And Then There Were More

I thought long and hard about writing this post. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be too personal or too much information for ‘the internet’. But this is a story that I want to share with my friends and family and instead of telling it over and over again, I thought it would be best if I wrote it down. That, and it gives me the opportunity to look back and re-read it down the road.

So, what am I hear to tell you? If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I am adopted. I’ve been raised by two amazing parents who have done everything to make sure that I have the best life possible. I am eternally thankful and grateful for every single thing they have done for me, how much they love me unconditionally and how they’ve shaped me to becoming the woman I am today. Mom and Dad, I love you both so much. You will always be ‘mom and dad’ as long as I am alive because without you, I wouldn’t be me. And for good measure, here’s a picture of my awesome parents and my best friend, Tenley. 1

People say that I’ve picked up a lot from my parents. For example, I have the same sense of humor as my dad but I sound like my mum when I talk on the phone. But I’m also pretty extroverted and outgoing, very chatty and confident with people I don’t know and my parents would agree that, that’s something I didn’t get from either of them. I always wondered if I got it from my birth mum.

Well this year, right around my birthday, I was given the chance to answer all of my questions – I finally found my birth mum.  Let me go in order, from the beginning.

This was something that I had always talked to my parents about and they were always really supportive of me eventually finding her. I didn’t know how to do it though. My mum suggested I try out this adoptee’s registry website or even getting in contact with the lawyer they went through. So, first I tried the website – and crazy enough, there was a woman with my birth mums name looking for her adopted daughter born the same year as me in Barrie (where I was also born). It was too close to be a coincidence. So, I reached out to the website director and asked her if I could get in contact with the woman to see if it was her. After a few back and forth emails, we realized the contact information for my birth mum was not working. After that, I stopped looking for a while.

Then while I was on vacation with my parents the topic came up again. My mum asked me if I had looked again at all and I told her I hadn’t since the website. She suggested I try looking on Facebook, of all places. And it wasn’t that I hadn’t tried there, it’s just that I did but didn’t find her. All I had was her first and last name and a nickname. Mum suggested that I try using her ‘nickname’ on Facebook instead of her real name (that I had previously searched with). I didn’t really thing much of it and kind of said, ‘yeah, good idea, maybe I will’.

Well, one Saturday towards the end of August this summer, I was sitting around poking around Facebook and decided I would do a search for her with the nickname instead. I couldn’t believe it when I found a woman with her name, living in the GTA. I looked at a few pictures on her profile and thought she kind of looked like me, but I wasn’t sure. I asked a couple close friends if they thought it was her and what I should do.

I decided after contemplating for a few days, that I would send this woman a message. It was pretty ambiguous, basically saying ‘hey, I’m looking for someone wit your name who lived in Barrie roughly 20 years ago. Sorry if I have the wrong person’ (obviously it was a bit more eloquent than that, but you get the idea I’m sure). And then I waited. I knew there were a couple ways it could go – she could be the wrong person for one, or she might not want to talk to me, or it could go really well. Then I waited some more. And I didn’t hear anything back for a little while.

I should also add that I hadn’t told my parents I had messaged her. I didn’t want to make it a ‘big thing’ if it wasn’t her so I decided I would wait.

In passing conversation a few weeks after my first message, mum asked me if I had searched anymore for my birth mum and that she had actually searched on Facebook herself and found this woman she thought was my birth mum. Well, we are talking about the same woman I messaged. I filled them in and told them I never heard anything back. Mum asked if I had sent a friend request and I told her no, because I thought it would be weird. But, as I thought about it more I realized maybe she didn’t see my original message. So, I sent her a friend request. Yup, you got it – I randomly friend requested someone who could be my birth mum.

Then – it happened. Almost instantly she accepted the request and replied to my original message with:

“Hey Nicole, how are you doing? How are Rick and Eunice?”

I knew it was her. I couldn’t believe it. After so many years of wondering where she was, what she was like, did she have any kids (would I have more siblings), I was finally going to have all my answers!

So, where are we now? We’ve met and had a long lunch together where we talked about everything. There were some tears but they were all happy tears. As you can imagine, there was lots of catching up to do! This was our first picture taken at our first lunch meeting!

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I think one of the craziest things to me out of this whole thing is that I learned that I have two more siblings. I have a sister. Right?! I also have another brother, which is awesome as well! If we’re talking technicalities, they’re my half siblings but in my eyes, they’re my brother and sister. I’ve always wanted a sister growing up – I was jealous of my friends and cousins who were lucky enough to have one and I always wanted a younger sister. So, it kind of blows my bind that I can now say “I have a sister”.

And that’s that! I am blessed to have two amazing parents who raised me and love me to the moon and back. But I think I’m also lucky to know my birth mum. Because of her selfless action I was given the life I know, a great life with amazing opportunity. So without the three of those people, I would not be where I am today. I think it’s awesome to have two more siblings and because I’m the oldest, they already say they look up to me. I’m okay with that. I am very okay with that.

Oh, and here we are. I’m one lucky lady.

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14 thoughts on “And Then There Were More

  1. That is a beautiful story Nicole and it is your special story. I heard about you when your birth Mom Winnie was staying with my sister Sue. I know it was very hard for Winnie to let you go, but in those days things were different not like today. I am so glad you and Winnie connected after all these years! You are very beautiful, just like Winnie!

  2. Back for a 2nd read prins. These are the special reads that make you smile in this cold and thankless world. Just so damn nice to hear and couldn’t happen to a better girl

  3. hello Nicole,I’m your mom winnie’s friend from 33 long years back here in the Philippines..I’m soo glad and soo happy for the both of you..After soo many years you and ur mom reunited and so with ur 2 equally awesome siblings leo and monica..I decided to read ur story coz i find it so interesting and beautiful one..i didnt get bored reading it not knowing that by the middle of the story i could see my bff winnie’s face right infront of the screen of my celphone..i had to stop reading because i really cried a lot..Anyway,again you are really so blessed and really a lucky,beautiful and awesome lady being given a chance to have 3 parents in a row..YOur story was really nice and i can say that you are an awesome and a good author..Hope to see you very soon…

  4. Nicole I am touched by your story. I am a good friend of your Mom, and I know Leo and Monica since they were small kids. I didn’t know her before then. But one thing I know for sure, she was and still is a very caring, smart ambitious woman, I am not surprised that you turn out to be a bit like her; pretty and smart. I can’t wait to meet you someday…Tita

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