The majority of people who are adopted do not know their biological family. I am one of the exceptions. I always knew I was adopted and I also always knew my biological family. I stayed in touch with some of them…..some of them I didn’t. Not by my choice though…..the choice to not stay in contact was all on them.
I lost my mother when I was only 4 years old. She had passed away from a car accident, along with 4 other ladies that were in the car with her. My father was not in the picture because my mother had left him when I was around 1 year old. So at 4 years old I had no parents. My mother was the baby of the family and my grandmother was absolutely devastated. She had already lost her husband and other children….and now her baby. I cannot imagine what she was going through. But my grandmother was the strongest person that I have ever known. For everything she had gone through in her life, she managed to still be one of the kindest, sweetest people on the planet. Everyone who ever met her, instantly fell in love with her. She would light up a room with her smile. She is someone who I loved deeply.
My grandmother did not want me to move to another city far away with one of my aunt’s because then she would not get to see me as much. I ended up staying close by in the end. I stayed with an aunt that was no more than 20 minutes away……much better than a flight away. I lived with this aunt for about a year or so, but when her marriage started to fall apart, I went to live with the people who were my babysitters during the day. Oh how I wished that I have never gone to live there. I was mentally abused there every day of my life. That woman who I would eventually call my “adoptive mother” was a cruel, heartless and evil woman.
Growing up in that house was not fun. Oh it was fun for everyone else, but not me. Her own 2 biological children got everything. Especially her baby. Her oldest son was not her husband’s child, but he raised him like his own anyways. I was always compared to them. In her eyes, I was just never good enough. She never loved me……never once ever told me that she loved me. In fact, I don’t think she even loved herself…..let alone like herself. She never hugged me….not once in her life. I never felt like part of the family. Anytime we went out to the shopping mall or to get groceries, and she would see someone she knew, she would introduce me as her “adopted” daughter….never just her “daughter”.
When my biological mother had died, she had left me a trust fund….so that when I turned 18 years old, it went in my name. Until then, it would go in the name of whoever was raising me. Once my adoptive mother found this out, she did absolutely everything in her power to make sure she would be the caregiver. She was given a monthly amount to raise me…..which none of my biological family members who wanted to adopt me wanted any of the money. They wanted it to stay locked away until I turned 18. My adoptive mother used my trust fund like her own personal shopping bank account. She had more clothes than anyone….more jewelery, cars, more everything. BUT I was never allowed to participate in any extra curricular activities. All my friends were either in girl guides, skating, dance, etc. I was never allowed to do any of that. When my aunts and uncles would send me cards for Christmas, birthdays, etc….they always sent money in the card. My adoptive mother would give me the card which she had already opened. At that time, I had no idea they were sending me money, because my adoptive mother was taking it from the cards before giving them to me. What kind of person does that??? I will tell you what kind…..a cruel, heartless, evil person. That is what she was.
My adoptive mother kept me away from all my biological family once my grandmother died. Before then, I was pretty much allowed to see anyone because my grandmother ruled all 🙂 No one wanted to hurt my grandmother because everyone loved her. But once she passed, all ties were cut off to me. One aunt in particular never gave up trying to see me though. The aunt I had gone to live with at first when my real mom passed away. She fought like hell to see me whenever she could, but eventually my adoptive mother was more stubborn and mean. My aunt stepped back and said to herself “when she’s old enough, she will find me”. And I did. At 15 years of age. I went to her business she owned and snuck around the first little bit to see her. I did get caught by the evil woman and faced the consequences but that didn’t stop me. I still snuck off to see her whenever I could. Pretty much 95% of the rest of my biological family though, basically acted like I didn’t exist anymore. Never tried to see me, never tried to locate me, never sent me any cards or presents……NOT ONE.
My biological father had found me when was around 22 years old. A private investigator had come to my door asking me if I was the daughter of so and so, and had asked me if previous addresses were mine, etc. Then he told me that my father was looking for me. Imagine the thoughts running through my mind! My mother had left my father when I was just a baby because he was an alcoholic. And he was a mean drunk. He would beat my mother but the day she left is when he threw her down the stairs with me behind her. And it’s funny but I actually had a dream about that but didn’t think it was real. Until I asked someone about it and they said it was true. So it wasn’t a dream…..but a memory.
I never did end up meeting my father in person. He always wanted to but I always cancelled on him at the last minute. Maybe because the first question he asked me after he found me is “Did you get the trust fund your mother left you? How much was there?” See, being an alcoholic and a gambler, he was always looking for money. You see, he was not allowed to see me when I was a child. His parental rights were taken away because of the abuse and the alcoholism. He did try to see me a few times but I was never at the house when he would come. I do remember seeing a man at the door one time at my house. I was across the street playing barbies with a friend in her front yard…..and usually I would go over to see who anyone was who was visiting. But this time I didn’t. But the cops were called and he was escorted back to the airport to get back on a plane and go back to Vancouver.
While talking on the phone to my father, he told me that I had a half sister living in the USA. All of this was becoming too much for me to take in all at once. I tend to get overwhelmed very easily as I grow older. I guess over time….it has hit me that all of the family I had out there…..and no one bothered to look for me. I go on Ancestry.ca and find relatives and they say to me “OMG I’m so glad you found us!” That to me is so very hard to understand. How come in 49 years did you not try to find me?? I never felt home anywhere I was…..I never felt part of a family who truly loved me.
I joined Ancestry.ca and a few other sites so that I could find out a bit of my history…..more on my father’s side. All I knew was that his family was from the Ukraine. I wanted to know where I came from. I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere. I wanted to know my history. That’s how I found some cousins and an aunt that were on my father’s side. I messaged them. I desperately wanted to find family. They were so excited to talk to me. “We are so excited that you found us!! My mom would love for you to call her”. I said I would…..it has been a couple of weeks now and I still haven’t called them. I don’t know why I ended up being aprehensive about talking to them. Maybe a part of me is scared that if I get close to them, they will leave again. They won’t want to have anything to do with me again. They won’t try to stay in touch with me again. Part of me is a bit angry that they never tried to stay in contact. Even on my mother’s side, barely any of them stayed in contact with me. For a young child, that is hard to understand why it was always ME trying to stay in touch with everyone……and even then, they never tried to stay in touch…..just forgot about me.
When I found out I had a half-sister I was excited. Also a bit nervous. She lived in the US so it was a bit away to meet. We had always planned to meet. But something always seemed to come up. When I got married to my second husband, I had invited her and she had planned on coming, but last minute she said she had some family issues she had to deal with and could not come. We had always kept in touch over Facebook but we lost touch for awhile. She was a bit of a wild card….always moving and changing her phone numbers. When I got word that our father had passed, I ended up tracking her down to let her know what happened. She knew more about our father’s family than I did. That was a bit upsetting…..that they had kept in contact with her but not me. Our father and her mother were not together anymore and had not been together for a very long time. So why was she more important than me? Is that selfish to think? She had photos that she said she would send me…..she never did. She went to our father’s funeral…..I did not. I was a single mother of 2 small kids and in a bad relationship with an abusive man. I couldn’t afford to go. My sister made me feel terrible about me not going. What kind of daughter was I anyways? Well excuse me!! What kind of father was he to me?? What kind of family were any of them to me?? We didn’t speak for awhile after that.
A few years later my sister passed away. She passed away the same way our father did…..a brain aneurysm. I found out on Facebook through a post by her son. That is how I was notified about her death. My father’s death was a bit different.
On a Friday, snowy evening on March 5th, 2004, my kids had just left to go with their father for the weekend. About 20 minutes after they left, someone was knocking at my door. I thought it was the kids forgetting something which was a common thing to happen. I always locked my door when I was home alone. I went to the door and saw a police officer standing there. My first thought was “Oh my god….something happened to my kids!!!” My heart sank when the police officer asked me my name. I asked him if everything was ok…..I said “Is it my kids? Are they ok?” He said yes….but something had happened to my father. See…..I usually always got phone calls from either my father, drunk at 3am in the morning or from the police saying they found my father in a ditch somewhere…..drunk……and asking me what I wanted to do. Well I was far away from him so I have no idea why they were all calling me. Maybe his family was getting sick and tired of getting all the phone calls?? Who knew really. So anyways, the officer had told me to call a hospital in Vancouver in regards to my father. I called the hospital and spoke with the doctor in care of my father. For some reason, he had me as his emergency contact…..even though we had never met. The doctor had told me that my father was found unconscious and ended up having a brain aneurysm. The doctor asked me if I could come to my father’s side. I said I could not. A plane ticket there was about $1200 and I was a single mother with 2 kids. The doctor then called one of my father’s brothers who then took over I guess. My father passed away through the night. And I never met him. Do I regret that? There are some days I do, and some days I do not.