Seek and ye shall find
The [**] sections are inserts from my wife Patty who has gone through this with me, this is how she saw me reacting. Sometimes others know you better than you know your self. For more info on his website click here.
First the Whys
I have always known I was adopted.I started searching when I was in my early 20’s when my son, (Jason) was born, so many questions, medical being the big one, but heredity and others nagged at my mind.
[When Jason was born, he was the first person that ever had similar qualities of your own personality, being a night owl, talking about feelings nobody else in your family ever shared with you, even though your adoptive family was very supportive of your feelings they could not relate completely to how you really felt.]
Sometimes the search was just too hard, or I did not want it enough, it’s hard to tell. I also had a great loving adoptive family so I had very little emotional baggage to push me to look for a new family.
[One of the biggest things I remember about your search was……Your reasons……..Who am I and what make me feel the way I feel, act the way I act, or need to change who I am to fit the situation? Is it because I was raised a certain way or because I am genetically different than who I was raised to be, and their was always such a inner conflict concerning those aspects of your life.]
When the Internet came along the search became easier, but still the road blocks where many and my search rose and fell in it’s priority level in my life. As I saw others in reunion, I started to understand how important it was for me to see my own likeness, to know and find the answers.
The most important part during my search was the organization of all of the incoming information both right and wrong. This enabled me to keep all of the pieces together, and made it easier to back track. Always keep a book of every piece of information that comes to you. I finally got hold of the original attorney, (as the agency, Holy Family Services was useless). There I got some judgement documents that gave me my Bmother’s year and state of birth. Angels from the VSN, (Volunteer Search Network), helped me find a last name.
Then we searched the birth indexes, then on to the marriage indexes. We went down many roads during this part of the search. At one point we found a woman who matched the basic description, age and same maiden name, but she was deceased. We spent a few weeks riding the roller coaster on that one, only to be turned away. We were devastated to say the least but in the mean time our searcher kept finding other matches to check out.
Finally one day an E-mail came in from our searcher Delayn Curtis. I still have the e-mail saved. It read “I think this is the one“. It was the copy of the marriage index, and as we read it everything was matching, all the sibling information was right on. Now we need a phone number.
My Bmom was married 3 times and we could find no working number for her married name on the index listing. We did find a number we thought might be her ex-husbands mother, and so it was (god bless her). I called her and she gave us my Bmother’s last known address, but said that my bmother and she were not on speaking, so that is all she would do.
My wife, (who really was my strongest supporter, and is the best thing that ever happened to me), called her back that night and gave her the real story, (not the Genealogy lie I had told her). The ex-mother in-law got behind the search calling her son, (my bmom’s Ex) and getting a phone number for us. She also called my Bmom to ask if she could give out the number, and I thought that they weren’t speaking. This would not have been my best choice for a first contact, but sometimes these things steamroll.
I called her the next day at her work, because I figured you couldn’t go too nuts at work. We asked each other maybe 2 questions before she said to me, “I know you’re the one”. Her whole office was crying and excited, so much for that theory. During the time we talked even though emotions were running high, there was a feeling that just seemed right.
[Again even with a professional searcher you had many frustrating moments. But finally on November 11th you connected with the women that gave birth to you on May 9, 1960, and at that time she did the most unselfish act anybody has ever done for you in your life, she gave you up for adoption to a wonderful family that gave you the life all relinquishing parents hope for.]
We got together 2 weeks later, I thought she would never let me go on that first hug. She kept asking during our first reunion why did you find me, and were do you want to go from here? At the time I think I wanted all the selfish things you want from a search. To look into a face that is similar to your own, and to find out the reasons someone put you up for adoption. To find out whom your people are your Klan I suppose. To maybe find a lost or unknown sibling. But all of a sudden I realized that she had already given me up once and how afraid she was that this was just a passing thing for me, and she might lose me again.
I have been so lucky I have a B-mom that not only looks like me,
** His eye’s will never be special again, **
(my birth mom and half sister have the same eye shape and color.) When she talks to me she feels like a mom, a friend, a history. We are taking it slow but it’s funny how comfortable she feels to me.
One of the most interesting things I have experienced since the reunion is how much my half sister and I are alike. This is the part when you really think about the genetics vs. environment question. We had very different backgrounds but there are very few things that she E-mail’s me or talks to me about that I don’t feel like,
“God I understand that”.
My sister and I E-mail almost every day, and I wish I had the time to go see them more, but I will try to make more time.
My son Jason was an only child and only grandchild on both sides of the family, until I married my wife Patty in 1996. He now has cousins that are from his blood, that look and act like him……. Pretty scary. My life is finally coming together as a whole as the pieces of my puzzle of life are making more sense to me than ever before.
Once, after I had asked Patty to marry me, she came to me and said , “How can I trust you to love my children, when their own father walked out on them?”, and I said to her,
” I was adopted and my parents who adopted me loved me why would you think I couldn’t love somebody else’s children?”
[And for that Andy I will always truly love you because that is a blessing your adoption has brought to me!]
My mother went out on a date with a friend of a friend, she was 17, and he was 19. She remembers that he had a red convertible. Things got out of hand, and she was swept up in the passion of the moment and hopes for a future. She told him that she was pregnant two different times, his response to her both times was an emphatic, “It could not have been me”. This by the way was his exact response to me when I contacted the “possible” Bfather. She was from a very strict catholic family with an abusive alcoholic father, so she went to speak to the priest, her only resource. His response was one with no choices, “you are a sinner, and must give your baby up for adoption”. So into the Holy Family Services system she went, to work as a maid for a family until she had the baby.
May 9th, 1960, at St. Mary’s of Long Beach I was born, baby boy #——–, I was named Joseph Benedict Dawson. I was put into the usual foster care “observational” home, until I was adopted 4 months later. Now Robert Andrew Peabody, I went home with my wonderful adoptive parents, and my new brother who was 4 years older and also adopted. I had a life that I can not complain about. I lived in South Africa for two years and visited Europe and other countries at an early age. I have a college education, and I am a well-respected person in my business, and community.
2022 (c) Sheila Ganz