I'm 20 And I Just Found My First Biological Relative After Being In The Dark For All My Life

I'm 20 And I Just Found My First Biological Relative After Being In The Dark For All My Life

As an adopted child, this is a huge deal.
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I am almost 21 years old and I have never met anyone who is blood-related to me.

For almost 21 years, I have lived with the family that adopted me when I was a few days old. I grew up with them and they raised me, yet I always knew I was adopted. I was brought up with the knowledge that I was no their biological child and was raised to realize that that's okay. I grew up knowing next to nothing about my biological family and coming to terms that I would never find them because it was a closed adoption.

A closed adoption basically means that the biological family can't disclose their full name or identities, making it impossible for the child to find them. Likewise, they aren't informed of my name and cannot find that child. I grew up understanding that my biological parents had me when they were very young and weren't in a place to keep me. I had always understood this and felt no ill will.

Being adopted is very much part of my personal identity. It's a fun thing to tell people when I first meet them because it's such a rare occurrence that most are intrigued and want to know more. Of course, there are the close-minded people who are put off with how open I am about it. I have one other friend that I know who is also adopted, so it's sometimes hard to relate to my friends and even boyfriend on some levels. For examples, genetics and looking like their parents and ancestry. Don't get me wrong, I have my own weird ancestry from my family, but I never knew my biological ancestry. My boyfriend knew this and saw me go through random spurts of frustration due to it.

For Christmas in 2017, my boyfriend ordered me a spit collecting ancestry analyzing product. He knew how I sometimes got frustrated about my genetics and got it as a small form of closure, which I appreciated immensely. I didn't get my results until March since I put it off from being sick and didn't want to have my flu-filled spit analyzed. When I finally did get my results, it was a little underwhelming. It can't tell you anything for certain and is just approximations. However, I was offered a chance to share my DNA information with those that had DNA close to mine. I hit yes because, hey, why not? What did I have to lose?

A few weeks later, I woke up to a bunch of messages on Facebook from people I didn't know. Confused, I checked the site and, lo and behold, I actually matched with a biological family member. Yes, you read that right, 21 years of nothing and a simple "accept terms and conditions" linked me to a 2nd family. What was the first thing I did, you may ask? Crid. Cried my heart and soul out.

Over the past month, I have discovered and spoke to so many biological family members I never knew existed. The most exciting of them all, to be honest, is that I have a half brother. If you are an only child, you can understand my excitement when I found out that I have a sibling. Besides that, I have met aunts and uncles, cousins, grandaunts and granduncles, my biological parents, and even got to learn about my biological family history.

The most humbling part of this experience has been that it has exceeded my expectations. My whole life, I assumed that if I ever found them, I would ask questions and carry on with life. That isn't what happened at all. They want to keep in contact, they want me in their lives. My family just grew in indescribable ways and I still can't quite process it all. It's been an emotional start and I cannot wait to see where it all takes me. I've already met my biological cousin in person and I cannot wait for the day I get to meet more.

Even with this new discovery, I would never trade my family that adopted me for the world.

My parents are still my number one and always will be. I would never trade them for anything. No one is replacing anyone, it just means my family grew by a lot. This new chapter in life is something I wish everyone in adoptions could experience, but sadly is not typically the case. The best piece of advice for anyone in the same or similar situation is this: never give up that hope.

Cover Image Credit: Cheryl Winn-Boujnida on Unsplash

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Batter Up

Because someone needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat a woman.

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views

I have this memory from when I was younger,

I must have been six, maybe seven? An age

When you can remember, but not quite

Understand. I remember the landline

Ringing sometime in the middle

Of the night in my grandmother's small,

But adequate house. I had been sleeping,

Tucked under a shield of satin covers,

My grandmother next to me, blanketless,

And stiff, on the very edge of the queen mattress

Like she was anticipating some sort of disaster.

It wasn't the phone that pulled me from my sleep,

It was my grandmother's instant jerk, her eyes

Flipping open quicker than a light switch,

The mattress springing back up, adjusting

To the new lightness as she fled the room. My waking

Was soft like a song. Slow and humane.

My eyes adjusting to the dark, my ears absorbing the ringing,

My mind reminding itself that I was at my grandmother's house.


Then, the ringing stopped;

Abrupt, like a disarmed fire alarm.

It was just a drill, I thought.

But, then I heard the mumbling

From behind the door, panicked mumbling.

Rapid, like gunfire. My grandmother's Rs

Rolling down the hallway and under the door crack.

She only spoke Spanish when she was angry.


The call ended, my grandmother returned to the room,

Wrapped me in a blanket, and carried me into the night.

She buckled me into the backseat of her Toyota and said,

We were going to Auntie Mandy's house because someone

Needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat

A woman.


When we arrived at the house, we found the front door

Wide open, the house lights spilling out onto the porch.

A truck, I had seen once before, was parked a foot away

From the front door, aggressive. The truck had trampled

Over the dandelions and daisies, which lay wounded

In the front yard. A scene that begged for investigation.


My grandmother told me to stay put in my seat.

I watched as she walked to the back of the car, her normally pretty

Face turned straight, looked masculine. I watched as she pulled

Something wooden out of her trunk, then in her feline walk,

Approached the house. She turned to me, and I saw the

Baseball bat, immense in her female hands.


I slouched in my seat, the window above my head.

I never saw her go into the house.


I don't remember how long I sat,

Until the red and blue lights came.

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