This is a powerful testimony from my friend Jackie who was adopted:

It was never a secret that I was adopted. Both my brother and I were told before we even fully knew what it meant – and so was never a big deal. But that’s where it ended. We were never told any more than that – and so growing up I had no knowledge of my birth parents and had no wish to ever find out… when friends or teachers found out that I was adopted that immediate question which followed was, “So are you going to find your mother?” and my response was always, “No. She gave me away – she means nothing to me.”

But then in the beginning of my Grade 9 year everything changed. In looking for some documents I stumbled across my file – the file that had all the info about who she was and who he was and what my original name was and and and… and I freaked out. This person who had meant nothing to me suddenly became a real flesh and blood woman with feelings and a story and the line that killed me – “Tracy wanted her daughter to know that she gave her up because she loved her.” I remember running to the bathroom and crying until I had no more tears. This woman I had so casually and callously brushed aside was a real person who was living out there and who had made a massive sacrifice for me! I secretly made a copy of the file which I hid and read every so often.

I didn’t tell my folks for over a year. I grew up in a very loving, albeit broken family. My parents divorced when I was young, so grew up mostly with my mom and stepdad who are both incredibly wonderful special people. My mom however found it very painful that she couldn’t have children, and so while we always knew we were adopted, any suggestion of the topic or that we weren’t ‘fully’ hers was a very sensitive subject. I managed to keep the secret of the file for about a year, until I finally told her. It was an unpleasant evening to say the least. I knew that I had hurt her by saying that I wanted to find my birth mother, but it was something I needed to do. I hated it. My mom graciously said that it was fine; she just wanted me to wait until I was eighteen, and then she would give her consent and blessing.

My eighteenth birthday came at a very tense time in the middle of my Matric Finals. I think this pushed things over the edge and when I brought up the topic (as delicately as I could) I was harshly shut down, and so I left it.

My brother however did no such thing. Being older than I was he could do it without consent and went through the whole process, telling no one but me. In doing so he met the social worker who worked at the orphanage we came from who told him, “I didn’t facilitate your adoption, but I did your sister. I still have contact with her birth mother so if she’s looking; tell her to come straight to me”. This was torturous information – I was so close, yet without my mom’s consent, so far. I knew she would give the consent if I pushed, but also understood the pain that it was causing her, so decided to wait until I was 21.

When I did go through with it finally, I was blessed that it was a very positive experience. Tracy and I met at the orphanage I came from, and ended up talking for about 5 hours straight. She was nineteen when I was born, and I really was the result of a one-night-stand, that in her ignorance at that age she had thought was more. Since there was no chance of any relationship, Tracy had decided to give me up for adoption so that I could be raised in a full family. She herself came from a very close knit family and so believed it was important. She also felt it she was too young to manage to raise a child. I do not in any way begrudge her for this – because of her I have the most wonderful mom in the world, and belong to a wonderful family. She had truly given me a wonderful gift. We remain very close friends and I see her often.

I decided I had to tell my mom though, and so did so as delicately as I could. Unfortunately my brother had decided to break the news about his search results at a similar time – and not so delicately. This was extremely hurtful for my mom, and so I broke contact with Tracy to give my mom some time to adjust to the news, and then slowly re-initiated contact. My mom has come to peace with this more and more especially as she has grown on her walk with God. She and Tracy have met, as well as further members of Tracy’s family. They were all at my wedding and in fact my blood grandmother actually did the flowers for my wedding – it was extremely special.

On the other side – I also traced my blood father with the name Tracy had given to me. It was a very bizarre experience as he was a top-notch business man, and so when we met it felt a whole lot like a business transaction. We had a fair relationship over business-like lunches and emails, but I never met or spoke to any of his family. He sadly passed away end of last year from a stroke which I found extremely painful, as I suppose I had hoped for more. What was worse was that because it was sudden and unexpected I only found out about it because I followed my half-sister on facebook without her knowledge of who I was. It was a great sadness for me that I never got to meet my half siblings – a girl and a boy, both a couple of years younger than I was. In his passing I gave up hope of ever knowing or meeting with them and spent many hours in prayer about this pain and this unclosed area in my life. It was interesting in reading in your other adoption story the fact that James knows he has half-siblings out there, but has no way of finding them. It’s a strange thing that there is a connection there whether you like it or not. I care for my half-siblings a great deal even though I haven’t met two of them. It was hard too that I didn’t even have the full details surrounding my father’s death and was unable to attend the funeral and all this was very painful for me. I came up with all sorts of crazy reasons and ways in my head how I could stumble upon his family, revealing who I am – but knew that it would be wrong – and so ultimately just entrusted it to God thinking that it was the end and was praying that God would give me the peace I needed.

And then about two months back my half-sister wrote me a message on facebook saying that she had found out who I was and wanted to start a conversation – I couldn’t believe it! I hadn’t thought he had even told his wife about my existence, but apparently he had! This meant a huge amount to me because it also meant that I was important enough to him that he told his wife about me. I really hadn’t expected that he had. God was so good to me. We have now chatted on and off, and she has even suggested meeting which I look forward to in nervous anticipation. I’m so grateful that God allowed me to have these answers and receive this kind of closure – far beyond my wildest dreams.

Be blessed Brett.