It was just another cloudy May morning when I arrived at my office. It was only a short time thereafter when I received a "ping" telling me that I had Facebook message. This message appeared from someone whose name I didn't recognize, and although I don't usually get private messages from clients on my personal FB page, I thought, "well if someone is trying that hard to get ahold of me, I should probably read it". As I read through the first line "Hi Cathy, I am reaching out to......" ..... that was all I could see. I had to open the message all the way. Then, these words out of my mouth Whoa, what? To my shocked surprise, and in my morning haze I read the rest of the words "I am in search of my biological father"! Wait, huh? What could she mean? I mean, is that possible? I am adopted. Another birth sibling? I thought. As I slowly, but eagerly re-read the black words on that email, I realized this faceless person talking to me was talking about my adopted family. Holy moly, this news jolted me right up to think, the tables have finally turned.
Never in my wildest dreams, would I ever expect someone to come to me, with information that could very well prove that my adopted father had a child that no one knew about, an affair on my adopted mother. Did she know? And did my dad know of this child? This was something I certainly needed to wrap my head around. I deal with these situations all the time. But this time, it was different. Me being an adoptee I could completely understand where Barbara* (name changed), stood in her situation, I know what it felt like to be hit with something unknown, information about yourself that you weren't expecting. Something her mother had kept secret from her. A ton of bricks for this 50 year old woman to find out that she had just found out that her father was not her biological father. In an instant, this woman's life has been turned upside down. I know all too well, those feelings of loss, anger, deceit, frustration, and hurt. This took a lot of guts for Barbara to reach out, that was not lost on me.
But, now my wheels started turning. Oh gosh, how will my adopted sister and brother take this information? Barbara would be their half sister. Nephews and nieces? We didn't need to worry about parents, both sides are passed. Ok, let's back the truck up a moment. I will play devil's advocate. How did we know that Barbara was really our sister? And could my adopted family get past the knowledge she brought that my adopted father, could very well have had an affair? I discovered, after seeing Barbs Ancestry DNA, and with her circumstantial evidence and reasoning, she indeed could very well be our sister. She matched up with a cousin in Florida. Her DNA cM values were pretty high. She looks and sounds very much like my adopted sister, and our first cousins. In my mind, I had confidence, I welcomed her in. I mean, why wouldn't I?
My adopted siblings, did not have the same reaction as I had. They were at first curious, then guarded - okay kinda normal. Then not forthcoming. Never open minded, even enough to think that maybe this truly did happen. People make mistakes, or maybe it wasn't a mistake. Maybe our dad liked or even loved this woman. We don't know. Isn't there any kind of forgiveness to be given? Even still, wouldn't my adopted siblings want to know the truth? Why did they turn so suspicious, even rude? Shouldn't we be inclusive? Shouldn't we try and figure this out? Can't they at least do their own DNA to find that truth? I was completely flabbergasted with their reaction to Barbara. I mean, there is DNA evidence that supports that she is at the very least - a cousin. Is this what we have come to, in our society, in our microcosm self centered lives? Isn't humanity a virtue? Isn't that the core of our very humanity, of something much larger? Our moral compass. I am not sure if the way I feel about my new situation is partly from just being an adoptee. The way we are wired. Maybe it is something innate within our adopted core. There is a very fine line between being adopted, and having one side of unknown parentage. It raises all the same feelings of hurt, and rejection, abandonment of the truth. Deceit, and yes lies.
Barbara's and my lives, were forever changed that gloomy day in May. I truly hope that our situation is unique and that others who might find themselves in a similar situation, can sit back for a moment, take a breath and understand this just isn't all about you. This is about life, and love, communication, acceptance and understanding. Lovingly I say, now there are just more people to love, to hug and to get to know. Someday, for us, the truth of all this will come out. But for Barbara and I, well, she is already my sister.