Even though I have learned so much about the process of adoption – how it affects an adoptee, how it affects the original parents and how it affects those adoptive parents who try to fill a void, it is the truth of my own family, the one I was born into and I would not exist if the adoptions had not happened.
One of the success stories in my own family is my nephew. When I met him and his adoptive mother, she admitted to me that for a long time, she felt that she should not have been in the picture. When she learned about my nephew’s mother, about her struggles in life with mental illness, this gave his adoptive mother a lot of peace about their situation.
She has been a champion for my nephew. She has been with him every step of the way as he sought to discover his origins. She has supported him in his desires and has even gone the extra mile, smoothing the way for him.
Yesterday was his birthday. I sent him greetings by way of her email. She replied to me last night with the good news that he has met his birth father and has discovered he has two half-siblings, a boy and a girl, who are only a little bit younger than him. All of them have welcomed his arrival in their lives.
His birth father is not who my sister named on the birth certificate. The kindest explanation is that she didn’t actually know who fathered her son. My nephew’s adoptive mother actually paid a private investigator who triangulates DNA to discover the true identity of my nephew’s father.
Beyond being probably the best adoptive mother I’ve known in my lifetime, within her nurturing, my nephew has become an amazing young man. He is the Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator in the town in which he lives. He is now a Lieutenant in the Fire Department and holds down a job at the local utility. I am very proud of the high quality person he has turned out to be.