I’m not finding any real answers today. so I did a little reminiscing. For some odd reason, I’m remembering more than I want to. Somehow. I’m not one to dwell. I was taught many things growing up. I was taught to keep outsiders out. I was taught if something ever went wrong or I got into trouble of any kind, no matter what I said, never tell them I’m adopted or they will blame everything on that. I was almost drilled on some points. I was told “Now here is what you’ll say…” I was taught to have no interest in my natural family that my adopted parents were my real parents, after all, my mother didn’t “just spread her legs” to have me. I was taught to always be grateful and to know how lucky I got it. No matter what happens in life, I have no right to complain as “”it could always be worse.”
“Today is the big day” the social worker? said to me in a vehicle. We had just left a big place with weird counters and aisle-like things. Sorry, I was rather short at the age of 18 months. I’m not sure but I think she said something about “this time you won’t be coming back and to not worry, it is OK.” I think she told me to be polite. I remember the kitchen and the couple in there. The social worker (if that is who she was) talked a while in the kitchen with them. For some reason, I thought I was leaving with her again despite her saying what she did earlier. Kids are weird like that. She told them not to call me any name at first so as not to confuse me. She asked if they had picked one out. I remember for fact her saying ” Soon she will have no memories at all.” She told them that they try not to send old toys as it tends to make children linger in old ways and lives. She said “she is young enough that this shouldn’t be a problem.” There was always a lot of whispering going on around me, pointing, smiling, “aweing” and the words “she” “her” “herself” were used. A lot. I was quite the item. Item. I remember that day but not one damn day before them. I grew to resent this woman because she turned out to be right, soon there were no memories at all. I tried to run after her when her leg slipped through the screen door before slamming shut. I was with the new couple. My adopted father said, “You are Susie now.” My mother said “Bill, she said not to yet.” He answered “Well Lucy Susie, sounds the same right? It’s close enough isn’t it, Susie? Lucy, what a name, Jesus.” My new mother said something about my clothes and how they were “Niiice clothes” but we are going to dress you right now. She bathed me and undid my hair and griped about it somehow. I was Susie now. Story goes the back of my head was bald and Amom said it was from tying it up too tight. She baby oiled the back of my head due to some advice from the doctor or something. Dr Root. I remember him. I went to see him a lot before he retired. Then it was Dr Levy. I had roseolla on my face and “nervous bowels” . I used to call my Adad Bull as I always heard my Amom calling for him. I liked my Uncle. My mother’s sister’s husband. He came over and acted silly bringing me new red sneakers. I liked him and them. They weren’t those patent leather things I had to sport all the time with my new parents. They were quite cool red sneakers. I called him Wa. That was his name. I can name folks too right? Isn’t that how life goes? New names for everyone. I liked the paper boy as I just knew that he new my way home. I used to call him Johnny even though that wasn’t his name. He was nice to me but my new parents apologized to him for me bothering him. He said it was alright but they hid me when he came to collect just the same. I knew I was looking for two boys who names sounded like Johnny and David. I often wonder if they were foster siblings. Maybe they were siblings. I have to say “sounded like” because who knows with such a child who didn’t speak clearly. I must not have, as my Aparents didn’t seem to understand a thing I said for quite some time. I had lots of dreams of places and things. I used to cry when I watched certain movies or shows. I loved heidi but would cry cause she left the farm. My Aparents got a regular kick out of that. “Tell them how you cried when Heidi left the farm, Susie. Oh GOD did she carry on. Hahaha, she was really going on about it. Right Susie? Fresh kid you. hahahaha.” Yeah, hahahahaha. I was such a great source of entertainment. I was like a little weird science project. Or perhaps a social experiment gone wrong. Hahahahaha.
Step 6 on 23andMe for a child. My child. She has a half brother who should show an M (maternal match) for her DNA match. He doesn’t, at least not yet. Maybe because it’s a new match. I hope. Otherwise it is a frightening thing how “off” this phasing can be. Also It’s snowing like crazy in Upstate NY this am. It’s blowing in from every direction. 🙂 So I suppose the warnings are; Don’t trust the “M” and don’t trust Spring.
It seems as though my DNA leads me one way and any paper trail of my ancestors leads me another. It wouldn’t be too bad if Dad was a NPE and Mom an undocumented orphan, but the possibility of 200+ years of this is maddening. It is quite possible where ever (who ever) my DNA leads me will not be a documented surname/maiden name. I think this is what is happening with me. What’s in a Name? Nothing, absolutely nothing. At least not the DNA that should go with them. When I cross reference any female 1934-1967 although there are plenty of surnames in my DNA matches to match All of them, no precise ancestors are shown in any tree. None. I did a little test with Known people. My adopted family. No one is really into recording them online either. But a few specks of them do pop up here and there. Enough to at least guess. My children’s paternal side. One reference –an obit. No find a grave and no ancestry tree. Sooo many families do not have a genealogist in them. If they do, they don’t expand a thing. Everyone one has just one child leading to them. But at least with hints and member connect on ancestry those families can be expanded. So I’m not completely without hope but I do know at this point DNA is the only thing to solve this. I’m getting older and most of my people are dead. Even if a great niece or nephew tests it would help. If they wait too long I’ll be dead and they will match my children as a DISTANT cousin. Back to square one.
According to my DNA I am pretty healthy with only a few risks. Mainly heart freaking failure related ones. Slightly lower life expectancy and little endurance. See? I don’t have a lot of time. If my non id is right than my mother died at the age of 32 and there were no extended family members willing/able to take me. So that lower life expectancy seems correct so far.My DNA cousins with trees show that most of them died at the age of 50 or less. That is the ones without the “living” 300 year olds. I love those. They are great. Always one side that connects to my closest match displays a whole line of private or “living” ancestors. Strange in itself. Every time I find my connection to someone, I follow it down right to another adoption. I thought I solved this with one cousin, but discovered all on his paternal side (the side that seemed to match me) did not match with DNA. He had several of his 2nd cousins tested on all sides of his own DNA. His maternal side is what we guessed would be who connected us, led to Canada quickly (1920’s) and then fizzled. I don’t know how I ended up in Syracuse NY to be adopted by Onondaga County but I’m pretty sure I was not born there. And I’m even more sure my mother wasn’t. I’m starting to doubt she was a US citizen. I think that long 800 number on my son’s long form birth certificate that time was not a mistake but an immigration/naturalization number like what the federal building employees thought. They said this after they got like 5 people to come inspect this document I held and marveled at “mother’s ss#” being a 800 number that never (and hasn’t since) existed anywhere in the US. I wish I still had that paper. I thought it was a fluke too. I read about flukes. They are the exact opposite of what a fluke should be. They are quite common and in abundance.
I’m officially fishing in all three pools. I’m on gedmatch. I’m waiting. My first 3 closest matches after my second cousin are private. I got a lot of people sharing genomes with me and for that I’m grateful. I’ve lost 8 cousins from my 23andMe list although I’m no where near the 1000 cap people speak of. I lost them a couple of days ago and no new matches since. I’ve heard that usually happens when you have 1000 and only with your more distant ones. These were not the most distant ones and I’m no where near the cap. One woman on a forum said that it usually means you’ve sent an invite and they ran, pulling their data from the pool, leaving town and joining the witness protection program. I thought that was funny but a friend corrected that. They said it was the “witless protection program.”
I’ve always thought the origins part of the DNA was a fun fact for sharing or something out of curiosity. And it is usually I’m sure. But it is so much more/less to some. I stumbled upon this by looking up a cousin and looking to see what cousins we share. I got poking around and found another interesting website that they frolicked about at. Seems a lot of the participants of this mailing list did their dna. How nice I thought. Could be a surname project or something. So I’m reading and reading and READING. Must be the WHITE family. Interesting. Still reading. Oh. My. God. I am so stupid. Not the WHITE family. But, the white family. Discussing their whiteness. No, really, it was that. THAT. So apparently white supremacists use modern technology too now a days. Wow. After finding this and other sites and codes and semi-secret languages, I realize that all that innocent sharing may not be that innocent. Yes, I’m naive at times at least until I’m not. So, could it be that some of those ignored invites and emails could be due to something other than them not getting the message? Or not being into genealogy? Or being selfish? Or being dead? Or due to them feeling you are too hard (distant) to figure out a connection with? Or too proud to admit a NPE? Could it instead be that they did in fact not only get the correspondence but took a little peak at your origins? Check you out and make a conscience decision to snub you due to your origins? Are you not of the correct ethnicity? It is possible. Very possible. I had no idea. The thought had sort of crossed my mind but I was thinking “surely not”. Surely possible! People are but a strange silly group of beings. If one group does it, others may very well do it. So don’t ever feel bad about ignored messages, you simply may not be ________enough. Fill that in with whatever. Truth is truth.
What gets me is how a family may not consider you a “real” relative because of a lack of paper trail. As I’ve said before, a paper trail is something you make when you step on toilet paper in a public restroom. But all the other things their ancestors did are quite fine. When you deny or revise history it is called Lying. It happened. Truth. I read where this man said that he knows for fact what his great grandparents did before his grandparents were even born. He knew without a doubt what they didn’t do. Really? You don’t even know what your child is doing when not in your presence. How could you possibly know this? Oh yes, it wasn’t written down. I do lots of things I don’t write down. At work it was said if it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen. I know a lot of things that didn’t happen were also written down. Now what? I know, the world is pink and fuzzy and no one ever lies and nothing ever goes wrong. Got it.
So as I looked at my lack of close cousins, I got to thinking of fellow adoptees in search for siblings in NY. I was going to buy one a test. Apparently she found her only sibling and a dead mother. She “knows” she did. There were no more siblings or half siblings. No DNA. So her search is over. Ok. Another one I emailed. He is giving up on his search as he feels hopeless. I can relate. He has not done DNA. I’m thinking in my head “For the love of God do DNA. Why would you trust methods that haven’t worked in all these years? Why do you believe anything you were told that have NOT panned out in all these years? Why would you wait for some record of anything that may have been falsified anyways?” Instead I just tried to nudge him gently. I get it, I do. But it just gets me that my siblings, if they have ever even existed have given up, didn’t do DNA, or think they were reunited and really weren’t. Or they are looking under false information or worse yet, correct information that there is no way their adopted out siblings would know. Every time I see “I’m ISO Firstname Lastname of Ihavenowayofknowing City, SomestateIwouldn’tknow born to the BirthnameIhavenoknowlegeof. If you are that person please contact me” it just kills me inside. Like anyone knows their birth name or parents or siblings’ or location let alone the hospital etc.
I’ve learned something else, all over again at that. There are still quite a few people who would love nothing more than to hinder your search. Sabotage your efforts and sway you. Believe it. They will even pose as adoptees or helpers. They are still out there. You’ll recognize them when you see them and hopefully soon enough. They fish for information to see how much you know and figure out what they need to hide/block. Sounds paranoid I know. That is why it works. If someone tells you a method is ridiculous, beware, as you may be too close to something they want to hide. I think it would be smart if everyone in search had a blood relative like a child on gedmatch with an alias and a different email. Just to see who may contact them about you and to see what they say. Just something to think about. Wouldn’t that be a trip to get an email referring to your own gedmatch number and to hear how you are trouble or something like that? I’m sure they wouldn’t say “Hide there is that orphan/foundling hot on your trail” but perhaps they would put some kind of fear in them in order to manipulate/ hinder. That would suck. You figure people get blacklisted all the time. Why not for this too? I know, one shouldn’t entertain these thoughts. But then again I shouldn’t have to do a lot of things.