In October 1998 I received a letter that informed me that I was adopted. I was forty three years old.
It confirmed the suspicions that had only sprouted during the last couple of months. Throughout my life I had never suspected I was adopted and that my understanding of myself, was anything other than what I had believed for the past forty three years of my life.
On a fateful day in Sydney I met a woman I knew only as a name, as a beneficiary in my father’s will.
My quest was for information regarding my son who has Asperger’s syndrome; her agenda was to prove to me that she knew my father intimately by showing me the love letters that justified the benefits she received in his death. ‘Not my concern’ I thought, ‘What’s done is done and it was never about the money’.
We said our farewells and parted. She continued to add tit bits of information on life with my father: ‘The lady next door said that your father had said two of the children were adopted’. This was third hand information but the seed was planted and this information relevant to me, demanded to be proved or disproved.
Letters sent, suspicion grew regarding my birth certificate which did not contain my parents’ details. Research on adoption stated that adopting mothers were reluctant to talk to their adopted children about their pregnancy and birth.
I tested this on my mother and was astonished by her text book dismissal of my question about her pregnancy and my delivery was “Oh it was all so long ago” but she happily recounted details about two of my brothers who were her natural children. My heart sank and all that remained was the letter dispelling or cementing my fear.
That was seventeen years ago now. In another year it will be eighteen. I’ve had seventeen years to integrate totally new information about my parents, my heritage and ethnicity, my birth and adoption. All that remains is to find out where I was for the first three and a half months of my life before I went to live with my mother and father and two brothers. I’d like to be a grown up then, having integrated the old me and the new me and come to a place of peace where I can celebrate who I am.