Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A New Point of Reference

For my 27 years I've been told that I was a scientific miracle. The product of my mothers eggs, the sperm of a Mexican genius, and a surrogate mother. I've been told that the procedure was performed in Mexico and the surrogate delivered in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where I was promptly "adopted" because the state didn't have rules for such things.

This was in 1982- the procedure wasn't even done successfully in the US until 1981. My mother was 50 and egg cryo-preservation wasn't done successfully until post 1982. Given that my dear wife is 44 and they give her very low statistics with her own eggs and IVF- when thought through, the story gets less and less plausible.

As we've progressed through our own fertility process, I became more and more skeptical. I don't look anything like my mother. I don't look anything like my siblings.

I remember finding the adoption info one day when snooping through a folder with my name on it in my mother's filing cabinet. It gave some specifics about the height and weight of the birth mother, I vaguely remember a first name. At the time, I simply attributed it to the story mentioned above.

I had been thinking of asking my brother or sister for a DNA test just to confirm or deny my suspicions. I never got around to it, and instead, mentioned it to my niece this weekend while we were on vacation in DC. *Side note- my niece and I are the same age* She came clean with me- they had all known for years. Based on my niece's recollection of the story, my sister had been an acquaintance of my birth mother, who apparently got pregnant by a sailor (Pensacola NAS and Eglin AFB are both close- so very plausible). My mother who was teaching at the local university reached out to one of her college classes- communicating that she was looking to adopt a child and if they knew anyone in a 'bad' way, to make contact. Out of respect for my mother and the secrecy she was sworn to, she can't give me any additional info- but I was directed to friends of the family and my brother. I send my brother an email and haven't heard back yet- hopefully he will have some interesting or enlightening comments.

I've gone through a few stages of emotion. The first was thrill that I was correct in my doubts. Next came the thrill that I'm not biologically related to my mother- who is often cruel and manipulative. Then I was angry. How dare something something so basic be kept from me? While it doesn't change fundamentally who I am, I have a right to know medical risk information- especially now as we embark on this journey. Now I'm simply curious and amazed. There might be someone else in this world who looks like me or has my same obnoxious laugh, or anything else. My curiosity has led me to take steps to get the non identifying information from the state related to my birth. I wish my memory were clearer, but I really don't remember all of the details from the first and last time I read the info in 9th or 10th grade.

I think I will probably attempt to search for my birth parents after I get the info. I doubt they have ever looked for me as I've looked on several of the adoption/reunion websites and have found no traces of someone looking for a baby girl born on my birthday. A friend said that the worse thing that could happen would be for them to:
a. be in jail
b. not want to make contact
In either case, I wouldn't be any worse for the wear than I am now.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I used to suspect that i was not my mothers child and on a trip to Guatemala, i went to the doctor who delivered me, and he showed me all the files. I paid an equivalent of about 5 bucks and got official copies...that being said...wow!

N said...

Wow. What a vital piece of missing information. I am both happy and sad for you.

Anonymous said...

wow, what an elaborate story for your parents to have made up...

i hope your brother is able to come through for you with some additional infomration. keep us posted, i'll be very interested to follow along in this journey of yours!

The Miller Menagerie said...

I sorry you had to learn the truth about your history that way. But, yay for at least knowing it.

Why do parents make crap up? My dad stretched the truth so many times. Some of the most damning seems to have been that my endometriosis rendered me infertile (yeah, that proved untrue now, didn't it?) and that Stephen was over 10 pounds and was the biggest baby our family had ever seen. Stephen was quite pissed when I told him that our mom said Newt was the biggest by far (9,6 oz. compared to what Stephen's weight really was 8 something). I know my dad hated being just another person, and always tried to find someone to make himself feels special, even if it was vicariously through his kids.