So, this is how I started my day today:
I have been working with Kieran for a couple of months now. I would like to say I played a larger role in his journey to discover his bio family, but he really did all the legwork. I only provided him with a decent tree and cheerleader services when he felt like giving up. While I am very happy that he has finally found his family, I am also very happy that my tree was accurate enough to be able to help him out. In fact, when he first told me the scant details he had about his mother, I was able to quickly locate two sisters that fit the parameters. With a bit more digging, he was able to figure out that his mother was not only one of these sisters, but which one it was and the story of how he came to be, in a very real sense.
I’ve never been involved in a situation of assisting an adoptee to locate and reconnect with his bio family. It was a very different way of looking at genealogy and why we do it. For me, it is a quest to find the Point of Origin in Ireland for the various branches of my mother’s family, and, also, to try and give my only-child-with-no-paternal-first-cousins father a sense of his extended family. In a way, I have often thought that doing the genealogy on my father’s family was not too far removed from that of an adoptee. The main difference seems to be that the adoptee case involves a lot more raw emotion. We know where my father came from, we just don’t know where his father’s father came from. Slowly, a picture is starting to emerge. But the adoptee has no idea where they came from or why they were put up for adoption. In my non-expert opinion, there is a very real sense of rejection and isolation that the adoptee must deal with. At least, that was the case with Kieran. In my father’s case, we are simply curious. With Kieran, there was a real yearning to know who he is and where he came from. I am sure that I made plenty of mistakes in working with Kieran, but I know that empathy and playing the part of the sounding board helped him to keep pushing on.
So, welcome to the family Kieran and your seven siblings! I’ll be raiding your tree for their names shortly. 😉