In 2010 I started watching Lisa Kudrow’s PBS show “Who Do You Think You Are?”. As an adopted person, I was suddenly awakened to the desire to figure out who I am. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored my parents. If there is an adoptive lottery, I won the multi-million dollar mega-millions. So, for decades I truly didn’t care. After all, it doesn’t take any talent to give birth, but it sure takes a lot to be a mother. Ask every lesbian couple who has adopted or the partner who didn’t carry the child but is every bit the mom. I wasn’t rented. I was loved beyond belief.
So. I signed up for 23 and me and waited. Then all of a sudden I get a message from my second cousin who lives in the town where I was born. Not that I’m a skeptic, but I thought that she should have her mom do the DNA test. She did and I have a first cousin. This has led to THE FATHER. Lo and behold, he lives near Modesto, which is not far from me. Both of us left Iowa for California just about the same time. See, there really are no coincidences. People come together and find each other because they are meant to be with each other. It just often takes time.
What does this have to do with the world of lesbian culture you may ask? Oddly, a lot. Imagine the fact that I now need to meet this man and not only has his life been rattled by the existence of me, but I am sure he said, “ Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” And then, surprise! You get a long lost lesbian daughter too.
And what does it have to do with that question of who is family? Family is family by birth and hopefully you love them. Family is more importantly the people who love us so completely and unconditionally that they could burst with a unique and searing joy because they get to be a parent. I don’t think any people on earth know that feeling better than parents who adopt. They don’t love better than biological parents. They just love with a special additive.
As the family connections unfold you find that family profiles are the same. Yes, aunt Ethel never married but had a lovely female companion until her death in 1952. And yes, I heard that “we have that in our family”. And my relatives fought hard to get same-sex marriage passed in Iowa. They pride themselves on being very liberal, or as one cousin said, “in the right.” Yes, my uncle died early from too much of the drink. Oh, I’m English and Swedish so I’m suddenly craving Swedish pancakes and some bangers and mash for breakfast. Beer to wash it all down if I drank. No wonder I love London so much!
I have found my roots and hopefully one day I’ll find out who my birth mother is. Who do I think I am? I am one very blessed and lucky woman.