Not bad for a fat girl


Who Am I?

My colleague at work has found her birth family. 8a8f8826d98c426854f0caa18b8478c6--genealogy-quotes-family-trees.jpg

People are stunned at how quickly it has all happened, but as she says, quickly aside from the 45 years leading up to it.

It’s not all roses and sunshine. There are things she’s learning that are difficult. But there are things that are incredible, too. She’s already met some of her birth relatives in person. Ten days ago she didn’t know they existed. Remarkable.

Naturally all of this excitement makes me think about my own situation. Do I have birth relatives one state away? Are there pictures of people I’ve never met, as children, who look like my own child? Or me? Do I share a nose with someone, or a laugh, or a love of Cadbury mini-eggs? And could someone please explain about these ridiculous fingernails that bend? Whose fault is that?

I’ve been looking around at 23 and Me, trying to make sense of my DNA relatives. So far the closest link that’s shown up is a second cousin, and she seems to be a dead end. I’m thinking about Ancestry DNA next. That’s what my friend used.

Maybe after all this time someone out there in the big wide world is looking for me. Maybe they wouldn’t mind be found by me. Maybe they haven’t forgotten me. I don’t think they have. How could you?


An Open Letter to My Birth Mother on Mother’s Day

Dear Birth Mother,

I realize I may be too late with this message. I’m nearly 50 years old, and you, of course, are older. I realize your life may have already come to an end, but I hope not. I hope you are alive and well and surrounded by loved ones. I hope life has been good to you and for you. I hope you have made a contribution to the world and you are satisfied with your place in it. I especially hope you feel at peace with the decision you made to give me up.flat,800x800,075,t.u1

I don’t know much about the events surrounding my birth and adoption. They are closely guarded secrets, although I don’t know exactly why. Even if I am the result of the most scandalous events, they are beyond my control, so why do I need to be shielded from them? I’m just the end result, not the cause of any bad behavior or pain.

Birth mother, perhaps you could shed some light on my origins. Am I the result of an affair? A rape? Incest? Or am I the product of a bleary one-night-stand or an abusive relationship? Maybe you struggled with mental illness or lived in poverty. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change who I am. I just wonder. I just want to know.

Maybe none of those scenarios apply. Maybe you were in love with my birth father but the situation was impossible, for whatever reason. Or maybe you just didn’t want to be a parent at that point in your life. I can accept that too. I can accept anything, because the truth is better than not knowing.

I wonder about you, birth mother. I wonder what you look like and what makes you laugh. I wonder if you have an unhealthy relationship with food like I do. I wonder if you have other children-my brothers or sisters. I wonder if you like to create or if you have an inquisitive mind. I wonder if you’re Irish or German in origin and what type of music you enjoy. I wonder what your voice sounds like, and what your smile looks like.

I wonder if you would like me.

I wonder if you think about me on Mother’s Day and my birthday. I think about you on those days, and on many other days.

Birth mother, do you know who I am? Did you ever see me as I was growing up? Did you know my parents before they became my parents? Did you live in the same town and shop at the same stores? Did you see my wedding announcement in the newspaper? Have you checked out my Facebook page or my Twitter feed or even read this blog?

Does anyone in your world know about me? Or have I been kept secret all these years?

Nearly 50 years of secrets. That’s a long time.

I just want to thank you for being my first mother, and for allowing me to have the life I’ve had. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, know I’m thinking of you and I wish you happiness and peace.

Happy Mother’s Day.

With love, your daughter.




The Dreaded Physical

I did it. I went to the doctor for my annual physical and I did all the stuff I was supposed to do. Well, actually not ALL, but most of it.ExamTable2Web

Let me explain. I go to a medical group where there is a huge focus on wellness and preventative care. They have LOTS of different machines and an in-house lab and all sorts of ways to assess your health. That is generally a good thing, but each year for my physical they order all these tests that really don’t change from year to year, and they don’t change what the doctor will tell me. He will tell me what he always tells me, “lose weight and some of these other things will take care of themselves.”

Now you have to understand that I’m generally quite healthy. I know that being an adoptee puts a giant question mark into my medical chart, but in fairness I get a yearly pap, a yearly mammogram, and bloodwork done quarterly. Some of the other tests and procedures are just not medically necessary (so says my health care provider, and I agree). A healthy person doesn’t need a resting metabolic rate test each year, or an annual chest x-ray.

I felt a weight lifted off me, because typically their procedure for a physical lasts about 3 hours, and that doesn’t include the appointment 2 weeks later to discuss all the results. I was in and out in about an hour and a half, including the mammogram, so that wasn’t bad.

I also felt better about it than usual because of my trusty towel. How could a towel help me? Well I decided that I’ve had enough of sticking to the paper that covers the exam table and then shredding it as I scoot down to the edge of the table for the exam. I get shreds of paper all over my backside, and I end up on the vinyl cover of the table itself, which is what the stupid paper cover is supposed to prevent. Enough. This time I brought along a clean towel from my linen closet and placed in on top of the exam table before I sat down. When it came down to scoot there was no sticking or tearing, and my dignity (what was left of it) remained in tact. Next I need a cape.

A cape, you ask? Yes. You see the mammogram lady (who is contracted through a separate company, so she does things a little differently) had these wonderful cotton capes. The design was similar to a Christmas tree skirt, with your head being the tree, of course. It was soft, modest, and easy to move out of the way for the exam. I need to make myself one to replace the paper vest that the doctor’s office provides.

The paper vest is another humiliation that I just don’t need in my life anymore. First off, it doesn’t cover anything on this body, so as I’m waiting for my exam I sit sort of hunched and cowering. Secondly, somehow I managed to split the thing right down the back. Well, it is paper. So now instead of a vest, I have two completely separate pieces of paper around my shoulders covering my sides and little else. Never again. I’m going to make an examination cape and that will solve that.

These types of appointments are uncomfortable enough, without being made worse by the humiliation of being exposed and subjected to conditions that are awkward and unpleasant. With a few small modifications, I can make myself so much more at ease, and hopefully reduce some of the stress that I associate with my yearly exam. What do you do to help put yourself at ease at the doctor’s office?