If All Else Fails–Steal it!

I’m not an advocate for theft.  In fact I’m a pretty good rule follower.  But I do have an experience where I stole something and what I gained changed my life.  I have been told I was adopted for as long as I can remember.  When I got old enough to ask questions about my birth family, my mother would say that when I turned 18 I could find out more information.  So right around my 18th birthday I requested that the court send me all information regarding my birth mother and the adoption.  It turns out the adoption was closed and very little information was released–none of it identifying.  But I had a few details like what hospital my birth mother was in and what drug I was born addicted to.  It turns out heroin doesn’t cause brain damage and I’m just fine, but I was a very sick newborn.  After reading through the packet of information I decided I didn’t really want to find a woman who took drugs right before giving birth so I put the papers in the bottom of a box and forgot about them.  A year later I happened to run into my foster brother who reintroduced me to our foster parents.  I was only in a foster home as an infant for a few months while my adoption was being finalized.  My foster mother remembered a few details about my case.  She said that my birth grandmother originally wanted to adopt me but for various reasons couldn’t.  The fact that someone wanted me was huge.  Now I have always been told that I was so special and that my parents were so happy to have me as their daughter.  But being adopted also means that my birth mother rejected me and I’ve always felt the weight of that while also feeling the love of my parents who adopted me.  Fast forward to just after I graduated from college.  I ended up moving to the town where I was born.  Occasionally while walking down the main drag I would wonder if my birth mother walked down the same sidewalk.  Where did she live?  What was her life like?  What did she look like and did I look like her?  I would have moments where I was overwhelmed with curiosity.  Finally I decided to steal my birth mother’s records from the hospital.  I didn’t have her name but I had the dates in which she was a patient and I knew that she delivered a baby girl.  Within a month of having the idea I had in my hands my birth mother’s file which included her name, an old address and the name of my birth grandmother who I knew at one point wanted me.  Once I got up the nerve, I rang my grandmother.  She remembered the month of my birth.  She said she knew one day I would find her.  She also said I had a sister.  Soon I was introducing myself to my sister and meeting her for the first time.  I couldn’t have found a better sister!  Also, it turns out I look like my birth mother.  At one point I was worried about my parents having hurt feelings about me finding my birth family.  I’ll never forget my mother’s response, “In times like this your heart can only get bigger.”  My heart and my life are bigger now.  Like I said, I’m not an advocate for theft.  But sometimes you have to do what you have to do.



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23 Responses to If All Else Fails–Steal it!

  1. What an ironic post for me to read today. I am struggling with infertility right now and really struggling with options. I have been opposed to adoption up to this point. It is really interesting to read about it from the adoptee’s perspective. How cool for you to have insight and your circle completed by meeting your birth family!

  2. Pish Posh says:

    How did you end up getting your hands on the document, or shouldn’t I ask?

    My mother gave up her firstborn twins for adoption.

    My father and his wife adopted twins years later.

    My mother has lived with all kinds of pain all her life worrying about, missing, wondering about her babies. She did it because the nuns told her to do it. She was a teenager, living in an orphanage, and she was told that if she really loved her babies she would give them up so they could have a better life than she could provide. She did it out of love.

    My brother and sister, the adopted twins, were adopted from a heroin addict, and yes they were born with fetal alcohol syndrome, an addiction to heroin, and both suffer physical and mental disabilities now. The heroin addict was with a man who was a child molester and later got murdered. The heroin addict never contested nor tried to contact the children. You can take that as she never cared, or maybe she was just too messed up to notice. I choose to take it as she knew it was the right thing, letting them be adopted. My dad and his wife have given them love, stability, and care. They seem totally uninterested in finding this woman, although they have always had a relationship with the child molester’s parents, their grandparents, so maybe that helps.

    Anyway, I guess this is just to say that sometimes the adoption wasn’t a rejection so much as it was a loving and hard decision to make for the mother that hurts. I’m so grateful for both sets of twins in my life, and that I know about all of them now. I’m glad you found your siblings, that must help a lot.

  3. Farrah says:

    Facinating story. Not what I was expecting- but I am glad that I read it. I’m also happy that your life is more full now- that’s wonderful!

  4. veronica lee says:

    WOW!! That was really interesting though it wasn’t quite what I expected either!!

    I love stories with happy endings and I am so glad for you.

    Happy Thursday!

  5. Kimberly says:

    Glad to hear that your life is more full now. How did you get the records though?

  6. Vesta Vayne says:

    What a touching story.

    My 15-year-old cousin is adopted, aand my aunt and uncle went through a lot of effort, pain, trauma, and waiting, to bring him into their lives, and they love him dearly. I don’t really have a point, other than to say adoption can be the most hoped for blessing imaginable.

    I’m glad stealing led to good for you!

  7. Carrie says:

    Oh, I LOVE this! What a great, great story and an even better outcome!

    “In times like this your heart can only get bigger.” I love that. Great wisdom.

  8. LDiggitty says:

    Ahhh! So curious about how you got the records. I have a mental image of you wearing a ninja outfit and dodging administrator’s bullets as you do a somersault out of a (closed) window.

    Wow, though. Glad you found what you were looking for! Your grandmother sounds sweet.

  9. momto8blog says:

    I admire your birth mother because she chose life.

  10. Seana Smith says:

    Oh, that is quite a story. Of course, I am so curious as to how you got your hands on the records… but can understand why you don’t explain. Reading between the lines, did you find out that your birth mother had died? Not my business, I know.

    I love here that you have found all the positives in the story of your birth and adoption, and are non-judgemental towards your birth mother.

  11. Barb O says:

    Jennie, I loved your story & I’m so happy you were adopted too. I remember your laughter while playing with Kristi as kids–lots of fun in Midland. And you & Michael have blessed your parents lives’ also. I’ve always believed adoption was out of LOVE–your mother choise adoption rather than abortion. More painful for her–but much better for you. Hugs & much love–A. Barb

  12. Vivian says:

    Jennie my sister gave up her son for adoption she was only 16. She has tried to find him also closed adoption. Well done yes I am also an ardent rule follower but well done some times it is justified.

  13. jennie, that was such a good story (forgive me for calling your life a good story), that I didn’t want it to end! I wanted to know, more, more, more! How happy that you’ve found a sister. I love my sister so much, I can’t imagine my life without her.

  14. Michelle says:

    Jennie..what an amazing story…well done for having the strength to come out the other side and write about it. You should also read this one from a friend of mine about her experiences. She wrote a very poignant blog for Mother’s Day a few weeks ago.


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