This is part two of my adoption story. If your just joining me, there is “part one” below, just scroll down to the explanation there of my intentions with this writing and how the story begins. Thank you all so much for the support you are giving me. I’m so glad I have all of you to share this experience with. It gives me courage.
There are two parallel things happening at the same time.
Once I made the decision to hire a specialist to help find my biological mother, its happening much faster than I imagined. There are lists, names and possibilities already emerging, and I am pulling open boxes of photos from my life. I feel as though I’m running to catch up, and also going backwards in time. I want to have my story place in case I make contact with any of my biological relations. In case she would rather not meet, maybe she would read this and know I was okay.
There is a lot of curiosity from my family and friends, so I will tell you this much. Soon I will be caught up with the back story and we’ll be in real time.
Based on my unique circumstances and a very common maiden name of my birth mother. It’s a miracle we can narrow it down. But we have. There are 347 potential women that match the information. From that, there are 47 in California, eleven in Los Angeles, (where I was adopted) and there is one of the 47, who might have all the right details that we are looking for. I have a name, the contact info, and it will be up to me to make the first contact. I’m getting advised how to do it. And I’ll go one by one down a list until I find the woman who has been in Thailand.
I get a little dizzy just thinking about what I’ll say, but I am being coached by an expert with vast experience at bringing out the best situation possible. I am going to try my best to go about this with the best wisdom I can. It’s possible I will have answers very soon. So I’m rushing to write this down!
So, this story is for my biological mother, this is what happened in my next chapter of life.
I left off when I was eight, learning to play guitar. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. It shook my soul. When I first saw my twin cousins playing their guitars, I was transfixed. They taught me “Blowing in the Wind” and I played it over and over, and bought my first guitar with my own saved money from the Sears catalog for $14.99. After some lessons my dad surprised me with a new classical guitar from Mexico. My first guitar became a home for my hamster.
Two years later my parents separated and then divorced. I took it really hard. My mom tried to explain that people who marry young often grow apart. I was angry and sad. We moved to Long Beach and I suffered migraine headaches and stomach aches for the next several years. I didn’t like my very curly hair so I tried everything to straighten it. I had to baby sit a lot and I regret to this day how I was mean to my sister.
My dad picked us up for every other weekend. He did as well as he could, he showed up for us. In their 16 year marriage he was a homicide and narcotics detective in East LA. An intense job, and those guys partied pretty hard to relieve the stress. When my mom left to find herself and seek a happier life, he was suffering. He remarried quickly to another sheriff woman who felt envious of his great love for his daughters. It only lasted for seven years, but that was a hard time of life for all of us. My father later referred to that time as his darkest seven years. They were mine too.
My mom was working two or three jobs to make ends meet. At home I was a gloomy teenager who blamed her for the divorce. I was often not helpful and disobeyed.
Not long ago, when I was remembering those years with my mom. I said I felt so sorry how I was. I would even endure puberty again if I could do that part over. She said she didn’t remember that I was bad, she remembered that I was sad.
|My mom Carol during my teenage years|
Jr. high and high school were not my finest years, but
there were two very bright spots, music and sports. I found out I could run and high jump, so I did that. My dad drove far to my track meets to cheer me on. I was also on a softball team that went to the championship. I was just an okay player, but while daydreaming in center field a game winning home run hit came right to me. I froze, but held out my shaking glove. The ball plopped in, and we won the championship. They hoisted me up and I cried happy tears. I couldn’t believe it.
And of course there was always music. It was the ongoing soundtrack of my life which I buried myself in. At every age I was consumed with albums of the time, pop music, rock music, even classical and Latin music. Every night I spent holding my transistor radio to my ear under the covers and listening for hours to AM pop radio of the 70’s. I made up shows with the kids I babysat. We pretended to be in bands like the Partridge family with big adventures.
In high school I met two singing sisters. They had sweet harmony voices so we sang songs of of my favorite groups. This was the beginning of my soul waking up.
Things got better. We moved from a tough Jr. High school in Long Beach to Huntington where I spent my teenage years. I spent high school being shy and quiet, but finally found friends with some fellow misfit musicians. I moved out of my moms apartment at 16 and started playing electric guitar and bass in garage bands. I always had a part time job and did well wherever I worked. I was good at creative writing in school. I graduated Marina high school in 1981.
During that time I also experienced an awakening of sort. I was given a simple book about meditation so I tried deep breathing and relaxing my head and stomach. I stopped being so worried all the time and realized that I could choose to be happy and be relaxed about things. Like a veil was lifted, it happened very swiftly. I started again to understand how lucky I was. I went back into a place of thankfulness. Like how I felt as a girl, and I’ve been there ever since.
I loved getting dressed up with my friend and playing our original mandolin music at Renaissance fairs.
It was at the Renaissance fair in Agoura, California that I first discovered the Celtic Harp in a booth selling harps. I sat down at it and felt the most familiar thing I had ever felt. I could play all the chords I knew on guitar. It took me a year to save up $700.00 for my first harp. It was 1985. I was totally in love with the harp. My heart and hands felt on fire when I played.
From around 18-20 years old, I was working in retail at a record store. I was the youngest assistant manager in the chain. I had headaches often, and a hurting stomach when I took aspirin. One day it was unbearable so I went to a hospital. It was a perforated ulcer that tore a whole wall of my stomach. I had emergency surgery that saved my life. I had to lay flat for three months to heal. I still have a long scar from it.Thankfully, I had always paid my health insurance.
Not long after I turned 21, I was willingly drafted into playing bass for an all female classic rock/blues band that had steady gigs at biker bars and military basses. I joined and played full time with them 3-5 nights a week for the next eight years.
I also worked as a food waitress in the daytime and went part time to Jr. college for music. I traveled to Greenland and Alaska on long tours playing top 40 music for dance clubs. I also played in a popular original band of all guys that played heavy metal in clubs around Orange country. I brought my harp everywhere and even on the hard rock stage to see if the rocker kids would like it, and they did.
The traveling I was doing was not glamorous. It was playing bass doing Top 40 music six sets a night, six nights a week in various dance clubs or military bases.
During the daytime I would go off exploring various things to see. I always took my harp on the road with me too.
When I was not traveling I was playing harp at restaurants, for weddings, and any kind of job I could find. I was determined to save enough money to go to Musicians Institute in Hollywood. It was my dream to study there and it took me a quite few years and a lot of waitress tips to save the tuition.
My fathers mother Adelina Franco was a traditional Mexican grandmother. She adored all of her children and grandchildren, of which there were many.
I visited and stayed with her often especially in the later years of her life. She was always blessing, and kissing and praying. She enjoyed her Spanish soap operas and nobody could come close to her cooking, as much as we tried.
Margaret Hughes was my mothers mother, she was a world traveler and we went on many trips to Mexico together. Her favorite place was Mazatlan.
Even though I had so much love in my family, I always wanted find to find my birth mother to let her know, if she ever wondered or worried what became of me, that I had a good life, and I always understood she did a great and selfless thing for me. At first, it was going to try right when I was 18, then 21 and each time, I put it off, thinking that I wanted to be far in my music career so she would be very proud of me.
But the years went by, and I was a struggling musician for a really long time. I always thought it would cost a lot of money to find her. But I was finally well at least with supporting myself with music. So I took the first step by at least writing to the original adoption agency.
It took over a year for them to pull my file. They could not release names but they could release some general info. So a big envelope came, and it was so big to me that I would know something. It took me days until I could even open it. This was what was inside.
It went on to say that the birth mother was 24, her height and weight, and her special interests were music, dancing and all sports. She had a brother who was 16, her mother was a seamstress who was separated from her father.
It said the birth father was Polish, born in New Jersey, 23 years old. 6.1 with hazel eyes, black hair and fair complexion. He was a recruiting soldier in the marines who enjoyed fishing and hunting. They were engaged, but she broke up with him and opted not to tell him of the pregnancy. So he never knew I was born.
I remember reading these papers over and over a thousand times. The adoption lady said even though I could not contact, I could put something in my file, and my birth mother was free to check the file if she ever wanted, so I wrote her a letter.
End of part two.