I’ve also been thinking a lot about my own adoption of late. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start looking for my father’s family. It’s something that I have put off for quite a while, mainly because I told my first mom Iris, that I wouldn’t search for them. One of her biggest fears has been that her “secret” would get out. You see, I’m the result of a 40+ year affair that she had with a married man. To make it even more complicated, she was also friends with his wife. I knew that if I did search and was successful, that I would risk my relationship with Iris.
When I saw this guest post over on Coco’s blog, it really got me thinking again about searching. And I realized that I don’t actually HAVE a relationship with Iris to really put at risk. I haven’t heard from her since last August, and even before that it was only intermittent emails and the occasional phone call. I don’t wish her any harm and I plan to tread slowly and carefully with my search, but ultimately this needs to be about me and my needs and not hers. I suspect a lot of my need/desire to search right now is also coming from the fact that I have a milestone birthday coming up this year. I realize that as I’m getting older, so is everyone else, and if I want to find more than just grave markers I need to act sooner than later.
So I have gathered all the bits and pieces of info that I have on my first father and his family.
It’s not much…. But it’s a start:
Non identifying info gathered by my adoptive parents at time of placement:
High school education
Non identifying info sent by social services:
45 years of age in 1970 (means he would have been born in 1924 or 25)
High school education
Steady worked, employed in construction
Good natured, even-tempered, mixed easily with people, made friends readily
Married, living with wife
4 children, 1 in his late teens, and the others in their twenties (means children would have been born between 1940-1953)
Paternal grandparents both deceased
1 paternal aunt in her mid 40’s worked in an office
1 paternal aunt in her early 40’s worked in a library (interestingly when I was growing up people often told me I looked like one of the librarians in town. Since I only had my birth name Colleen Wilson to go by, I never found a connection to any Wilson at the library. But it turns out that Wilson was my mother’s name and not my father’s.)
Letter from Iris dated July 12, 2000
He is approx. 6 years older than I am (corresponds with him being born in 1925)
First met when Iris was 14 and he was 20 and married, with 3rd child on the way (meaning this would be approx. 1945)
Iris was their babysitter when she was a teenager, but they did not start affair for about 6 years after that. (approx. 1951)
Affair on and off up to about 2 years ago when circumstances changed and regular contact is no longer possible. (approx 1998 – WOWZER 47 year affair!)
He retired some time ago.
Was a sailor stationed in Nova Scotia before I met him.
Was an engineer mechanic, lots of outside work on buildings mainly
I am also friends with his wife
I also feel that you look a lot more like him then you do me, and your skin colouring and tanning ability is his, where as I am fair and burn.
The only ones knowing of you are your father and myself.
Letter from Iris dated Jan 20, 2001
You have a half-sister named Carol who is also a lesbian. Her father has accepted her unconditionally , her mother tolerates it but does see her.
Letter from Isis date May 10, 2001
For your information to be filed I will tell you that your biological father died on march 31. He had a stroke while he was in hospital, mainly just old age. (would be 76 years old)
Iris’s birthday is March 15, 1931
Mentioned during a phone conversation:
Your father’s name was Ken
If they had a 47 year relationship, he must have lived nearby, so Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo or Fergus Ontario.
So to summarize I am looking for
A man named Ken, born in 1924 or 1925 and who died on March 31st 2001. He was married and had 4 children, one of whom is named Carol and who is a lesbian. He was in the Navy and stationed in Nova Scotia prior to 1945.
Of course I have no idea what to do next! I have searched the obits for in and around March 31st, 2001 for Kitchener, Guelph and Toronto without any success. What I wouldn’t give to have a last name.