CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

January 25, 2011

Oprah and I: Adoption Reunion Experiences


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

OPRAH AND I:

ADOPTION REUNION EXPERIENCES

     I was nine years old—just eight days short of being ten—when my mother gave birth to a daughter she placed for adoption. Oprah said she was nine-years-old when her mother gave birth to a daughter and gave her up for adoption.

     I was living with my mother. Oprah was living with her father.

     Neither of us realized our mothers were pregnant. This was more understandable with Oprah, who wasn’t living with her mother. It was less understandable for me, living in the same apartment with my mother and sister. But back then, what did I know?

     Both adoptees spent years searching for the identity of their bio-mothers. My sister Darlene discovered her bio-mother’s identity on January 11, 2011. Oprah’s sister Patricia discovered her birthmother in 2007, but Oprah didn’t learn about Patricia until last November. I have yet to meet Darlene, while Oprah and Patricia met on Thanksgiving day.

     There are other differences between Oprah’s experience and my experience. Darlene is my full-blooded sister—we share both parents (who were divorced), according to the birth certificate. Patricia is Oprah’s half-sister. And, of course, I’m not famous, while Oprah is an extremely well-known persona.

     Oprah emotionally described her discovery as “the miracle of all miracles,” and noted that one of the most impressive things was that her half-sister never tried to profit from her. 

     Patricia kept her secret discovery since 1997. She wanted to protect Oprah.

     “Family business should be handled by family,” Patricia said on the show. “It couldn’t be handled by anyone else. That’s not fair. It wouldn’t be fair to you.”

     Our secret is out—shared on Facebook accounts, to be shared story-form, at a later date, on my personal writing blog—www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com—which was the link that allowed Darlene’s daughter to very quickly discover the information on her bio-family. When the story is shared, it will be family business, handled by family—it will have the stamp of approval from Darlene. Until then, further details of our story will not be revealed on my site.

     Yes, Oprah, our discoveries are a miracle of all miracles. We are on a special journey that will take us we know not where. I share your joy, as I am sure you share mine.

ADDITIONAL READING:

Adoptee Finds Biological Family: Mine

Five States Allow Adoptees Access to Original Birth Certificates

Can a Mother Forget Her Infant?

Moving Day

Have I, a Caregiver, Failed??

It’s January: Am I Stressed Out?

www.carolyncholland2011.wordpress.com

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6 Comments »

  1. I, too, have a sister who was given up for adoption; but, I don’t have any idea where she is, if she is even still living, if she knows she has been adopted, or if she even wants to know me or any of my other living siblings or family members! All, I know about the situation, is that my mother was forced to give her up because of two reasons, one she was way to young to raise this child, and another because she was a product of rape! I don’t know if the name my mother gave her, Linda Susan, was the name she still has, as far as a last name, I don’t know that either; so, therefore, it would definately be hard to track her down, probably nearly impossible! And if she is still living, she may not want to be traced or tracked down! But, I would like to know if possible, “What happened to her?” Did she have a good life? Does she look like my mother? I’d like to know the answers to these questions, but, I realize I may never know the answer to these questions! Julia

    Comment by Julia — January 27, 2011 @ 8:14 pm | Reply

    • Julia,
      When there is an unknown sibling out there, there is always curiousity as to who they are, where they are, how they have fared, and if they want to find their roots. I wondered that for years, and now I unexpectedly have my answer—or at least, I am getting it.

      It’s tragic when rape happens, and tragic when it results in a pregnancy. I hope you get the answers someday.

      Carolyn

      Comment by Carolyn — January 28, 2011 @ 1:01 am | Reply

  2. Carolyn,
    When Darlene told me of finally finding her family, tears streamed down my face. I was so happy for her. I am sure you wonder why. Darlene and I have been friends for almost 30 years I think. Our lives are so parallel that for years, I have told her we are sisters. We have laughed, cried, raised our children together, kept our secrets together, all the things that sisters do. So I am just putting your family on notice, that you better treat her good. No, I mean exceptionally good, because for so long, “I” was the only sister and sometimes I don’t like to share. You have found the most exceptional person. It will be hard sharing her, but she deserves it. We have talked about this day many times. Anyone reading this will think how blessed she is to have found you. I tell you, you are the ones that are blessed for finding each other. So be good, or I am taking her back! LOL

    Comment by Renee Eimerman — January 28, 2011 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

    • Renee,

      As for me and my house, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. We try to treat everyone nice, and I mean everyone—if you only knew the variety of persons who have crossed the threshholds of our home.

      I would hope that no one else in the four families (the first one, my sister and I; the second one, my father’s five children by his second marriage, and the third one my mother’s five children by her second marriage—and, oh yes, the four stepbrothers…) would treat Darlene with a respect not necessarily learned from their family situations.

      I hope you have it in your heart to share a bit—after all, a “sister” of Darlene’s will, in my opinion, be a sister of ours. And love is meant to be multiplied, not divided. I am so glad Darlene has a friend like you to walk this journey with.

      For myself, I hope you will resd down the list of links that I am certain Darlene shared with you. Read my bio. Perhaps this perusal will put your mind at ease where I am concerned.

      Please feel free to call me, email me, or comment on my posts, whatever you need to do to be reassured that my husband and I believe in uniting, rather than dividing, relationships.

      Carolyn Cornell Holland

      Comment by carolyncholland — January 28, 2011 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

  3. Well, I just want to know if Darlene likes hats, too! This is just amazing.

    Comment by Diane Cipa — February 2, 2011 @ 12:32 am | Reply

    • I don’t know…I’ll have to ask her…she asked me why I wore hats.

      Comment by carolyncholland — February 2, 2011 @ 12:49 am | Reply


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