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Family Trees and Ties

September 11, 2018

Guest blogger, Lyn Seifert, shares an intimate story from her blog, A Search for Peace. She shares her story as a birth mother with two families she is hoping one day can mix as one. Please respect her in sharing her personal story, thank you.

December 1982~ Our precious baby was officially part of a new family.

 

October 1983~ We married and started a family. Life was good and we were blessed.

 

April 2015~ The letter arrived. Our daughter was interested in contact. I messaged our children, letting them know that their father and I would ultimately be making the decision for us but wanted them to be aware that their biological sister had reached out.

We got contact information over Mother’s Day weekend, while we were out of town celebrating our niece’s 21st birthday. My thoughts were very distracted but I tried to participate in the party. I received a text – wishing me a happy Mother’s Day – from an unfamiliar number. We begin to develop a relationship through letters and Facebook. We make a plan to meet in person over Labor Day weekend ~ ten days before my 50th birthday. As we were driving from our hotel to our daughter’s house, we realized that we had been in the area before. Three years prior our son had had an event that we met him for. They say the world is small.

 

Our initial meeting went better than we could have imagined. We felt that there had always been some kind of connection because we were so comfortable right from the beginning. We went back for a visit at Thanksgiving ~ early in the week because we were hosting our children at home on Thanksgiving Day.

 

This was the first time I began to feel that I had two separate families. We had a nice time with our first daughter. We enjoyed having our children home but some comments were made and the response to the comments made the rest of the weekend uncomfortable. A week or so later, my daughter mentioned that she and her siblings were a little hurt by the way the holiday had turned out. She told me that it felt like my focus was all on my first daughter and how great everything was and that the rest of them were not as important. It hurt to hear that and I made a conscious effort to not bring up our time and activities with our first daughter when we were spending time with the others.

 

The relationship continued to flourish and we went back for another visit in June 2016. We had agreed to help our second daughter move the following week and had come up with a plan to bring our first daughter home with us so she could meet one of her biological siblings. That plan didn’t work out but in December 2017, our second daughter came with us to visit and met her biological sister. We had hoped that our youngest daughter would be able to meet her just a few weeks ago, but once again life got in the way and it didn’t work out. Tentative plans were mentioned for Thanksgiving as two of the children are within a couple of hours of each other and too far away along with family and employment restrictions that make it next to impossible to join the other three siblings for Christmas. While my dream is still to have all five of my children in the same place at the same time…. I would settle for half and half like that. Potential relocation because of employment may make these plans null and void and I’m trying not to feel discouraged.

 

I know that God’s hand has been with us every step of the way. The timing of our reunion, the development of the relationships, and even the joining of the family. But it’s never going to be “one big happy family “. There is still division because of life before reunion ~ 32 years of life and memories and pictures of the son and three daughters that we raised. I sometimes have a hard time posting Facebook memories because I feel like I am denying my daughter now that she is a part of our lives. On the flip side, no matter how close we are and no matter that she calls me Mom, we are not her parents. That title is reserved for the man we chose from a book based on a profile of words in a page, the woman who passed away early in our daughter’s life, and the woman to whom that man is currently married. Don’t get me wrong ~ they totally deserve the title. My husband never stops reminding me that we don’t deserve privileges because we did not raise her.

 

But a part of me still wants the “big happy family”. In today’s world of open adoptions, occasionally extended families are created. Maybe we don’t have to get together on EVERY holiday, but it would be nice to meet just once. I had hoped that a meeting would be able to take place at our youngest grandchild’s