Who is that beautiful woman standing next me?  That’s my Ma.  Why is she my mom?  – Because she loves me.  She filled out a mound of paperwork, shelled out the cash, got in line and waited.

Strangely, she almost wasn’t my mom.   She and her sorority sister, Shirley, had gone to the same adoption agency.  At the last minute Shirley informed the agency that if I were not a girl, she wouldn’t adopt me.  They bumped her and my mom was next in line!  When I was born, and very much a girl, Shirley became my Godmother.  She painted me a beautifully sad picture of a teary eyed clown she called ‘Cry for Happiness’.  It was strange to visit her home knowing that she and her sons were this close (picture me pinching my fingers together) to being my family.  And dang!  They had an in-ground swimming pool!

I always knew I was adopted.  Everyone knew.  A little boy on the bus used to mockingly sing to me. “I know something you don’t know.  I know something you don’t know.”  One day he blurted out, “You’re adopted!”  I said, “No! You don’t say?  What gave it away?  My mom never having been pregnant or the fact that I wrote a story in first grade about the nice lady who baby sat me for nine months before giving me to my mother.”

I am a curious creature by nature, definitely born that way.  I’ve been searching as long as I can remember.  I know plenty of ‘things’ but I have no facts.  I was born in Gary, Indiana.  I know that my birth mother was studying to become a nun.  Apparently that didn’t go well.  She later married and had two boys and two girls.  They divorced.  She then had a relationship with an accountant (something I wish I had known while failing algebra), and then oops, there I was.

Yep.  That means that somewhere, out there, I have at least four half siblings just waiting to be found!  Could they possibly be as odd as I am?  Might their children have disabilities?  Any of the ladies wear size eleven shoes but seem to max out at 115lbs soaking wet?  Thyroid problems, arthritis, hyperactivity…?  My questions are endless.

My search has lead me on a very frustrating journey.  My adoptive mom has been nothing but supportive.  Still, we have gotten nowhere.  The lawyers no longer practice, the hospital and agencies will not give me access to anything including unidentifiable health information.  I checked every available database and registered my name and birth date on each one.  After going through several stages in an attempt to be featured on ‘The Locator’, a show dedicated to reuniting birth families, a producer informed me that New York and Indiana are the two most difficult states to search in.  My mom even called Shirley.  I had all but given up.

But then I came across an article on Facebook, yes my trusted resource Facebook, about a woman who had been able to track down her birth family through the latest use of DNA testing.  With a simple swab of her cheek, sent through the mail, Family Tree DNA was able to identify and send her the name of a birth cousin and from there she found four sisters.

Well, that story was enough for me.

As a 40th birthday present to myself I shelled out the $269.00.  Only three days later I received my very own DNA test kit in the mail.  I returned it immediately.

And now, ugh, I wait.

Waiting has never been my strong suit – but you know what is?  Snooping!  I was a master at it as a little sister and I’m darn sure I can muster up my inner Nosey Nellie once again.  All I need is a name; one measly little name and I will find something.

And no matter what I find, good, bad or indifferent, I have absolutely nothing to lose.  Because some woman, somewhere had the strength and courage to give birth, give me up and give me a shot at this crazy life, a life where I am constantly surrounded by the unconditional love of a woman that wanted to be my mom, and made room in her heart and home for one very lucky baby girl.