Jen had a very nice childhood with her parents and never really wanted to search for her birth parents until her friends started having kids. But the ultimate spark that ignited her desire to search came from a family tragedy.
In the aftermath Jen located her birth mother and they connected over social media, but Jen could never get her mother on the phone and that gave her a bad feeling. While she’s thankful for the few answers she did get about her past, Jen wishes she had not been deceived and has a warning for other adoptees seeking reunion. On her reunion trip her birth mother bitterly showed her true colors.
Thankfully,contacting her birth mother did allow her to connect with other really cool relatives, and find her paternal half-brother who is ecstatic to know her.
The post 030 – Don’t Fall For “I Can’t Talk To You On The Phone” appeared first on Who Am I...Really? Podcast.
I never got a please. Thank you. A nicety. Nothing. I got nothing decent or nice or kind from this woman, so that's the reason why when I look back at whatever communications we had prior to, I deleted everything because I don't think any of it's true.
Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?
This is Who Am I Really, a podcast about adoptees that have located and connected with their biological family members. I'm Damon Davis and on today's show is Jen who lives in the often sweltering heat of Phoenix, Arizona. She told me she had a very nice childhood with her parents and never really wanted to search for her birth parents until her friends started having kids. But the ultimate spark that ignited her desire to search came from a family tragedy. In the aftermath, Jen located her birth mother and they connected over social media, but Jen could never get her mother on the phone and that gave her a bad feeling. When they finally met face to face, their reunion was short lived. While she's thankful for the few answers she did get about her past, Jen wishes she had not been deceived and has a warning for other adoptees seeking reunion.
For Jen, everything was normal. Growing up. Her parents read her a special book every night, the chosen baby, about a couple who elected to adopt an infant and raise the child as their own. Jen still has that book to this day. She never thought about her adoption growing up, even as a young adult. Then her peers started having kids. Of course, the children look like their parents, and Jen began to wonder whom she looked like. It wasn't quite enough of a spark to launch a search, but then something tragic happened.
What changed for me and what made me search for biological family was my mom was killed in a car accident, um, October, 2012. So that was number one, a shock. And number two, a lot of things changed after that. Like I said, it never seemed to be an issue of me being adopted. It never was part of my day. It was never part of my thought. But after my mom was killed, my dad and the remaining family, cause we don't have a big family, I guess you could say, they sort of turned on me. I got written out of the will. Things were totally changed. I mean it was, it was so incredibly hurtful and incredibly blindsided that, I mean I just, then I start wondering my, cause my whole life been a lie.
It was pretty big wow moment. Yeah.
Did you experience any animosity, any contentiousness? Was there any, so for a minute, let's just go backwards for a second. Do you have siblings?
No, they only adopted me.
Did you feel any of that from your father growing up?
No. No. Absolutely. No. That's why it was so blindsided. So my mom was killed October 2012. Things already were in play and changing like kind of almost within the first six months. It was pretty immediate.
What kinds of things did you detect were that were already in play that were starting to get worse?
I have two cousins that live in Chicago and they, my mom had a brother who was also deceased and I was really close to my uncle. Those two boys belonged to my uncle who's deceased. My mom is deceased. Those two boys live in Chicago and I mean, I hate to stereotype, but they are very wealthy, so I guess apparently if you're a multimillionaire, I guess you feel you could control the world. Well, they stepped in and it's like they sort of took over my dad, but at the end of the day, my dad is responsible for letting go of the wheel and letting those boys take control.
Around that time, her father had hip replacement surgery and he was in the hospital. Jen went to his bedside daily and it was at that time she found out he had agreed to change his wife's will eliminating Jen. They're only heir and creating a trust that diverted her inheritance, but more importantly, the process drove a wedge between her and her father that was deeply hurtful. Unfortunately, Jen's not the only adoptee to be treated that way.
You know, that's a pretty big pill to swallow. So number one, my mother was killed in a car accident, you know, and now my father has turned on me and I still talk to him. I still am me. I'm still responsible for my side of the fence and how I behave towards others. So I still treat him normally even though he's been now completely horrible to me.
Exclusively related to the will or has he done other things?
Well, you know, I don't know because now I just, I don't even really talk too much about anything. So when he is in town, which is here in Arizona, cause now he spends most of the time in Chicago where the boys live. So when he is in town I just still treat him normally. We don't talk about anything major. But at the end of the day, the reality of his, you know, he changed a lot of things and I'm an only child. And then, I mean that's such a hard blow to take that I did share a snippet of how hurt I was on one of the adoption sites, I don't knw if it was I Am Adopted, but I sort of shared like how blindsided and how hurt I was and come to find out my story is not unique. So I just posted just because I was so, I can't believe this happened. And then it turns out quite a few people posted. I had like over 90 something replies to that and I had a bunch of people private message me. So my story was not unique.
God, that's incredibly sad, I mean..
It is incredibly sad, incredibly hurtful. So that really, that was my final moment that I'm like, you know what, I've got nothing to lose at this point. My mom's not here anymore so I'm not going to hurt her feelings that I'm going to search for biological family. My father apparently has moved on, so I have nobody's feelings to hurt. I have nothing to lose. My father has basically turned his back on me even though I still talk to him and when he's in town, we still try to see each other once a week. Cause like I said, I only could be responsible for my behavior. So, even though he's done a horrible thing, I'm not going to be a participant in that.
That's fascinating. I'm sure people have asked you before, how do you, how do you go high when someone goes low like that to use, you know, sort of recent vernacular for this type of situation? I mean I've always told, I've always thought of things like if, if you show me how you feel about me, then I understand and I'm, you know, I'm not gonna continue to like walk around and be mad, but I'm also not going to give you much attention either. And I could see how you could find yourself cutting them off and been like, not, you know, in a hateful way, but just like you've basically shown your true colors and um,
I cut off those cousins. I cut off those cousins a long time ago, so those cousins had been cut off. I have not cut off my father cause just because he's behaving badly. I mean he's still my dad.
Speaker 4 (07:30):
Jen said, part of her sadness is knowing that her mother's final wishes weren't honored and that she would be crushed to know her own husband had treated their daughter this way, but all of that mistreatment was Jen's turning point in deciding to search. She realized she had nothing to lose and no one's feelings left to hurt if she located her birth parents. So she joined a few Facebook groups like I Am Adopted, another one with some search angels as active contributors and a few others. Initial advice was Jen should get a copy of her original birth certificate. Luckily she was born in Illinois, a state where access to her own documents is allowed. That gave Jen her birth mother's full name, but her birth father's name was omitted,a common occurrence years ago. Her search angels investigated her mother's full name, a very common Jewish last name, but she didn't get any leads. She tried Ancestry DNA, but there were no close connections there either. Everyone was coming up empty. Then one of the search angels suggested a new tactic.
And then she said, you were adopted out of Illinois, right? And I said, yeah. She's like, well you petition the court and you get a CI appointed to you, which is a court investigator. It's like, I think it's like a third party company that once the court grants a CI to you and the petition you have to show like how you searched. So you just can't naturally go to that step first. So I did that. I got a CI appointed to me and then that CI has the ability to access your sealed file. The court appointed CI had access to get to that file. I don't think these laws apply to all States though.
No, no. Yeah, that's interesting.
So, so she says, okay, so she's like, I got the file, I have her name, I have her social security number and apparently they have like some sort of system or whatever that they're able to run that social security numbers. She goes, what happens next is that we send out like, it's like a standardized letter saying that you are searching for her. And if she wants to make contact, she can make contact. So it's like a general letter and sent out to the last known address.
The CI tells Jen, they make a total of three attempts at contacting her birth mother at her last known address. If she doesn't respond after three attempts, the CIA will close the file. There's nothing more she can do. But if her mother never contacted the CI, Jen's file was still closed to her. Jen couldn't access the information herself because it was still all confidential.
So we get no response, that's just, it's the end and I'm like okay, I'm totally fine with that. I mean if it's the end, it's the end. I tried, you know, I jumped through every hoop I could do and I tried and she goes or she can contact me and she's like, and then she's like, I will talk to her and then I'll let you know that she's made contact. And then if you...