When I discovered the identity of my biological parents I was elated to learn that they were married to each other. I was even more wide-eyed and over-joyed with the discovery of a brother and two sisters; a serendipitous outcome that I had never anticipated. I had been raised as an only child in a quiet neighborhood with nobody to share my thoughts and secrets with other than my surrogate dolls, my dog Toby, and my neighborhood Lilac Sisters. My father was never home and my adoptive mother was a somber individual who attended church every morning and spent her afternoons painting in solitude. The interior of our house was dark, lifeless, shadowy and wraithlike and reeked of the unpleasant smells of oil paints and turpentine. The idea of a household filled with the voices of other children, raucous laughter and gaiety was a new image of a family that had been completely lacking in my youth.
I was wildly enthusiastic about meeting my siblings but I was uncertain if I would ever be given the chance. I had a major decision to make about how to approach them. Should I obey my birth mother’s desire to keep my identity secret from her other unsuspecting children to protect her reputation as she had requested, or should I defiantly disobey her wishes and brazenly reveal myself to my siblings against her will? I sat by the window quietly absorbing the view of the verdant mountainous hillside towering above me as I weighted the alternatives. I could feel the tension leaving my shoulders as the ever-increasing heat from the warming rays of the early morning sunshine pierced the windowpane. I was tired of internalizing my childhood fears and fervently looking forward to a fresh new chapter in my life. I was eager to overcome my apprehension and the pitiful negative feelings genealogical bewilderment had caused me. I paused to gather my thoughts and daydreamed about what the future might hold. I filled my fountain pen with ink and placed the tip on the stationary. The words I was seeking flowed out naturally.
“My lovely sisters and dear brother, I am your prodigal sister returned from a hapless life of isolation in the wilderness. When our parents were very young I was abandoned due to the unfortunate timing of my birth and left to independently find my own way in the world with the hope that I would be offered a better life by someone else. I unconditionally forgive them for everything that happened to me. I am happy and healthy. I do not regret my youth. My childhood can’t be recaptured and my past experiences are history. The future is what is most important to me now. In my new life, I serendipitously look forward to the highest achievement any adoptee from a closed adoption can ever experience—the pleasant discovery of a positive self-identity based on “truth” accompanied by an internal joy and sense of belonging that is beyond expression. The three of you are very important to me. I fondly look forward to eventually reuniting with you sometime in the future. I am the happiest girl on the planet today. I send my fondest regards and all my love. Your sister, Judith Ann.”
How do some of the rest of you feel about adoptees meeting their siblings?