October 30, 2017. I remember the date well. It was the day I met my birth mother again after 52 years of separation. There were tears and hugs, there was family and medical history, there were questions answered about how they met and why I was put up for adoption. There was healing. Partial healing. I’m still waiting for whole healing. My birth parents stayed together and ended up getting married 25 years after my birth. They live 6.5 miles from the loving home I grew up in. I have a full brother 13 years younger than I, born in the same Sacramento suburb I lived in until I went away to college. He knows nothing about me. For some reason my birth father (whom I have not met yet) doesn’t want my brother to know about me. I get all sorts of advice to just go ahead and contact my brother on my own (or do a DNA test at the company he tested at), but I don’t want to break the newly formed connection with my birth mother or ruin a yet-to-be connection with my birth father. So I wait…mostly patiently…and I pray. I realize I may very well have to wait to meet my brother after my father passes, which may come sooner than later, but for now I remain a secret to all but my birth parents.
So let me tell you how I came to be a volunteer search angel. (And if you’re bored, scroll down to the DNA tips in capitalized and bold letters - I won’t be offended!)
Let’s go way back… to my childhood. I have known as long as I can remember that I am adopted (at just under 3 months old). But I always felt I was an important part of the family I was in, I belonged with them. They weren’t perfect, but they are my family and I love my parents, older brother and younger sister more than I can describe. I had a happy childhood for the most part, and never had the desire to search for my birth parents. I did have a half sheet of typed information from what was then called the Department of Social Welfare which served as my non-identifying information. Every few years I’d come across it and read it then put it away again. It wasn’t until I suffered a miscarriage in 1996 that I thought about looking for my birth parents. I filled out paperwork that went into my adoption file with Sacramento County that would allow the County to release my contact info to my birth parents should they inquire about me. I got pregnant again a few months later, and the desire to actively look for them was gone.
I started doing genealogy in 1993 in Japan. Our little family was living th