You've seen trees sometimes that seem to have two full trunks side by side in one tree.
Two roots into one big beautiful tree. I found a picture to attach to this blog. It's the perfect image of how I envision all of this.
Two different beginnings that collided to become who I am.
On April 9th, I applied for my original birth certificate. I was pretty sure I knew what would be on it.
The investment of $15.00 and the newly legal right to acquire it made it easy to apply for.
I put the envelope in the mailbox on April 9th, 2012.
There's a whole big story of the details of my adoption and life that I blogged about immediately after coming in from the mail box.
I blogged that day about my journey of finding my biological siblings. All 9 of them.
On Tuesday, July 31st, a strange envelope came from the state. I didn't pay much attention to what it was until I was holding my original birth certificate.
It was a little bit of a "pow" moment. I think instinct was to drop the papers and revisit them later.
The cover letter read "enclosed is your original birth certicate" and then a note saying that I have a biological relative registered with IARMIE, Illinois Adoption Registry and. Medical Information Exchange. In order to see who it is, I have to register with IARMIE. I tried to see if there was an online form to submit to expedite the process more quickly. There wasn't. So I downloaded the forms to fill out.
I set the forms aside and slowly looked at the birth certificate.
I knew I had a different name at birth. This is just a weird element to me. A fact nonetheless, but to think that you were ever called something else is a strange concept. Like someone calling a tree "sky". It's just not what you know it to be. My birth name was on the form. My birth mother's name was on the form. Her signature, too. I knew her name, so this wasn't a surprise. She was 41 years old when I was born.
My biological father's name was not on the certificate, although we have his name. Just his age was listed, he was 54 when I was born. This piece was different from what I thought. I was originally told be Lutheran Child and Family Services that he was 63. I've done a people search for him and come up empty. No death certificate either. I just wish I had a photo of him. I am thinking maybe a drivers license or state identification card photo. I have to learn to see if either are accessible to me.
Listed on the birth certificate was her address at the time. I think this is the address my biological brothers went to in Chicago a few years ago. No one at the address seemed to have any information to lend.
I felt like this all was a tree I knew existed in a forrest. I could see the tree in my head. But experiencing it first hand: feeling the bark, touching a leaf, breathing the scent really put me in the moment.
I filled out the forms for the IARMIE right away. I had them notarized the next day and placed in the mailbox with copies of my original birth certificate, my adoptive birth certificate, and a copy of my license. The envelope was pretty thick so I placed 2 stamps on the envelope to be sure it would be sent.
I texted my brothers to see if they had registered for the IARMIE. Just in case they were in the system and the system alert was simply one of them.
They had not. The wonderment begins as to who it could be. An Aunt or Uncle? Another sibling? Someone had suggested that maybe I have a twin. I liked that thought. (Insert smile).
I had a dream 2 nights ago that it is a brother. His name is Jay. I could be way off base, but you heard it here, first.
Now if only I could have dreams about lotto numbers.
My friend, Bill Roberts, said it best: "You don't have a family tree, you have an orchard."
I am grateful for this next step and anxious to discover what sprouts up.
Like a tree, I'll wait out the seasons. Standing strong. Dancing in the wind. I'm joyful. Springtime seems to be my favorite. I love the new discovery.
I am blessed to have the foundation and strength of the family I was raised with. And the additional pillars of my found family. What a beautiful castle we’ve built.