A bit more of my adoption story and why I didn't attend the funeral

I posted this on Quora and thought I’d share it here.

I am posting this because I want to help other adoptees who may be thinking about finding their birth families.

I was adopted on my first birthday. Until my adoption I lived with my biological aunt and uncle (my birth father’s brother). I had a great home life and my adopted parents and family never treated me any differently than my brother who was the biological child.

I’d been toying around looking for my biological family and finally I posted my information on an adoption reunion website. One day around 9 years ago I got a message from someone who said we should talk. It turned out she was my younger biological sister and I had 5 older brothers. It turned out that my birth mother had died 8 years prior and that is what made her look for me. We stayed up for HOURS talking online.

The next months were a whirlwind. I met my sister and 4 of my brothers. I met my birth father. I found out my birth name. I met my aunt and uncle who had actually considered adopting me. But they had 8 kids of their own. So lots of cousins.

All the while my mom kept telling me to be careful. But with the way that my biological siblings treated me I really didn’t think I had anything to worry about. My sister and I did a lot of things together. She lived in Philadelphia so I would take the train to go and see her. I even made books for my siblings of pictures of me growing up for Christmas since they missed that part of my life. My parents even met my sister and my aunt Ruth. I went to the shore with my one sister in law and her friend.

Everything seemed to change after my birth father died about 7 years ago. Now my oldest biological brother and I still kept in touch. His son shares my affinity for movies and we’d often get together and have pizza and have a movie day. But for most of my other siblings it was like I no longer existed. I also kept in touch with my aunt until her death. The other sibling I kept in touch with was my brother who was born closest to me. But for the rest of the siblings it was like I just didn’t exist anymore. And what hurt the most was that they had an advantage that I didn’t have. They always knew I existed. I didn’t know anything about them. The last time I heard from my sister was back in 2016 or 2017. The reason I know that is because I texted her to ask her about mushrooms when I went on Weight Watchers. She was a vegetarian so I thought I’d ask. I also sent her a text during the pandemic telling her to stay safe. Never got a response.

So why am I posting this today? Well because today is the funeral of my second oldest brother. He had pancreatic cancer. He died Saturday. It was posted on Facebook. But no one contacted me until Tuesday. I was told when the funeral was. I was contacted yesterday by the brother who was closest in age to me asking if I was going. I felt like I was being guilt tripped. I finally wrote back to him and said that I have a lot of things going on in my life and I wouldn’t be able to make it but I wish everyone the best.

2022 has been a rough year. I’ve lost family members and I’ve just been under a lot of stress. I just knew that going to the funeral and seeing my siblings who most of which couldn’t be bothered to contact me in the past 7 years or so wouldn’t be good for my mental health.

I realize that more than likely this is going to be the end of any relationship I have with them. But since I’ve barely had one with 4 out of the 6 for most of the time I knew they existed it’s not going to be much different.

So that’s my story. If you’re an adoptee who is looking for their biological family I hope it goes a lot better than it did for me.

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