Giving Thanks for My Parents

15 May

No talent there . . . or is there?

I’m adopted!  Many of you knew that already, but for the sake of this post I needed to repeat it here and now.  I’ve never known who my biological parents were.  I was adopted out of the foster system when I was nine months old and that was that.

About a year ago I did that DNA testing thing with Ancestry.com.  I wasn’t really looking for a connection to my biological family, but I was curious about medical history since I’m rapidly approaching seventy and, well, you know.

For the next few months I heard from people who might have been fourth and fifth cousins, so far removed from reality that I couldn’t get excited about it. Time passed and so did my interest in the process.

Then one day I heard from a woman named Rose and according to Ancestry.com we are first cousins.

Now we’re getting somewhere!  First cousins . . . that’s close enough for some serious information.

Emails ensued and information was finally discovered.  My biological mother’s first name was Dollie, and she lived in the Brinnon/Shelton area of Washington State, about twenty miles from where I sit right now typing out these words.

Dollie gave birth to me in 1948.  She was twenty at the time. I was declared legally blind by the family physician, and for whatever reason I was placed in the foster system, where I remained until nine months when my adopted parents, Dale and Evelyn Holland of Tacoma, adopted a blind kid and gave him love.

Dollie died in 1968 at the age of forty from acute liver disease.  You can probably read between the lines and surmise that Dollie was a heavy drinker.  I had an older brother who was in and out of prison.  I had a younger brother who died in a motorcycle accident when he was twenty.  Not much is known of my biological father, and I had a sister who seems to have slipped between the cracks of time.

It appears my biological family was a troubled group which was chased by tragedy.

I, on the other hand, grew up in a loving household and was given every opportunity to thrive.

As a footnote, I gained sight three weeks after being adopted.  The legally-blind kid saw for the first time, and what he saw were the faces of two people who loved him.  Can you imagine adopting a special-needs kid back in 1948?  Yep, some special kind of love right there.

REFLECTIONS

I don’t know how I feel about my biological family.  I’m sorry their lives were so turbulent.  I’m grateful as hell that Dollie chose to put me up for adoption.  It was the right decision for me and that’s for damned sure, and I hope it was the right decision for her.  I certainly have no negative feelings about my biological mother. She did what she felt she needed to do, for whatever reason.  The end result was me, here, now, typing away in the midst of a life I love.

The winds of fate!

I haven’t sorted it all out yet, but I do know this is a missing piece to the mystery of who I am today.  Someone once asked how it is I write so easily, and so realistically, about the dark side of human nature.  Perhaps that dark side is part of my DNA.  Perhaps I was saved a dark outcome by a simple wind of fate.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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28 Responses to “Giving Thanks for My Parents”

  1. Janine Huldie May 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

    Aw, Bill I am truly so thankful for all you got to experience with your parents, who even adopted you. But also glad you got further information on your birth mother and biological family. As I do believe all the experiences you have had through the years have made you the wonderful man you are indeed today. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Tuesday now, my friend 🙂

    • Billybuc May 15, 2018 at 2:16 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words, Janine! I happen to think I got very lucky in the parent lottery!

    • Nell Rose May 15, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

      That is so great Bill that you found out your past family. And how wonderful your adopted family were. This dna stuff is a fascinating ride through so many ups and downs. And at least now you know. Maybe a meeting with your sister one day, I hope so.

      • Billybuc May 15, 2018 at 10:45 pm #

        Maybe, maybe not, Nell, but thank you! It was fascinating to find all that stuff out, but not much has changed. 🙂

  2. Graham May 15, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi Bill. I do hope you found a little peace from this journey. Best wishes,
    Graham,

    • Billybuc May 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm #

      Thank you Graham! I did find some answers, and clarification finally arrived.

  3. Sally Gulbrandsen May 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

    That really is exciting news. I am so glad you have been able to learn a little about your biological parents. My own family kept a few of their own secrets so I do understand how you must feel. Your adopted parents sound like my kind of people and one thing is for sure, they would be so proud of you. I am fascinated by the idea that you were thought to be blind! That seems to be a miscarriage of justice but maybe God works in mysterious ways.

    • Billybuc May 15, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

      That seemed strange to me as well, Sally! I don’t know who makes that kind of diagnosis and proclamation, but they sure missed the mark.

  4. Manstita May 15, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

    Yes Bro.
    Nothing to hate in life, especially our parents. This whole game is a play of Consciousness. You are nearly 70 and has tried to serve. I’m sure that someone or Something will be proud of you in heaven.

    It is still a touching story and I’n glad you followed through. ‘Nuff respect!!

    • Billybuc May 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm #

      No hate at all, Manatita, just fascination at it all. Peace be with you, my friend.

  5. Greg Boudonck May 15, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

    Wow Bill… That’s all I can say is wow.

    • Billybuc May 15, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

      Me too, Greg!

      • Greg Boudonck May 15, 2018 at 4:16 pm #

        My friend, I am in a similar place in that about 1 year ago, my Mother told me she had gotten pregnant at a very young age. The little girl was given for adoption to a great family. We found her and I recently contacted her hoping to get to know my big sister. I cried when she said to never contact her again and that I was not her family.

        It was very painful. But…. Life goes on and I pray she has peace with decision. I do believe my Mom does now as she was quite young and would not had been able to raise a child at that point in her life.

        I am glad you shared this as I have wanted to share mine and you gave me the guts. Thanks my friend.

      • Billybuc May 15, 2018 at 4:24 pm #

        We all have a ton of residual crap to deal with, Greg. If this helped you then fantastic. I imagine if I were younger, say in my teens, this would have affected me greatly…now…it’s just a matter of curiosity, and a wonderment at the love of my adopted parents.

  6. 1authorcygnetbrown May 15, 2018 at 11:07 pm #

    It is interesting the things you learn about yourself from your genealogy. there certainly is that nurture versus nature thing. It sounds as though you had two sets of parents (at least two mothers) who loved you enough to give you what was best FOR YOU. You are blessed, for sure!

    • Billybuc May 17, 2018 at 2:28 am #

      I have no complaints at all, Donna! To me it’s all good.

  7. Sageleaf May 16, 2018 at 1:30 am #

    Big Bro, when I read this, I can’t even put into word the expression on my face. This is incredible. Even if your birth mother is no longer here, just knowing, I’m sure, is quite a powerful feeling. I never really got to know my birth father’s family. In the last few years, however, I’ve had more conversations with his mom, who is getting older, but still alive and well. So many of my quirks that I had no idea were a thing, are a “thing” on my birth father’s side of the family. I still don’t know most of them. And even the relationship with my birth father’s mother doesn’t feel quite natural, but, it is still pretty incredible just to sort of know – genetics, the types of personalities people have, it’s a marvel. After so long for you to find this out, my heart just sings.
    Here’s something interesting – and another reason that I call you Big Bro. No one knew when I was adopted that I was blind in my right eye. They all thought I had a lazy eye. The whole vision thing is something else we have in common. And we’re all infinitely glad you regained your sight.
    Furthermore, like you, I consider myself very lucky. Did I have the perfect childhood? No. And there was a certain level of dysfunction in my family for my birth mother to give me up to her mother. It made it very weird growing up, calling my real mom my “sister” and never seeing my birth father. It was all weird. Alcoholism is what contributed to my birth father getting basal ganglia disorder and withering away at 61 years old. It is so bizarre to contemplate.
    On the other hand, I am so glad my parents did what they did. I got a lucky draw. My half-sister that my birth mother had ten years after me didn’t get the life I did. I went to private schools. I traveled. She went to public schools and had three kids by the time she was 25. I always wondered if it was her escape. Granted, she’s happy, but I wonder from time to time what if I had stayed with my birth mother. I don’t dwell on that for long, though, because what’s the point? However, I can say that those early experiences made me who I am: the quirky, sensitive, bleeding heart gal who just tries to live life as if each day were not promised. I gotta do and try everything. 🙂
    Big Bro, no matter what happens in this life, I know that our stories have bound our spirits into a commonality that so few have in common. For that, you will always be special to me. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Billybuc May 17, 2018 at 2:30 am #

      Lil Sis, I just finished the Farmers Market…it’s 7:38 and I’m tired…but you deserve a reply before tomorrow sweeps me up in more hectic activity. I love your comment…love your attitude about life…love the inter-connections and the feelings of a bond between us….life is a magical mystery tour, Lil Sis,and I’m sure glad you are on my tour.

  8. Mike May 16, 2018 at 3:06 am #

    Hi Bill – It does sound like you won the parents lottery. As far as this genealogy, DNA stuff goes, my sister really got into this. Now, one of my favorite sentence begins with, “When I was Italian…”

    I wont go into my parent lottery story.

    • Billybuc May 17, 2018 at 2:30 am #

      Mike, you certainly awoke my curiosity, but so be it…that story will remain untold.

  9. Lawrence Hebb May 16, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Bill
    Really good that you found some answers with the DNA test.
    I think things like that allow us to appreciate the blessings we receive.

    • Billybuc May 17, 2018 at 2:31 am #

      I completely agree, Lawrence. Perfectly said.

  10. Michael Milec May 17, 2018 at 3:01 am #

    Bill without a doubt your life my friend is a miracle with a special providence of the Maker, who’s plan for each life is unique and mysterious for everyone until we reach our final destination. As in an unfinished Symphony, your both natural and adaptive parents, I believe did play significant role in your development. As we are informed by your writings, and “cross my heart”, along of this phenomenal journey you are on more revelation will come as a surprise before the final chapter is written.

    • Billybuc May 17, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

      Michael my friend, I am still processing it all, but you have a very clear perspective which makes infinite sense to me. I do know I am a very lucky person who should never waste a moment of this fabulous gift I’ve been given. Blessings to you always!

  11. phoenix2327 May 19, 2018 at 9:48 am #

    Bill, this is an amazing story. Who would have thought a simple act of curiosity could have led to such revelations? I have no words to describe the wonderment of it all.

    Have a lovely weekend, Bill.

    • Billybuc May 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

      It is pretty remarkable, Zulma! I will live the rest of my life knowing how very lucky I am. Thank you for reading my story.

  12. Andrea Stephenson May 19, 2018 at 12:15 pm #

    What an interesting history you have Bill, and what luck to be adopted by such great, loving parents.

    • Billybuc May 19, 2018 at 2:55 pm #

      Thank you Andrea! It is all very remarkable! I am filled with love for my adopted parents.

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