Finding My Face

Here’s an update on my search for my birth parents. (To read the previous posts about the search, read here and here and here.)

First, let me start by saying thank you. As I’ve gone down this rabbit hole of a search, your support and presence in my life, (whether in person, over the phone, or comments left here and at Facebook) has been a real presence of strength and love. Thank you.

Next, let me thank my family. The family who has been with me every day of my life. Whatever turns up in this search will never replace my family. There are people out there in the world who share my DNA. George, Esther, Annette, Brian, and extended family–you share my heart and you shaped me into the person I am. This search is not about “finding my family”. I have my family. This is about putting together the rest of the puzzle. I trust my family already knows that. I just want to state it explicitly. For me, being adopted has been nothing but blessing.

So, after my birth mother told me the name of my birth father, I spent a lot of time on the interwebs, trying to track down the names of his children. I saw he’d had a son who died a few years back, but I couldn’t track down the obituary. I could not find the obituary for my birth father either. I did find one for his wife, which listed the names of her children. And all of a sudden I had a name for the sister I didn’t know I had.

I called her, recognizing that in order to tell her who I was, I was going to tell her I existed only because her dad had cheated on her mom with my birth mother. (Yay adultery?? Trust me. This is weird territory to inhabit.) I called her anyway. “You don’t know me….Just got my birth certificate…blah blah blah…if Ken McCourt is your dad, I think that makes us sisters”.

Not having had conversations on my birth mother’s side of the family that seem likely to lead to any relationship, I wasn’t sure what to expect from my birth father’s daughter. It wouldn’t have surprised me if she’d asked for proof, which I couldn’t have given. It wouldn’t have surprised me if she gave me a good “how dare you!” and hung up the phone.

I’m so grateful she said none of those things. To my statement “I think that makes us sisters”, she replied, “It sure does. Wow. I have a sister“.

I can’t even tell you what that acceptance and welcome has meant to me.

Her name is Carol. She’s lives in Seattle area. She has kids who are around my age.

We’ve already had some great conversations and I’m going over to meet her (and hopefully some of her family) at the end of the month. I cannot wait.

I asked her if it was okay to blog about this, and she gave me permission to tell all. She said something to the point of “secrets breed shame. I don’t do secrets“. I could not agree more.

Stay tuned for further developments. This is a good thing. I’m so grateful to have found a new sister and additional family.

My wonderful parishioners, who love genealogy and traced my birth father’s family back to the Middle Ages, (Glen said he would make Nancy stop when she traced the family back to Abraham!) found a picture of some sort of cousin of mine. If I’ve got it right, her maternal grandmother and my paternal grandfather were siblings.

I found my face

I found my face

We don’t look exactly the same. But it is the first time in my life I’ve looked at a picture of someone and thought we might be related. I’ve been emailing with this cousin’s daughter, who put much of the family history online (thank you, Jan!) and she is also excited to discover another member of the family. Seriously–the welcome from these people

I showed the picture to one of my good friends and she said, “you’ve found your face“. It’s funny. I still haven’t seen a picture of either of my birth parents, but I’ve already found my face. Carol and I don’t think we particularly look alike, but I’m waiting until I meet her and see more than photos on Facebook.

So, that’s the news for now. There is so much more, but I’m not sure I’m ready to share it all with the world just quite yet. Know it is all good. And thank you for being on this journey with me.

15 thoughts on “Finding My Face

  1. Seeing my face in my family members’ has been hugely important for me all my life. I can only imagine what it is like to get it all at once, after not having it all your life. Love you and your courage (and your sister who “doesn’t do secrets” – she sounds like a winner!!!!)



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  4. I am envious. I, too, am adopted. But as far as I know, California has not unsealed their records. So. But I do have daughters, who have my own voice, and who do bear resemblance to me (or to their Dad, or both, depending upon who comments on it.) I do now know ‘flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.’ I am so thankful you have connected on the other end, with those whom you share DNA. Yet even in your story, I hear my own story, and I am thankful you are brave enough to write and share it.


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  6. I wonder if your first mother has seen this page, and I especially wonder how she feels about it. Does your first mother possibly see some of the statements as an invasion of her privacy? Or perhaps you showed this page to her before you posted it.
    Your story suggests that she feels shame, and I would not argue with that. However, her shame cannot be forcefully removed. Only she herself can do that and it might be a lengthy process of “letting go of shame.”


    • I’m only telling my own story on this blog. And I don’t have a photo of my birth mother up. I’m not doing anything to forcefully remove her shame, or really, to do anything to get her to change her behavior, feelings, etc.


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