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Archiver > COOK-CO-IL > 2002-08 > 1028754347

From: "Jenny Volker" <>
Subject: Re: Adopted children & Life Stories
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002 14:05:47 -0700
References: <>

Very good points. I know one thing I did was take all the information I
have on my son's biological family and create a family tree for him. Right
now he is too young, but it may be important to him later. Also, he is
included in our family tree as well. Right where he belongs! I know some
purists feel that genealogy trees are for blood lines. Not in my book.
They are for my family lines. Heck...there are some blood relatives
everyone would rather not claim :-)

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 8:48 PM
Subject: Re: Adopted children & Life Stories

> Dear Joyce,
> Your post about who to include in your family life story just stirred up
> of my emotions. Besides being a genealogy nut, I am an adoptee. I have
> your post so much thought.
> First, I need to applaud you for wanting to include this information in
> Family Story. It shows a real love for your daughter. It tells me that you
> are not ashamed of her or of anything in her past. It tells me that you
> her unconditionally. And it tells me, too, that you don't believe in
> secrets. I too would most definitely want to include this child in the
> story. It's part of the history - it happened.
> I can most easily put myself into the place of the child that your
> gave up for adoption. I would be incredibly honored and so filled with
> if I knew that somewhere on this earth, my biological family had included
> on their family tree and talked about me in their family story. Nothing...
> and I mean NOTHING.... would make me feel happier.
> Every person needs to have some sort of validation about themselves.
> have special problems here... We ask ourselves over and over, "Who are
we?" I
> have heard countless adoptees tell me that the very basic thing that they
> want from their birth mothers is just to be acknowledged. And I believe
> the worst thing is to be kept hidden in the family closet with other
> skeletons.
> I also tried to put myself into the place of your daughter because I share
> something with her, too — keeping secrets from my own children. I grew up
> being so ashamed of having been adopted that I told no one except my
> I did not tell my two children... I made up all sort of lies instead. But
> it's very very hard to keep secrets inside. They fester and cause pain.
> the help of a therapist, I was finally able to face up to this fact and to
> understand that I had nothing to be ashamed of. My children were in their
> twenties when I finally "got up the nerve to tell them." I know it's hard
> imagine, but it's true. I told them and of course, they weren't ashamed of
> at all. But my daughter did feel angry with me because I didn't trust her
> enough to tell her. She asked me over and over, "Why couldn't you tell
> I fear this will happen to your daughter, too. The longer she keeps a
> from her children, the worse it gets. The secret takes on a whole life of
> own. It becomes a viscous cycle... you're afraid to tell because you've
> the secret too long, how can you explain it, let alone the original
> So, what would I do if I were you? Well, I think I would honor your
> daughter's wish not to include the child she gave up for adoption but I
> tell her that you do not feel ashamed at all about it and that at any
> she can just say the word and you will be so happy to include the
> information. And I would tell her exactly how you feel about it. And of
> course, I would also encourage your daughter to consider getting this
> off her chest. Even though you say it wasn't any big secret at the time
> that most of the family knows about it, your daughter must still consider
> shameful and so she wants to keep it a secret. I hope that somehow,
> she will find the strength to tell her children. It's such a peaceful
> feeling, and a feeling of freedom, to finally let it all out.
> Please feel free to share my post with your daughter. Bottom line: I
> give anything in this world to have my name hanging on the family tree of
> biological family, even if I never laid eyes on any of them.
> Sincerely,
> Anita Field, in Skokie
> P.S. I, too, keep family history "books." I have a feeling that most of us
> who love genealogy have made them in one form or another.
> ______________________________

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