Until recently, my family history beyond my two parents was a black hole. They were both adopted and died knowing next to nothing about their origins. After more than 60 years of living, I know now what those origins are.
Most people KNOW who their parents are. Even a parent who abandons his family may still be a known entity to his child but not someone who was adopted. It is all unknown, unless it is a modern, more progressive and supportive adoption – which thankfully, many of them are beginning to be.
People don’t want to hear that you have no freakin’ clue to your identity. Not knowing is both painful and unusual in our society. It is associated with negative stereotypes such as “bastards” and “mistakes”. You hear about “those people” but you never expect to be talking to one in the flesh.
I recently read about the child of an adoptee who’s coping mechanism with that unknown was to tell everyone he was Cuban. Until recently, I used to tell everyone I was an “albino African” because I could have been. There was no one to tell me I wasn’t. Then, I got my DNA tested and finally knew I was Danish and Scottish and English and Irish, even a little Ashkenzai Jew and Neanderthal.
It is wonderful to now have a universe of genetic connections out there instead of being the product of a black hole.