Six Feet Under

Member for
9 years 1 month 22 days
Find a Grave ID
48157908

Bio

(New updates added November 14, 2021)

I was born at St. Vincent's Orphanage in Chicago. I spent most of my adult years and much money and time trying to find my biological mother. Finally, in 1996, Catholic Charities SOLD me a redacted biography of my birth mother. I had also obtained a copy of the Decree of Adoption in which her name was listed. I was able to use her name and the redacted bio to focus my search and finally locate her and her other children, both legitimate and illegitimate. When I made that discovery, I was in the town in which my grandparents raised my mother and other kids and the town in which my biological grandparents were buried. It was the microfiche of the obituaries which led me to the discovery of my birthmother and her family. Unless you are an adoptee, I don't think you can fully understand the feeling of connection and authentication as a member of the human race I had when I visited the cemetery in that town and saw the graves of my grandparents to whom I was actually biologically related. I went on to do a lot of genealogy research, now made so much easier by websites like Find A Grave and Ancestry.com. I traced my mother's side back to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, in some cases back to the 1000's! All that knowledge obtained because I found the graves of my grandparents! If I can help another person find that feeling of connection and authentication by posting a photograph of a marker or creating a memorial on Find A Grave to go with it, I couldn't be happier. All is not warm and fuzzy, though. Not in my case. But mine is unusual as over 92% of all birthmothers welcome a reunion with the child they "adopted out." Illinois enacted a law in recent years allowing adult adoptees to obtain copies of their original birth certificates (but not their adoption records). I had always wanted a copy of my original birth certificate because I somehow felt it would give me authenticity as a human being. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but it's a feeling shared by many adoptees. We weren't born, we were adopted! Well, virtually ALL of the entries about my birthmother on that certificate were falsified by Catholic Charities! Her married name was shown where it required her maiden name, her marital status was false, the number of previous births was wrong, and the address given as her place of usual residence was the address of the ORPHANAGE! The father's name is "Legally Omitted." That was legal lingo for "this child is a Bastard." Learning about my genetic physical and mental health was only one of the reasons I needed to search for my birth families. It was less a reason for searching and more of an excuse to give to non-adoptees for why I wanted to search. At least non-adoptees might understand the need to know your medical history as a reason to search. And the discoveries you make about health issues, both mental and physical, are not always what you hope to hear. My biological mother's family is rampant with diabetes and alcoholism, two afflictions I am fortunate enough not to suffer. And I discovered that mental traits may very well be genetic. Many of my biological relatives are reclusive to an extreme. And, that is one of my traits, I do admit. I would do all the searching again, though. The greatest experience was seeing actual living people, and photographs of people, that I actually LOOK LIKE!!! 2015 UPDATE By the miracle of DNA studies, I found a genetic link to my biological father (on 23andMe.com). I was linked to a man who is my predicted second to third cousin. I've learned that Ancestry DNA labels DNA relatives who are not possible close family relatives as "Cousins." But these groups include relationships such as Uncles, Aunts, Half Uncles, Half Aunts, etc. This DNA relative gave me enough biographical information to enable me to determine the man who was VERY probably my biological father! Without going into all the details, I am about 99% sure that this man is my father! Unfortunately, he died in 1977 and left no other legitimate children. Also, I'm not sure how I can verify with 100% certainty that he is my father. The DNA relative has clammed up. If I had just a little bit more information from him, I could be absolutely certain. My biological father died at age 58 of a heart attack. He had two brothers who also died in their 50's. My biological grandfather died in his 70's of heart disease. It seems heart disease may be an inherited malady. I've already outlived my father and uncles. It sure would be helpful to know for sure, wouldn't it? And Find A Grave was a BIG help as the graves and cemetery locations of my biological father and his relatives confirmed several of the bits of information about my father that I obtained from the adoption agency. My quest for my heritage has been rekindled! Any suggestions are welcome! 2017 UPDATE I was able to create a family tree on my biological father's side which links me to my DNA relative identified by Ancestry.com. This is known as a "mirror tree." This is basically the same method used by police to determine who the Golden State Killer is. This method was very labor-intensive, at least it was for me. I discovered this method and hints on using it by belonging to the Facebook group, DNA Detectives, which was founded by and moderated by the woman who helped police find the Golden State Killer and other undetermined killers. Actually, I completed my work about a year before it became known about the Golden State Killer. In the meantime, I have submitted another sample for DNA testing, this time it is specifically for a Y DNA test which may be able to identify the surname to which my DNA is linked. Well, the Y DNA test proved nothing in my case. I got ZERO matches from this test. I asked the provider if there was a mistake. No. It seems that I got no matches because no one else in my paternal line has ever submitted a sample for the Y DNA test. I am the first man in that line to submit a sample. But I should be proud because SOMEone has to be first. Now, if any other male in my paternal line submits a sample, THAT PERSON will have a match: ME! Why am I so ungrateful? It only cost me a couple hundred dollars, after all. 2018 Update I made a discovery today with Ancestry DNA. I was linked to a woman who was listed as my possible 3rd or 4th cousin and her family tree showed she would be related on my birthfather's side. I contacted her and got a reply from her HUSBAND. He said Ancestry mislabeled the DNA sample and that sample showing his wife's name is actually HIS sample. This man is yet another person who fits in the "mirror tree" I created to verify that I found the correct person who was my biological father. DNA IS THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING Suddenly I have a close relative DNA match on my Ancestry DNA account. This is by FAR the closest DNA match I've had yet on Ancestry AND on 23andMe. This new match is my half-niece. She is related to me on my birthfather's side. One of the DNA matches that she and I share is the same man that I discovered was my 3rd cousin and who fit into my mirror tree. So, this further proves that the man I determined to be my birthfather is indeed my father! Her being my half niece means either her father is my half-brother or her mother is my half-sister. So, one of her grandmothers got pregnant by my birthfather. I haven't been in contact with her yet, but from what I've been able to gather, her father was born two MONTHS before I was born. I assume her mother is roughly the same age. All this means that my father must have considered himself a ladies' man. He got MY mother pregnant at about the same time he got another woman pregnant. And he had just been married to yet another woman when all this happened. This new DNA match could be the first of many more half siblings from my father. I have seven half siblings on my mother's side. I'm feeling even more insignificant now! A HUMOROUS NOTE: I had asked my half-brother in England if he remembered anything about who my father could be. Robert was about six years old when our mother got pregnant with me. He was convinced that our mother was seeing the actor, Forrest Tucker when Robert was about six and remembers Forrest Tucker coming to his house with our mother at Christmas and giving each of the kids a present. I knew from the "non-identifying" biographical information I had paid the adoption agency to send me that my father was supposed to have been born in 1919 and, in fact, Forrest Tucker WAS born in 1919. So, I thought there was a possibility Robert was correct. Well, I knew from the "non-identifying" biographical information about my father supplied by the adoption agency that my father was a truck driver, had German descent, was Catholic, and couldn't marry our mother. Long story short, the man I was able to identify through DNA and Ancestry.com and Find A Grave, was named Charles Coash. Charles was a truck driver, his mother was of German descent, was from Cullom, Illinois, which is very close to Kankakee where my mother was working as a waitress at the time of my conception. Charles also had relatives living in Kankakee. They were all Catholic. Charles was born in 1919 and he couldn't (or wouldn't) have married my mother without getting a divorce from his bride of less than one year (he remained married to her until about a year before he died). The funny part of this is that Charles was a truck driver doing contract work for farmers in and around Cullom, Illinois. Cullom is 20 or 30 miles to another small farming community that would have been on his route. That other small town is Forrest, Illinois. Forrest with 2 "r's." So, my father was a Forrest Trucker, not Forrest Tucker!!! Too bad Robert died before I could tell him about my discovery. AN ADOPTEE'S PERSPECTIVE A current television commercial about a father trying to talk to his young son about the "Facts of Life" reminded me about when my adopted father had "the talk" with me. I was barely 13 years old when he explained the physical requirements for producing a baby. He asked if I had any questions and I had only one: did he and my (adopted) mother ever do what was required to "make a baby." He laughed and said sure they did. Why would I ever think they hadn't? My answer was apparent to me: if they did, why did they have to adopt ME? I guess he should have explained that doing what is necessary to "make a baby" wasn't always successful, but it wasn't from lack of trying! 2020 UPDATE The woman who is my predicted half-niece replied to me recently. She told me that her father knew his father was not his biological father but didn't know the details. His mother had gotten pregnant with him just before marrying another man. I'm not sure of the details at this point. But, this means that her father and I are half-brothers and she is my half-niece. And my father impregnated at LEAST two women within months of each other and while being a newlywed to yet another woman. I actually got a cryptic message on Find A Grave from a man who lived in the small town where my father was born and raised and lived his adult life, that the town talk was wondering why he and his wife always took separate vacations. This man never replied to my request for an explanation, but I can imagine it meant that my father continued his roguish ways long after I was born. That leaves me wondering how many more half brothers and sisters I may have. Maybe DNA will tell. Hopefully before it's too late for me. 2021 MORE HONESTY An excellent book about the psychology of the adoptee is The Primal Wound; Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier. I feel that the author somehow got inside my head and detailed all the thoughts and feelings I experienced not only in my childhood but throughout my entire life. I think most adoptees will recognize the feelings of rejection and not belonging (not only not belonging to the adoptive family but to any group at all) caused by the abandonment by the biological mother. Even at age 71, I continue to experience those feelings constantly. To combat those feelings, I've spent my entire life trying to "invent" myself. I've tried to identify to an ethnic group. I had been told my biological mother was of Irish descent, so I tried to become Irish. I read only Irish authors, read about Irish customs and tried to incorporate those customs into my own life such as the foods they ate. I began cooking Irish meals. I got a shamrock tattoo before tattooing became so popular. I've always been drawn to symbols such as the shamrock or the Thistle as a symbol for Scotland, flag patches to wear on jackets. It's as if wearing such symbols identified me as belonging to that particular group. I am SO shallow. Those feelings of rejection caused by being abandoned by the biological mother were doubled when, at age 47, I made the discovery of her identity and tried to contact her by mail. As I had read, more than 90% of birth mothers welcome a "reunion" with the child they turned over for adoption. I fully expected my birth mother to at least acknowledge me as that child she had "given up." But NO! She wrote back that she didn't know what I was talking about and never wanted to hear from me again. Rejected twice! How about a THIRD rejection? My adoptive mother died when I was almost 33 years old. Three weeks after she died, my adoptive father was going out on a date with a woman he knew socially. He stopped by my house on his way specifically to tell me something that I now know he wouldn't have told me while my mother was still alive. The conversation went like this. Verbatim. And out of the blue. "You know, I never knew if I was doing the right thing or not." "The 'right thing.' About what?" "Adopting you kids." "ADOPTING US?" "And I still don't." "After all these years you don't know if you were doing the right thing? And you think you're doing the right thing by telling me this now?" I don't know what more I could have done to make him decide he had done the "right thing." I was one of the very compliant adoptees, always striving to do my best, to be perfect in everything I attempted. All this to gain his acceptance and approval. Well, his pronouncement was really nothing new to me. He was just vocalizing what I already knew by his actions throughout my life to that point. I'd suggest that my adoptive father did NOT do the right thing in agreeing to adopt children when he wasn't 100% sure he was doing the right thing. He did much more harm than good. Could I have had it worse? Absolutely. No doubt. But I could have had it so much better, too! At least HE had a choice. I did NOT! SOME CONCLUSIONS My birthmother had nine pregnancies in her life, as far as we know. She got pregnant at age 14 but "miscarried" (although we'll never know, "miscarriage" was sometimes used as a polite term for "abortion"). She had three children by another man when she was age 17, 18, and 19. The man who was the father allegedly married her but didn't live with her for very long. The children were raised by my mother's parents. Her father was over 30 years older than her mother and they all lived in a one bedroom rented house. My mother spent most her week living in another town where she worked. My mother and her alleged husband divorced just after World War II, but I haven't been able to confirm either the marriage or the divorce. Her husband was about six years older than she was but it appears he did not serve in the military forces during the war. Two years after her divorce, she got pregnant again by a different man. She allegedly was engaged to be married to that man but it never occurred. My mother gave birth to a child that she put up for adoption. That child was born about a year and a half before I was born. My biological father was apparently a serial impregnator as he got my mother pregnant two months after he got another woman pregnant and all while being newly married to yet a third woman. I've since discovered at least two more children which resulted from my birthfather's infidelities with at least two other women. And as the popularity of DNA testing increases, I have no doubt I will discover even more half siblings! It apparently didn't bother my mother that she was getting pregnant in and outside of marriage and giving birth to children she couldn't care for. Draw your own conclusions about her level of morality. My birthfather had the reputation of being a rogue in the small town in which he lived and I'd have to agree with that assessment. Again, draw your own conclusions. My birthmother did get married again five years after my birth. There were no further births that we know of between my birth and her second marriage. But who knows if there were abortions? She did give birth to three more children during her second marriage. Did my birth teach her a lesson? All of the knowledge I gained as a result of my lifelong searching could not have been anticipated. I knew going into this that if I wasn't prepared for the possible answers I shouldn't ask the questions. I wouldn't hesitate to do the searching again. But it has been a bitter pill to swallow. But not as bitter a pill as the rejection not only demonstrated by my adoptive father during our life together but also by his acknowledging his rejection of my adopted sister and me shortly after my adoptive mother's death. He had said and done many things during my life that made me suspect how he felt, but he would never explain himself. But, I guess my adoptive mother's death gave him the courage he needed to just come out and say what he felt.

(New updates added November 14, 2021)

I was born at St. Vincent's Orphanage in Chicago. I spent most of my adult years and much money and time trying to find my biological mother. Finally, in 1996, Catholic Charities SOLD me a redacted biography of my birth mother. I had also obtained a copy of the Decree of Adoption in which her name was listed. I was able to use her name and the redacted bio to focus my search and finally locate her and her other children, both legitimate and illegitimate. When I made that discovery, I was in the town in which my grandparents raised my mother and other kids and the town in which my biological grandparents were buried. It was the microfiche of the obituaries which led me to the discovery of my birthmother and her family. Unless you are an adoptee, I don't think you can fully understand the feeling of connection and authentication as a member of the human race I had when I visited the cemetery in that town and saw the graves of my grandparents to whom I was actually biologically related. I went on to do a lot of genealogy research, now made so much easier by websites like Find A Grave and Ancestry.com. I traced my mother's side back to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, in some cases back to the 1000's! All that knowledge obtained because I found the graves of my grandparents! If I can help another person find that feeling of connection and authentication by posting a photograph of a marker or creating a memorial on Find A Grave to go with it, I couldn't be happier. All is not warm and fuzzy, though. Not in my case. But mine is unusual as over 92% of all birthmothers welcome a reunion with the child they "adopted out." Illinois enacted a law in recent years allowing adult adoptees to obtain copies of their original birth certificates (but not their adoption records). I had always wanted a copy of my original birth certificate because I somehow felt it would give me authenticity as a human being. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but it's a feeling shared by many adoptees. We weren't born, we were adopted! Well, virtually ALL of the entries about my birthmother on that certificate were falsified by Catholic Charities! Her married name was shown where it required her maiden name, her marital status was false, the number of previous births was wrong, and the address given as her place of usual residence was the address of the ORPHANAGE! The father's name is "Legally Omitted." That was legal lingo for "this child is a Bastard." Learning about my genetic physical and mental health was only one of the reasons I needed to search for my birth families. It was less a reason for searching and more of an excuse to give to non-adoptees for why I wanted to search. At least non-adoptees might understand the need to know your medical history as a reason to search. And the discoveries you make about health issues, both mental and physical, are not always what you hope to hear. My biological mother's family is rampant with diabetes and alcoholism, two afflictions I am fortunate enough not to suffer. And I discovered that mental traits may very well be genetic. Many of my biological relatives are reclusive to an extreme. And, that is one of my traits, I do admit. I would do all the searching again, though. The greatest experience was seeing actual living people, and photographs of people, that I actually LOOK LIKE!!! 2015 UPDATE By the miracle of DNA studies, I found a genetic link to my biological father (on 23andMe.com). I was linked to a man who is my predicted second to third cousin. I've learned that Ancestry DNA labels DNA relatives who are not possible close family relatives as "Cousins." But these groups include relationships such as Uncles, Aunts, Half Uncles, Half Aunts, etc. This DNA relative gave me enough biographical information to enable me to determine the man who was VERY probably my biological father! Without going into all the details, I am about 99% sure that this man is my father! Unfortunately, he died in 1977 and left no other legitimate children. Also, I'm not sure how I can verify with 100% certainty that he is my father. The DNA relative has clammed up. If I had just a little bit more information from him, I could be absolutely certain. My biological father died at age 58 of a heart attack. He had two brothers who also died in their 50's. My biological grandfather died in his 70's of heart disease. It seems heart disease may be an inherited malady. I've already outlived my father and uncles. It sure would be helpful to know for sure, wouldn't it? And Find A Grave was a BIG help as the graves and cemetery locations of my biological father and his relatives confirmed several of the bits of information about my father that I obtained from the adoption agency. My quest for my heritage has been rekindled! Any suggestions are welcome! 2017 UPDATE I was able to create a family tree on my biological father's side which links me to my DNA relative identified by Ancestry.com. This is known as a "mirror tree." This is basically the same method used by police to determine who the Golden State Killer is. This method was very labor-intensive, at least it was for me. I discovered this method and hints on using it by belonging to the Facebook group, DNA Detectives, which was founded by and moderated by the woman who helped police find the Golden State Killer and other undetermined killers. Actually, I completed my work about a year before it became known about the Golden State Killer. In the meantime, I have submitted another sample for DNA testing, this time it is specifically for a Y DNA test which may be able to identify the surname to which my DNA is linked. Well, the Y DNA test proved nothing in my case. I got ZERO matches from this test. I asked the provider if there was a mistake. No. It seems that I got no matches because no one else in my paternal line has ever submitted a sample for the Y DNA test. I am the first man in that line to submit a sample. But I should be proud because SOMEone has to be first. Now, if any other male in my paternal line submits a sample, THAT PERSON will have a match: ME! Why am I so ungrateful? It only cost me a couple hundred dollars, after all. 2018 Update I made a discovery today with Ancestry DNA. I was linked to a woman who was listed as my possible 3rd or 4th cousin and her family tree showed she would be related on my birthfather's side. I contacted her and got a reply from her HUSBAND. He said Ancestry mislabeled the DNA sample and that sample showing his wife's name is actually HIS sample. This man is yet another person who fits in the "mirror tree" I created to verify that I found the correct person who was my biological father. DNA IS THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING Suddenly I have a close relative DNA match on my Ancestry DNA account. This is by FAR the closest DNA match I've had yet on Ancestry AND on 23andMe. This new match is my half-niece. She is related to me on my birthfather's side. One of the DNA matches that she and I share is the same man that I discovered was my 3rd cousin and who fit into my mirror tree. So, this further proves that the man I determined to be my birthfather is indeed my father! Her being my half niece means either her father is my half-brother or her mother is my half-sister. So, one of her grandmothers got pregnant by my birthfather. I haven't been in contact with her yet, but from what I've been able to gather, her father was born two MONTHS before I was born. I assume her mother is roughly the same age. All this means that my father must have considered himself a ladies' man. He got MY mother pregnant at about the same time he got another woman pregnant. And he had just been married to yet another woman when all this happened. This new DNA match could be the first of many more half siblings from my father. I have seven half siblings on my mother's side. I'm feeling even more insignificant now! A HUMOROUS NOTE: I had asked my half-brother in England if he remembered anything about who my father could be. Robert was about six years old when our mother got pregnant with me. He was convinced that our mother was seeing the actor, Forrest Tucker when Robert was about six and remembers Forrest Tucker coming to his house with our mother at Christmas and giving each of the kids a present. I knew from the "non-identifying" biographical information I had paid the adoption agency to send me that my father was supposed to have been born in 1919 and, in fact, Forrest Tucker WAS born in 1919. So, I thought there was a possibility Robert was correct. Well, I knew from the "non-identifying" biographical information about my father supplied by the adoption agency that my father was a truck driver, had German descent, was Catholic, and couldn't marry our mother. Long story short, the man I was able to identify through DNA and Ancestry.com and Find A Grave, was named Charles Coash. Charles was a truck driver, his mother was of German descent, was from Cullom, Illinois, which is very close to Kankakee where my mother was working as a waitress at the time of my conception. Charles also had relatives living in Kankakee. They were all Catholic. Charles was born in 1919 and he couldn't (or wouldn't) have married my mother without getting a divorce from his bride of less than one year (he remained married to her until about a year before he died). The funny part of this is that Charles was a truck driver doing contract work for farmers in and around Cullom, Illinois. Cullom is 20 or 30 miles to another small farming community that would have been on his route. That other small town is Forrest, Illinois. Forrest with 2 "r's." So, my father was a Forrest Trucker, not Forrest Tucker!!! Too bad Robert died before I could tell him about my discovery. AN ADOPTEE'S PERSPECTIVE A current television commercial about a father trying to talk to his young son about the "Facts of Life" reminded me about when my adopted father had "the talk" with me. I was barely 13 years old when he explained the physical requirements for producing a baby. He asked if I had any questions and I had only one: did he and my (adopted) mother ever do what was required to "make a baby." He laughed and said sure they did. Why would I ever think they hadn't? My answer was apparent to me: if they did, why did they have to adopt ME? I guess he should have explained that doing what is necessary to "make a baby" wasn't always successful, but it wasn't from lack of trying! 2020 UPDATE The woman who is my predicted half-niece replied to me recently. She told me that her father knew his father was not his biological father but didn't know the details. His mother had gotten pregnant with him just before marrying another man. I'm not sure of the details at this point. But, this means that her father and I are half-brothers and she is my half-niece. And my father impregnated at LEAST two women within months of each other and while being a newlywed to yet another woman. I actually got a cryptic message on Find A Grave from a man who lived in the small town where my father was born and raised and lived his adult life, that the town talk was wondering why he and his wife always took separate vacations. This man never replied to my request for an explanation, but I can imagine it meant that my father continued his roguish ways long after I was born. That leaves me wondering how many more half brothers and sisters I may have. Maybe DNA will tell. Hopefully before it's too late for me. 2021 MORE HONESTY An excellent book about the psychology of the adoptee is The Primal Wound; Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier. I feel that the author somehow got inside my head and detailed all the thoughts and feelings I experienced not only in my childhood but throughout my entire life. I think most adoptees will recognize the feelings of rejection and not belonging (not only not belonging to the adoptive family but to any group at all) caused by the abandonment by the biological mother. Even at age 71, I continue to experience those feelings constantly. To combat those feelings, I've spent my entire life trying to "invent" myself. I've tried to identify to an ethnic group. I had been told my biological mother was of Irish descent, so I tried to become Irish. I read only Irish authors, read about Irish customs and tried to incorporate those customs into my own life such as the foods they ate. I began cooking Irish meals. I got a shamrock tattoo before tattooing became so popular. I've always been drawn to symbols such as the shamrock or the Thistle as a symbol for Scotland, flag patches to wear on jackets. It's as if wearing such symbols identified me as belonging to that particular group. I am SO shallow. Those feelings of rejection caused by being abandoned by the biological mother were doubled when, at age 47, I made the discovery of her identity and tried to contact her by mail. As I had read, more than 90% of birth mothers welcome a "reunion" with the child they turned over for adoption. I fully expected my birth mother to at least acknowledge me as that child she had "given up." But NO! She wrote back that she didn't know what I was talking about and never wanted to hear from me again. Rejected twice! How about a THIRD rejection? My adoptive mother died when I was almost 33 years old. Three weeks after she died, my adoptive father was going out on a date with a woman he knew socially. He stopped by my house on his way specifically to tell me something that I now know he wouldn't have told me while my mother was still alive. The conversation went like this. Verbatim. And out of the blue. "You know, I never knew if I was doing the right thing or not." "The 'right thing.' About what?" "Adopting you kids." "ADOPTING US?" "And I still don't." "After all these years you don't know if you were doing the right thing? And you think you're doing the right thing by telling me this now?" I don't know what more I could have done to make him decide he had done the "right thing." I was one of the very compliant adoptees, always striving to do my best, to be perfect in everything I attempted. All this to gain his acceptance and approval. Well, his pronouncement was really nothing new to me. He was just vocalizing what I already knew by his actions throughout my life to that point. I'd suggest that my adoptive father did NOT do the right thing in agreeing to adopt children when he wasn't 100% sure he was doing the right thing. He did much more harm than good. Could I have had it worse? Absolutely. No doubt. But I could have had it so much better, too! At least HE had a choice. I did NOT! SOME CONCLUSIONS My birthmother had nine pregnancies in her life, as far as we know. She got pregnant at age 14 but "miscarried" (although we'll never know, "miscarriage" was sometimes used as a polite term for "abortion"). She had three children by another man when she was age 17, 18, and 19. The man who was the father allegedly married her but didn't live with her for very long. The children were raised by my mother's parents. Her father was over 30 years older than her mother and they all lived in a one bedroom rented house. My mother spent most her week living in another town where she worked. My mother and her alleged husband divorced just after World War II, but I haven't been able to confirm either the marriage or the divorce. Her husband was about six years older than she was but it appears he did not serve in the military forces during the war. Two years after her divorce, she got pregnant again by a different man. She allegedly was engaged to be married to that man but it never occurred. My mother gave birth to a child that she put up for adoption. That child was born about a year and a half before I was born. My biological father was apparently a serial impregnator as he got my mother pregnant two months after he got another woman pregnant and all while being newly married to yet a third woman. I've since discovered at least two more children which resulted from my birthfather's infidelities with at least two other women. And as the popularity of DNA testing increases, I have no doubt I will discover even more half siblings! It apparently didn't bother my mother that she was getting pregnant in and outside of marriage and giving birth to children she couldn't care for. Draw your own conclusions about her level of morality. My birthfather had the reputation of being a rogue in the small town in which he lived and I'd have to agree with that assessment. Again, draw your own conclusions. My birthmother did get married again five years after my birth. There were no further births that we know of between my birth and her second marriage. But who knows if there were abortions? She did give birth to three more children during her second marriage. Did my birth teach her a lesson? All of the knowledge I gained as a result of my lifelong searching could not have been anticipated. I knew going into this that if I wasn't prepared for the possible answers I shouldn't ask the questions. I wouldn't hesitate to do the searching again. But it has been a bitter pill to swallow. But not as bitter a pill as the rejection not only demonstrated by my adoptive father during our life together but also by his acknowledging his rejection of my adopted sister and me shortly after my adoptive mother's death. He had said and done many things during my life that made me suspect how he felt, but he would never explain himself. But, I guess my adoptive mother's death gave him the courage he needed to just come out and say what he felt.

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