Brook's Story: Thanksgiving Miracle

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Brook's Story: Thanksgiving Miracle

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Posted: 1/29/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

/images/stories.asp?i=20110523130806.0.jpgThe following story is written in Brook's own words:

I always knew I was adopted. My parents told me from the beginning. They made me feel special because they said "of all the children in the world, we picked you". There was open conversation, and I have an adopted brother as well. There were no secrets, other than the ones inside of me I could never talk about...

I wanted to know if I looked like anyone else in this world. Why was I so different from the way my parents wanted me to be? Why did I feel so alone? Why did I have dreams about twin boys? Why did I feel alone in this world even though I had family?

When I was 18, there was a man who stopped me in a grocery store. He said, "I'm sorry to stare at you, but you look just like my sister's daughter. Are you from around here?" I quickly shrugged him off, never to be seen again. It got me thinking though. What if that was a blood relative of mine? What if I just blew off the only chance I would ever have to know my birth family? A few years later I answered a classified ad for two brothers who supposedly had 100% success rate in finding lost family members. I was too young and inexperienced to realize they were only con artists. $300 later, which was a lot of money for me at the time, I was no closer to finding my blood relations, and I gave up hope.

When I had my first child, my mother gave me all the 'non identifying information' from my adoption file. I finally knew where the dreams of twin boys were coming from. I was born to a family with 3 children already in the home. Two of them twin boys. I had a half sister. Why was I the one they gave up for adoption? I was mature enough to realize it had to be a very difficult decision to give me up for adoption. They kept me for two months before bringing me to the agency. What kind of mother could do that? I knew the answer: a desperate one. I never felt malice for my birth parents. I knew things had to be pretty bad to let a child go like that. I always wanted to tell them "I understand why you did it. Its ok."

As the years went by, I had children of my own, health problems crept up, and I worked hard to create my own family unit. I wrote to the adoption agency, and put a letter in my file if someone was looking for me. No response. I paid a bit here and a bit there to be on lists that never gave me a crumb of information. Every now and then I trolled the Internet for lists and registries, never letting myself get to hopeful if I found something that might be a match.

At the age of thirty-six, (double my age after the supermarket incident) I was still hopefully putting my name out there. I found a free website search engine. I typed in my info, to find I had already put my name there. This time, there was something else. There was a sister looking for an adopted sibling. It was the wrong city, but the right state, date and sex. Just to make sure, I wrote to the director and asked to have it looked into. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

The within 48 hours I got an email. That contact, from Sue, wanted more info, and asked if I could call her. I wasn't going to spend the long distance money, so I returned her email with a bit of non-identifying info and a friendly letter, although I knew it wouldn't develop anything. The next day she wrote to say she found my family! "What? This cant be real, I'm sure there's a catch." I thought. I was very doubtful, but I decided to splurge on the long distance call. Sue was able to tell me info I hadn't given her. She gave me names and dates. She asked my permission to call one of my brothers. (Meanwhile I kept waiting for the bomb to drop. This was a joke, or a hoax, or a scam, right?)

Within hours I was talking to one of my twin brothers. We both cried and cried. He didn't know about me, and had already called all the family to tell them. There was no denial or the fear I had anticipated. Later on that evening I spoke with my birth mother, and half sister.

As I spoke to them, they each told me the tragic family story from their standpoint. I was happy I was adopted, and happy to talk with them. I heard myself in my birthmother. She gave me important health information, and I finally understood things about myself I could never comprehend before. I listened to my sister talk about things I thought in my head but didn't ever tell anyone. My big brother talked about a hole in his life he could never fill, and I understood what he meant. I forgave myself for the illnesses I'd thought I brought on myself, only to find out they run in the family.

When my brother sent me his picture through email, something hit me. I look like someone! I'm a woman, he's a man, but we have the same eyes and nose. He tells me I look like 'mom'. She says I come from a long line of tall beautiful Amazon women. A very different perspective from the one I held of myself (a huge misfit of a woman).

At the time of this writing, I am only a couple of weeks into knowing my birth family. It's been a healing and humbling experience. As much as I thought I had thought about it, I never realized how important it is to know where the DNA comes from. I wasn't looking for a new family, just information, maybe a picture. There are two boxes of family pictures on the way to me right now, and for Christmas, my brother and his wife will eat at my table. For the first time in 36 years, there will be a complete family dinner.

I will forever be grateful to Sue for her work. She has changed the destiny of an entire family previously burdened with guilt, pain and suffering. And I would like you to know; she never charged me a penny. I was the fortunate recipient of a Thanksgiving promotion for a free family search offered by her company. Sue has never asked me for a thing, and only invited me to write this story if I wanted to. God bless you Sue. And God bless all of you who read this, that you too may find what and who you are looking for.


(Written by Brook)
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