Sunday, February 15, 2015

It's not about the books!

Welcome everyone. It's unseasonably warm here in Utah, but still chilly so grab a seat, blanket, food, and beverage. and let's get going.

You're probably wondering what I mean, not about the book. I'm an author, so isn't it always about the book? 99.9% of the time, yes it is. But I'm going to share some personal information about me as a person and not an author. If you're not interested, that's okay I won't be offended if you decide to come back another time. If you haven't watched my Meet Mary YouTube, here it is.

I'm sure you got the part about me being adopted? The last couple of weeks, things have been happening. More in fact than the last 30 years. I've been distracted to say the least. I am so close to writing The End for my fourth book of The Beckett's. However, I don't want to just write whatever to get it done. I'm waiting for things to settle and I can concentrate.

Here is a little bit of what has been going on:
I'm older than dirt so I'm not sure if:
1. my birth parents are even alive.
2. if they are alive, are they even looking for me?
3. do my siblings, if any, even know about me to look for me?

Here's my back story. I was born in March 1955 (Yeah, the big 6 0 this year) At that time there was a one year waiting period before the adoption papers were signed. So my papers were signed in May 1956. On those papers it said Baby Anderson. My adoptive parents were very good people and they loved me and provided me with a loving home. But remember the 50s.. They were not huggie people.

I knew they loved me. However, I always felt like I was hatched. Just out of nowhere. It's hard to explain, but just one minute I didn't exist and the next minute I did. No history... Odd. And of course there were always those kids in school who didn't want to play with me because 'even my own parents' didn't want me.

When I was older I started to feel the need to find my birth parents. Not that, that would lesson my feelings for my adoptive parents, but Mom was afraid it would. So out of respect for her, I put my need aside. After she passed away I asked my dad for my adoption papers, which as I said gives me the name Baby Anderson. That's the extent I knew. At the time they had several Adoption Find sites, (it was when we had those Huge computer monitors and it took 20 minutes to log on--you know dial up?) so I registered on all I could find. Not to mention, I didn't own a computer yet so I had to fill out paper work or go to the library. Then I found a woman who tracked down birth mother and she charged $200 for a name and contact or a way to reach out to the person.

Anyway, this woman searched and found that a June Anderson had a baby around the time I was born. In fact, she found four June Anderson's in the Salt Lake City area. Two were ruled out as having lived here their entire life and no breaks for babies, etc. Back in those days girls were shipped to 'Aunt Betty's' for nine months. That left two June Anderson's. One had the baby and one graduated from the nursing program at the University. Both left the area in June 1956. One went west and one went east and both disappeared. She only charged me $100 because she lost track. Since then I've tried other avenues to no avail until I gave up.

I've always wanted to know where I came from, what my background was. Everyone I knew could say "I'm Spanish" or "I'm Italian" "My parents came from Germany", that kind of thing.

I jokingly told everyone "I'm Irish!" Since I could be whatever the hell I wanted to be. There is something to be said for that. But Ireland and anything Irish has ALWAYS fascinated me.

As I revealed earlier, I'm coming up on a big birthday and so I told my husband I wanted to go to Ireland. Now this was probably in 2013 since we have to SAVE big time to go.

And then I heard about DNA testing. I asked my Doctor about it and she didn't know much about it, but she did know about 23andme because until about Nov. 2013 you could get your medical DNA also. Of course by the time I did mine the health part was put on hold. BUT I did find out that I'm 52% Irish / British. Wow!

I started looking through the DNA matches, I was SO excited. I had DNA cousins. But no one knew of any June Anderson's in their family tree and I couldn't answer any of their questions because I'm not even 100% sure that is my mother's name. And I know nothing else.

To double up on the odds I also took the Ancestry.com DNA test and they narrowed it down a bit more. Of that 52%, 41% is Irish. How weird is that? And that I have always felt a connection to Ireland, and I'd also planned to visit Ireland, and while we are there we're visiting London and Edinburgh. My homeland. And people just don't understand why I'm so excited.

My goal for our August trip is to find a connection, something or someone to visit. To do that I needed to really research my DNA relatives. I had no idea where to start. I found a group called Utah Adoptees. There two researchers have gone to work for me building a DNA Family Tree on Ancestry.com. Good grief, I have all these people and they're mostly from West Virginia, the last place I would have thought to look.

My adoption papers being sealed, means I can't read through them or find my health records or anything. I've always been told, I'm just SOL (you know Sh*t out of luck). But, at this group's suggestion, because someone else in Utah did this and won, I have petitioned the court to open my sealed records. I've also sent a request letter to my adoptive father's long time attorney asking if he handled the adoption and if so if he would give me a copy of my file with only non-identifying information.

Now I wait!

And now you know why I am pre-occupied. I've waited all my entire life to find my birth family, my book can wait a month or two. But as the days go by, the dust is settling and I'm starting to get back to doing little writing things and soon Illusion Book IV will be done! Well, I'll have it written, then the round of edits will start.
Thanks for listening!

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