Dead Man Walking

10e69fa3-a9d8-4595-8c54-edcea92296f8

I began searching for my birth family as soon as I found out I was adopted around 5 years old. Everywhere I went, I was searching for HER, my birth mother. As I reached my early 20’s I had already found my birth mother.  

But what about HIM? 

Where was my birth father…

When I asked my birth mother who my birth father was she said, “He didn’t know anything about you, and he wouldn’t want to!” She refused to give me any information, and that was that. I learned quickly if I wanted her in my life, I better never ask about him again. 

Soon after our very first meeting, she shut me out and I never heard from her again. I was heartbroken. I didn’t give up and I still very much wanted to learn who my birth father was. Occasionally I would call her home, to see if she would answer but she never did. Her husband answered on one occasion and we had a brief conversation. What did I have to lose?

I was never giving up in finding my truth. 

He expressed knowing who my birth father was, but that he was sorry to tell me he had passed away, and he heard that he had been shot many years ago. I asked him his name, but he said he couldn’t remember. He said there was no reason I needed it because he didn’t exist in this world, he was gone, forever. 

This was in 1996 when we didn’t have the internet, social media or DNA testing. Believing my birth father was dead never set well with my spirit. Deep down in my heart, I said to myself, “If he’s dead I still want to know his name, and I still want to see his grave.” I was never giving up on finding him, until I found my truth. 

No one would help me.

No one supported me. 

 I was up against the world and the legal closed adoption system. Born in the state of Iowa, these laws have been sealed since July 4, 1941. That was 79 years ago. This is 79 years of adult adoptees fighting against the grain for their truth.  It’s 79 years of living lies. It’s 79 years of secrecy and shame with adoptees plagued by the stigma attached to unplanned pregnancies, paying the price of this life sentence and even when we find our truth, the magnitude of the loss impacts every area’s of our lives. 

And we’ll find our truth If we’re lucky that is. 

Over 20 years had passed of no contact and I received a Facebook message my birth mother had passed away. I made the choice to go to her funeral, after I was invited by my birth sister. In 2011 I buried the woman I met once, who I dreamed of knowing my entire life. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I was introduced as “The daughter she gave up for adoption” and invisible from her obituary as if I didn’t even exist. It was beyond hard. 

Being surrounded by her friends & family, I started asking questions. I was able to get confirmation of who my birth father was, who his family was and how he was tied in to my birth mother. I was told he was a friend of the family, and he was about 10 years older than my birth mother. He lived off the land, with his brothers and parents all living in Leon, Iowa close to the Missouri border. I was told he was married at the time of my conception, and he knew nothing about my existence. But the real question was, IS HE STILL ALIVE?

“Yes, yes he’s very much still alive.” said a friend of my birth mother. 

So you mean to tell me I was told he had passed away, but that was a lie? That’s very much the way the story goes in my journey. It happens to adoptees all the time! The same trip to Iowa for my birth mother’s funeral was the same trip I drove to Leon, Iowa and showed up at my birth father’s doorstep.  

I will never forget November 11, 2011 arriving at his door and seeing his face for the first time in my life. It was a surreal experience. The man I had been told was dead, was very much alive, walking and talking. The internal nagging and turmoil of the unknown had come to an end, and I was looking at his face. Our visit lasted about an hour. He expressed he knew nothing about me, but if he knew about me he would have kept me. He wasn’t accepting of me, and over the last 9+ years I’ve given up hope on us having a relationship. 

I now have my truth. 

I know my truth. 

I have seen my truth for MYSELF.

I had to fight like hell to get it.

I would like to encourage my fellow adoptees to keep searching even when you’ve been told they have passed away.  Don’t give up! I encourage you to get DNA testing to make sure the person you’ve been told is your biological family FIRST. And if you’ve been told they have passed, I wouldn’t believe it until you know by DNA that’s your people, and then you are standing over their grave. 

I’ve seen countless adoptees be given falsified information by the adoption agencies, time and time again. I’ve seen outlandish stories written in identifying and non-identifying information that’s turned out to be completely false in attempts to throw the adoptee off from finding their people. I’ve seen this same paperwork say the biological father has died in a tragic accident yet they are found very much alive. 

I’ve seen it all.

Many adoptions are rooted and grounded in secrecy and lies. 

Please don’t believe what you are told. Verify with DNA your father is who they say he is. If you’ve been told he’s passed away, never give up until you are standing over his grave, but ONLY if this is the person who your DNA says your father is. This goes the same for biological mothers but it seems with many of them relinquishing without our fathers consent, it’s usually our fathers we’re told are dead, vs. our mothers. 

 We know DNA is changing the game for adoptees. If you are still searching, I truly hope you find the answers you are looking for. Everyone on earth deserves to know where they come from. Don’t give up! 

d5a71516-b8fb-4335-9634-67a7c487301e

Delivering the DNA Results with Grace

 

hope

Wow, hard to believe this is the next hurdle I will be experiencing.

It’s very emotional but I know God is with me!

It’s nerve wrecking considering what I have already experienced with my biological father and this adoptee journey!

The greatest part is that I have a new found cousin who I have connected with via DNA who is not only AMAZING but she is SO SUPPORTIVE of me through this journey. She seems to “Get it” and no one really gets it unless they are adopted, and she’s not adopted! I can’t help but KNOW God planted her in my life at the perfect time because I know I couldn’t do this alone. Thank you God for LINDA! Thank you LINDA for your help, support and new found friendship!  This is a really emotional journey for me as I know my fellow adoptees can relate.

So the story goes as I’m sure you read my last blog post. My birth father has always said, “What are we going to do, get a blood test 40 years later?” He knew nothing about me, lies and secrets prevented him from knowing so I don’t blame him for being skeptical all these years.

My new found cousin, Linda has showed me the ropes on all this. I have gotten a DNA test and it has linked me to his DNA and family line. He hasn’t had a DNA test done, but my DNA test has made DNA connections via 23andMe to his mother’s line, who is my biological grandmother. I don’t need HIS DNA to be linked to HIS DNA LINE. That’s the cool thing about DNA. There are so many ways to trace and confirm. There is no way I would share DNA with my distant cousin where our connection is our grandmothers are sisters, if J.J. (birth father) wasn’t my father. It wouldn’t be possible.

HE IS MY BIRTH FATHER

But he doesn’t know I am confirmed his daughter via DNA

Just YET…

whos_your_daddy_truck

My new found cousin suggested I contact the local Catholic Priest to see if he will collaborate a “meeting” with J.J. and his wife to present the DNA results. Yes, they are catholic. The last time I spoke to my birth fathers wife, she mentioned them wanting to get back involved in the Catholic Church and she wondered if I knew the dates J.J. was married to his previous wives. I shared with her I would try to obtain that information to help her out. So this has let me know they are Catholic and reaching out to the local Catholic Priest seems to be the best idea so far. Thank you again, Linda!

GOD CAN DO ANYTHING!

With HIM all things are possible.

I know there are people out there that might be saying, “Why would she go through all this heartache. Why can’t she just accept it and walk away?” Let me share that until you have walked in my shoes or another adoptees for that matter you really have no idea what loss, grief and trauma is involved in this journey. I can share there is nothing that can be done to me that hasn’t already been done. I have already been rejected by this man, but if there is a little chance that DNA will make a difference than I am willing to take that chance. You see, being adopted we are constantly putting ourselves out there all for a chance to be loved, accepted and for a chance at a relationship with those who were STOLEN from us. My adoption was an illegal one because I was adopted without his knowledge or consent. I don’t blame him for being skeptical. There is a HUGE chance I will be getting the door slammed in my face again, but at least at the end of my life when my story is all said and done I won’t be saying, “ I WISH, I WISH”. My wish will be “I TRIED”. Who is anyone to tell me I should just give up HOPE and WALK AWAY? I am not a weakling, and am not a sissy. I’m not walking away. I am going to PROVE I am J.J.’s ONLY DAUGTER if my life depends on it. The next few months are going to be pretty nerve wrecking and significant in my life. This is a huge step.

I would like to say to all the people who think I’m crazy or nuts and who think I should just walk away and accept this as my life

WHO ARE YOU TO TAKE AWAY MY FAITH? WHO ARE YOU TO TAKE AWAY MY HOPE?

WHO ARE YOU?

ENOUGH HAS BEEN TAKEN! I’M NOT LETTING ANYONE TAKE MY HOPE AND FAITH AWAY.

GOD IS LOVE

GOD IS HOPE

GOD IS FAITH

GOD IS TRUTH

Every sense I was a little girl I have fantasized and had visions of “These People” meaning my biological family. I have spent my entire LIFE fighting to PROVE I am SOMEBODY regardless of my birth parents decision in rejecting me. Today, I don’t need them to prove WHO I AM. I know who I am. I’m God’s daughter, and that is the most important thing to me. This does NOT change the fact that I still need to TRY to prove what is TRUTH when there have been so many lies in my story.

WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH BRINGING DARKNESS TO LIGHT?

“For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to the light and made known to all” – Luke 8:17

I know secrets and lies are not from God, they are from the enemy.

My God is a God of TRUTH and the TRUTH means NOTHING HIDDEN.

In 2010 my biological aunt who is my birth mother’s sister is the one who came clean and told me “MY STORY” as she saw it. She shared that my birth father was married at the time of conception, and this was a big part why my birth mother chose adoption. I was able to put myself in my birth mothers shoes, and have some compassion for her and her decision. It brought me healing to know this “TRUTH”. I have written about it many times, and I always encourage my fellow adoptees to TRY to put yourself in “Her” shoes in attempts to feel what she felt and try to understand WHY she made the decision she did. This has helped me gain acceptance and forgive her.

Recently I have believed to uncover that it is a lie that my birth father was married at the time of my conception. I have had to dig and dig and to find out this TRUTH. I don’t understand why people don’t understand how important it is to adoptees THAT WE RECEIVE OUR TRUTH!! So now I don’t know the truth and for me, it’s an important and critical part of my healing because

IF I DON”T KNOW THE TRUTH I DON’T KNOW WHAT IM HEALING FROM!!!

I CAN’T HEAL FROM LIES AND HALF TRUTHS!

“You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there!” Jeremiah 6:14

WHY ARE ADOPTEES FIGHTING FOR OUR RIGHT TO HEAL BY SIMPLY WANTING OUR TRUTH?

Where are all my Christian friends at during this topic? Where are all the people who simply believe in RIGHT & WRONG? Why aren’t more people taking a stand that ALL ADOPTED PEOPLE DESERVE WHAT’S RIGHTFULLY THEIRS, THEIR Original Birth Certificates & their TRUTH & ANSWERS and ALL OF THEM.

½ Truth + ½ Truth = A WHOLE LIE

So here you have it, at 41 years old adoption loss and grief is still very strong in my life, and will always be strong in my life because I am still fighting for my truth. When I find my truth there are thousands of other adoptees who do not have theirs. I will never sit down and be quiet about this until all adopted people all over the world have their truth. God has given me GRACE and I plan on using it.

As I have decided to take the advice to contact the Catholic Priest in Leon, IA where my birth father lives, I made a few calls and left a few messages for him to get back to me. Finally we caught up with one another. I explained who I am and what I was calling for. After sharing I desired his help to deliver the DNA results to my birth father, he asks some questions and told me it was very important that I’m able to answer these questions. He said it appears J.J. has some knots that are tangled up and he wants to try to untangle the knots so he can figure out the truth as to why J.J. would deny me. My point is that he denied me before, but now I have the DNA results that prove I am his daughter. So regardless of the past, and why he originally denied me is really irrelevant because now DNA proves that any reasons he believed I might not be his are not valid.

TRUTH IS TRUTH

“It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail” – 1 Corinthians 13:6

I could tell by the accent of Father Felix that he is of African descent which leads me to believe he’s African American. I can tell you he was extremely friendly and was very comforting in his words to me. He said, “Mam I want to help you but one thing I need to share is I don’t want you to feel rejected.” I said, “Thank you sir, but I have felt rejected my entire life. In this situation it’s hard to not feel that way” He said “I’m so sorry you feel that way but I hope I can help you untangle this knot and be prepared it might take some time”. I was gracious for him talking to me. He gave me his email and asked me to email him all the information I have about J.J. and his marriages, and my biological mother. He said when he goes he needs the armed with the facts and the DNA proof. I let him know I would email it to him in the near future and we would be in touch.

I can’t help but believe that GOD is in the center of this because when my birth father found out I had bi-racial children he gave me a few choice words about his opinion regarding me having kids by a “black man”. I let him know I didn’t need his acceptance of my kids or I and that isn’t what I was there for. It wasn’t pretty and I will just leave it at that. He said conflicting things during my 2nd and final visit ever seeing him, but in the end his tone came around where he had compassion and he was interested in meeting my kids. That topic is a whole different blog post in itself. But I have prayed that God just change his heart and his mind on how he feels regarding this matter. I am NOT taking my kids to meet this guy, not yet anyway.

So thinking that the local Catholic Priest is an African American man I believe with my entire heart that God is behind this meeting that is about to take place. How else do you explain that? The town of Leon, IA is population is 1900 and it’s a very small town with little to no diversity. And he is willing to set up a meeting with J.J. and present him with the DNA results. WOW. I just get chills thinking of it. If anyone can change J.J’s heart it’s GOD!

In the next 24 hours I will have my email compiled to Father Felix and I will email it off to him. And the wait will begin. Seems us adoptees live our lives waiting. Its torture but I know that if God is behind it, I have nothing to worry about. I feel like once the DNA TRUTH is presented I will know at the end of my life that I tried, and I did all I could do. I can tell you this journey has been an emotionally and mentally exhausting one. I listen to the song “Happy” by Pharrell and I wonder when I’m going to experience happiness like that. Not just on the outside but on the inside too. I want to move past this place in my life, but as you see I still have some loose ends God is guiding me to tie up.

Some might say, “What if you present him with the DNA and it changes nothing?”

I would say, at least I tried. At least now I know it’s not a DNA matter with J.J. but it’s more of a heart matter. If he’s presented with the DNA TRUTH and he still rejects me I will be much more able to accept that as the TRUTH than him never knowing I’m his only living daughter and him never knowing I’m really his or not. He rejects me again, he has to live with that and he has to answer for that. My job is over.

See where the fight has come in at? I’m so sick of fighting and I’m NOT going to stop until I receive all my truth! Why would I give up now? Why would I let the devil have his way by discouraging me and taking my HOPE away? Why would I accept something when the truth hasn’t been presented yet? Once the TRUTH (DNA) is presented and nothing changes and ALL J.J.s family is made aware of the DNA results then I will be at a place where I am able to accept the truth because now there are no secrets.

I’m forever thankful for all my blog readers who are supporting me and who are on this journey with me. I couldn’t do it without God, my close friends and family that support me, my amazing new found cousin, Linda and those who I have a special place for tucked away in my heart of hearts- ALL MY FELLOW ADOPTEES WHO GET IT!

mystory

If secrets and lies weren’t the ROOT of my life and where it all began I wouldn’t be uncovering the TRUTH at 41 years old.

WE ALL DESERVE OUR TRUTH NO MATTER HOW HARD IT MIGHT BE!

I will be sure to update you all on the outcome.

Thanks for reading and send me a word of encouragement if you have one!

PRAY FOR ME & I WILL PRAY FOR YOU TOO!

 With God all things are possible.

If you need prayers send me an email and I would be happy to pray for you! If you can relate to my story at all, please leave me a message.

2016-01-10 18.04.25