Forty-Six And Her


“Anything new I need to know about you since your last visit?” My fingers hovered over the keyboard, ready to enter the data.

“Uh, yeah.” She pulled out a sheaf of papers. “I discovered that the woman I thought was my adopted mom is actually my biological mom.”

It took a moment for my brain to wrap itself around that juicy tidbit. I stared at her until I realized my jaw had dropped and my mouth was gaping open obscenely.

(Shut your mouth!)

She coughed awkwardly. “My adopted father is not my biological father, though…”

Her hand held the papers out to me. I thumbed through them as she waited. She had had her DNA analyzed. She had a 15% higher chance of cardiovascular disease than the general population. Meh.

The DNA mapping had been her attempt to figure out her medical risk factors. Both her mother and father had been dead for years and she had not been able to find any info on her adoption. No names. No court records.

Now she knew why.

“A man contacted me on Facebook shortly after, saying he thought I was related to him. I matched his DNA closely enough to be a first cousin they said.”

From that info, her sister (now half sister) who is ten years older than her, figured out her biological father was actually a neighbor and former family friend.

So, in the 1950’s, this soap opera went down. Her mother got to keep her baby and her husband but only if she told everyone that the new baby was adopted. My heart ached for everyone involved. Did they love each other or was it a recreational affair? Had he refused to leave his own wife and family? How had she felt being faced with discussing this with her husband? Had she considered an abortion, illegal at the time?

All of this from a simple, innocuous sounding genetic test.

And then I wondered how many other secrets are buried out there? Should those secrets just die? Should they see the light?

Maybe, just maybe, there are more secrets than this world can hold?


67 thoughts on “Forty-Six And Her

  1. What a shock for that woman and now her parents are gone so she can not get the whole story. Yes, this DNA testing can be tricky for many reasons. Like identifying risk factors for diseases for which there is no cure. So it makes me question is this testing really a good idea. I wanted to wish you a Very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! It has been so nice meeting you through this crazy blogger world. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! That must have been quite a shock (for her as well as you!)

    My son’s adopted, and he has known his story since he was a baby. It’s not a big deal — we talk about it without angst. But cousins of mine (who we weren’t close to) were adopted. I was sworn to secrecy as a kid when I overheard my mom and my aunts talking, because they didn’t know. Now as an adult, I have no idea where they are or if they even know.

    The world, and people, have changed a whole lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It is crazy to think about all the secrets people have. I wonder how difficult it was for that mother to pretend that her “real” baby wasn’t her own? What a horrible secret to live with. It reminds me of that book about a doctor who gives birth to his own twins and one has downs syndrome, so he sends her away to an institution but tells his wife that the baby died. He lives his whole life being tormented by that secret. I think it’s called “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter?”.
    Anyway, it is always fascinating learning about the many secrets that people just don’t know (would you consider it a privilege of this job?)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Too bad your patient couldn’t have found all this out while her mother was still alive. What a tearful reunion that would have been. I can’t imagine spending years telling my girls they were adopted when they weren’t, and then having them find out I really was their mother all along. And then having to try to explain why that ruse came about in the first place. What a mess.

    Give each of your little ones a special hug from me for Thanksgiving. (And since you can’t give yourself a hug from me, have an extra glass of wine with my blessings.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read another great piece about secrets uncovered by DNA testing, now so easy to do – spit in a tube and for $99 bucks the answers are yours… the piece I read ripped a family apart, and also, somehow, made things better… good stories there for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. About a year ago, my brother told me the deep dark secret of who my cousin’s father was. I knew she was born out of wedlock in the 1920s (a huge scandal at that time). When I heard the whole story I thought so what’s the big deal. Today it would have been accepted but then……I was disappointed that it wasn’t a prince or a king what with all the secrecy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s an amazing story. It wasn’t so bad to know as she found her father’s family and hopefully is happy with that. It might have been dreadful to look for your biological parents and never find them.
    I wait with anticipation for your daily posts, as you always bring fantastic stories. Thank you very much! I’m glad to have found you.
    And happy Thanksgiving day!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When hubby was on fellowship in UK, they were doing a study on risks of coronary heart disease with cheek swabs and DNA testing on residents of a particular town. The ethics committee had to stopped the study half way through because they found that 45% of the participants wasn’t directly related to one if their so called ‘parents’!! Skeletons in the closet I say!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. As a child of the 50s I can assure you that there are a lot more things that have to come to light. Have you heard about the Magdalen Laundries in Ireland, Look at the film Philomena, consider that some women who fell pregnant were actually put into asylums from which they never returned. More secrets? You can bet your life…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. My family has so many secrets, secrets they will not reveal. Drives me bonkers sometimes. But yet like so many here, I wonder if those secrets are better unknown. Probably. Anyways …. May you have a very Blessed Thanksgiving!!! Love, Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So the woman was not the adoptive daughter? Her adoptive mom was her bio mom?

    And her dad was not her bio dad, but was her adoptive dad?

    This sounds like the mom had sex with a guy and then became pregnant. They weren’t married, and she couldn’t count on him to marry her. So to keep her baby, she had to pretend she was the adoptive mother?


  12. Carol Cassella, an anesthesiologist from Washington state wrote a Best Seller called Gemini — great piece of fiction in which genetics and secrets play a big part. Your post reminded me of how much I loved the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, so not only do you get to learn all the “regular” secrets one might only reveal to their doctor, but you get this kind of stuff, too? At least your job is interesting! How sad for her and that family. And how maddening that her mother never told her the truth before she passed away.

    I hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving! And PLEASE be sure to update us when you decide what to do about your staff blocking out your appointments for today. πŸ˜‰ Curious minds want to know! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a happy Thanksgiving, too!

      Believe it or not, the Wednesday afternoon slots were completely full by the end of the day on Tuesday for both myself and the other physician. Both staff members who were caught in the act received final warnings. A third one that I know was involved was out on tuesday and wednesday so we will get her when she is back on monday. There was mich sobbing and gnashing of teeth but they are lucky they have jobs at this point…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, yes they are! That’s still just incredible that they’d be so brazen. I’m glad you were able to fill your slots. You know, if you’d have told the staff that since since appointments are what keeps your office in business and since the slots were empty, they’d still have to come in but you’d only be able to pay them minimum wage for the day, I bet they’d have been scared straight! LOL! (You really need me there as an office manager! I can keep ’em in line with my Hitler-esque tactics! LOL!) I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  14. This reminds me of a story I saw on YouTube a year ago. I hope I got it correct. (I tried writing down the details of the case, but I failed miserably). LoL. There was so much confusion on the exact details, but I do have the clip on a Youtube here.

    When you get a moment, please check it out. It came to mind after reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: My Article Read (11-26-2014) (11-27-2014) (11-28-2014) | My Daily Musing

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