Thursday, 1 March 2007

Preparing the Ground

In the beginning, there were only three: Mom, Dad and me.

Mom was the middle child in a family of five, but she had 20 aunts and uncles and a multitude of cousins. Surprisingly, it was a tight-knit clan. Over the years, annual get-togethers reinforced the family ties and kept the family in touch with each other.

Dad had one older brother, only 6 aunts and uncles and virtually no cousins. His father had been raised by his grandmother, with whom he had lost contact. His mother had been orphaned at a young age and raised her two younger sisters. It was a tiny family, but a close one.

My parents married late in life. Desperately wanting children, they decided to adopt. Three years into their marriage, I entered their lives. Although it was a surprise to their families, they accepted me as one of their own.

I've always known that I am adopted. My parents had been advised to tell me at an early age, so it has never been an issue with me. In fact, my adoptive status has been, in an odd sort of way, a source of comfort for me. Knowing that I was "chosen", made me feel special while I was growing up. I still feel that way, even though I know I'm no different than a multitude of people on the face of this Earth.

Maybe it was because I am adopted that my obsession with genealogy began. Maybe it was the occasional letters my mother received from a cousin who was researching the family history that piqued my interest. Or, maybe it was a lack of information about my father's ancestors that launched me on the quest to discover their origins. Perhaps it was a combination of many factors. Whatever the reason, I find myself constantly seeking out new information about the lives of the people who came before me.

Ten years ago, I sought out and located my birth mother. Sadly, we did not meet until it was almost too late. Now that she has passed away, I cherish the short time I spent in her presence. I have many unanswered questions about her and her family. Tantalizing clues have lead me to begin a new genealogical adventure. Unraveling the past and understanding my blood lineage is the next phase of my research. It promises to be a challenge!

My husband does not quite understand my fascination with family...but he indulges me in my ancestral quest. For that, I truly thank him.

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