Since reuniting with my birthmom I’ve discovered several things about my story that were lies. Things the adoption agency got wrong. A few things like the time of my birth and the wrong ethnicities were put down on paper. They may seem like minor mistakes, but they matter.
Then there were two pretty substantial lies that altered me and my journey in significant ways. One damaged me to my core- the other led me straight to my mother.
The first lie was not in any official document but was told to me and written down in notes my adopted mother took when they received the call about me. She was told that my birth mom never held me nor wanted to see me. This was a very painful piece of my story. It seemed to fit with the unwanted child narrative adoptees become used to- but it still hurt. And even though my papers said my birth mom would like contact when I became of age- I believe this lie made me quite frightened of being rejected- again. When I found my mother and she spoke of holding me, that she had a picture of us…..I couldn’t stop crying. What a relief it was to know that it was a lie- and how angry I became to know that others purposely made this part of my story.
The second lie I am actually grateful for because it made a huge difference in the search for my mother. Growing up I had one sheet of paper front and back that stated some basic information about my birth parents. Height, weight, eye color, ethnicity, hobbies etc. according to these papers- my only connection to them- it stated my birthmother was pursuing a career in the veterinary field and that she was involved in an animal science club at her college. When I began my search this was one of the better clues we pursued and I was able to acquire a picture with first and last names of all the people who were in that club the year I was born from the college of the town I was born in. With the combination of some other clues I quickly found out which women in the picture was my birthmother. Only she wasn’t. We soon discovered she was my aunt. My mother was never ever in that club- but because her sister was-it led me to her. Without that false information, that lie, my search would’ve taken much longer.
Adoptees deserve the truth about who they are and who and where they come from. Unfortunately, my story isn’t unique. Many adoptees discover false information, even wrong birth dates. I can’t understand how this information can be taken so lightly. These details matter. These details were all I had of my past-I memorized them-and they weren’t all true. It’s heart breaking and wrong.
Sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes the truth sets you free. Either way it’s truth-and that is all I want.