May 28, 2018

Live Your Life Like a DNA Test

"Don't ever give up!" It's the resounding cry to all on so many adoptee support pages.

I agree.

I believe.

I encourage others to keep believing.

More people are testing their DNA than ever, and there is more potential for results than ever.

And yet sometimes, I can’t be the one to carry the search for a while. Even though it’s my own.

My friend Gayle came to me a while back and said, “Let me handle the search. Don’t focus on it right now, just let me do it.” I never asked her to do that. I would never expect her to do that. But, she offered. And in my exhaustion, I fell into her arms and simply said, “thank you.”

Gayle taking the lead came after previous searches that slayed me. I cried more tears cried than I ever knew I had inside me each time a DNA test came back and wasn't a match. On the one where I met "M" and so desperately wanted her to be family, I remember getting the results and immediately scheduling a massage, my whole body hurt so much because of the anguish. I can still call up in my mind what it was like to lay on that massage table with tears falling down through the face hole the entire time, gathering a literal puddle on the floor. After all of that and more, I think Gayle knew instinctively that I didn’t know if I had one more try in me. She said, “When you don’t have it in you, I have it in me…”

Gayle has told me she will never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up. And I love her for it. I expect nothing and she gives everything. She works tirelessly with all of my DNA results and makes trees. And then more trees. She comes up for air once in a while and tells me if she found anything.

Although I haven’t struck DNA gold yet, I still recommend DNA testing to everyone. I have discovered so much through DNA that has been valuable to my search. Last August through new DNA results on Ancestry, a family secret in my biological maternal family was revealed. My natural mother had warned me that if I did DNA I may "upset the apple cart" (her exact words) and now I know what she was talking about.  In reality, it upsets absolutely no one's apple cart who is committed to living truthfully and transparently.

Through the revelation of that secret, I came to realize that we had been headed in the wrong direction for a while. My search team wasted a lot of time barking up the wrong trees because of misinformation. There were tips I was given that were lies…with no other intention than to throw me off on the search. It’s my thought that one reason it was important for them to try to throw me off was because if and when I find my natural father, it may have potential to reveal more on the details of the other secrets. 

Being lied to hurts but it’s built my resolve even more on how to live. And I’ll take it this far to say – how God wants everyone to live.

We need to all live like a DNA test.

It doesn’t lie.

May 6, 2018

It's Good to Be Grown

For me, being an adoptee has meant growing up with the feeling that my life circumstances were dictated to me out of my control. And in a sense they were for the first 18 years. I had no say in any of the decisions that were made in the beginning of my life. And, like any other child – I didn’t make the rules when I was growing up.  That part is normal, for anyone adopted or not.

However, that time is past.

Yesterday is gone.

It’s a new day.
I have had to try to overcome the mindset I had for a long time that I am on a path set by others -- one I cannot change. One that I must just accept whatever comes to me, and try to navigate my way through it.

Even in my adult life I've kind of had a mindset that I need to "wait and see what the grown ups decide." Well, guess what...I am the grown up.  I don't need to wait to see what they decide and I don't necessarily have to put up with what they decide, unless I want to.

It's easy to come to a place where we let life happen to us rather than us happening to life.  I want to make something happen in life, not just wait around to see what’s going to happen to me. Sometimes I forget – I have the power to make decisions.

 But recently I have journeyed through a time of growth in this area of my life. It’s not limited to adoptee-related things, but everything that touches my life.

This thought is revolutionary to me: 

I’m not a victim. I’m a decision maker. 

If something is not healthy for me, I have the power to change it.

If it doesn't work for me, I have the ability to change it.

I don’t have to just lay down and take it and say, “It is what it is.”

Life awaits.

My potential awaits. 

I can allow other people to determine my path or I can be the decision maker.

I’m not a baby anymore in the arms of the social worker at the Children’s Home Society.

I am a grown woman who has a purpose.

No longer do I see anything in my life as something I just have to put up with. I think it’s a combination of a God-thing in my life (an awakening) and being in my 50’s and knowing I don’t have forever here on earth. I am not going to waste my life letting others dictate my happiness, potential, or peace.

So that’s the purpose of this blog post, to tell you what I’ve been journeying through in my life and to encourage every adoptee – stop letting life happen to you!!!

Get out there and decide things for yourself. Make some bold moves. Refuse to just float along and wait to see what happens. Act now. You have the power!

It’s good to be grown.