Mar 312014
 
Adopted genealogy an individual journey

Adopted Genealogy: Every adoptee has a different story and every adoption has its own set of circumstances.

Today I’m excited to have blogger Yvette Porter Moore share her insight about family history research from an adoptee’s standpoint.

Being adopted sometimes intensifies the age-old adage “Who am I?” and “Where do I come from?” Adopted genealogy adds an extra layer of bricks and mortar to break-through. Most adoption records are sealed and not open to the forever “child,” who is now an adult.

My Story

Having reunited with my birth family about twenty-three years ago, I can still remember the process, and the feelings I experienced. I found myself overwhelmed by the gnawing questions of wanting to know who I was, where I came from and if there was anyone that looked like me.  Many more questions arose, and I had no idea if I would ever know the answers.

I was raised in a loving home. My parents were an established couple, together at least ten years before deciding to adopt. I was their second child as they adopted a boy a year earlier, and I completed our family.

I learned about my adoption at eight years old. I began my adoption search at eighteen, reunited with my birth mother at twenty-one and reunited with my birth father’s family at twenty-four.

Reuniting can come with different emotions and reactions. As the searcher, I prepared myself for the possibility of rejection. Those being searched out did not have the time to prepare for my arrival, so their response is what I had to be ready for. A rejection upfront from the birth-parent does not mean it is a forever rejection. However, it may take that person time to work through their emotions before they can accept any type of relationship or second meeting.

Genealogy after the Birth Family Reunion

Adopted Genealogy Research

Adopted Genealogy has four roots

Adopted genealogy is more complex. Every adopted person has four sets of parent to research.

My interest in genealogy became very important to me when my adopted mother asked me to research her maternal and paternal ancestry for her memoirs. As I began to research, her stories came alive.  I began to search out descendants and after making connections with many cousins, I began to expand my family.

I embrace being connected to my family.  The only issue that haunts me is that I have a difficult time telling family that I am adopted.  I sometimes fear that I may not be accepted as “true” family because I don’t have the same DNA running through my genes.  I, of course am legally and by love, very much a part of their Family Tree.  I have never had any rejections.

Birth Genealogy Research

I find it harder to do genealogy research on my maternal and paternal birth family lines. When it comes to asking family members for stories and pictures, I sometimes feel as though I am imposing on them. I know it is my birth right to know.  However, I have been absent from the lives of my birth family during my formative years, and I always feel like I am playing catch up.  My family is so large it is sometimes difficult to remember everyone’s names, and the many faces of the children that are growing so quickly. The situation can be uncomfortable.

Birth and Adoption Family Connection Lessons

There are a few things I have to remind myself when researching both adoption and birth ancestries.

1. Be easy on yourself.  It is okay to ask the questions necessary to develop and build the stories of your ancestors on your birth family and adopted family trees.

2. Being adopted does not void you from your birth ancestry tree, as it doesn’t exclude you from your adopted genealogy.

3. You have been blessed with the responsibility to research two more ancestral trees, and you should honor your ancestors with finding out as much as possible.

4. Always respect others’ feelings and issues they may be dealing with surrounding your adoption.

Yvette Porter Moore is the Root diggerYvette Porter Moore has coined herself as the “Root Digger.”  She is a professional genealogist and a blogger of Root Digger Genealogy and The Ancestors Have Spoken. Yvette would love to connect with readers via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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  13 Responses to “Adopted Genealogy: A different family tree”

  1. Super to read. Yvette, a welcomed insight for other adoptees. Your honesty and sharing will help
    others.

  2. Great Job Vette! Who better to tell than an Adoptee. Proud of you and Great Advice and will give Hope to a lot of People.

  3. Since my grandchildre are adopted I liked reading this post.

  4. “grandchildren”

  5. Good post!

  6. Sister Yvette, it’s like serendipity…this is what I wanted to speak to you about before your birthday. I’m getting started on the search for my birth parents/ancestry and so appreciate the insights and foresight. I don’t have much information but I have the desire and definitely have the support and resources -you 🙂 and others to get as far as I can. Give thanks for being the light on my path to connecting/completing my family.

  7. I liked the way you covered the range of emotions experienced by both the adoptee and the birth parents. Well written and concise.

    I noticed this story in the news today: “Ohio set to open adoption records sealed for 50 years” can be found here: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ohio-set-to-open-adoption-records-sealed-for-50-years/ar-AA9OS8X

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