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Family Harvest Genealogy

Updated: 2007 April 10

The Quest

A Family Of My Own

When I told my husband about this possibility, he urged me to pursue it. I still wasn't sure I wanted to begin this Quest. It took several months, but, one day in January 1997, I found myself on the telephone with a cousin who works in the Massachusetts court system. I asked her if she could find out whom I would contact to get information about my adoption. Much to my surprise, she called me back a day later with not only that information, but with instructions and the file number!

Writing the prescribed letter for judicial approval and sending the required documentation, it was my turn to sit back and wait to see what events might unfold. On February 19th, I received a memo from the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court confirming the name of the adoption agency and enclosing an Adoptee Agreement form for me to complete and return. Once again, I complied and continued my wait. On March 12th, 1997, that wait was unexpectedly rewarded. I received a copy of my court adoption records!

I don't know if any unadopted person can truly understand the feeling an adoptee has when discovering the circumstances of their birth. For some adoptees, it is jubilation; for others it is anxiety...for me, it was relief. All those years of wondering and conjecturing about why I was placed for adoption now were ended. One simple sentence on the agency's recommendation cleared it all up for me: At first the girl was hesitant regarding her decision, but finally decided that adoption was the best plan for herself and the child. Then I knew and understood.

I took another five months for me to take the next step in this Quest. In August 1997, I contacted Catholic Charities of Boston, sent them the required fee and sat back to wait again! My patience was rewarded when, three weeks later, I received a profile of non-identifying information. It was after reading the contents of this report that everything came together. I now learned the details of my birth that most people take for granted: time of birth, weight at birth, health at birth. However, most importantly, I learned my birth mother's story and why I was placed for adoption.

Using the information in both the profile and the court documents, the Web and the help of two cousins, I was able to locate and confirm my birth mother's current address and telephone number. I turned this information over to the counselor at the Family Court who sent a letter to her. My birth mother responded to the letter almost immediately, but took no further action where I was concerned. After a month of waiting, I was reconciled that she would not contact me, so I asked the Family Court counselor to forward a letter to her.

On October 21st, 1997, I picked up the ringing telephone to hear for the first time the voice of the woman who had given birth to me. We talked long distance for almost an hour! I learned that I have four half-siblings...I also learned that they do not know about me. Strangely, that does not bother me very much. Taking into consideration my birth mother's story and the era in which I was born, I can understand her reasons. Maybe some day she will decide to tell them.

In the meantime, my birth mother and I have kept in touch. Each time we talk, I learn something more about her, her other children and her ancestors. The feeling that I have a family of my own is slowing growing. With luck, in 1999, we will meet face-to-face. I am anxious about the reaction of my siblings to the revelation of my existence, but my birth mother does not seem to be worried about it too much, so I should probably take the cue from her. Whatever happens, I am hoping that she will remain in my life -- the one I have because of her.

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