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001- The End of Summer Cake
Episode 125th March 2017 • Who Am I Really? • Damon L. Davis
00:00:00 00:33:10

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I’ve shared an adoptee bond with my dear high school friend Andre for years. In this episode, Andre shares the story of his loving adopted family, being the older sibling to his adopted parent’s biological son, and the truth about how he came into this world. His biological mother never forgot him and honored his life every year.

Andre:                         00:02               You go up to the judge, she has my case. She opens this Manila folder and I was like, there it is, like I'm this close. So then she proceeds to go through and she says that, you know, I have information here but you can't have it.

Voices:                        00:23               Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?

Damon:                       00:34               This is Who Am I Really? A podcast about adoptees that have located and connected with their biological family members. Hey, it's Damon and on today's show I was lucky to be joined by my old friend Andre. We've known one another for more than 25 years, going back to high school and at that time as young men, we both discovered that the other was adopted too and we were instantly connected. In our conversation, you'll hear some of that old school brotherly love, but you'll also hear some really poignant moments when the fact that he's an adoptee was revealed to his brother and the difficult news he learned about how he came into the world.

Damon:                       01:21               First, Andre, I want to welcome you to the show. Thanks for coming.

Andre:                         01:23               Thank you for having me, Damon.

Damon:                       01:24               So glad you could do it. So tell me a little bit about your family growing up. Just start from the beginning as a young guy, tell me a little bit about you.

Andre:                         01:34               I grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts. Great parents, father was retired military. Um, mom was an HR salesman for digital equipment corporation. I have a younger brother, three years younger.

Damon:                       01:47               What's his name?

Andre:                         01:47               Jason. Jason is his name. We had a great life. I had no idea that my story would unfold the way it did growing up with such great parents.

Damon:                       01:59               Yeah. You and Jason were close?

Andre:                         02:01               Very close.

Damon:                       02:02               And is Jason adopted also?

Andre:                         02:04               He is not, he's my parents' biological child.

Damon:                       02:06               So he's biological and you're adopted. And how was that?

Andre:                         02:10               We didn't know. I didn't know that my mom couldn't have, uh, she had a bunch of miscarriages, um, that they had tried and tried and tried. So they went the adoption route. So, but I didn't find that story out until way later with aunts and family members and it actually kind of just came out yeah. Just came out that, hey, you know, yeah. Ruby couldn't have kids.

Damon:                       02:33               So, so to be clear you're the oldest?

Andre:                         02:36               I'm the oldest and Jason's younger than me.

Damon:                       02:39               Gotcha. And that was okay. Like did he know? When did he? So you found out?

Andre:                         02:44               I found out that I was adopted, This is weird, I found out that I was adopted when I was two and some change. They were, pregnant with Jason. And I remember them sitting me down. It's really weird how you go back and you find these memories, but I remember that so vividly.

Andre:                         03:01               I remember the little Pajama set that I was wearing and the whole nine and they sat me down and they were like, hey, you know, mom's pregnant and we're going to have, you're going to have a sibling, but we'll want to let you know that you're ours but you're not ours. We got you a different way. And they proceeded to explain it to me, but it all stopped when they said that I'm theirs, but they got me a different way.

Damon:                       03:27               Did they explain that at all? I mean, you're pretty young.

Andre:                         03:29               So they explained it and it just, it didn't hit me, it didn't hit me until later. So Jason was born and I remember, I remember before that my birthdays, they were mine and then Jason was born. It was my birth. He was born in July. My birthday's in August. I remember everyone just, Oh, the baby, the baby, the baby.

Andre:                         03:51               But it was my birthday. Uh, so to get the attention back on me, I remember going in and putting my hand on the stove, on the little coils and I straight burnt myself, you know, attention came back to me, but you know, it was just, it was the weirdest thing and I've always had that, you know, he's, theirs and, you know, as I got older I kind of just buried it. I just buried it.

Damon:                       04:19               Yeah I can imaging that. Did you? So you and Jason got along fine?

Andre:                         04:21               We got along fine, we got along fine.

New Speaker:              04:24               Um, but it was always in the back of your mind, it sounds like back to my mind. But Jason didn't know. He didn't know that I was adopted. And so when did he find out? He found out that I was adopted when he was four? No, I was 15. That would've been 87.

Andre:                         04:44               Uh, we moved from Massachusetts to Columbia. My Dad got a job transfer cause my mom got him a job with digital when he retired from the military. And that job brought us here to Maryland. And, and the crazy thing is, is that that's previous summer we were in Mississippi with my dad's father and my grandfather, I, well I'm a big guy and my family's really, really lean, really lean. So my grandfather, someone had said something to my grandfather in church and he said, yeah, that's the boy who was adopted. And my brother overheard that. Oh, he heard accidentally heard accidentally. So the whole way home and the ride, I convinced him that grandpa was crazy. That grandpa was crazy. So tried to dismiss it. I did. I absolutely did. So we got home and I pretty much squashed it with Jason and he was like, okay, you're right.