Missing the sister I've never met.

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Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby cat090581 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:46 pm

About 3 weeks ago I found out by accident that my mam had a daughter she had adopted against her will in the 60s by the parents who wouldn't let her keep her as she wasn't married. As my mam has died in 2007 I am unable to ask any questions or understand what happened. I promised I would not ask my grandma who is 94 incase of upsetting her.
The thing is since finding out my head is all over the place, I breath eat n sleep thinking about my adopted sister and the terrible time my mother must have had giving her away. I think I have taken all roots possible in finding her, I'm just waiting on the outcome. My husband thinks I'm going to ruin her life as she might not know she's adopted and I feel bad about this but now I know I have a sister I feel like a part of me is missing.
All I'm doing is imaging meeting her, I think about all kinds, her doting on me her little sister her hating me, her hating my mam or her wanting to know all about her. This is taking over my head I can feel myself slowly loosing it I feel no one understand how I feel, after all it's not like it's me who's adopted. Please someone help.
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby ladyarcher » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:29 am

Hello Cat090581....and welcome .......

First I will say that I know exactly how you feel about wanting to find your sister ........ for myself, as you may have read among these pages......I was 25 when I found out that I had a full sister....in our case we were both adopted, but to different couples......... forty years of searching later.......I found her.......there were patches of time when I was not able to do particular searching, but the 'want' in my head absolutely never, never, went away...... so do not let your husband think for one moment that you will be able to let this go, because you won't.....

Leaving aside the bit about 'she may not know she is adopted....' for the moment...

....most adoptees want to 'know' about their origins......it may be that they just want information and do not want contact, it may be that they get information and that is enough......they may get information and then later start to want contact.......it may be that they are firmly set from the beginning on having full contact....... for most adoptees, unless, or until they have children of their own, they have never seen a relative, never been able to know where they got their neat nose, good teeth, ginger hair, blue eyes, long legs, chubby short figure in a family of tall slim people, musical ability .......etc .....never know that they have Auntie Aggie's awful singing voice, or Uncle Fred's ability at cricket........you get the picture.....

.. to people who have always had these things, even if they didn't like their relatives, at least they had relatives to not like....... no-one who is not adopted can possibly, however good their imagination, put themselves in the position of 'not knowing' these things.....


So........ if she knows she is adopted, your half sister will have thought about these things at some time.......(I am assuming that she is your half sister as you have made no mention of your own father)

Just an odd point........ if you only found out three weeks ago, that you had a sister, and your mother has been gone since 2007, who made you promise not to tell/ask your grandmother...........there is always the possibility that your grandmother regrets that she had a hand in allowing her grandchild to be adopted.......it may be that the main person who pressed for the adoption was your grandfather..... going back to the 60s, many women were still totally ruled by what their husbands said, and many a grandmother has wished that she had not lost her grandchild.......

You will be seeing from this that there are rather more people affected by an adoption than just the adoptee.......you are affected yourself,...... your husband is having his say,......... you may, or may not give relief to a worry that your grandmother may have carried all these years ...... if you have children then you may perhaps be introducing an aunt to them........if your own father is still alive, then you will have to factor in his feelings too, about finding a child his wife had before they were married......or finding out that she had another child, if he never knew........on top of that, of course, your sister will almost certainly also have 'family' in the form of her adopted family, and may also have children......it just goes on and on.......

What have you done so far, to start looking for her....... are you registered on the Govt.Adoption Contact Register ...... have you sent for a copy of her birth certificate.......or gone into the Central Registry Office at Kew to look her up yourself....... is there any other relative of yours that you can ask, like an aunt or uncle, or friend of your mother from way back........how did you find out 'by accident' three weeks ago......that presumably means someone else knew, or you found some papers of some kind.........

If I knew a bit more about how much you know, I might be able to give you more ideas about how to search.......if you would rather send me a private message I will happily try to help......

LA
born 1944 - adopted 1946 - found b.mother 1973 - sadly missed b.father who died young, but who had told his subsequent children that they had two English sisters, so when I made contact with them in Canada they were not shocked - nearly five years ago finally found my full sister, I had found out about her when I was 25 ....... it took me 40 years to find her.....I would never have given up.....
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby cat090581 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:47 pm

Thank you so much for your reply. I found a hospital baby tag that actually belonged to me when my mam had me, I said to my dad wow look at this, my dad mistook it for that of my mams adopted baby and then said "I didn't know you knew about the baby" my reply......what baby????
Dad told me all he knew but it was limited as he wasn't around then and was only able to tell me what mam told him which wasn't much. It was dad who asked me not to speak to family about it as he's worried of upsetting my grandma but I think also wanting to protect my mams name. I did speak to a Aunty who knew a bit more without dad knowing but even she said that grandma had never spoke about it. I so wish I could ask her I feel nothing but anger towards her and my grandad who passed away for what they made her do. ( I've been told she was desperate to keep the baby) I spent most of last night crying thinking about what she went through and the secret she died with.
I've sent the forms back to the gov register just waiting to hear from them, I also am waiting for a company who deals wif after adoption to get back in touch but have been told theirs quite a waiting list. I've sent some papers to a few private organisations to one called C.L.A.I.R.E and barnardos.
Just waiting now. If you can think of anything else I could try I'd appreciate it. Oh I've also got her birth certificate, seemed very strange seeing it in front of me.
Thank you for replying by the way, I feel like I'm loosing it a bit x
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby ladyarcher » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:46 pm

Speaking to your grandmother is not going to blacken your mother's name, because your grandmother already knows all about it......it may be, as I said before, that your grandmother would have let your mother keep the baby, and it was your grandfather who insisted.......going back that far, there was still so much importance put upon the 'family reputation'........it could therefore have been either of your grandparents who were the most insistent, or they could have been agreed on it....perhaps they were pillars of the church, or your grandfather in a position of importance in his work.........you may never know, but just in case your grandmother is now regretting it so many years on, there is not really any reason why you should not speak to her........unless of course, she is suffering from dementia and not able to hold a conversation any more......it may be that she refuses to talk about it to you, and that the social morals that were instilled into her 90 years ago, still operate........but she may have changed with the modern views.....

....for example, I am just coming up to 70, and had you told me when I was in my early twenties that one of my daughters and one of my sons would both have children out of wedlock, I too would have been fairly horrified..........in fact, in the mid 1960s my best friend got pregnant .......her parents were distraught......and even sent me to London to see her and 'talk sense to her'......fortunately our friendship went past that........ my friend just got married a little sooner than they had planned............ and were happily married until last year when her husband died.......

I think that in those days, and now too really, one did, and still does, one's best to keep one's children out of trouble ......... we try to keep them from getting into a situation that they can't cope with, and can't afford........such as getting into debt, such as having a baby without having a secure relationship ........however........ if that does happen, then what parents do, is support their daughter ........ what's done can't be undone, and it is up to parents to help and support and deal with it......... now the way this was done in the past was to make the baby disappear...... i.e. have it adopted, so that the girl and the family kept their reputation.......for the most part, now, it is not felt that having a baby out of wedlock is the end of the world ....not always sensible, and certainly not sensible if it is just passing fancies for a chap......... but not the end of the world......, so it may be that your grandmother has moved with the times in her mind, and now wishes that things had been done differently........so you can at least give her the chance of knowing that something is being done to try and set right some of what happened........

The other, very important thing, is that somewhere in the world there is your half sister.......she may perhaps have spent all her life thinking that her mother did not want her............hopefully she has had a good adoption and she does not think this.......but even [people with good adoptions can feel that they were not wanted ....... you know that this is not the case, so only you can tell her this......

Have you put your sister's birth name into Face Book, and Genes Reunited, it is possible that she does know her birth name, so it would be worth a shot......you say that you have her birth cert....... now is that the certificate that your mother had right from the beginning, before the adoption ...... if it is, then send for a copy, because on the copy it will say 'adopted' and give you the name of the Registrar who attested to the adoption.......if it is the same registrar that is on the original birth cert. then she will have been adopted near where she was born, in the same registration district........this may not be where your mother was living as girls were often sent away to keep things secret....... but it may at least give you an area........and presumably you know where your mother was living as a girl, so you will be able to see if it is different to the address on the certificate.......it all helps to build up a picture, and you never know which tiny clue will be the one that gives you the break through.......

best of luck

LA
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby cat090581 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:16 pm

Can I just say thank you for taking the time to reply it means a lot you have taken the time to comment and in so much depth. I understand what your saying about my grandma and I think your probably right but as things stand I'm gonna have to get my dads blessing before I do as I've made a promise that I won't tell her, who knows I might find my sister and I can introduce them.
I wish I had optimism but I've kinda come to the conclusion that I won't, things like that don't happen to me. I'm chuffed everything worked out for you. I will try update this let you know how I'm getting on if that's ok x
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby nelliemadge » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:13 pm

Hi Cat,
I feel for you. I was in a very similar situation myself, and I must say that I had such support from the site, and the generosity of people like Lady archer who offered thoughts and advice, experience - and all that time to type out the repsonses too! I also had responses which gave a view from the other side of the coin - it gave considerable food for thought, and made me think things through - you never know how your sister may react to being found - but hopefully she will know that someone out there cares enough to want to find her.

My post is titled' 'contacing my sister - dilema..' if you have the time to read through, you may see some parallels. I can totally understand that your head is full of your sister - where is she? who is she? has she got family? and will she want to know me? and so many more questions.....

personally, I do think you should talk to your grandmother - (my own mother is 94 now), as I feel that she may appreciate the chance to get things off her chest and to tell you all about it. Be kind, be gentle and give her time to think..... She may be able to tell you little details of the adoption that will give you the clue you need to trace your sister. Remember, It was a completely different era then - your mum was probably desperate to keep her child, but was forced to give her up.... there was no social services, no money for 'unmarried mothers' and certainly the stigma attached to such 'problems' would not have allowed your mum to go back home with the baby. the world is a different place these days.

It was often the case that information and detail about the adoption was given to the baby's mother - my own mother knew the family's name, both mother and father who adopted - and the address. I then found my sister via her adopted mother's death certificate as she was the one who registered the death, and her address was on the certificate. I checked on zoopla to see when the house had last been sold - and it hadn't, so I knew they were still at the address... there are several ways of double checking, but hopefully the certificates and information you are waiting for will reveal some clues for you.

My own sister has decided that she doesn't want any contact. I have to respect that. But at least my search has told me who she is, where she is, I know a little about her family. it gives me some comfort. I think about her often. who knows what may happen in the future. I live in hope that I will hear from her. My door will always be open.

I would love to give you a big hug - it will have to be virtual....
every good wish in your search
kind regards
NellieMadge
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby cat090581 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:20 pm

Hey Nellie,
Thank you for your message. It made me very sad and I'm so sorry you didn't get the ending you wanted. My grandmother is a very stubborn lady. I worry I will ask her and she'll refuse to tell me, say I'm dragging up things that should be kept buried and then I feel I will resent her for it and due to her age I don't want to spend her last days feeling like that about her.
Gonna try a different approach when the dust has settled maybe ask my mothers sister to have a chat. Or with any luck she will be on the register (gov.com) and I won't have to ask at all.
Can you explain a bit how that works, I've sent the forms and paid what happens now.
Nellie I will have a read of your story. I do hope she changes her mind x
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby ladyarcher » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:50 pm

The Govt. Adoption Contact Register is just that......just a Register ......no searching is done........it is a 'sleeper' .....if you like........it does work though, because that is how I eventually found my full sister.......I had put a notice on the Register fifteen years earlier, soon after the register started.....my notice just stayed there 'asleep' until my sister decided, at age 64, to do some searching.......her social worker checked the register, and effectively 'woke up' my notice.....so, not a lot of work for that social worker to do.......

..........i.e. in computer terms the two cross referenced each other.........I had opted to be contacted direct and left my address.......you can do this, or opt to have a 'go-between' perhaps a friend, or a social worker, or your Vicar, what ever......... or you can opt not to be contacted at all .......you do have to remember to let the Register know if you move house of course.......now we had moved three times in that fifteen years .........and twice I had not updated my address, luckily, just a few months earlier, on the third move, I had done so.........also, at the time we were in a six month winter let at the other end of the country, so the letter was forwarded to me, which took a few more days.......luckily our daughter and son in law were 'minding' our house .....otherwise it might have taken even longer........and remember, of course, the longer it took to get a reply/reaction, the more uneasy my sister would have been getting.......

My sister got her 'cousin' to write to me, and I can tell you that opening that letter was absolutely mind blowing, it had been forty years since I had found out about her....forty years I had been searching......I knew that we had been adopted fairly close to each other geographically, but of course people move all over the place, so she could have been anywhere by the time I found out about her and started looking............she never knew she had a full sister........she vaguely knew that there were older 'halves', and vaguely knew that father was a Canadian soldier, but that is all she knew.........luckily I was able to tell her our whole history as I had found our b.mother in time to know her, and also I was in constant touch with our Canadian 'halves', although sadly not in time to know our father.......

.....so, if your sister has already 'registered', then you registering too, will make a link......... however do not hold vast amounts of hope over it, because the Register is fairly low level in the way of advertising it's existence, and a lot of adoptees still do not know about it.........and also, if like my sister, your sister leaves it a long time before doing any searching, then you might have a long wait, so do not just rely on the Register......... many people will wait until their adoptive parents have died before doing any searching themselves, because of loyalty and/or guilt or appearing ungrateful to their a.parents.......this is not a good idea because the longer it is left, the less likely-hood there is of finding out anything, or certainly of having any sort of direct reunion while one's birth parents are still alive.....

I would agree with Nelliemadge, about trying to talk to your grandmother........ my sister had a Godmother who she knew seemed know something about my sister's adoption as she was my sister's a.mother's closest friend.........however my sister didn't get round to going to visit the old lady in her nursing home, and one would have thought that it was a bit risky not visiting someone already well into their nineties.......however, of course, the Godmother died before my sister got round to it....... my sister is a very much 'in the present time' person.......she and her husband have spent most of their married life travelling abroad, and when in the country they live in a very remote place in Ireland, because her husband is an ornithologist ........ they can barely get the internet there even now, and until we found each-other my sister had never even used a computer........and did not know her birth name, so had never seen all the posts I have out in cyberspace looking for her, nor did she hear the radio broadcast I had done some years ago, as she was abroad.......

Anyway, keep coming back here for help, ideas, support, etc.......you will always find someone listening.......

LA
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby cat090581 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:09 pm

Just want to thank you all for your replays. Bit difficult to always write back as have 2 small boys but you have been really helpful thank you x
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby nelliemadge » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:44 pm

Hi Cat,
the other thing you might consider, is to contact the adoption agencies (make an appt with your local one) and explain your story to them... this is one of the first things i did, to go down the 'official' route - it cost about £200 - and they will act on your behalf, and search for your sister via the usual methods - birth marriage registers etc but they will have the original paperwork and perhaps more details of the adoption at hand, which your Auntie or Grandma may not have.... if they can subsequently trace her, they will write to her for you - I know it involves a 3rd party and takes away the 'personal' touch, but it can be considered to be the best route.... I did this in the first instance, and got a rebuff as my story tells.... but I must admit, I'm glad i followed on with my own search as I feel much happier ....I've met her briefly, and know what she looks like - I can imagine her face still... - since then, I've found a photo of her on a website - I printed this off and carry it around with me as it offers a little comfort.

for me - it was worth it. not ideal and not exactly what I'd hoped for, but it's something, and to me it's special.

I wish you every success with your search - please let us know how you get on.
kind regards
NellieM
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby Turtle » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:10 pm

nelliemadge wrote: since then, I've found a photo of her on a website - I printed this off and carry it around with me as it offers a little comfort.


I was really touched by that statement. It is such a shame that your sister is not open to a reunion. I remember you talking about the situation a while back, what a shame things haven't changed. Maybe one day......

Nice to see you back on the site.

x
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby ladyarcher » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:18 pm

Me too, Turtle....feeling sad that all Nellie Madge has is the photo............the sister I found is very precious to me, the more so because we are both 'knocking on' a bit, and we do not have 'forever' ....sadly we do not manage to meet up very often for various perfectly reasonable reasons, to do with distances and work......I hope so much that she will be able to come to my 70th birthday in May, but I know that her husband is leading an ornithological trip at that date, and often my sister is able to go with him to many amazing and wonderful places......so probably she will not come....

LA
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby cat090581 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:57 pm

Thank you all for your messages. I've just got a letter back from the goverment register, she's not on it. This came bk as a bit of a kick in the stomach. Pulled myself back up a bit now. I'm just waiting to speak to a agency that the local council put me intouch with so I'm hoping that will help me. I'll keep you posted
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Re: Missing the sister I've never met.

Postby ladyarcher » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:38 pm

Don't be too 'down' about your sister not being on the Govt. Contact Register.......as I said in my earlier post, it is very poorly advertised ......I don't know if this is a deliberate policy, or not......

Hopefully your father will give his blessing to talking to 'gran'.......however, 'gran' is not his mother, is she.....she is your mother's mother.....so it's sort of not up to him, in a way.......except it may sadden him to have to think about a relationship that you mother had before she knew him......it may have been one of those 'elephant in the room' subjects all their married life, known about, but never talked about.....forbidden territory......people cope with things different ways....so that may have been their way.......or, if 'gran' is rather formidable, perhaps he is just scared of her......lots of men are scared of their mother-in-law......

LA
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