Updated: July 20, 2012 6:09AM
As we learned in this column Monday, Cindy, who had been given up at birth, found her original birth certificate when she was 68 years old. For the first time, she learned the name of her birth mother. After some sleuthing on the computer, she found her brother, Richard. She called him.
“After a little silence, we conversed for half an hour and agreed to meet on the weekend. I drove to his house, which is only 15-20 minutes away from mine. I rang the doorbell, and his wife answered. I walked in, and there was an elderly woman sitting there. She said, ‘I’m your Aunt Jane. I was with your mother when she gave you up.’ ”
Richard told Cindy that after she’d called him, he called his Aunt Jane. She had been 13 when Cindy was born. He asked her what she knew about his mother giving up a baby for adoption.
“At first, she said she didn’t know what he was talking about, but then she thought it was time and told him it was true,” Cindy recalled. “She said nobody knew [Cindy’s mother] was pregnant. It seems that it was never discussed again.
“Our mother was 30 when I was born. Richard is two years older than me. Aunt Jane said she had thought about telling Richard, but she never did.”
Aunt Jane were able to clear up a lot of issues for Cindy, but not all of them. To this day, Cindy doesn’t know who her biological father was. There was another mystery: Cindy’s mother had given her up at birth, but she hadn’t been adopted until she was about 18 months old.
“There’s a gap in my story that will probably never be filled in,” Cindy said. “I’ve heard a few stories that make me think a crooked lawyer was involved. Also, I may have been abused or at least neglected or mistreated. Sometimes it’s best to leave sleeping dogs lie. I don’t think my mother ever knew the real story.”
Meeting her brother was “unbelievable. I always told my son and my grandson they were the only two people in the world who were my blood,” Cindy said. “I’m not religious but I think it’s a miracle of some kind that I found him. Still, I hate that my brother and I missed 68 years of being together because everyone else had to keep a family secret.
“My brother, my sister-in-law and I have become quite close. We talk every day, and I see them two or three times a week. My brother can’t drive anymore, so I take them shopping, and we go out to lunch or just hang out.”
We’ve all heard the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” Richard’s “only” sister died in July 2010. In November of that year, he found Cindy.
Are you keeping a family secret? Send your tale to firstname.lastname@example.org.