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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Life Comes Full Circle -- I Believe in Miracles!


                                 One of my sisters loves outdoor activity, just like me!


Friends, I've always had a scientific brain and have been skeptical about the veracity of reported miracles.  But after the week I have experienced, I have to report that unexplainable miracles do indeed happen!

As many of you know,  I have been diagnosed with advanced malignant melanoma, and I am participating in a promising clinical trial at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.  The side effects are rather miserable, and it is difficult at times for me to keep my spirits up.

Some of you may remember that I contacted my original (o) mother over 10 years ago.  She shared a little information, but did not want to have ongoing contact, and asked that I please not write her again.  She also asked me to "please not make trouble" by contacting her other daughter, who she said did not know about me.

My long-range plan was to look for my half-sister after my original mother passed away.  Two years ago, when I was surveying public records to see if my (o) mother had died, I by chance discovered the identity of my half-sister -- her husband had just passed away, and both she and my (o) mother were mentioned in the obituary.

I wrote my sister Janet* a letter at that time, but couldn't quite get myself to send it. (fear of more rejection?)  Shortly after my diagnosis, my daughter Jenn said to me, "Well, I didn't make any promises to anyone, and I have a gut feeling that I should write your sister, if you will give me your blessing."

I told Jenn to go ahead, but if the reaction were negative, to not share it with me, as I just don't have the energy right now to deal with it.  Jenn did send the letter earlier this week, and she called me several days ago, weeping, to relay the following story:

Janet had just moments before called Jenn, very emotional and just ecstatic to have been found!  She and her sister Eileen*, a sister I didn't even know I had, had found my original birth certificate just three weeks before in their mother's apartment.  (At 90, she is still living, but not very stable.)

My sisters had no idea how to find me, although they had been looking on the internet, reaching dead ends at every turn.  As Eileen has relayed to me, "I couldn't sleep at night, wondering where you were and if you had had a happy life."

What joy for me to discover that my sisters were not only happy to be found, but that they had been actively looking for me!  Since Monday, I have been showered with love and total acceptance for all of who I really am.  This Saturday, if my health allows, they are both coming to my home to see me.

I have learned so much about my personal history so far.  According to Janet, my (o) mother is an emotionally closed, unstable and unpredictable person who "should have been on medication her whole life."  Sadly, says Janet, she doesn't believe our mother has experienced a happy day in her whole life, and "she has always looked for love in all the wrong places."  She summed up by explaining, "My mother has never been able to freely accept or give love."  She told me all of this with honest compassion.

How I would have benefited from knowing all of this when I was 18 years old!  My (o) mother's rejection had nothing whatsoever to do with me -- she had limitations which prevented her from being the mother she should have been even to the children she kept.   Both of my sisters had pledged to themselves that they would not be our mother in their adulthoods, that they would love their own children with all their hearts and souls.

I have also learned some vital medical facts, the most important one being that malignant melanoma is present in our family line, as my o-mother's brother had experienced a bout with it.  Knowing this, would doctors have been more attentive to the lesion on my toe 16 years ago, when I had my first experience with melanoma?  We'll never know, but how insane that I had no access to this information.

But what has moved me the most of all these past few days is the fact that both of my sisters are such sweet, loving souls, who had leaned on each other for support all the while they were growing up.  They are both grounded, respectful, resilient and open.  We have exchanged family pictures and loving notes, and I can say already without reservation that I love them both, and that they love me.

Some remarkable circumstances had to come together for this reconnection to occur.  I marvel at --

... the fact that two years ago, I felt a pull to the computer, urging me to see if my (o) mother had passed away.  It was during that episode that I accidentally discovered Janet's identity through her husband's obituary.

... the fact that Jenn felt an irresistible urge to reach out to Janet earlier this week.

...the fact that just three weeks ago,  Janet and Eileen accidentally discovered my original birth certificate in their mother's apartment.  They started to look for me immediately.

So readers, what do you think?  Do you think that this primal reconnection at this most trying time in my life is a coincidence, grace, or a miracle?  You know what?  I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time thinking about it.  Right now, I'm just soaking in a profound love that I did not know existed, and that I never could have or would have expected.

As Eileen wrote, "I have always believed that there is a bond between mothers, children and siblings that cannot be broken by separation or time."

Amen, Eileen.  I now believe in miracles, and my heart is full.


*Names have been changed to protect the fragile health of my original mother.




















29 comments:

  1. That is awesome news thanks for sharing your story.

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  2. Wow! What an amazing story! I'm so happy you've reconnected with your sisters, especially after your original mom said no to contact. Hope this lifts your spirits! All the best!

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  3. Susan this is fabulous!!! It's indeed a miracle,and I hope it gives you strength as you battle melanoma. I know it gives you well-deserved happiness:) Thank you for sharing!

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    1. And thank you for reading, Margie! Adoptive parents like you lift me up!

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  4. I am so happy to hear about this development -- that you've been embraced by your sisters so wholeheartedly and that you've received some comfort about your o-mother's detachment.

    Wishing you well with the trial. Susan. I hope to keep reading your good news here :-)

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  5. How nice, Susan! I am very happy about that and I hope you'll get to meet them very soon.

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  6. Tears! So happy for you and your sisters!

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  7. So beautiful!! I, too, recently found a sibling, and it is as if we grew up together!! I wish you much healing!
    Joan

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  8. What a wonderful story - whichever it is - take it.

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  9. I got chills reading this--good, happy ones lol. I am sending you lots of energy for strength and healing and hope.

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  10. Susan,
    I am overjoyed to read this. I have heard an expression that whatever one is seeking is also seeking you. It certainly seems to be true in your case. Is that your sister in the picture on the blog post? If so, which sister?

    I will keep hoping and praying for your return to good health for your own sake, but also so that you and your sisters and extended families can continue to develop your relationships.

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  11. Tears! Happy tears! Rejoicing! I am so thrilled for you! Yes, miracles still happen. You have received one with your sisters and now I am believing for the miracle of total healing in your body. I love you, dear friend!!!

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    1. Thank you, Deanna -- your prayers mean so much! I have been so encouraged by your presence in the ongoing battle for the civil rights of adopted adults.

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  12. I am so excited for you and your family! What an awesome miracle! <3

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  13. I am a former colleague of Jenn's. Maria from Spain called me yesterday to see how you were which is how I learned of your illness. This is really an incredibly moving story, and one that gives me much to think about as an adoptive mother. I pray that you continue to heal.

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  14. Thank you so much Amy. I have received so much loving support from the adoption community. I want you to know that I loved my adoptive mother profoundly, and that I still miss her presence in my life. I plan to write a post about her soon. In the meantime, you might enjoy this one: http://nanadays.blogspot.com/2012/05/adoptees-perspective-on-love-and-why.html. I so appreciate your prayers!

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  15. Hi Susan! Matt Plock here. My parents gave me your link, and I wanted to send my prayers and this message. I wish you returning strength as quickly as possible. I can't believe the terrible luck of facing this disease. I'm enjoying reading about your Iberian travels, and the obvious spiritual connection between you and your sisters. I miss you and Ty and family, so I'm glad to read your blog. What a great writer! I know how strong you are, and I think cancer has picked the wrong woman to mess with! Love, Matt

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  16. Matt,
    What a dear, sweet note from someone who has always had a special place in our hearts. I have enjoyed reading about all the new little Plock boys through your mom and dad. I do have a survivor mentality and lots of loving support, and this amazing reconnection with my sisters lifts me up. Life is challenging, but unexpected miracles sometimes do happen along the way.
    Much love,
    Susan

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  17. Amazing, Susan! I so loved reading this blog post! You are in my thoughts every day - trying to will you some strength and positive thoughts :)
    Love
    Jessica

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  18. Miracle or not, I'm so happy for your wonderful news. Thank you for sharing. Here's to more happy news just around the corner.

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  19. Congratulations! I'm so very thrilled for you! ((((hugs))))

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  20. I have been thinking of you often of late, wanting the best possible outcome(s) for you both in terms of physical health, but also connecting to your family/history (the past few weeks especially). (I've commented only once before (can't recall what name I used) asking about how I, having no direct connection to adoption, can be an ally in the struggle for adoptee rights.) Just want to say how glad I am to hear that you have been able to connect to your sisters and your history and even to find out that your o mother's distance is entirely about her own issues. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers!

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  21. Julia,
    I can't tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time to write. It lifts me up to know there are such kind and compassionate souls out there. Thank you for your good wishes, your thoughts and your prayers.

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  22. Hola Susan. Como esta? I am reading your blog, remembering our recent trip to Madrid and Barcelona, and your infectious laugh with every Spanish phrase you spoke. I am so happy for your connection with your sisters. I don't know if Jenn shared with you the story of my first husband, Liz's father. His original family came to find him after their father passed away, in 1999. Unfortunately, my husband passed away in 1997 and never knew of the 5 brothers and sisters he had. Miracle that you found each other, I say yes!

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  23. Hola Denise, Como estas? (I don't know how to put the accents in!). Didn't we have fun in Spain -- what an experience! Yes, I think this reconnection with my sisters is miraculous. Now we're working on the healing from this god------ melanoma. Great to hear from you!

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  24. Susan,

    Although I have already heard this story from both your daughters, I was thinking about you today so I came here to see if you had written about it. I wanted to catch a small understanding about how you feel (and the only reason it's a "small understanding" is because not having had any kind of expereince like this, I can't even begin to imagine the depth of emotion or even scratch the surface of understanding) and once again, this story brought tears to my eyes. Miracle? yes. I would say so.

    I took Sparky to Wharton State Forrest today. For obvious reasons, it was bittersweet for me, but I couldn't help but focus on the beautiful trees and leaves that are starting to turn and I let my mind wander. It drifted to thoughts of you. It's been a while since we've seen each other now, but you have been in my thoughts so often. I miss you and I love you and I just want you to know that.

    Love, April

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  25. Oh, April, I love you too! You, Rod and your whole family have already done so much for me as I travel this challenging road. I'll never forget all the fun we had at our shore gatherings even in the midst of all of this. I am surrounded by the dearest family and friends and so much positivity, and it helps so much! I am on. The mend from GI problems and have a little break to get my strength back. These beautiful days are helping. It is so nice to sit on the back patio and take little walks down the street. I have a beautiful picture of Dutchess and Salty on a hutch in my family room -- such sweet memories. Love to you, Rod and the kids. I am determined and hopeful that better days lie ahead.

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  26. Best wishes on your treatment and for recovery of your health. I am ecstatic over your connection with your sisters! What a blessing! I noticed you said they came across a copy of your original birth certificate. Have you seen it (or a copy) yet and what is your reaction to it? Was it something you'd searched for, hoping that it might exist, or was knowing the identity of your o-mother enough?

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  27. I think my sister found my birth record, not an official birth certificate. Now that I know the identity of my original family, the birth certificate is not that important to me, although I believe every adopted adult should be entitled to her own original certificate of birth. After all, no one owns us, and it is our own personal history. I am just extremely fortunate that I have found my way through the ridiculous barriers.

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