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Defining Family: The Intersection of Biology, Adoption, Marriage and Soul

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  While we collectively experienced the pandemic of 2020, it collided with all the other events that happen to each person on the planet.   Even during this monumental world event, we still have to make money, feed our families and keep our mental health in check.  All of it takes a lot of energy.  Looking back, it seems like the world went into survival mode and we are just now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.   Entering back into the student role again in my 50’s has been interesting and it seems I am once again being thrust into a new Heroine’s Journey ( highly recommend these 9 podcasts about that! ).   Biology is king (and queen) in genealogy.  Should adoptive relatives be added to your tree when they aren’t truly your genealogy? (you can ponder that ongoing debate for yourself.) For me personally, in 2020, I experienced several events collide at the same time: my husband’s near-fatal heart attack, a family member’s mental health crisis, and the conclusion of my

The Broken Mirror

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When I was growing up, like many others, I was fascinated by Alex Haley’s miniseries, “Roots”.  It aired in 1977 when I was 11.  I hung onto every word of every episode.  When I was older, and I could get the entire miniseries at the library, I checked it out and watched it again.  I believe the reason that show had such an impact on me was because the story of Kunta Kinte was passed down through his ancestors.  Each generation kept the story intact for the next and it connected them all to each other.  They were proud of who they were, and they never forgot where they came from.  This knowledge of their people gave them an identity during years of slavery, separation and other traumas they endured.  I longed for the family stories of my ancestors as a child.  I would have given anything to have an accurate understanding of who my people were and what kinds of challenges they overcame – to know what they valued, loved and why I came to be separated from them.  Without that knowledge, I

Secrets in the Time of DNA

I spoke with an adoptee this week who just learned she was adopted at the age of 50.  Absorb that.  To call it a shock is truly an understatement. I was privileged to be able to listen to her story and slowly ease her into all the adoption support that is available to her. She has been trying to cope with this alone.  She realized that aside from her immediate family, the people around her were not able to support her in the way she had hoped.  This is not unusual because people tend to think, “Oh, how exciting, you have additional family members!” and skip what is really needed such as, “Wow, that is a huge discovery. I am so sorry that you found out this way.  It must be really hard right now.” Most non-adopted people do not understand the gravity of being adopted, let alone being lied to about being adopted.  Lying to your family members (withholding the truth about their adoption status) is a major betrayal.  How the adoptee grieves and copes is very individual, depending on th

Feelings, Genealogy, Paradox and DNA

 “Write about how you are feeling about all of this, Lynn.” That was the advice a friend and adoption memoirist gave me.   And what timing it is.   Smack dab in NAAM (National Adoption Awareness Month) and the day before Thanksgiving.   I know I have a lot to be thankful for in my life; however being adopted is really low on that list. And It’s not that I wish I had not been adopted.   This is where it gets complicated for people.   The word paradox comes up for me repeatedly.   You really have to be able to hold two opposite thoughts in your brain at the same time to grasp the complexity of being adopted.   My whole life growing up people would ask me what being adopted felt like.   And here I am trying to write a book about facts and things that happened during my search,   but at the same time, I am having a hard time accessing how I feel about it all.   I am a highly sensitive, intuitive, empathic person.   I know what I’m feeling almost every minute of every day.   But g

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