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201 - It's A Journey To Fit In And Connect
Episode 20122nd April 2023 • Who Am I Really? • Damon L. Davis
00:00:00 00:57:22

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Amy, from outside of Chicago, grew up looking visibly different than her family in a way that didn't meet societal stereotypes for her family's beliefs causing her to have to explain her adoption more than she might've liked.

Curious about her ethnicity and background Amy found links to her birth family through DNA.

In her maternal reunion, Amy found her birth mother's family shares many of her creative traits and they have welcomed her as their daughter and sister.

But her paternal connections only happened once and seems to be blocked by her birth father's spouse, even though the man should be able to empathize with Amy for himself.

This is amy's journey

Who Am I Really?

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There are so many adoptees stories to tell. And I truly wish I could be part of telling them all, but not everyone wants to share on a podcast. Not everybody wants to share on this podcast and some adoptees aren't ready to share it all. To those who have been my guests so far and who have opened up about some of the most intimate, emotional parts of their lives with me, for the benefit of every listener out there. I say, thank you so much. You've helped me learn more than I ever imagined about the adoption experience and the lived experiences of people from every part of this country and different parts of the world. But more importantly, sharing our stories here is helping at least one other person out there [00:01:00] who has felt alone as an adoptee in their community Or whose feelings about their adoption and their attempt at reunion have been invalidated by people who don't quite understand what adoptee life is like. Or who have struggled through adoptee situations and needed to hear someone else's story So they could take a piece of knowledge away for their own use. I love this work and I'm so grateful For every guest and listener. Thank you for being here with me. If the, who am I really podcast has brought something meaningful to your life. I would really appreciate a review on your podcast app. It's quick. Free and an easy way to be supportive. And when the algorithm see that a show is getting positive reviews, it helps other people to find this podcast too.

Okay. I hope you're ready for number 2 0 1. Here we go.

Cold Cut Intro


I'm just trying to learn about my family. Mm-hmm. You know, that so many people take for granted

Show Intro

I'm Damon Davis. And you're about to meet Amy who called me from outside of Chicago. Amy grew up looking visibly different than her family in a way that didn't meet societal stereotypes for her family's beliefs causing her to have to explain her adoption more than she might've liked. Curious about her ethnicity and background. Amy found links to her birth family through DNA.

rth. Mother's family shares, [:


dn't take care of her back in:

Amy has an older brother also adopted who is not biological to herself. And a sister who is eight years younger than herself and is the biological child of their parents. While amy's family are all white she has blonde hair and blue eyes and they all have dark hair and dark eyes


I really never had that interest. Mm-hmm. You




[00:04:49] Damon: Yeah. Right. Until I realized, you know what? I do wanna search. It's funny how it hits us. Tell me a little bit about your sibling relationships. You said your parents had a [00:05:00] biological daughter eight years after you were adopted. Tell me about your relationships with your brothers and sisters.


So growing up, just typical brother sister kind of thing, you know, I would annoy him. We'd play together kind of, you know, just this mm-hmm. What you would expect in a typical sibling relationship. We didn't, really talk about being adopted. It was always known. So that was, you know, just a normal thing.

rted her through all of that [:

So, really good relationship. Yeah. My brother, he struggled, I think a bit more with his adoption as. He got older cuz we did move around a little bit when we were younger. and he doesn't say this, but like looking back on it now, I think that was a big struggle for him, his adoption.

So as we got older, I kind of distanced myself from him because I was wanting to do the right thing. I wanted to get good grades, I wanted to please my parents and he kind of took the opposite route mm-hmm. Of kind of like, I'm gonna go make havoc and do what I wanna do. And that kind of separated us. As we've gotten older, we've talked more about our adoption, and we're still not really close, but we can have good conversations.

Mm-hmm. You know? Yeah.


Right. And then there's folks who sort of discover the angst in their, middle school and teenage years. Some folks are, it's when they have this moment of discovery that they're a late discovery adoptee. And then there's others who struggle through, you know, early and later adulthood. It's just interesting to think that it can come out at any time, and it's different for different people.

Really wild and triggered by different stuff.


Bizarre to me. Mm-hmm. Like I just thought I have to be just crazy, [00:08:00] like who has these thoughts? And then just hearing other people who could validate it, I was like, okay, yes, this is, you know, this is not totally crazy. This is just something, this is a journey. This is what I need to go through. Yes. This is, you know, a lot of people hit this at different times.

So, you know, that's nice about this adoption community. I feel like so many more people are sharing their stories. Yeah. That just helps each other to feel like, okay, now I understand this.


But you may not have had someone to actually talk to or hear that from previously. So being able to set up a platform that allows us to validate each other's feelings is really important to me. So I'm glad you said that piece about validation.


And understand like an adopted person can't. So. Right. That's what's so important.

Blonde haired blue eyed. Amy didn't look like her adoptive family much. And to top things off her family is Jewish. Uh, culture, not classically known for physical features. Like Amy's, she didn't look like a Jewish child.


the holidays, like, where are you doing for Christmas? And I'm like, well, we celebrate Hanukkah. They're like, you don't celebrate Hanukkah.

I was like, yeah, I do. I mean, people would argue with me and I'd be like, well, I'm adopted. So it's like you always had to give that excuse. Well, I'm adopted. And then it was always like, oh yeah. You know, interesting. So, you know, and I never really thought that affected me so much until I look back at it and like thinking about how many times I had to justify that, how do you have blonde hair and blue eyes?

yes and dark hair, you know, [:

[00:10:05] Damon: that's really fascinating. I was thinking about, you know, what has really stuck with me, what one of my other guests said, she was a woman of color raised in a white family, and she said, you know, I always had to live my adoption out in public.

And that is a very private thing for me. And you were raising yet another example of it that I had never thought of before is that there are some sort of stereotypical things that we think about certain religions and certain Right. You know, cultures and you, you just automatically think, oh, that person looks this way.

m Jewish, and your image not [:

I, I'm glad you said that. I've never really contemplated that before. Fascinating, right?


[00:11:20] Damon: background. Yeah, that's exactly right.

And, and yet again, you have. Legitimize yourself. And you probably, as you've said, you didn't even realize that you had to do it or that you were doing it, but it sounds like over time, like this stack of needles, you know, was piling up and then eventually it feels like it kind of poked you, right?


Yeah. Yep.

Amy was born in Indiana, where her family lived for a few years. Then they moved to New York, New Jersey, and then landed in Chicago. Amy met the man. She would eventually marry when she was in high school. They attended Marquette university and got married after they graduated.

When [:

[00:12:10] Amy: That probably was one of the most amazing things is, you know, when you have your first child I mean, that's like your first biological relative that you get to see. So having the resemblance and you know, my kids do resemble me and I mean my husband, but that was just very cool to see that.

ou know, relinquish a child. [:

Could you please give him


[00:13:12] Amy: Yeah. I just like soaked in every moment with my kids, just, just looking at them and in awe that they were, you my kids. Mm-hmm. And I'm sure that's the same for a lot of people, but I just think there's a little extra layer of, you know, going through the process of pregnancy and giving birth and then just realizing like what a birth mother must go through and how, how hard that has to be for them to do that.

Yeah, for


Mm-hmm. And then this guy, mm-hmm. Is conceived naturally and he's my first biological [00:14:00] relative and I'm the guy, like, I didn't even carry him. Right. I can't even imagine how much more intense it is for a female adoptee to have conceived her own child and be carrying this person that you get to birth and meet for the first time.

It must be just as you said before, just another layer of what it's like to be an adoptee on top of that well-known situation for so many women around the world.


As an adopted person, just seeing that like you're looking at this little creature you created, I know that, you know, has your biology in them and that's just an amazing thing Yeah. That, you know, most people take for granted because they see it in their families and their, siblings, mother, father if they're not adopted.



Like you couldn't look at your brother or your sister and think, oh, you know, we kind of have the same hands. Like, no, you don't. You know what I mean? Right. Yeah, exactly.

Amy's kids are in their twenties. So the internet was just beginning to offer reunion options for adopted people when they were young. Amy placed her name in certain reunion, registries, hoping to match with a birth parent. She never really told anyone she had registered to be found and nothing ever came of her registration.

Then in:

Repeatedly, the touching reunions brought tears to Amy's eyes because the moment of finding family was so moving to her in ways she [00:16:00] couldn't imagine for herself. Later when ancestry dna had a sale on their kits amy's kids convinced her to submit a sample


I really don't think I did back then. I really just think I wanted to know what my origins were. So I did that, and when I got the results back, honestly the first thing I looked at was my D n A, your ethnicity, right? Mm-hmm. Or your heritage to, to find out what I was.

family came from, you know? [:

And I thought that was the most amazing thing. And then the next thing I did was I clicked on relatives and it was my birth father that I matched with, and I, wow. I mean, that just like knocked me off my seat. Whoa. What happened? It wasn't his name. It was a username, but it basically said, this is your father.

So once that happened, I was like, wait a second. Now this is in my lap. I have to investigate, I have to figure out where I'm going with this, right?


[00:17:59] Amy: I [00:18:00] was able to figure out who I thought my birth mother was.

Mm. and she confirmed that for me. She's like, yep, those are the people. And they had one daughter and from there kept searching and I found her married name. And then we went to Facebook.


[00:18:20] Amy: the next step on the search was Facebook. And Lo and behold, found her Facebook.

xcited. So we, met up like in:

[00:18:48] Damon: incredible. Tell me, really great, how did your, how did your connection go?

call, tell me about how you [:

[00:19:04] Amy: So it was crazy. So it really was that day she reached back out to me and was like, call me anytime. And I was like, okay, man.

Of course my family is like, do it call right now. And I'm like, I need to breathe right. You're gonna


[00:19:21] Amy: So, but ultimately that night I did, I picked up the phone and I called her and it was, it was really incredible to just hear her voice and to you know, her, for her to be so happy that I had, you know, contacted her.

thing. And then there I was, [:

So when I reached out to her I mean, she was surprised cuz she said, we always thought about, you know, how could we, and I guess one of my sisters had always said, how do we find her? How do we find her? And you know, my birth mom was like, it's really not on us because I don't feel like we can go find her.

Like, this was a choice that was made. We can't intrude. And so when I was able to find her, she was very excited. And so we're my three sisters. So


Didn't you tell me this before? Right, right. And I could see that the same could be true in a birth parent's family, right? Wait, oh yeah, you have a [00:21:00] sibling out there. Why the hell didn't you told me this before. Right? Right. So the fact that she had preempted your return with that information, removed the shock, and introduced curiosity, and then when you did show up, the curiosity satisfied versus you showing up and the shock being the first thing that happened.

Right. That's really powerful. And I think that's an important lesson for people to learn in this reunion journey is if you got something to share, like go ahead and start letting it out there and you know, you'll live, you will be just fine. Right. Everybody will get over. But it's important to get the, that information out there because the shock is, is much more challenging to deal with in the moment.


He now says he's got four daughters. You know, he's taken on a, you know, grandpa role to my kids. And, you know, it's just amazing. It's just truly amazing to have that in my life, you know, , and be able to see, you know, genetically who I look like some common, things between my sisters and my mom.

That, you know, growing up I feel like now looking back how much I missed that. Mm-hmm. You know, not having that and how cool it is to be able to get it now.


And, and is not looking like thing is something you can easily push down. You, you were in a loving tribe. Your family Yes. Loved each other, so there was no real need to focus on it. Whereas right when there are so many other [00:23:00] factors in your relationship that are potentially pushing you apart, you will then focus on things like, and we don't look alike.

You know what I mean? It'll, right. Like, here's another thing I'm gonna stick in here that, you know, irritates me versus like the idea that you can push it away because it's not important to you because your family loves you and you love them, and then you see mm-hmm. These other people that you look like and, and you feel this love and connection and things like that.

And it's just like, oh, whoa, this is way more than I thought it was gonna be. You know what I mean? It's, yes. I, I can, it's almost like when you I don't know if you've ever tried to, like, I know women love shoes, for example. You try to find the perfect shoe and then when you finally find it, you're like, this is the one I've been looking for.

the right thing. And that's [:



But then once, once I. Was able to meet and I thought, gosh, my whole life, this is kind of what I was hoping for one day, you know? Yeah. But just I think never thinking it was possible, you know? It's just something that I just never really thought was


And I think this happens way more than most people realize it does, cuz it's the kind of thing that you'll do in the middle of the night. You're laying in bed, you can't sleep, you pick up your phone and you look at something [00:25:00] and you go, oh, I wonder if there's an adoption registry. And you, it's nothing that you sort of preemptively had a conversation with anybody about.

It's just the curiosity strikes you in the. And you go for it. Right? Right. And then, you know, you find something interesting like, oh, what is this registry? I'm gonna go to sleep. I'll pick this up another time. And then two days later, yeah, this curiosity strikes you and now you find yourself in a search or however, yes.

Your curiosity overcomes you. I think there's a lot, lot of that out there that I didn't realize that I wanted to search . Until I sort of started searching and then I realized I wanted to search, so. Right.


I didn't want them to feel like, I needed something else because, I was well cared for. I was loved. We had a a good family, I had a good upbringing, and, you know, maybe I had more opportunities, which is all great, so it's almost like you [00:26:00] didn't wanna tell people because you didn't want them to think badly of you.

You know, why are they searching? Why would they do that? They have everything they need here, you know? I mean, that's kind of how I thought about it back then. Mm-hmm. Like, we'll just see what comes of it. You know, if something matches, that'll be great, but if it doesn't, oh, well, I'm fine.


Right. And it diminishes like the, just the genuine curiosity about the things that you've raised. I look like somebody else. Right. And, and that is a curiosity that you can't look away from in the mirror or when someone says, you don't look Jewish, so. Right. It just, you know, these curiosities are sparked sometimes unintentionally, and you don't realize mm-hmm.

curious or that you do care [:

[00:27:02] Amy: right. Oh, totally.


Curiosity about whether they will ever be able to find their biological families and generally questioning who they are. Amy encouraged their curiosity because for her it seems better to think about those questions at a young age than to be confronting those issues later in life like she has.


Right. You know, where I think the younger maybe just. Younger generation because they have so many more things through social media, the internet, they have access to so many, so much more that they can research and try to figure out on their own. Mm-hmm. That I think, you know, it's like this split. I feel like there's so many people who are older kind of [00:28:00] realizing some of this adoption stuff and then there's a whole nother group of really young adults kind of come into realization and having questions and wanting to know things.

Yeah. Which is just very interesting cuz you know, five years ago, I don't think I ever would've thought. I would have these kind of questions and feelings about, you know, missing out on knowing my origins and, and that kind of stuff. Where now I get mad a little bit, you know, when I'm like, wait, why wasn't I given this information?

Which is good for my nephews and my niece because their mom kinda gets it, like knows the importance of, sharing their origin and talking about it. Where I never felt like I had that platform to talk about it as a child. Mm-hmm. And it was never asked of me. Yeah. So, yeah. You know, I think if I had that a little bit earlier on, it probably would've made this little transition of, you know, meeting biological family a little bit easier.

Mm-hmm. [:

Mm-hmm. So, you know, it's just a hard thing. Yeah. And as an adoptee, you're trying to navigate like, here's this new and exciting connection, that I'm just over the moon about, and then I have my adopted family here, and I'm like, I don't want them to feel slighted or put to the side. I want them to be able to share in it.

And that's a really hard thing to navigate, right?


So it's hard to Yes. To share in the experience when you don't actually understand it that well to begin with. Yeah. That's really interesting. Let me ask you, Amy, you're, I just realized I want to get to this point where you meet your birth mother, but I want to just go back for a quick moment because you said your first connection was to information about your birth father.

How come you didn't pursue him first? How, why did you go after knowing your birth mother


So Once I was able to get in touch with my birth mom, she was able to gimme his name. And so from there I actually did reach out to him through a letter I sent him in the mail. And he did get [00:31:00] the letter and he actually called me the day he got it. And he's also adopted, which I find. Kind of crazy.

Mm-hmm. That our relationship hasn't gone forward at all. But when we first spoke, he was a little standoffish and one of the first things he said to me was, I can't believe how easy it was for you to find me. And I was like, whoa. You know? I was like, well, you did ancestry you, you did dna. And I just thought


[00:31:33] Amy: Right.

meet one time with his wife [:

Like, as much as like, my birth mom's husband is supportive, I think she goes the opposite. So the first meeting we had, I was like, well, could I get a picture? And she said, I don't wanna see that on Facebook. So I was like, okay. So our relationship hasn't progressed at all. I do have a brother, a half-brother, who does not wanna have contact with me either, so that's.

You know, hard as it is. Mm-hmm. I've since just reached out to my birth father, you know, recently and just said basically, I'm really glad I got the chance to meet. You would love to, you know, develop a friendship, get to know more about you and your family. The doors opened. Feel free to reach out to me when you're ready, if you ever are so, mm-hmm.

t was, that's difficult. And [:

We want something like there's a grander picture out there. Right. And really all we wanna do is get to know the people we were born from. Yeah. You know, I wanna know about his personality, I wanna know about his life. That's all you know. And so it is sad because you think, what about me? Doesn't he wanna know?

And, and that, that hurts. But


Your [00:34:00] life. And it's not really intended to be this pressure situation, but they make it one with Their. Desire not to be connected to you. And so it becomes a question of like, well, what's wrong with me? And it's actually not anything wrong with you, it's that they've got issues that they haven't dealt with.

And it's important, right, to just keep that ownership of the issue over there and try to be good with yourself and recognize that they've gotta come around to it.


But then again, I'm thinking, come on, be a stronger person, and if you're interested in knowing about me, do it. That's right. But yeah, I didn't wanna close the door on it, and honestly, it was a great thing. Like, after we met, I was excited to be there. I was nervous to be there when I left. I was an emotional wreck [00:35:00] because I mean, I probably had a feeling like this is gonna be the only time I see him. Mm-hmm. But then again, it was like, what an opportunity that, this is something I never thought would ever happen. Right. So how lucky am I that I was able to at least meet him in person one time?


[00:35:27] Amy: Yes. Yeah, I met her in February of 2018. I met him in July of 2018.


Her birth mother and her husband and amy's half sister and her husband all gathered at a restaurant


And it was like, go to the car. I'll be out in a minute. Don't talk to me. And then we drove there literally in silence. Because I thought if he says one word, I'm just gonna be an emotional wreck where I thought I was so strong and I was going to take this on, it was gonna be fine. And then we got there and he goes, I'll handle it.

I'll walk in, I'll find him. I followed him. We walked around the corner and there they were. And it was just amazing to see her Oh. And hug her and, to see resemble it was just really cool. Mm-hmm. I mean, I saw pictures before, but just to like have a hug from her was amazing. Yeah.


That's incredible. It's so funny. And you were on eggshells and you're like, the best way for you to support me is to just shut up. I


[00:37:02] Damon: at me. That's so funny. Wow. So, and I, so you get to see her. Do you see resemblance? Did you see resemblance of yourself in the pictures and, and with her in person?




[00:37:32] Amy: and then that year, I'm thinking it was the day after Thanksgiving, everyone had gone to Indiana. So I have a sister in Colorado, a sister in Indiana, a sister in Chicago.

s, my kids. We all just hung [:

[00:38:05] Damon: Amy said all of her three kids look very much alike, But she and her sisters, don't all look alike. You can pick out features between them and similar characteristics, like their face shape And Amy says she sees that they have similar smiles.

Between the sisters, they have some shared interest as they're crafty gardeners, and hands-on kind of women. Amy said she was crafty growing up, but her adoptive mother was nothing of the sort. So it's super interesting to see that her half siblings share inherited creativity traits.

It never ceases to amaze me, which pieces of ourselves are learned through nurture versus what we inherit through nature. I was interested to learn more about how things have been with amy's adoptive



My adoptive father was supportive. He has since passed, so he's not involved obviously with what's going on now. Mm-hmm. My sister who's my parents' biological daughter, she's very supportive she can understand like how I feel my adopted mom. Like to this day she still says how much she supports this, but yet when I have a conversation, you know, like, oh, who's gonna, who's going?

Or who's coming to dinner? Cuz they've come to my house for my kids' graduation parties and then so both sets of family is there and my adopted mom gets upset about it. You know, you can just tell in her tone in a way. I'm trying to think, I think it was my daughter's high school graduation.

r husband were there, and my [:

And my mom said two in Chicago. And he said, yeah, Amy. And, and that made my mom so upset. Oh my God. She's like, they called you their daughter. And she asked my sister to take her home from the party, which was so upsetting to me. Number one, it was embarrassing because it was like, where did she go? And. So upsetting that she couldn't feel like that was like joy to me.

kind of crush that. Because [:

I'm just trying to learn about my family. Mm-hmm. You know, that so many people take for granted that they, Just get that by being born into their family. Yeah. So that's, very difficult. We're still working on it. The empathy part on hers is not that great. I'm still just trying to be open and share with her the importance of it to me.

Mm-hmm. And just hoping that she will either come around or, you know, I don't know. I, I put this on me, that my children, you know, they're, they're adults. They make choices. I might not agree with all their choices, but if it brings them happiness and they're not hurting someone, and it, , it is, you know, making their lives better for them, I'm happy for them.

tive. I wanna hear about it. [:

[00:42:12] Damon: Can I ask if you're honest with yourself, did you do a good job of reminding her that you're not trying to replace her?

How do you feel like you did in that particular piece?


And, and it was funny cuz we were having this conversation, I don't know, maybe a year ago, and I was at her house and she has a photo of her grandfather, her great-grandfather, and [00:43:00] some uncles, like an old photo from, you know, like early 19 hundreds or maybe late 18 hundreds. And I said, that picture is so cool.

And she's like, yeah, you know, blah, blah, blah. I said, but I don't know any of that. Like, I, that is something I am still trying to find out and learn. And she said, yeah, but you know your birth mom now, so it's good. It's like, but it's not like, it's not like a one time thing. Whoop, you met, you got it, you're done.

You know, it's an experience. It's, it's talking, it's learning. It's meeting more people that are gonna bring me to that sense of, wow, that's my family. Those are my origins. which I'm still trying to get, because, you know, 50 some years apart, it's not really easy to, put everything in, one paragraph and feel like you know everything.

You know, this, this image


The door was open and unlocked and you could open it and see. That doesn't mean you now know this house. Right. You Exactly. There's so many rooms inside. Some of them are gonna be gorgeous and other ones are gonna be kind of ugly. But you can't yeah. Know any of that until you literally step through the door and explore the house and, and Right.

And you're gonna see, you know, does this kitchen work for me and does this basement work for me? And how are the kids' rooms? Like, there's so many things to explore. And the same is true for an adoption story is that it's, it doesn't check the box to just meet a biological relative. And, and now you know them.

o? Was he sort of handsy and [:

And all of the sort of, verbal history that coincides with a family is also really important. It fills in around the skeleton of just like going through the family tree online and saying, okay, the next person in line is that one, and the next person in line is that one. Right. Who are the stories?

What are the stories that coincide with each of those faces on the tree? That's the filling out piece that I think she probably is underestimating the importance of.


You know, it's not like you come in there and you go, tell me about this. Tell me about this. Tell me about this. Mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. Yeah. It's like as you build on your relationship, I feel. That also makes them say, okay, yeah, this person, really wants to know more. Like, you know, they're just not here to check the box.

Mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. [:

I'm still trying to find out more information And navigate it, you know, where I don't seem like I'm pushy and I don't seem like, you know, you, I feel like we have to walk this fine line too, of not inserting yourself to an uncomfortable place for them. Yeah,


Right. May I ask, so I wanna go back to your birth mom for a moment. Sure. What did she tell you about her experience with conceiving you in your adoption? What did you learn?


Never had the intention of getting married. Just knew that that wasn't what they wanted. She did not tell anyone until her mom found out. I think she was about seven months pregnant. And from that point on, her mom, took her to her appointments. She planned to place me for adoption cuz that was the only choice that was given to her.

her so she doesn't actually [:

me being born, and she never saw me. She never held me. It was just basically the baby was there and gone. She went back to school to finish. She graduated in May. I was born in March and she graduated and she moved to California to um, start her career. So kind of, you know, her, her mom never wanted to talk about it again.

She said, this is, it's over. It's done. You have the baby, we're moving on. And they never ever talked about it. Her dad never talked to her about it once I guess one time they were fighting and he said, what are y'all yelling about? And she goes, I'm pregnant. And then he got silent and that was the only time she had ever said something to her dad about it.


[00:48:47] Amy: Mm-hmm. And then she ultimately moved back to Indiana and then, you know, met her husband and they've lived there ever


[00:48:58] Amy: It was, [00:49:00] you know, you always think, gosh, I, you know, did my birth mom see me?

Did she hold me? That was really hard to know that you weren't held. But also I, I also think of how having gone through delivering a baby, how difficult for her that had to be, you know, and to have absolutely no support. It was basically you had your baby, we're moving on. You will forget that ever happened.

And yeah, I, I, I really can't imagine going through something like that and you know, I just, when I hear that and then I start to wonder, I think, gosh, you know, then you wonder where was I for, I know I was in the hospital for about seven days. I knew I went to foster care for another seven days, but it's just like one of those things you're like, okay, there's like two weeks.

things that blows your mind. [:

[00:50:00] Damon: a hard thing for others to conceptualize too, this missing piece of history. Right, right. It seems like it shouldn't be consequential. You were a child and you, you didn't remember it anyway.

Like you wouldn't even have known who, who the people were in your. And that's not the point, right? The point is, right. If I walked up to you right now and just subtracted, you know, a week, three months from your life and just said, right, that's gone. You know, you don't get those memories anymore. Yeah. You don't get that piece of your history.

You'd be like, wait, wait, wait. What are you doing? You can't just take a piece of my history and remove it from my life. Yet somehow an adopted person is expected to live with the fact that they're not going to know in some cases where they were in foster care, right? Or what have you, and just be okay with it.

I think we need to help people get over the idea that that is. An acceptable norm in adoption. It shouldn't be


Mm-hmm. I, I just feel like the secrets make it worse and it's really just curiosity of a child and the more information that you can give an adopted child about where they came from and you know, what their parents look like, and just to me, seems. The better way to go, you know? Yep. It's, it's just like, give this adopted child all the tools that they can, you know, feel comfortable in their skin and know where they've come from.

d that open communication is [:



And you're not gonna squash that curiosity by telling them, that they shouldn't do it. So in some ways, right, you just have to embrace it and say, all right, let's go on this journey and see, how it comes out, right. And be like strong enough in yourself to recognize I loved this child as much as I possibly could, and I still do.

pportive. It's actually more [:

And so it's like, it's just easier to cut you out. And that's not where our parents want to.


And not to share because the emotions won't be there and you don't have to worry about what kind of, you know, confrontation there may be because of their feelings or whatnot. You know? It, it is, it's very stressful. Mm-hmm. So you put that a really good way. I never thought about it that


[00:54:00] Amy: right.

It's so true. Right. Yeah. Oh my goodness. Wow. So true. Wow. Wow.


Age and mortality and all kinds of things can be very sobering for folks and Exactly. And I'm hopeful that he will come around and perhaps your brother on your your brother on his side will too. So we'll see. Yeah,


[00:54:38] Damon: Of course. My pleasure. All the best to you, Amy. Take care. Okay,




She realized how many times over her life she had to justify her Judaism and explained that she was adopted. Finding her birth parents. She learned that some of her crafty hands-on nature came from her birth mother and is shared by her sisters. But her paternal connection has fallen flat as her birth father's wife seems to have put pressure on him not to be in contact with Amy.

empathy, but it's necessary [:

Secondly, a lot of times in our lives, we make the decision not to include someone in something big in our lives, because the stress of including them diminishes the value of their inclusion. Said a different way. Their inclusion can be penalizing for you. This is true for adoptive parents supporting their adoptees in reunion.

As Amy said, we know it's hard to watch your adopted child reconnect with their birth family, but it's not something we just kind of want. Reconnection can be something we need very much. And if you're not supportive, you'll find yourself not being included at all. I'm Damon Davis, and I hope you found something in Amy's journey that inspired you.

Validates your feelings about wanting to search or motivates you to have the strength along your journey to learn. Who am i really