Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. – Buddha
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. – Arthur Schopenhauer
For those of us who are NPE, our mothers’ secrets have been exposed by a DNA test, that we
unwittingly took. For those that are adopted, never knew their parents, or grew up knowing they were
donor-conceived, the test was taken with the expectation of finding biological parents. Either way,
those that contributed to our DNA are feeling the heat of being exposed or fear of being exposed.
How many times have I worked a tree like I did tonight where I see several matches that do not
“fit” the family name that I’ve assigned to their family group? Tonight’s client has a half-brother out
there that does not know his surname is wrong and at least two “first cousin-like” matches that are
either an NPE or a child of an NPE – difficult to tell without examining their matches and building out
trees, just like knowing what their true relationship with the client is difficult without doing the same. I
say first cousin-like because they share the number of centimorgans a first cousin would share.
The client was told that her top match was likely a half sibling and that he probably did not
realize that the man he thought was his father, was not actually his father. He hasn’t been on Ancestry
in over a year and while I would love him to come and be a client because I know who his father is, it’s
not my place to break his heart and expose his mother’s lies.
It’s a difficult situation to be in. What do we do? We all have a right to know who our biological
parents are, to have access to accurate medical information, to know our true heritage (and his is VERY
interesting!) But I sit in the same position my half-sister was in when she saw our match and knew how
we were related and I did not. The difference between me and the gentleman I see in the client’s
matches is I ASKED point blank and she refused to answer. He is not asking and it is not my business to
tell him. Certainly if he comes looking for answers, his sister and I will be here to help him.
We walk a fine line as Angels, we often see more than we say. Those of us who have been at
this awhile can even sometimes figure out where these NPE or Adoptee matches fit into a tree. I once
had a client who had sibling matches, fairly close, and I knew they were adopted (good stalking had led
me to a newspaper article about them being adopted). I reached out to the young man and asked him
about his tie-in to the family. He responded he had no idea, but he knew a little about his birth parents.
He gave me a name… of the sibling to the aunt/match of the client. Auntie had been very helpful with
drawing out her family tree for the client and I and I asked the client to please ask if the Aunt would like
to be in contact with her nephew and his siblings. She was overjoyed that they had been adopted
together and was ecstatic to be reunited with them.
But adoptees and NPEs are two different sides of a coin. We both long for our truths, we both
have a wound that goes soul-deep with regards to our birth families, the difference is adoptees, for the
most part, have always known or known for most of their lives that they are adopted. Their wound
takes a different shape that those of us who are NPE or LDA (late discovery adoptee) who have had our
identities ripped away suddenly. It’s not that one of us has a worse time of it, it’s just different.
Nothing is more frustrating or heartbreaking than to have uncovered the truth for a client, and
to have the one person who can validate it – our biological mothers – still maintain the lie. It breaks my
heart when an adoptee comes back and tells me the woman I have identified as Mom says it isn’t her.
I’ve had that happen several times. One time, Dad confirmed that not only did I have the right woman,
but I had the correct phone number for her! Yet and still, she denied. Another client, who I have
become friends with – as a matter of fact, he lives in the same small county I do, and we had several
friends in common prior to his coming to DNAngels as a client – has a biological mother who still denies.
Cat’s out of the bag though, my friend is making sure he is well known among her family members.
As a woman, I understand the need to protect our reputations. See Blog 15 for reference. But
there is that part of me that knows if I had a child out there that I had given up for adoption, that not a
day would go by that I would not think of him or her, that I would not wonder where they were and how
they were doing and hoping they were whole and happy. I have had conversations with biological
mothers and their children who report the same sentiments. But perhaps it is just something flawed
within me that I cannot think that I could look into the face of another human being and tell them a lie
that devastates their soul rather than tell them the truth and help them to heal.
The truth may hurt for a little while, but a lie hurts forever. – Anonymous.