I’ve known for as long as I can remember that I’m adopted. I was 2 months old when my mom and dad adopted me. My younger brother is adopted too. When I was growing up, I remember telling people that I’m adopted like it was an interesting, but completely normal fact about me. And that’s how I was raised to think about it. One of my cousins is also adopted, some close family friends are all adopted, and I went through most of my elementary and high school with a couple of kids in my class that were also adopted. As far as I can remember, I never felt like my parents weren’t my parents. I wasn’t even one to get mad and say things like, “You’re not my real mom/dad”. My brother used to do that. I felt the opposite. Like they were (and are) my real mom and dad, but these other people out there brought me into being.
I’ve always been curious, but acted like I wasn’t really that interested. Especially as I got older. I didn’t want my parents to feel threatened (I needn’t have worried about that), but I was also worried about rejection if I did start looking into it some more. I felt like I needed to know myself better and be really comfortable with who I am before I started anything. And so I held off.
When I was in my mid-20’s, maybe 23-24, my mom gave me a box and told me it was made for me and that whatever I chose to do with the information, she would support it. The box was covered in wallpaper and it contained a framed drawing of a cat, a baby blanket, a doll, and an old, yellowed letter from social services. The box and it’s contents (minus the letter) were made for me by my birth mother. The letter contained information from the social worker regarding general information about my birth mother and her family, and the circumstances around my birth. It also included the name given to me at birth, which included my birth mother’s last name.
She was 18 at the time. She had moved to Saskatoon from her small town to go to school and she met a young man who was about 24 at the time. They dated casually for a few months and had split up by the time she found out she was pregnant. She kept her pregnancy from everyone, including my birth father and her own family. Her parents found out when she went into labour. It was 1981, she was young and single, the hospital called them. She had already made her decision to give me up for adoption and so they decided they would keep the whole thing a secret from the rest of the family. She had 2 younger sisters and a younger brother. There were not many details about my birth father except that he was tall, had a moustache, and was of metis descent. And to this day, likely doesn’t know about my existence. There was also some basic family healthy history, physical descriptions, and personality traits described. Her background is Russian and Ukrainian.
A few years after I received this information, I sent a request to social services to get any additional information they had and to see about a search for my birth mother. They sent me all the documents surrounding my adoption. Most of it was after the adoption and detailing the home visits from the social worker. In the documents leading up to my adoption, my birth mother expressed several times how she did not wish to seek future contact with me. That wasn’t easy to read, but I let it play out however it would play out. I didn’t hear anything back and I left it at that.
Recently, the rules about adoption documents in Saskatchewan have changed and you can now request your birth record, which has information about birth parents on it. So I sent my request in December. And received a letter back last month.