Here’s a brief update for those who have been following my birth family discovery as I met new cousins this weekend.
It was great.
I met two brothers and their wives. They are first cousins of my birth mother. We had a lovely visit, getting to know each other. One of them has a lake cabin just down the road from my parents’ cabin on Loon Lake, so it was nice to see what a small world it really is.
They gave me stories about my family, and showed me my grandparents’ house, where my mother grew up. They congratulated me on not inheriting the family ears (which are quite pronounced). I have a little more context now about my birth mother’s life. I do not know what her thoughts were as she made the decision to place me for adoption, but learning some of the context, her decision makes even more sense to me now than it already did.
I have a few more names and dates and photos. And I have contact information for one of my aunts, my mother’s youngest sister and her husband. I still don’t know if I will contact her or not. But I wonder if my mother’s sisters knew about me back in 1968. I wonder if they were the people helping her hide her pregnancy. And if I’m not a secret to them, I want to contact them. They may not want anything to do with me. But if they were the ones holding her hand when she was in labor, maybe they want to know what happened to me too.
There are other cousins who now know of me, but who weren’t able to be there this weekend. I recognize that as more people know I exist, news may get to my birth mother or her children. Even knowing that risk, I am very glad I reached out to these new family members and met them. I’m also sticking with my decision to respect my birth mother’s request that I not contact her children. I want to know my story, and after this weekend, I know a lot more of it and feel I have access to discovering more. I don’t feel a need to contact my siblings.
Thanks for your support. While this is a personal journey, I would hate to do it alone. Grateful for support from my actual family, and friends near and far.