A Novel by Karen Higgins

Sara Avoledo is my guest blogger today. This wonderful, young woman has courageously volunteered to tell her story about meeting her biological mother online. Thank you, Sara!

Sara Avoledo

A Guest Blog by Sara Avoledo

After reading Karen Higgins novel, A Child of God I have recommended the book to my friends and family.  It is a wonderful novel that I just happened to read shortly after finding my own birth mother and her family online.  The characters and the emotions portrayed in Higgins’ novel really struck a chord with me.  I cried as Mary Simpson thought about the circumstances that lead up to her placing her child with adoptive parents and I cried even harder when Joan, her daughter, found her 35 years later and was reluctant to proceed with learning more about her biological family, because these were the feelings that I went through as well, just a few short months ago.

My name is Sara Avoledo and I am almost 32 years old.  I have always known that I was adopted and have always loved to hear my (adopted) parents tell the tale of how they were blessed to be able to adopt and bring me home with them.  I have also always been curious about who my birth parents were though, as every adopted child is I am sure.  But things changed when I found  a website where you can search for adoptees and biological family members (http://www.canadianadopteesregistry.org) and I saw that a possible birth aunt of mine had been searching for me for 20+ years.  Now a potential connection had been made.

At that point, I became consumed with finding out more if this was indeed my biological family or not, but at the same time I was reluctant to go any further.  I searched online in whatever ways I could and tried to narrow down names, dates and locations.  During this time, and because I have a young son of my own, I was constantly thinking about what it must have been like to give a child up for adoption, but  I was also always thinking about what my early days as a baby must have been like, just as the characters in the book had.

I needed help.  So I asked another family member who is adopted as well, and has found her biological family for advice.  She suggested some books to read about the adoption triangle or triad.  These books (http://www.canadaadopts.com/canada/resources_books.shtml) explained to me the effects and intricacies of the relationships between the adoptive family, the biological family and the adoptee and what to expect if a reunion is to occur.  So after a lot of soul searching, reading and researching, I took the plunge and started chatting with my biological mother and aunt through Facebook.

After speaking to my biological mother online, I applied to get official documentation from the Government (http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/community/records/index.aspx) with regards to my original birth certificate, which would prove if this was indeed the woman I was looking for or not.  Her family and I only exchanged brief details about our lives at that point and some of my biological mother’s family also added me on Facebook and were chatting with me online.  One day soon after, the birth aunt that had been searching for me openly for so long, sent me some old pictures of her and her siblings when they were young and one of the sisters and I could have been identical twins at that young age…It was then that I knew this had to be a match.

The emotions that I went through during this time were intense and scary but also exciting.  I lay in my bed crying one whole night after learning that I had been in hospital after birth for 9 days before going to a foster home. I was thinking, “Who took care of me?” “Did anyone hold me or care for me?” “Why was I left all alone for so long?” But as I spoke to my biological relatives and heard their stories I couldn’t help but be happy at how relieved they were that I had lived a fulfilling life up until this point, had had a wonderful childhood and family to support me, and was happy and had now a family of my own.  My biological mother had done what she had to do at that time in her life, and her family did not push me and still don’t, to do anything I am not ready to do.  At this point I am not ready for anything more than chatting online.  But someday I will get up the courage to meet them.  It is an important final step for me as I know it is for them.

In closing, let me say again how much I enjoyed reading A Child of God and I would recommend it to anyone going through the process or even contemplating the process of searching for their biological family.  The characters are realistic in their emotions and really made a strong impression on me after going through this very emotional experience.  Well done Ms. Higgins, well done.

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