Hi everyone, Katie here.
Welcome back to Another Mother, the story of Glogirly's adoption and her search for the truth. This is a novelette of sorts. Something new for us. We don't really know how many chapters it will take to tell the story. I'm just writing it all down as quickly as I can so you don't miss any of the juicy details.
If you've missed my previous posts be sure to check out:
Glogirly couldn't wait for Gloman to come home from work. She was dying to show him the background report that came in the mail that day. She couldn't read it aloud without crying, so she handed it to him with her heart pounding and just looked into his eyes. She sat there watching him read it as tears streamed down her face. He looked puzzled...asked why she was crying. This is great, sweetie...look at all this information you've got! This is what you wanted, isn't it?
Well yes, sort of. But she was expecting a bulleted list with things like no history of breast cancer, some possible heart disease, wore glasses, etc. What she got was something entirely different. What she got was a rare glimpse inside the life of a family. The private thoughts and struggles of a young woman caught in an impossible situation.
The report did in fact answer some questions, but it raised many more. Glogirly was more curious than ever. Gloman was the voice of reason. He loves his girl so much and worried that if she took this farther someone, namely her, could be hurt. He was very blunt with her. He told her that if she decided to search, she had to be able to articulate why she wanted to search and what she hoped to accomplish. And if what she hoped to accomplish was finding her birth mother, her family, well then what? She needed to know her end game and be ready for ANY outcome. So many loaded questions. This was even more overwhelming than reading the report for the first time.
With so much to digest, Glogirly called her cousin in Portland, Oregon. Lisa and Glogirly had become very close despite the 2000 miles that separated them. Their mothers were sisters and best friends. Four sisters in all, but it was Glogirly's mom (the baby) and Harriet (the next youngest) that were the closest. It was special connection they they shared their whole lives and passed down to their daughters. If Glogirly's mom had been in the same shoes, her first call would have been to her sister.
Glogirly's adoptive mom (the baby) and her four sisters.
Left to right: Harriet, Elaine, Gladys and baby Eunice
Glogirly's adoptive mom and her sister Harriet
Glogirly's cousin adopted a beautiful daughter in 2002 and she was something of a genealogy buff. This phone call was definitely an interesting one.
Lisa was speechless. She made Glogirly read the whole report to her. Twice. There were tears on both ends of the phone. She had Glogirly scan it and email her a copy right away. Given Lisa's fascination with genealogy and her soft spot for adopted children, she was on this like white on rice. She told Glogirly about a website called Ancestry.com.
Lisa explained that you could look up all sorts of family records from long ago. People used it to trace their roots and fill in holes in their family trees. But don't you need a name? Lisa said she thought she could do a little digging around without names. Instead she'd use the place of birth and possible birth year for each of the parents (Glogirly's biological grandparents) to search old census records. Sounded like looking for a needle in a field of haystacks.
The very next day Lisa called back. She told Glogirly to sit down. She found something. But she didn't want to share anything unless Glogirly was ready to hear more and had decided to pursue a search. What, had she been talking to Gloman and his voice of reason? About all Glogirly had thought about for the past 24 hours was that she HAD to search. No matter what the outcome.
She played out the scenarios in her head. If, and this was a really BIG if - IF Glogirly actually found her birthmother or her family and IF she contacted them, would they be happy to hear from her? Or would they be hurt? Angry? Would this open old wounds and cause more pain? Embarrassment? What if it was a secret that no one knew about? Was she even alive? And what if there was absolutely nothing? No response at all. Glogirly knew that she had to be ready for anything. Including ready to cause a woman and possibly a family she didn't know more heartache.
So when Lisa asked her if she wanted to hear what she'd found, Glogirly sat down, took a deep breath and said - I'm ready.
Lisa had found an old census record from 1930 with a family that looked promising. The father was born in Wisconsin. Check. The mother, in Indiana. Check. Their ages matched within a year, give or take. Check. Glogirly was born in July, right smack in the middle of the year. This meant that if her biological grandfather was...say 74...when she was born, he would have been born sometime between July of 1888 and July of 1889. The same type of mind-bending math would have to be used to determine the birth year for each of the siblings as well as her birthmother.
Back to the census report. The mother and father's ancestry was English. The father's occupation was road construction. Wow. These details had also been mentioned in Glogirly's background report.
The census family had three children. Each child was the correct age and the correct gender. They were living in Santa Barbara, California. More consistencies. Glogirly was born in Santa Barbara! It all seemed too good to be true.
The only census records open to the public are from 1930 and earlier. Anything after 1930 is still private and inaccessible. According to Glogirly's math, the fourth sibling, a sister, and her birthmother were born after 1930. Somehow she needed to verify whether or not this family of interest had two more children. Two more girls, born in the just right years.
Glogirly did the only thing she could think of. She signed up for a membership with Ancestry.com. Lisa had gotten her started, but now it was up to her. She needed a crash course in genealogy. FAST.