Of course I did. I had a past before being found on the doorstep. A past that didn’t simply disappear because my future was headed in a very new and different direction.
Although they didn’t care what that past involved nor did they want to know any details, my parents “got” what so many adoptive parents don’t get. That where we came from would always be a part of us.
I came from somewhere, from people whose contribution to my existence did not simply vanish because the decision was made that we would part ways.
Once I knew who those people were, I wanted to know about them. The mom and dad, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Unless you are adopted, you won’t understand how exhilarating it was to click the box on my Ancestry.com results to “link my test results with a family tree”—the new tree my daughter began building after the mystery was solved. A tree comprised of my blood relatives.
For years, she’d painstakingly built our family tree, going back seven generations in some areas. The branches had swelled to include over 1850 ancestors. My side of the tree held the names and dates and stories of my adoptive family—the Hammitts and the Dagues.
I will always be a Hammitt regardless of whose DNA courses through my body. I’m proud of my Hammitt / Dague heritage. I love that my daughter created a family tree based on the rich history of these families who played a huge role in my life, in her life. That tree will never be deleted or replaced. Rather the new Brown / Hubbard family tree will rest alongside the Hammitt / Dague tree in our Ancestry.com account. Each as vital and important as the other.
As I connect more with my biological family, as we fill in the blanks of the last 50+ years, my mind swirls with “what ifs?”. What if I’d grown up with them? My life would have taken a very different path. My husband would be married to someone else. I would be married to someone else. Neither my daughter or son would exist. Nor would my grandson. I would have different children. Be someone else’s “Gram.” That’s a lot to wrap my head around.
A fellow adoptee who recently connected with his birthmother summed it up well.“If I hadn’t been adopted, my life would have been very different. But I wouldn’t have known the difference.” Another profound statement.