Daily prompt for day 8 of bloganuary:
How far back in your family tree can you go?
A family tree gives a sense of belonging. There are people who you are connected with. A family tree provides a family history through time, where you family started and what places your family has been. These shape the family traditions and heritage forming a part of your identity. You can relate to and be a part of something more eternal than just yourself.
More important for today, a family tree brings forth medical knowledge of possible diseases and illnesses that run in families, such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer and others.
How far back can I go in my family tree? – Me, Myself and I.
I was born in the early 1960’s. Before birth control was available to those who were not married, and without a doctor’s prescription, and legal in all states. I was born before abortion was legalized with Roe vs. Wade. A time after the sexual revolution had begun. Yet, society was harsh on unwed mothers and mothers who had to work to help support a family.
I am adopted.
I was born in a hospital owned by doctors. Those doctors also operated an unwed mothers home. On my original birth certificate, the address for the hospital, and where my mother resided at the time of my birth are the same.
For a doctor, there was not much money in delivering a baby, but money could be made in adopting out those babies. During the time of my birth an adoption would cost a couple more than the price of a new automobile – $5,000.00. Society expected that married couples were to have families. A couple without children was looked as carrying a plague and did not fit into what society thought was right and proper. A couple not having a family, would affect the man’s employment opportunities. There was no fertility treatments that we have today. Research was just starting to develop fertility treatments for childless couples at the time of my birth.
My adoptive parents borrowed money to adopt. Adopted first was my younger sister, as a premature infant. Her mother was a teenager. My adopted grandmother was present at her birth. The doctor who delivered younger sister, delivered my adoptive mother, and all her siblings. The doctor was their family doctor, familiar with the situation of my adoptive parents not being able to have children after five years of marriage.
There are infant picture of my sister at my Aunt’s june wedding. My sister was born in May. There is an old home movie showing she was so small she could fit in a quart size Mason canning jar. The baby clothes my adoptive mother kept, were doll clothes, tiny in size.
The same doctor delivered me. My adoptive dad was instrumental in my adoption. I was the child of a friend at work, who had gotten his girlfriend pregnant. My adoptive dad fought with my adoptive mother over adopting me. I was adopted after I was a year old. The earliest pictures of me is an old home movie of my adoptive dad putting me on the back of a horse. I could walk, as I walked up to him as he held the horse. All the early pictures of me I am a toddler, walking around. There are pictures of my sister and I together, I am standing and she is in a walker.
Our adoptive parents never told us we were adopted. Everyone in the family, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and our spouses were told we were adopted. They were sworn to secrecy, an honor they kept until the last year. I was informed by the doctor delivering my babies, the my sister or I had to be adopted. Siblings can not medically or scientifically be nineteen weeks apart. My sister and I are nineteen weeks apart in birth, I am the oldest.
I was treated with disdain by my adoptive mother and the favoritism she gave to my sister. So having medical facts stating one of us was adopted, I was not shocked I was the adopted daughter.
My sister was informed by the doctors delivery her children, that one of us had to be adopted. She had heard rumors I was adopted and assumed the adopted girl in the family was me.
At the age of 48 years, after I had received my original birth certificate from the state I was born. While talking to a cousin I set up the conversation to try and hear the truth. Finally a family member told me I was adopted. But told me my sister was adopted first. I spoke with the few family members who would speak, about the events around and concerning our adoption. There was not much information, but enough of the same story to form a small story line as to the origins of my adoption.
My sister, was 58 years of age when she learned she was adopted. The shock of information hit my sister from one of my blog posts. I did not know she was reading my blog posts. My sister and I do not talk often, only when things change in the family, such as death. To have the phone ring with her number, was a surprise. After her call to me she spoke with other family members gaining about the same amount of information I had, not much.
Life is different when you are adopted and not told. When you learn, all the medical history you have written down is obsolete. There is no medical history for those who are adopted before the 1980’s. Medical history for my children is incomplete, especially concerning births and pregnancies.
So far from life experience, I am healthy and active for my age. I and my children have low blood pressure and a low heart rate, perfect for those wanting to run marathons or cycle long distances. Not so good if you are in the hospital and go to sleep as the buzzers go off and wake you up. I and my children have a sensitivity to pain medications, and if the drug says it can make you drowsy, we will go to sleep. There are multiple births. While I only had singles, my son has had a set of identical twins. My youngest daughter was pregnant with identical twins, and lost them. Then she became with triplets and delivered three healthy boys, and two show a strong possibility of being twins.
The past there is none. The future looks bright.
I am the root to our family tree.