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Searching for Julio: A Mystery Solved by Genetic Genealogy

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Dear readers and followers, thank you for coming along on this journey with me over the years of processing adoption stuff and searching for my biological father.   I never thought I would be able to post this blog and say, "It's a wrap!"  The search ended this year with learning about my paternal side.   I recently presented my search story to the Montgomery County Ohio Genealogical Society/DNA Interest Group, of which I am a member.   I am slowly working on my memoir, so that will hopefully be published by 2021. If you don't see much blogging going on at this site, it's because I am focusing on other areas of my life.   Again, thank you to the friends and followers who have been my "angels" during this season of my life. For more recent content, you can follow my blog Facebook page here .

Reunion: Is There Enough Room for All?

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One of the things that adoptive parents are told as it relates to their adopted kids is that there is enough room in the child’s heart to love more than one set of parents. It's similar to how parents can love more than one kid.   I have always believed this to be true and my parenting reflects this belief.   However, does this still hold true when an adoptee is an adult and has already established a life of their own prior to reunion?  Is there REALLY room for reunion from an adoptee’s perspective?  I think the answer is many times no.   I think sometimes an extra set of parents, along with their established families, may not be desired by some.  Understandably, this is hard for first mothers, especially, to accept.  Of course, there are many good reunions.   But because I am not currently part of one, I have spent a lot of time talking to other adoptees and examining why.   I have found in my own reunion, although I wanted there to be room to incorporate my maternal birth f

Late Discovery Adoptees (LDAs) And What We Can Learn

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We learn in the context of other people’s questions*.   I wrote these words down on a sheet of paper on Thursday. On Friday night, I watched this concept come to fruition during #adoptionhappyhour with Indiana Adoptee Network, which featured a panel of threemale late-discovery adoptees . (Please join us here! ) Not being an LDA myself, I turned to the internet for research : “The few studies that exist indicate that the late discovery of adoption is linked to psychological distress and feelings of anger, betrayal, depression, and anxiety. ” This should be no surprise considering many LDAs learn that almost everyone in their family knew they were adopted but kept the secret along with their parents. As someone who grew up knowing from a very young age I was adopted, it’s unfathomable to imagine learning this vital information as a young adult or in middle age.   As I listened to their stories, I hung on almost every word, imagining what it must be like.  Stories about how th

Who Tells Your Story?

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“Let me tell you what I wish I’d known, when I was young and dreamed of glory,  you have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”   – Lin-Manuel Miranda   In the final number of the musical “Hamilton,” Hamilton’s wife Eliza sings a song called “ Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story ” where she describes the 50 years the good Lord gave her to tell Alexander’s story. Alexander Hamilton ran out of time to tell his own story to the world. I am deeply aware that I could die with my story inside of me and that scares me; however, it doesn’t push me to write my search memoir and publish faster.   I procrastinate.   I ask myself do I have a right to tell this story? People ask me about this story frequently and I so want to tell it, every detail or it, but it’s just not possible to create a true narrative of my story in just a few minute summary. It just can’t be done and when I attempt it, other people’s narratives move front and center which then takes meaning away

Alexander Hamilton: Bastard, Orphan, Adoptee?

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  I was so excited to see Hamilton Friday, July, 3, the day it debuted on Disney Plus, with my mother and daughter in the comfort of the Grubb house.   We threw a little party for this long-awaited event as we had never seen it live on Broadway.   (Alexander Hamilton will henceforth be referred to as “Alex” – yep, a little legal humor). The movie on Disney Plus is not actually a movie but a 3-day film shot of the live performance of the “best-rehearsed cast” that performed in June, 2016.   I was pleased that Lin Manuel was in this version, because I don’t think I would have been as excited to view it had he been absent from it. My daughter knew all the lyrics of the soundtrack and because of that, knew what was coming ahead before I did, but I was content to be surprised and was only familiar with the more often-played songs that happen at the beginning of the show. My daughter and I have an inside joke about how many Disney or other movies, books or media have orphans as the m

Lessons for Adoptees with Unknown Parentage

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I was sharing the story of finding my birth father with the local DNA interest group I am part of and one of the members suggested I share it with the local genealogical society, so I wanted to write something coherent for not only them, but anyone who wants to understand the strategies that were used in finding my biological father, especially when a “case” does not fit the typical DNA strategy. The lessons that follow are assuming that the adoptee has their DNA in all of the following already:   Ancestry DNA, 23 and Me, Family Tree DNA, My Heritage and Gedmatch. When I was first learning genetic genealogy, it was stressed to me that the goal was to find common ancestors amongst two or more DNA matches and then, that would lead one to conclude that if two DNA matches share the common ancestor, then you do to.   Unfortunately, that strategy never worked for me because I have a father who was a very recent immigrant. For years, I never had anything closer than a 4 th cousin

Adoption Triggers During Social Distancing (Part I)

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Laureen Pittman ( Author of The Lies that Bind ,) and I are doing an on-line talk tonight called “Social Distancing Together” through Zoom.   It will be the first time I have ever done anything like it so it will be kind of  experimental – sitting on the couch with a glass of wine while everybody sits at home with their electronic devices.   (There is still time to sign up here ). So, what does adoption have to do with Covid-19?   Well, on the face of it, nothing.   We are dealing with a new virus that our bodies have not yet developed immunity to and our best defense (and the best defense for others) at this time is to wash our hands, stay home and away from others.   But if we dig a little deeper, we can see that adoptees have some significant trigger points. We began our life with much uncertainty, unanswered questions, and severed from our roots  (I recall hearing it described, "not having my feet fully planted on earth").  When your beginnings are rooted in s