In the 60’s open adoptions did not exist. Names were changed or deleted to protect the innocent. Unwanted pregnancies, illegitimate children were morally shameful and those involved were shunned, so no one wanted to be connected to such, ever again. Adoption records were sealed and placed in a mystical locked vault somewhere in nowhere land. Court orders were needed to open the vault. Those wanting to open records, be it the adopted or the bio mother had to prove need, such as medical, and that would have to be dire need, such as no other kidney in all the universe could be used. This is all the daunting information on finding out the From -Whenst -I- Came information .In addition to this I was also told of the turmoil I could cause my bio. if she did not want to be found. The latter, became a concern of mine. But I still had to search, I HAD to.
I knew a little about ‘them’ , I had notes my mother had taken , I suppose in one of the interviews, or maybe when they picked me up.One side said ‘Mother’ the other ‘Father’ with a line drawn somewhat down the middle. Listed were their ages, grades completed.The number and sex of siblings and their ages and eye and hair colors. Their parents and ages and hair and eye color and education, degree or not. I did treasure this paper, and it’s information, I imagined my parents, and how they lived, the houses they occupied, the family dinners they shared from this paper. The home also provided a similar type written paper for Mom and Dad, the age of eye color, hair color, very basic. I could find them if knowing the age, eye color and amount of siblings one had was enough.
After having Lee, my first child, I became serious about searching. I was 19. (Yes married, yes within the ‘time frame’ yes we planned it , yes I WAS young. No I do not regret any of it!.)After a bit of research on how to search I contacted MMH to find if they had any contact with my bio mother or family. This, I learned, would be the best scenario, her asking to contact then me contacting then the home would get us together. No best scenario though, no contact from the bio. Once I took the step to contact the home, they were very helpful, and ‘assigned’ me a social worker, basically. I was ‘given’ to someone who would explain all the legalities of and protocol and, I think, council me a bit as we discussed things. I asked lots of and lots of questions for anything they had on file that they could share. I had read also to get a relationship with the case workers and someday if there was information to be had, then someone may drop a hint or make a mistake and let something out. My hope. One day I received some papers in the mail, most were the same as those my parents had and had given to me, except one had the name ‘Baby Girl Gann’ on it. I had a name! This was in the 80’s pre everyone has a computer and way way before internet and Google. So I was back in the library to find out more of what to do. I found that this was still no where near enough information, I needed at least a place of origin to be on any kind of trail. So I started calling the home again, about once a month. This is in the 80s pre historic technological time, there was no such thing as free long distance anywhere , ever. No cell phones. Definitely no home computers or internet. I would call just after paying a phone bill and have 3 weeks to wait till Keith found I had made another too long, long distance call and catch hell scrape up the money pay the bill wait three weeks and…. I was getting nothing. We had no money for any kind of legal open the record fees, heck couldn’t even afford 10 minute calls to San Antonio.
Life moved on, and making it from paycheck to paycheck and raising a child, children (Brian is 18 months younger than Lee) and family took precedent, as it should. Finding ‘her’ was always in the back of my mind, though. If we were visiting another town, I would grab a phone book and look up Gann, knowing that she was remarried and I had no way of knowing which Gann might be her family, still I felt I was doing something. One time we were playing with a Ouija Board with friends, (we were NOT Satan worshipers, just thought it was a game, we were naive) I asked ole Ouija my mothers name, it spelled out Daisy Gann, in some town I forget now. ‘It’ did spell out the “Gann’ and of course out of curiosity of the game and … I called info for Daisy Gann in the town. There was one. I got the number, I called it. I had to, right? I mean what are the chances of Ouija giving a name that actually exists in the town it tells me of AND it be bogus? Well this poor woman answered I go through the whole thing of how I came to her name first, then I tell of why I was searching , I got a real long silence for a response then a very cold response, “I gave up a baby a few years ago, ‘good bye’, then hang up. I don’t know what I did, but it was something very very wrong. I will not ever touch a Ouija board again,nor believe there is nothing to that evil thing again!! This was one of those moments in my life where I did REALity check. I was relying, obviously, on my might my expertise and not God. I gave the whole thing over to Him, asked him to lead, open doors, bring us together, how HE willed. I meant it, believed it, and let go.
I had a notebook of notes of conversations with the adoption home and documents I received from them, I would gather it and set myself up on the floor when I made my calls to the home. I remember ,soon after my ‘let go and let Him decision, making a check in call to the home, sitting on the floor with my notes sprawled before me, boys taking a nap, I had been passed to a new ‘case worker’(by God), I explained all I had done and asked if any more information had come in, like my bio mother calling. The new caseworker did me a HUGE help that day. She said ‘you know Baby Girl Gann is the name your mother or the home chose to give you don’t you?” I did not understand. She explained that the girls many times would just choose a name for the babies, or let the home, so their name was not associated with the baby, just in case. So all this time I had searched out Gann’s and harassed some poor woman Ouija sent me to I was going on a fake name. Crap. OR Thank God, for getting me on the right path!
This social worker and I ended up developing a pretty good relationship. I talked to her a lot about why I wanted to find my bio. More than curiosity, but less than an obsession. I felt drawn to. After having my own children and finally having this family, something is actually a part of me connection, I never ever had before, I just could not see how my biological mother would not want to at least see me, even if it was to walk away afterwards. I wanted to know medical history, I wanted to know if there were siblings, I wanted to know if I lived next door to someone I was related to. I also did not want to mess up anything for my bio family. I knew that possibly she had never told any one of me. What a mess that would be for her if I showed up. I told my case worker of the presenting stories I had made up so as not to ‘out’ my bio in my search. This case worker explained to me that opening the records could cause her to be outed, depending on the circumstances. I did not want this. The social worker had a letter put on file for me, that I wanted to be contacted if my bio contacted. I had come to a point where I needed to wait and see what would come of my prayers and hopes.
2 thoughts on “Adoption Story 2 -The Search”
hey, a while ago you left a comment on a post I wrote on ‘sons and daughters of adoption’ I’m in the process of setting up the charity under ‘adopted united’ and would love some feedback on the site and theres a mentor page if you want to sign up… the url is http://www.adopted united.org.uk.
thanks so much x
I went to sons and daughters and did comment a few weeks ago. LOVE the idea!!! Today I signed on the other link. How are you ‘advertising’ your blog?