Adoptees: Go Where the Light and Love Are

Adoptees often face proverbial brick walls within their birth or adoptive family. These walls are fortified by misplaced loyalty, secrets, lies, (many of  being lies by omission) and the like.  Many times well-meaning people will take up the cause of those who are committed to live in secrets and lies. Sometimes they are even loyal to the dead, which is the most bizarre of all. 

If you keep secrets, you don’t love.   

If you lie, you don’t love.

If you build a wall with people who have done nothing but seek the truth and are committed to live in truth, that’s not love.

Why don't we go where the light is...where the love is? It' because we may not think we deserve it. That's how I felt until very recently. 

I am determined to a fault. Giving up is not my strong suit. And, for so long I did not want to let go of toxic people just because  I went through hell and back to find them. 

My walking path yesterday

Sometimes we have spent so much time walking in the wrong direction, we keep doing it just because we are so committed to it. We started out on this road, and by God we're gonna finish on it! We feel like we have to keep walking down that same path because we’ve invested so much.  Do we really expect the wrong direction to suddenly become right?  I did. For a long time, I did. I'm also a believer in miracles, and in people's ability to change. God knows I've changed. I believe other people can too. But sometimes, they don't. And there we are on the same broken down God-forsaken path that we are hoping beyond hope will change. The difficult truth is that everyone is not committed to truth, change and growth.

Life with toxic people is a one-way street. It won’t lead you back to where you belong. And it prevents you from spending all the time you can with the people who really care about you. If they lie to you, keep secrets from you or expect you to play along in any kind of make-believe world, that is NOT OKAY. 

It's not normal.
It's not healthy.
It's not love.

Through some close friends who have walked with me on this journey, I finally have it through to my head that people who treat me this way do not deserve me. Life is too short to pursue people who don’t have enough respect to tell you the truth and to live in the truth.

Someone who has to hide their relationship with you doesn’t deserve you. Someone who tells people you are a “friend” when you are really their son or daughter doesn’t deserve you. Someone who tells people they have two children when they really have three doesn’t deserve you. Someone who says they have one sibling and not two doesn’t deserve you. Someone who takes up for their secretive lying family member to preserve their "dignity" pride doesn’t deserve you. Someone who lies to you about who your father is, they do not love you. Someone who gives you false clues about who your father is to throw you off track and preserve your mother's secret doesn't love you. If someone says they do not know who your father is, but they really do, they do not love you. If they say they know absolutely nothing about him or the situation but they know even a shred of truth, they do not deserve the blessing of you.

Life is too short to live in their fantasy world!!!  This is not as complicated as some people make it out to be. If they do not speak the truth and if they do not support you knowing the truth, they are not kind. They do not love you.  They are not a nice person. They are not a good person. It’s as simple as that. God has more for you than this. You do not have to be a suffering saint on behalf of your birth family, your adoptive family, or anyone in this world!! No one has been given the destiny of a doormat and you were not created to be anyone’s dirty little secret!   

I have finally realized that there are pure-hearted people who actually care, who love me or have the potential to truly love me (and vice versa) who have been begging me to meet for coffee and the like but I just haven’t made the time yet. Guess what, I’m making time!!

I’m so sorry to all the friends who told me, “you deserve more than this” while I kept banging my head against the proverbial wall trying to keep a connection with toxic people. 

Welcome to 2019 and a gal who finally knows her value.

My friends and I are still hard at work on my father-search. I go into any potential paternal reunion a different person. This search WILL ultimately result in success at some point. The DNA databases are exploding. They say it’s only a matter of time before everyone on the planet has a first or second cousin on both sides. And more people are testing internationally every day. More Greek matches are coming for me, for sure. I am going into my paternal reunion in a different head space. My father may be dead by that time my case is solved, but the rules will apply for any family member I meet. I will go into this future reunion knowing my value. That will make for a very different scenario than it did with my maternal reunion. I’m entering this from a place of strength, not weakness.

Join me, my friend. Let go of what is toxic in 2019. Live in truth and love and make room for all the goodness God has for you. Wonderful people will line up to meet you for coffee, I promise.        

Adoptees Who Search: There's Always Something Left to Do!


When I was searching for my maternal family, I went by the saying, “There’s always something left to do!” Every time I thought I had exhausted all avenues and there was literally nothing left to do, I was wrong. There was always another stone left unturned and if I thought long and hard enough, I would discover it. I’ve taken to using this as my motto for the paternal search as well.  For any adoptee who is searching and feeling like you've come to the end -- you haven't. I promise. 

Keep going!

With my maternal search, "something left to do" was limited to the search itself. With my paternal search, DNA testing has changed things.

When my mother died, taking my father’s name to her grave, my first recourse was DNA testing at Ancestry, 23 and Me, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage and Gedmatch. (Soon I will also test with National Geographic DNA. I just found out about them. Supposedly they yield more international matches. We’ll see.) All the ethnicity mix came back mostly the same in that I am 38% -40% Greek. Some of the test say Greek and others list it as Balkan, but when you drill down on it many of my matches come from the Peloponnese region of Greece. My adoption file says that my father was partially Greek. The DNA tests confirm it. That was one thing I was never lied to about. Yay for truth. People who are very knowledgeable about DNA have reviewed my tests and say that it appears my father more than likely had one parent originating in Greece and another from the United States. 

Although I don’t know who my natural father is yet, it brings me comfort to know where I’m from even though I don’t know who I’m from.

With this confirmed, I have some other cool things besides searching that are left to do. For instance, Ancestry has a new feature that creates a Spotify playlist for you based on your DNA. I have been listening to the music of my people. It brings me some small sense of comfort to hear the sounds of a culture I am technically part of but have never been immersed in.

I have also been researching Balkan food and exploring and enjoying it more. (The Balkans include Greece, Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Turkey.) My DNA results pinpoint Greece however I’ve been branching out to the Balkans in general.

I ordered myself a gift to celebrate new year’s eve. I ordered a jar of ajvar which I am planning on enjoying with feta cheese and olives on some crusty wheat bread. My friend Gayle who I've written about many times here at AR will be there with me on New Year's Eve and I'm sure she'll try some. And, we'll talk about how we both believe that "this is the year." And one year, it will be. Because I'm going to keep going. And she's going to keep going. 

Tomorrow my husband is taking me to a Balkan restaurant in nearby St. Petersburg. I mentioned it to him and he was really excited about going there, so this should be an adventure. I'm hoping Gayle and her husband David will go with us. I’m particularly excited to try their salad and whatever dish the server tells me is the most popular. Usually when I go to a new place that's how I decide what to try.  

My husband has started researching cruises to Greece and we plan to take one in 2020. I am hopeful to actually know some of my Greek family members before we do that, but if not I will still enjoy it to the fullest.

I am so thankful for DNA testing and research. In the adoptee world of more questions than answers, the results provide me with something concrete to stand on as far as where I come from. There are some traditions like music and cuisine that I can participate in even while I wait for that DNA match that will hopefully unlock not just the where but the who.

If you are an adoptee who is still searching and experiencing the frustration that comes with waiting, what of your heritage can you celebrate while you are waiting? 

Why I Struggle With This Time of Year More Than Any Other as An Adoptee (And Who God Sent to Help Me With That!)

Last week I received a Facebook friend request from a lady named Linda. I was so excited. She is Kenny’s wife!  (If you have no idea who Kenny is, you need to read my last post.) Kenny is not connected on social media, but Linda is. And she’s just the sweetest. Here is part of her first communication to me on a Facebook message:

Hey Deanna! It’s wonderful to hear from you. Kenny and I feel like you've become family.  Kenny has been checking with people in the family and people that might have graduated with your Momma. We haven't heard anything that would help you yet.  But as you know, God is great every day! I am praying for you that God will lead you to some answers and peace of mind in knowing about your Daddy and other family. That would be a blessing for you. I hope Kenny and I can meet you one day. I hope you and your family have a very blessed Christmas. 

This is the first of many messages with Linda and I am beyond grateful for this couple. For all the frustration I have in dealing with a few  idiots people with my search, I am reminded through people like Kenny and Linda that there are people who are willing to help a person who was once a stranger. There are people with heart, who do the extra mile without being asked. (I initially asked Kenny to help but now he and Linda do a lot of searching and talking to people without me even having to ask. They really care.)

It was a joy to mail Kenny and Linda a Christmas present yesterday and thank them for their kindness.   

I realized a few days ago that it seems like the Christmas season is always the worst time I struggle with the issue of not knowing my natural father. Every holiday season my friend Gayle and I talk about it more than any other time. I drill down in working on the search during the month of December more than any other time even though it's a crazy busy month! I was ruminating on that this past week and tried to figure out what it is about Christmas that compels me to do this. 

I suddenly realized, it has nothing to do with Christmas. 

It's the fact that another year is almost over, and I don't know who he is yet. And if he's not dead, time is running out.