That is when it all began, and I was born.
10 days later, I was adopted.
I have always known I was adopted. I don’t remember my parents ever telling me. It was just something that I knew.
I didn’t grow up wanting to find my biological parents. I was in a good home, and when I was younger, I didn’t feel the need to know anything about the people who gave me up. I had the story of my bio-mother being 21 and unable to keep me due to circumstances in her life. I understood that. I remember thinking when I was 21 that there was no way I could have handled a child at that age.
When I turned 18, my parents gave me a little file on my bio-mom that had come from the adoption agency they used. The information was mostly superficial noting some of her likes and giving a little background ancestry. It made me curious to find out more, but there were no names and nothing that I could use to find her and nothing included about my bio-father. In Colorado at the time of the adoption, all records were sealed, and all names were kept confidential. So, I didn’t really pursue anything further.
I lived my life like any other person until I started to have health issues that could be hereditary. It was only then that I began to want to search for my bio-parents again really. I began to wonder if they were dealing with some of the same health issues that I was dealing with. But, the records were still sealed, and it was the early 2000’s before DNA testing and internet searching. I just didn’t want to put forth the effort and the money for a search.
Over the next decade, I met other adoptees who would tell me their stories of finding their parents and some were very happy, where they had gone on to find out they had siblings and they reconnected with people who they never thought they would know. Others were not so happy, they found that one of the parents had died or was abusive. Or the bio-parents just wanted to have nothing to do with the adoptee, and that rejection hit them hard. I was still thinking about my search but I just never did anything about it.
Then, a few years ago, things changed.
My grandfather passed away in 2015. For the last few months of his life, he was in a lot of pain and was in and out of medical facilities. I moved to Florida where he was living so that I could spend more time with him and make up for the time I missed when I was younger and stupid and didn’t value time with people. You have to understand that my grandfather was the constant grandparent in my life. He was my dad’s stepdad, but he lived near us for most of life, and we saw him pretty regularly. I always felt connected to him somehow. I am not sure why. But, as I went through my adult life, I always felt like I didn’t spend enough time with him. So, when we found out he was sick, I vowed to spend more time.
The time we spent was good. We watched TV and talked mostly. And one thing stood out for me in those talks, my grandpa lived unapologetically. He lived life to the fullest, and he told me to do the same. He told me to go experience life and stop worrying about what others thought. That started me on a journey back to Colorado, and it started me on a journey to really figure out who I was.
The other thing that changed was a new law in Colorado that allowed adoptees to get their original birth certificates and adoption records. The adoption laws had changed in Colorado in the ’90s for new adoptions that said adoptees had the rights to that information but for those of us adopted during the closed records, they stay closed. But this new law opened all adoption records and allowed me to obtain my original documents.
I requested those documents in the fall of 2016 and was overcome with emotion when I saw my bio-parents names on those papers. I got on Ancestry and social media and began looking for them but really found nothing except a possible birth certificate for my bio-mom that said I was born on her 21st birthday. Life kinda got busy, and I dropped the search for, and since this blog has gotten quite long, I will tell the rest of the story next week. Stay tuned!