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Birth family

So much has been going on, I don’t even know where to begin!

A week after I heard from Judy with the adoption agency in Wisconsin, she called again to give me both my birth parents’ contact info! I got their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Being so incredibly shy and nervous, I didn’t think I’d be able to make phone calls. And being impatient as all get out, I knew I couldn’t just send a letter! So, I sent them both an email. I heard from my birth mother the very same day and we even talked on the phone a bit that week. I got pictures and seeing her was like looking in the mirror.

Now, I always knew I had a brother a year older than me. Unfortunately, I will never get the chance to meet him. He killed himself on his 22nd birthday. I have been struggling to cope with this ever since. I had always intended to go looking for my birth family once I turned 18, but I just wasn’t ready. So, now I feel like I waited too long. But, if I had been able to meet him, it wouldn’t have stopped him from taking his own life, and I think that would have been even harder on me.

I do have a few more half siblings I didn’t know about! I have a sister and two brothers. They were all born within 3 years of each other. The sister is on my mom’s side and the brothers on my dad’s side. My sister just had her 2nd child a few months ago. We had talked on the phone and even talked on Skype, and she was so excited to meet me. But, a week after she had the baby, and coincidentally the same weekend I went up to meet my birth mom for the first time, I tried to see if I could meet Amanda too, but the post partum depression kicked in and she said she couldn’t handle it. That was a few months ago, and I haven’t heard from her since. But, I have seen my birth mom a couple times now, and we are so alike it’s unreal! She’s awesome, and she’s married to a woman, who is also awesome.

I never knew what I would want out of meeting them. Would I want a family kind of relationship? I finally realized, once I started looking, that she didn’t give me up because she didn’t want me, but because she loved me. She already had a son, just a year older than me, and she was only 18. She couldn’t handle having two babies, and she couldn’t afford it either. She made a tough decision to make sure I had a good life. And she always hoped that I would look for her one day, but she said she never would have looked for me, because she didn’t know if I even knew I was adopted and didn’t want to disrupt my life. When I turned 18 and didn’t go looking, she thought I never would. She understands that I just had to wait until I was ready. So, now that I’ve found them, and met them, it feels like instant family. I feel love for them. I want to call her mom, but as of yet I haven’t called her anything. I haven’t had a need to call for her, so I just haven’t. I feel like if I call her mom it would be a huge betrayal to the mom who raised me. But, if Julie hadn’t given me up, there’s no telling the life I would have today, and it was because of her sacrifice that I have two sets of parents anyway. So, needless to say, yeah I do want a relationship with them.

So, over the course of the last few months, I’ve been Facebook stalking my brothers. I hadn’t heard anything back from Roger, our dad, and I kept fighting the urge to just message my brothers. I wanted to message them, but then I worried about being the one to drop a bombshell on them, if they didn’t already know about me. I always thought my birth father wouldn’t have a reason to feel emotionally attached to me in any way. He’s a guy, I didn’t grow in his belly for 9 months, so why would he care? And, not having heard anything from him in response to my email, I pretty much thought I was right. But he had told the adoption agency he was open to any form of contact, so I didn’t understand why I never got a response, unless he just didn’t check his email. Well, it finally got to me enough. On April 21st, just one week before my birthday, I caved. I got sick of waiting and wanted to reach out to my brothers, and decided I didn’t care if I dropped a bombshell. So, I paid $1 to send each of them a message on Facebook and have it go to their inboxes. The next day I heard back from the younger brother, Travis. He asked whose daughter I was, and then said he thought my name was Elisabeth. I told him, my birth name was Elizabeth Sue Schueler and my birth mom’s name is Julie. I guess he was txting with our dad at the time, and having supplied that information confirmed that I am indeed his daughter. So he gave me his phone number and my other brother’s as well, Tim. Dave happened to be out of town for the Army that week, Julie happened to have invited me and Casey up to see her, and Tim just so happened to be going to stay with Travis that weekend, so I made plans to stay with Julie for two nights then go to Travis’s house to meet them. Roger also went to stay with Travis, so I got to meet everyone at once. Roger’s side of the family is the shy side, so I was worried we’d all be just sitting around not talking. Luckily alcohol loosens all of us up, so we drank some beers and the conversation started flowing. There are a lot of things in common with them, too, and Casey has their eyes! And they definitely felt like instant family.

Oh yeah, and the Thursday before I went to meet them, I went out to Karaoke with Julie. It was awesome! And, she sang me that birthday song that goes “they say it’s your birthday.” That made me realize I just so happened to be spending my birthday weekend with my birth family.

Now, through all of this, I have been having all kinds of issues with my adoptive family. At first, my mom said she couldn’t handle hearing about anything in any way other than what I post on Facebook. So, I avoided the subject with her. Then, when I posted on Facebook about that first call I had gotten, when I had to wait to see if Roger was going to agree to contact, she got all upset and wanted to know why I posted it on Facebook but didn’t tell her. I told her why, and she said that she just meant for the search itself. Well, she never specified that! So, I started telling her everything as I found it out, and half of it she’d be happy to hear and the other half she’d get upset. I got sick of walking that thin line with her, so I no longer volunteer information. I answer questions as simply as I can, but I don’t tell her anything she doesn’t ask for. This is hard enough on me without having to deal with walking on egg shells around her! Especially now that I’ve met all of them and they all feel like FAMILY. It tears me up inside, feeling like it’s a constant betrayal to those who raised me. But, I wouldn’t have my adoptive family if not for Julie and Roger giving me up. I’m so conflicted. They feel like parents just the same.

So, yeah, it’s all hard on me. I’m sad that I’ll never get to meet Scott, I’m scared Amanda will do the same thing, but I’m excited to have met everyone I have met, and they all feel like family to me, which makes me feel guilty, though I don’t think it should. Really, it pisses me off, too. I mean, my adoptive family has had my entire life to prepare for this! Every single time they asked if I’d want to meet my birth family one day, I always told them I would. So why weren’t they ready? They should have been ready! They knew this would happen one day!!

Anyway… so that’s about it… just wanted to update you all on what’s been going on. I’ll have another post coming on other topics, but this one was long enough, I didn’t want to make it any longer.

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