wants answers and a "family".... no one is perfect, we all have things we are not proud of or ashamed of. Does not mean we are bad people, just flawed. Of course i would require some "proof" of what she is alleging, but I would at least be open to the possibility that she is related.... think of all the good that might come of this more family history and a new member of a family that loved your mother and all that she did with her life.
    Someone whom you can share all those wonderful memories.... just take a moment to think of the possibility. emoticon emoticon
    54 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    What a difficult situation, and it must be stirring painful thoughts and memories. I'm sorry that you are having to feel this way.

    I think all you can do for now is wait and see if any or what evidence there is, and then process how that makes you feel. Anything otherwise at the moment is pure speculation, and you cannot move forward with any emotions or feelings until you know exactly the situation.

    We are here for you xxx
    54 days ago
  • MERMAIDLIFE
    I don't have anything of real substance to add here. I just wanted to say, WOW. And also, HUGS.
    54 days ago
  • AJDOVER1
    My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. I can imagine the mixed emotions you are feeling. In some ways it's good that you have the support of your sisters, but I hope you can all respect that you'll all have different feelings at different times. There is no need to rush into any action.
    54 days ago
  • BROOKLYN_BORN
    I agree with the others that so many families had "secrets"
    Only after the entire generation had passed on did we learn from family documents inherited by my husband that his uncle, adopted as a baby by his grandmother was actually the son of her brother and their married next door neighbor. It was a different time and "problems" were addressed in many different ways.

    emoticon
    54 days ago
  • WATERMELLEN
    Such a painful and difficult situation for you and especially at this time when you are still so very raw from your mother's death perhaps in part because you " didn't feel loved, or valued, or wanted".

    Continuing to listen:

    "If this woman's claim is true, she will be treated just as I would hope my own daughter would be treated by people about whom she is curious" AND

    "My mom is entitled to her wish for privacy, every bit as much as this woman would supposedly like a sense of connection."

    There was so much adoption "back then" before people could deal with their infertility in other ways. And women, especially 17 year olds, were so often shamed and pressured and realistically had no economic choice other than to give up their babies for adoption.

    You are dealing with a LOT and I am so sorry that you are so emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed.


    54 days ago
  • MOLLIEMAC
    As others have said, tread carefully and slowly realizing that most families do have "secrets" that haver never seen the light of day. Nova Scotia is the last province to finally cautiously proceed in opening adoption records but for many who were adopted those records are essential for medical reasons. I am sure that this has rattled you to the core but handled in the manner that you have set out to date the process may give this woman the information she needs without causing too much emotional pain for you. emoticon
    54 days ago
  • BERRY4
    As DH just mentioned, that "older" generation did have "secrets" that were absolutely not spoken of... My dad somehow found out that his dad had been previously married and there were 2 sons. When he went to ask his dad about it, as a young 20-something, he was told to NEVER speak of it again. (They would have been his half brothers.) And in that family, that is how it was. Period. -- On the closer side, DH does not know if the only father he knew, was actually his dad?!? He chose not to get a DNA test while his "dad" was living. There were a number of scenarios that bring his parentage into question. His only reason, now, is tied to medical history questions.

    As has been suggested above, and which you have indicated, MUCH investigation needs to be done to determine if assertions have any merit. I can understand the myriad of emotions running on the "roller coaster" in your head... not to mention the soon-approaching anniversary of your mom's passing. Certainly a complicated situation, no matter how one views the whole thing.

    Don't know if it is possible to set some of the emotions aside?? I would lean on your DH to guide you in this "discovery" & investigation. Let him be your anchor in this storm.
    emoticon

    54 days ago
  • PRIMEOFMYLIFE
    Wow. What a predicament. I read a book recently, “Inheritance” by Dani Shapiro. The author makes a very unexpected discovery about her own parents. Times were different then. Infertility was “helped” by specialist clinics. Sperm donors were going to remain anonymous, forever. She followed the leads. I think I would, too. I would recommend this book. The emotions are real.

    DNA testing is certainly changing a lot of lives. I have one friend who discovered she has a half-brother. All is good and the connection has been positive. I have another friend whose secret came out when her son took the DNA test. Even her husband had not known that she had given a baby up for adoption. I have a cousin who was adopted into the family, but she has since found her birth mother and several siblings. She has more family and love than ever. These are happy stories.

    I hope the truth comes together for you. Decisions are made, and sometimes not voluntarily, but the reasons made sense at the time. Be open minded. If she is your sister, you may want to get to know her. My parents and brother have passed and my family is now very small and quiet. I miss them.

    Good luck. Take it slow, but get the facts. emoticon
    54 days ago
  • ALOFA0509
    Hugs Ramona. Uggh what a thing to process right now. You are right to get all documentation, do you have Ancestry DNA/ 23 & ME?? If you do and she takes the test, it will link her to you if she is indeed family.. Just an idea- .... Keeping you in my prayers sister!! emoticon emoticon
    54 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon

    Genealogy is my passion and I've built multiple family trees over the past 30 years and have met many relatives who were adopted, learning about this at various ages. Now, with the advent of DNA, I've had several adoptees reach out to me for assistance in figuring out our connection. Those that are close cousins, I correspond with as I had a first-cousin that gave up 5 children for adoption and I have messages for them from their grandfather.

    One adoptee that contacted me in 2019 initially had two DNA matches. The other never replied to him and I did because his birth date fell into range of my cousins children (not of that line). It has been a long and winding road tracking his parents and now that we are so close, his abrasive manner has put off the likely half-siblings that are living to prove the research.

    I have listened to so many stories which end up draining me since I am very empathic.

    Proceed with caution as you are doing.

    emoticon
    54 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    I can't even imagine the feelings you must be having right now. I can see your side - that after being refused contact she should drop it, but I can also see her side - wanting a connection with her biological family badly enough to keep pushing. It seems such a cruel prank, so I truly hope it is real or is an honest misunderstanding. I can't fathom how I would handle such a claimant appearing in my own life.

    The only thing I can offer is this - a friend of mine was adopted. After her adoptive parents had both passed, she did one of those mail in DNA kits. She found that although her biological mother had passed away, she has at least 4 half siblings, 2 from her biological mother and 2 from her biological father, and the potential existence of another half sibling out there somewhere. Her mother told the family that my friend had died at birth, and that another child a couple of years later had also died at birth. My friend who grew up an only child now has a large extended family that she has become close with. Because I know how special and wonderful my friend is, I can't help but believe that their lives are richer for it as well.
    55 days ago
  • MARITIMER3
    I read your blog about your mother's death before I finished reading this blog.

    I am adopted. My adoptive parents, who took me in when I was 5 weeks old, would not talk about my adoption. I always thought that perhaps one of my aunts (my father's sisters) might actually be my mother.

    I registered with the Province of Nova Scotia in the hopes that my birth mother might be looking for me, but with no success. I followed up again, about 10 years ago, and was told that because my birth mother was no longer alive (she died in 2002), they were able to give me her name and some information about my birth.

    I learned that my birth mother was a nurse, in her early 20's, when I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1943. My birth father's name was not listed on my birth certificate, leaving m to suspect that he may have been in the military, as Halifax was an important naval port during the war.

    I also learned that my birth mother married about a year after I was born, and lived the rest of her life in Yarmouth County, at the south-western tip of Nova Scotia. I learned that she had 3 sons, so I have 3 half-brothers, or perhaps brothers, if she married my birth father.

    I chose not to contact any of the (half) brothers because I doubted that they knew anything about me, and i didn't want to change how they felt about their mother, or for them to think that I wanted anything from them. I hope that was the right decision.

    I don't know what I would do if I were in your position. It's really hard not knowing your own background, so I can sympathize with the woman who has written you, but I agree that your mother has a right to her privacy. If she wanted to tell you that she gave up a baby... if, indeed there is any truth in this... I think she would have done so.

    Don't feel obligated to do anything that feels wrong to you.

    Gail
    55 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    ((((HUGS))) I am so totally sorry that you are going through this. I have not experienced this myself, so really cannot shed any light on this or help you, except to say you are doing what you can to confirm the legitimacy of this claim and I think what MSJOSIEFOREVER wrote is from the heart and worth considering.

    Prayers, my dear.
    55 days ago
  • _RAMONA

    @ MSJOSIEFOREVER Thanks for your comment on my blog. I really do appreciate you taking the time. I'm sorry that you felt out of place in your family and that you've finally found some peace and acceptance.

    I assure you, if her claim ends up to be true (we have no corroborating documentation as yet... we absolutely do want to know what the truth is), she will not be dismissed. My own daughter is adopted. If this woman's claim is true, she will be treated just as I would hope my own daughter would be treated by people about whom she is curious.

    However, to offer another perspective, I am my parents' biological daughter, along with two sisters. I, too, felt all of my life like I did not fit in my family (still feel this way). I knew I was loved, but I didn't feel loved, or valued, or wanted. There are any number of reasons for that to be the reality for many, many people. I'm not sure that feeling as though something is missing in your own life is reason enough to impose your own neediness on others for any reason. The woman in question in my blog was, by her own admission, clearly told by my mother that my Mom did not want any contact. I personally think that should have been respected. My mom is entitled to her wish for privacy, every bit as as much as this woman would supposedly like a sense of connection.

    Only time will tell where this story will take all of us. At the very least, I feel we need to verify the truth of this woman's claims BEFORE we set out the welcome mat.

    55 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/22/2021 9:30:04 PM
  • MSJOSIEFOREVER
    I had a father that I never knew about. I always knew I was different from my brothers and sister. At 15 I was finally told by my mother that my father that had raised me all my life, but always treated me different than my brother and sister was not my father. I am now 65 and I met my biological fathers other family last year after a life time of feeling unloved and unwanted, he had already passed. So don't dismiss her out of hand because you don't want to know for sure. Give her a chance, because you don't know what she is going through, it is a hard a long journey to know that you were not loved or wanted. Give the woman a chance, you may find a part of your mother that is missing, since her passing. Just a different point of view.
    55 days ago
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