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051 – The Black Sheep Rocks The Boat

Megan says she put her adopted mother through the ringer emotionally when she was a teenager. She thinks that’s partially because of her anger with her birth mother over her relinquishment. Most adoptees have no clue whom they’re setting out to find when searching for biological relatives, but Megan knew precisely who her birth mother was and what she looked like. In reunion, she found her half-brother who knew Megan’s birth father’s identity, because they were friends.


Megan (00:04): He was basically robbed. You know, I felt so terrible for him. He was robbed of a child. He was only 23 when I was born and he didn’t have any other children after me. So I was only titled and I felt really bad that he was robbed as having, you know, a child

Damon (00:27): Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?

Damon (00:38): This is who am I really a podcast about adoptees that have located and connected with their biological family members. I’m Damon Davis and on today’s show is Megan. She called me from Los Angeles. One of my favorite places. Megan says she put her adopted mother through the ringer emotionally when she was a teenager. And she thinks that’s partially because of her anger with her birth mother over her relinquishment. Most adoptees have no clue whom they’re setting out to find when searching for biological relatives. But Megan knew precisely who her birth mother was and what she looked like. In reunion she found her half brother who knew exactly who Megan’s birth father was because they were friends. This is Megan’s journey. Megan was born in Pomona, California. She’s in her twenties and her parents are in their sixties. So they were closer in age to being her grandparents than parents, she says she has a loving family and she had a really great childhood despite feeling different from them. She calls herself a black sheep in the family

Megan (01:46): I was adopted in like a great family. I was a little bit of a black sheep, or I thought I was, I still kind of feel that way, but my childhood was awesome. You know, like my family is so loving. My grandparents were so amazing. I almost like going back to being a kid. I almost didn’t really feel adopted until I got into my teen years. And you know, every, every teenager goes through, you know, the hard times and the hormones go crazy. And, but my childhood was amazing. I wouldn’t change anything for the world. It definitely got harder when I hit teenage years. For sure. That’s when I noticed, okay, I’m adopted.

Damon (02:24): Yeah. Tell me, tell me a little bit about that feeling of being a black sheep.

Megan (02:28): It’s weird because my younger sister, who’s almost 16. She’s also adopted from another family. And, um, that’s actually where I noticed that the most, you know, she is so different than me and she doesn’t want to know anything, not curious. And I’ve always screamed at the rooftops how much I need to know and how much I want to know. And my mom always had a really difficult time with me wanting to know and me talking about my birth mother and, um, you know, she never admitted it, but I think she was very threatened my birth mother, even though, obviously I didn’t know her. So when I started hitting my teenage years, I started noticing like, okay, I’m so different from everyone in my family. It was, it was an alone feeling. It was very alone. It’s very depressing because I just wanted to fit in and be like my family, even though, you know, I knew I never would be because I’m so different.

Damon (03:19): Megan said, one way she’s different from her family is her desire to openly explore feelings and emotions while her family is more quiet about some harder conversations, of course, getting non adoptees to understand your feelings. Even if they’re your family can be really tough.

Megan (03:36): Everyone’s so quiet and they don’t want to talk about anything. And I’m going to talk about everything. I want to dive deep and get into the real nitty gritty, ugly parts of everything of licensing adopted. And it seemed that it was not, it was almost like they didn’t want me to talk about it. And it was kind of like hushed. My dad was a little different. He always kind of, I was felt like he understood. And it was nice to kind of have that confidant there, but it was mostly just, they don’t talk about feelings and it it’s hard for me because all I wanted to do. And when I did, it was like, I was shut down so much and it was hard for me. I kept a lot of that inside of me. And it really affected my mental health for a long time. It still does.

Damon (04:19): mmhm how do you mean effect? what do you mean by it affected your mental health? In what way?

Megan (04:22): No, I censored myself a lot and I made myself small and I made myself as quiet as I can because I didn’t want to fight. I didn’t want to argue anymore. I didn’t want to do any of those things. So I just kept myself quiet and small and I’m not quiet, not small for anyone that knows the I’m very loud and very passionate about everything I talk about, especially being an adoptee and adoption. And it’s hard to kind of having to keep myself so quiet. It ate me up inside completely and really made me kind of act out and rebel.

Damon (04:56): Megan said she invested 12 years in therapy to work through her emotions. I asked her about some of the ways she acted out.

Megan (05:04): Oh gosh, I snuck out of the house. I lit up cigarettes and I was like 15. And I just did everything. My mom said, no, you can’t do it. No, you can’t really do it. you can’t go to the movies with your friends, I throw a temper tantrum and eventually I just go, you know, go anyway. Um, just anything she told me, Megan, you cannot do it. I said, yes, I can. And I did it school awful for me. I was very bad in school. I mean, I have a learning disability as well, which made it much more difficult. It was hard. It was really hard growing up and realizing that a lot of my issues were stems from my abandonment and how I felt inside. I felt I didn’t feel worthy of love because I just felt, you know, if my birth mother couldn’t love me and didn’t want me, then why would anyone else? And I really pushed everyone away and especially my mom and my parents, and I just did anything, anything I could to piss them off and make it difficult for them. You know, I’m in my thirties and my mother has grey hair.

Damon (06:06): Was there a while there where your rebellion was unconscious. And then as you started to really begin to identify with your own adoption, that it became more conscious or vice versa. Do you know what I mean?

Megan (06:22): Um, I don’t think it was ever really conscious. I kind of think, well, I guess it was because as I got older, I realized probably about 17 is when I really calmed down. I think I realized that I was so mean and angry and just act it out against mainly my mother. It was really mostly my mother wasn’t my father, because I was so angry at my birth mother and I can’t, I couldn’t take it out on her. So I took it out on the closest person I could, which was my mother. So, um, I think in a way it was conscious, but a lot of it, I think I didn’t really, I just wanted to be that cause that got me attention being good. Didn’t get any attention being bad. Don’t need the most attention. So I think that’s why I really just pushed everyone’s limits.

Damon (07:06): I wondered about Megan’s sister, also an adoptee who is seven years, her junior. She said her younger sister is an angel compared to her at that same age, her sister’s a great kid. She actually listens to their mother and gets straight A’s in school.

Megan (07:22): A lot of times I’ve heard that, you know, two adopted siblings are polar opposites. And with me couldn’t be more true. She’s very quiet about her feelings. She doesn’t really talk about it a lot. She doesn’t talk about her adoption. It doesn’t seem to affect her the same way it did me. It’s so different and how she is now than when I was her age.

Damon (07:43): Wow. That’s fascinating.

Megan (07:45): And I think it could be because I don’t know, part of me thinks she saw so much of it that she doesn’t ask like me, so she doesn’t end up the way that me and my mom were, if that makes any sense.

Damon (07:58): Yeah. Yeah. There’s definitely those folks out there who see the example of what they don’t want to be and they are like,

Megan (08:03): yeah.

Damon (08:03): And they guide their life by that influence. So I could see that being true. Megan admits she’s put her adopted mother through the ringer in her teenage years. So I wanted to know what catalyzed her desire to search for her natural relatives. She said, she’s always wanted to search. And she always searched a little bit here and there. When she was 17, her grandmother passed away and simultaneously her anger over her adoption dissipated a few months after her grandmother’s death, Megan was working at a kiosk in the mall

Megan (08:36): And this woman comes up and she buys something and I run her credit card and the receipt comes out and the name of receipt is the same exact name as my birth mother, even the middle initial. And I look at her and she’s not my birth mother because I always had a picture of her. But for some reason I was so floored. I was like, Oh my God, that’s so weird. What are the odds of, you know, this woman having the same exact first, middle and last name and my birth mother. So I started thinking and I contacted a couple of like private investigators. What was like hundreds of dollars and it was stupid. And then I just realized like, okay, like, I don’t want to leave this world. Not knowing like I need to know. I couldn’t, it didn’t sit well with me being eight years old and regretting not looking

Damon (09:26): Megan started searching on her own in a Facebook group. Another woman shared her search and reunion experience with Megan.

Megan (09:32): She said it was the best thing I ever did in my life. You know, it’s not fun. It can be really sad, but it’s also really healing. And I was like, okay, you know what? I need that I need healing.

Damon (09:43): Megan said she was 19 when she made that decision and her adopted mom was on board, but she also said something really interesting. I wonder if you caught it too. She said she knew her birth, mother’s full name. And she always had a picture of her before we went any further. I really wanted to know more about how she had identifying information about the woman.

Megan (10:03): Well, when I was younger, probably 10, maybe a little younger, my mom pulled out a picture of me as a baby was probably in the picture, I think about four months old, three, three or four months old. And there was a woman holding me and she was like, this is your birth mother. And I asked her, how did you get this? And I guess the social worker, when they’re going through my adoption, the social worker with the photo in my file. And she said, don’t tell anyone I did that. I’m not supposed to do this. So she secretly put that picture in my file for me to have later in life, which I’m so grateful for, because it really helped me.

Damon (10:40): That’s amazing. How did that help you to have her picture?

Megan (10:44): It was nice. At least growing up. I could look at one face that looked like me because I’m so much like my birth mother and I didn’t realize it so much until I was in reunion. And I saw other people that looked like me and looked like her, but it was nice to see, you know, her smiling and holding me, even though, obviously that was the day she actually signed her rights to me away, which was obviously a very sad day. But you know, she looks semi happy to have that picture of her.

Damon (11:14): Wow. Yeah. It is a bitter sweet picture

Megan (11:15): And I got to, I got to show people like, Oh, you know, this is her. It’s like, Oh my gosh. She looks just like her. So that was really comforting to have,

Damon (11:23): I can imagine. Yeah. That’s fascinating.

Megan (11:28): Very nice. Is that a social worker to do that?

Damon (11:31): Yeah. That’s that some people out there to just have a big heart and they know sort of the right thing to do, but I can’t help, but wonder if having actually seen her and have an identity associated with the person that put you, placed you in adoption. I wonder if that also sort of charged up your own animosity toward her, you know, cause I never had a picture of my own mother, so this was just a person out there and you can’t, it’s impossible to associate any old face with yourself, but you actually have a face and you can then identify the person with whom you’re irritated and angered and frustrated and you know, just sort of in disbelief about, but I didn’t have that. So I wonder if, if having that picture was twofold, both a joyous thing to be able to see your face on someone else. And also like I can point to you and say who I mad at.

Megan (12:27): Yeah. I think definitely. But you just spot on, I think that had a big, a big role in needing a little more angry, I would say. Um, cause I can see her. I use look like, you know, if I went out public, I could find her, you know like, Oh my gosh, that’s you? Uh, which was nice. But at the same time, you know, I almost didn’t want that because I was so angry. It was so, so angry and so lost. So I think it definitely fueled the animosity towards her.

Damon (12:59): Megan acknowledged that having a picture of her birth mother, Jennifer probably ignited her search for the simple fact that as she scanned any crowd, she kind of knew who she was looking for. So she was searching whether she knew it or not. Those of us who never had a picture of our birth relatives are sometimes navigating our lives. Scanning faces, trying to pull pieces from each one in an impossible puzzle game that only we know we’re playing. Megan told me that her Facebook acquaintance, the woman who shared her search story, introduced her to the Facebook group search squad. But back when she joined the group, there weren’t as many members as there are now. She posted every bit of information she had for the group to review. Searchers in the group, spent hours with Megan searching online. After five hours of investigative work, she had a list of phone numbers for a half brother. She always knew she had,

Megan (13:54): I always knew I had a half brother and a half sister, but that’s what she told the social, social workers. She said, I have two other children and they were older. So I start calling this list of phone numbers. Every single one is disconnected and like getting more and more discouraged and like, okay, whatever. So I keep calling and calling, I get to the last number and I say to myself, if this number is disconnected, this is a sign I’m going to stop. I’m not going to do anything else. And if it works, then it’s going to be, and I called the number and low and behold, my brother answers. Oh yeah.

Damon (14:30): Oh yeah, Wow. Oh my gosh

Megan (14:31): This was, this was all in a span of five hours where I really started my search, like in depth, five hours later, 9:00 PM at night. I finally made that connection. So that was pretty, pretty crazy.

Damon (14:42): That’s intense. How did it make you feel?

Megan (14:46): I honestly, I don’t remember any of the conversation, but at the time I was kind of scared, I was excited. Um, he had no idea. I existed at all. I looked gave him a heart attack. It sounded, he definitely thought I was telemarketer because, you know, when I call us, I said, you know, I’m looking for Jennifer Richards. You know, he was like, Oh, she’s deceased. Which I kind of already had a feeling, um, given her, you know, her background. Um, she did a lot of drugs. She had a really hard life. She was a little older. She was 41 when she had me, which is older for a woman to have a child. And so I just kept telling him, I was like, look, I have, I have pictures. I have an address for her. And I have a phone number for her. I have all these things.

Megan (15:33): And um, please just let me email you the picture. And I was begging and begging him. And he finally said, okay, fine. Send me the picture. Poor guy. I gave him, uh, he gave me his email and I sent it to him and he said, okay, I’ll call you back in 30 minutes. So it was the longest as 30 minutes of my life, Oh my God, I was pacing up and down my whole house. And he finally calls me back and says, yeah, that’s her. And anything after that, he told me, I do not remember. I blacked out. I had no clue what he said to me. I felt, I felt really bad for him too, because you know, I gave him, you know, a life shock as a kid sister, he never knew about. And the whole family didn’t know anything about me. So I pretty much rocked the boat.

Damon (16:19): The next day. Megan’s brother called again to put her in touch with her biological father. He and her birth mother had been together until her passing in 2012 before calling him, she called her adopted mother to share the news that she had her brother’s phone number. Her mother suggested that she wait to call him, go home and discuss things with her. She hung up the phone and thought,

Megan (16:42): No way, I’m not waiting for this. I’m not waiting to call this man. I’m going to call him now. So I called him and we talked a little bit and just kind of getting to know each other. You’re like, what can I food do like? What kind of, what’s your favorite color? You know, kind of like speed dating, almost just getting to know someone on the phone. And it was, it was really nice. And we talked for a good 30 minutes and from there kind of took a breath and you know, wanted to know more. I wanted to know like how I wanted to know everything for me. And I probably annoyed, annoyed the heck out of him.

Damon (17:16): As Megan was telling her story. I was struck by the fact that her half-brother was immediately in contact with her birth father. I was pretty sure she said he was her half-brother. So I wanted to ask for clarity on whether they had the same father.

Megan (17:29): Oh, Damon. Do I have a juicy story for you today? Oh boy. Okay. So my half brother is 45. He’ll be 46. Next week. My biological father is also 45. They were best friends in high school. And when they graduated high school, my biological father decided to start dating my brother’s mother, AKA my mother. So he started dating his best friend’s mother who was 20 or 17 years to senior.

Damon (18:05): Yeah.

Megan (18:06): Yeah. yeah? Yeah. Oh yeah. No one was really happy about them being together. You know, my, my brother was like, this is weird and awkward and they’re dating my mom and it was weird. They started dating right after they graduated high school. He was like 20 years old. And obviously, no one was happy. My brother wasn’t happy. And I think that unhappiness really fueled my birth mother to keep me a secret. Which in a way I appreciate now thinking about it because if she hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have been adopted.

Damon (18:44): How do you mean?

Megan (18:44): If I feel like if my birth mother told my birth father, Hey, I’m pregnant. He would have been like, no, no, no, no, no. Like we’re going to keep her, like this could work for, you know, his parents, my grandparents could raise me or even my brother had said to me, you know, I would have raised, you know, as old as she was, she wasn’t ready for another child.

Megan (19:05): She wasn’t speaking to both of her children. The time I was born. And it was a really bad relationship between there was a lot of bad blood. And even though, you know, they obviously love each other. So, and you know, my brother so loved her and was so angry with her. But you know, they just had a bad relationship. It wasn’t a healthy place for my brother to be. So he kind of gets in some stuff from my birth mother. So a long time, she never told anyone. And I think that was a good show.

Damon (19:35): My gosh, that totally didn’t expect you to say that at all. Wow

Megan (19:40): I know, right. My mind was exploding. When I heard, heard about this,

Damon (19:47): Saying it to myself over and over again, trying to make it make sense. Megan says the situation is weird for her to think about. Her birth father said that Jennifer maintained the secret that she was pregnant. Only revealing it when it was too late to change what she had already done.

Megan (20:03): She didn’t tell him about me until I was three years old. So I was already adopted and with my family by then. So it was pretty much nothing he could do. And he stayed with her. You know, I don’t know how, if someone told me, you know like, Oh, Hey, your child is out there. And I didn’t tell you, I would be so angry, but they stayed together. You know, they loved each other. And you know, as untraditional as their relationship was, I think they genuinely needed each other. You know, they, they both had a really rough past with, you know, substance abuse and that I’m sure didn’t help either of them being with each other. But at the same time, I think they both really needed each and they really did love each other. And that does make me happy that she had someone like my birth father with her because he’s, he’s a great man. He’s a really awesome, he’s an awesome person. They just loved each other.

Damon (21:00): It gives Megan comfort. Knowing her birth parents were best friends who loved one another, even though they did drugs together, thankfully he’s been sober for a long time now, but drug addiction unfortunately consumed her. So a little over a month after talking to everyone by phone, she met her birth father. Megan took her parents and her boyfriend to meet him, his sister and his parents at California pizza kitchen. She explains how she was struggling with the guilt over her return to the family and how a certain small sign made her feel like things were okay.

Megan (21:35): And we all sit down and it’s kind of awkward and this weird and the waitress comes up and ironically, her name is Jennifer. I’m like, Oh, that’s funny, like maybe a coincidence, but I tend to take in all these little, these little things are kind of signs. Cause I’ve always worried that I don’t know. I think I took on a lot of her guilt after I found everyone. I was okay after I really had a hard time. I was really depressed. I was crying a lot and I felt so guilty that I outed her secret. Like I was her biggest secret and I felt guilty for doing it because I worried if she would be mad at me for doing it, you know, if she were here, would she say, why would you do this? Why would you come back? And I really struggled with that.

Megan (22:18): I just felt so guilty for doing it because I didn’t want her to be mad at me. I didn’t want her to be upset with me. I wanted her to be happy that, you know, I’m finding everyone and it’s good and it’s happy and it’s not bad. But the first thing was great with my birth father. And it was well, he brought some pictures and I cried a little bit and it was good. I think it was good for him too. Mostly mostly him.

Damon (22:40): Why do you say that?

Megan (22:40): because I felt because you know, he was basically robbed. You know, I felt so terrible for him. He was robbed of a child. He was only 23 when I was born and he didn’t have any other children after me. So I’m an only child. And I felt really bad that he was robbed as having, you know, a child.

Damon (23:00): She said the first meeting was great with her birth father. She wanted to build their relationship from that point forward, wanting to make things right by him, acknowledging that he had to live with the knowledge of her existence. For 17 years, we speculated that Jennifer’s guilt over what she had done. Probably consumed her, forcing her to reveal the secret baby three years after the adoption was final. Megan said her mother was probably able to conceal her pregnancy because she was overweight. Most of her life. I wondered how things developed with her paternal grandparents. They had no idea their son, fathered a child long ago.

Megan (23:38): It’s good. They were, they didn’t know. So once I got up, once I called him the first time that day he got off the phone with me, called his mom and said, I need to come over and tell you guys something. And we went over there and he sat them down said, Hey, I had a child 18 years ago that I never told you about. And she just called me. And I think they were a little, um, yeah, they were upset. I’m sure. Um, I think it’s, it’s definitely, I noticed it took them awhile to really open up and come around. So I think I noticed when I met them the first time they were really quiet and I think probably still trying to process everything that was going on and now they’re, they’re awesome. They’re all amazing. It’s really been so good to just have them in my life and get to know them and them get to know me. So it’s hard as I rock the boat, everyone everyone’s pretty happy.

Damon (24:31): A few weeks later, Megan met her half brother this time. She took her parents and her younger sister. They met for lunch at a bar and grill where for the first time she was face to face with someone just like herself.

Megan (24:45): Oh my gosh. That was crazy. I cried a lot. It was weird. It was, it was finally kind of think of someone. I look a lot alike and we are, our personalities are so much alike and it was so weird to be around someone that was like me and looked like me. It was very foreign, but it was really good. It was like, I always knew him, but I didn’t really know him. It was like catching up with an old friend almost. And he just kept telling me how much I like her and how much I looked like her. And, um, it was really good

Damon (25:20): Yeah that must have been validating for somebody to be able to look at you and have known her and say, wow, you guys are alike. That’s, that’s amazing.

Megan (25:29): Yeah. It was the most validated I’ve ever felt in my entire life. So with all this sadness and really just hard times, it is so healing to really just even just looking at someone like in person that looks like me, um, was just crazy. It was so good. The craziest was when I met her sister, my aunt, my aunt Terry looks just like her. It was like seven, put a mirror up in front of me for the first time in my entire life. It was crazy. It was great. I mean, everyone’s so they’re so nice and so welcoming and it’s nice because I’m so nice and welcoming. So I think we’re, we’re alike in that sense, it’s just, I was welcomed with such open, loving arms. It was, it was just so wonderful. So wonderful

Damon (26:15): Megan’s reunion with her paternal side was a really fulfilling, but she can never know Jennifer and it was affecting her. When we spoke, she talked about her inability to overcome her emotions and acquaint herself with her birth mother posthumously. Did you ever ask anybody about your mother’s grave and did you have the strength to go or?

Megan (26:37): Yeah, they were, um, they actually cremated her and she had her ashes, scattered out a Lake out, uh, like an hour from me and I thought about going, but I don’t think I can yet. I think one day I probably will, but I’ll probably have my brother take me if he’s willing, but I’m a little too. Uh, I don’t know. I don’t think I’m emotionally ready for that one just yet. So it’s been a couple of years, but

Damon (27:04): Really? What do you think is holding you back? Why does it feel like you can’t do it yet?

Megan (27:08): I don’t know. Like my, uh, this past Christmas I had, um my biological father’s side of the family over for Christmas dinner. And he brought a box of some of her stuff. It was like a scarf. She made a blanket, she made and one of her, um, one of her sweaters that she wore all the time. And it was weird because when I opened the box and I touched these items and I was touching her sweater, I got this immediate, like panic feeling like I can’t touch this anymore. I don’t, I can’t, I can’t look at it. Like I shouldn’t be touching this and it’s the box is sitting in my living room for over a month. I still can’t bring myself to open it and look at it. I kind of almost feel like, you know, I didn’t really know her. Like I shouldn’t have these, have these things.

Megan (27:51): And it just felt so weird to hold something that she wants help, something that she, you know, she touched and I almost felt like I, I don’t know, it was weird. Like I shut it. So after that, I kind of, um, I don’t know, what’s holding me back. It’s very strange and strange, strange panic feeling. I think maybe getting a little too personal almost cause I’ll never be able to meet her. So I think, and so personal with her things and with her, I think is scaring me a little bit. Cause I’ve never had to do that. I’ve never met her. And I feel like almost having her things and going to the place where her ashes were scattered. It’s almost like needing her. And that scares me.

Damon (28:35): Things are good between Megan and her maternal family. She sees her brother sometimes and she’s met her older sister too, but she said her adopted mother had a really hard time with her reunion. Megan suspects, that it all happened so fast. Her mom didn’t have time to absorb everything. The contracted timeline for talking to her brother meant reunion was front and center within hours of Megan even mentioning she was searching.

Megan (28:58): They’ve just been so nice. And it’s been so good. Some happy. It’s been a, it’s been a journey, you know, it’s, it’s quite the journey of a lifetime. And I feel like I’ve lived longer than I’ve been alive. I don’t feel 22 years old. I feel very old.

Damon (29:16): Yeah, I can imagine. And this is a huge thing to have unfold at such a young age, but it’s amazing. Yeah. May I ask, how’s your, how’s your adopted mom doing with everything? How was she during this process?

Megan (29:30): Well, at first, when I told her that night, when I started, when I went to search squad, I told her, I said, okay, I’m doing it. I’m starting now five hours later, I come back in the house and I was outside talking to my brother and I told her, I said, I found him. I found my brother. And I don’t think in her mind, I think she thought it would take me like days or weeks a month. I don’t think she thought it would take me hours. Um, so I think she was a little shocked. And couple of months after she definitely had a really, really, really hard time with it. We had a couple of fights and she was a little more, I think almost sad. I felt bad almost because I felt guilty for making her feel sad and, and all of these feelings, she would kind of standoffish to me.

Megan (30:17): And you know, my, my mother is amazing. I love my mother so much, but her and I are so different than the way we deal with things. And the way we, we process our emotions. Cause I just wanted to talk to her and she did not want to talk about it at all. So I talked to her, I finally told her one day, I said, look like, if you don’t want anything to do with it, you don’t have to. I told her, I said, this has nothing to do with you or dad or my sister or anyone. This is all about me and my journey and healing myself because I couldn’t, I couldn’t do it anymore. And I think she understood like, okay, you know, after I told her that next point to her, it got a little better, you know, I wasn’t doing it to spite her.

Damon (30:58): mmhmm

Megan (30:59): I wasn’t doing it to make her hurt her feelings or make her feel abandoned. You know, I told her I’m not going to go live with them. You know, you’re my mom and my mom till the day I die, but she had a hard time. And then she started, she started to come around and she actually is the one that said, Hey, let’s have everyone over for dinner. So it’s been really good. And my dad has always been so understanding and every time I talk to him about something, he just gets it. Even though he’s not adopted, he just gets it. And it’s been really nice to have my dad there to really understand me and my feelings through everything.

Damon (31:33): So they got along your, your adopted mother and your biological father. They, they got to meet

Megan (31:38): Ruined. Everyone’s gotten along really, really well. Um, they haven’t met too many times because I’m sure many other adoptees listening well, and you will probably understand, I, it, it’s almost easier to keep family separate than have them together in a weird way. You kind of live like this double life. Um, it was kind of like your true identity and then your identity that you’ve had to kind of morph into and you’re, you know, growing up and living your life. So it’s almost easier to keep them separate sometimes because I get so much anxiety when they aren’t together, you know, it goes so well.

Damon (32:12): Well, the other thing too is like, you don’t necessarily like they don’t have to be friends. I find that repeatedly in people’s stories of their journey to find their biological families, that when they are in a position to introduce their biological family, to their birth family, more often than not, it’s almost like I need to check this box. Like I just want to see what will happen. I want them to, like, if they’re going to give one another, a chance to say something meaningful and special, that would be great. But like, they don’t have to be best friends. You know what I mean? Yeah. So, yeah. I mean, it’s like, it’s one of those marvelous things that if you can see it happen and make it happen and witness it and survive it, I think a lot of people feel like, yes, I got it. It it’s done if they want to talk fine, but if they don’t need to talk to each other ever again, that’s also okay. And then there’s a lot of gradation in how people feel about whether they want to, you know, facilitate a relationship between the parents or let them, you know, go back to their separate lives.

Megan (33:20): Yeah. And I really tried to make that so clear to my family. I said, you know, none of you have to be a part of it. This is about me. And only, you know, if you want to be in it. Awesome. If you don’t, that’s totally okay. I’m not going to hate you. I totally get it. I think a lot of the time adoptees kind of take on a lot of people’s feelings. Like, you know, they don’t, they take the wrong people’s guilt. They take on, you know, they don’t want to disappoint their parents. They don’t want to do this. So they have to really play on with the moderator between the, in their life and that’s tough sometimes. But I guess that’s just the way it goes. It is what it is.

Damon (33:58): I wanted to touch on one final thing that I think is really important. Megan said she was in therapy for 12 years. I wondered how Megan was doing at the time of our conversation. You know, you said you had been through therapy and you had tortured your mother and ultimately you needed healing. Do you feel like you’ve gotten it?

Megan (34:19): Definitely. I don’t think I’m totally there yet because there are times where I break down and ugly cry, but, um, I think, I think I’m getting there, which is really good. It’s been really, it’s been more good than that.

Damon (34:34): That’s excellent. I am really glad

Megan (34:35): I definitely don’t regret doing it. Part of that healing actually is from a Facebook group adoptees only, and all of the people that are in it and I’m an admin and all of those admins in that group are seriously the most amazing people I’ve ever met. It’s just, it’s an amazing place. It really is. It’s really helped in my journey of healing having other people that get you just helped so much

Damon (35:03): There is something really unifying and comforting about someone who can understand one of your deepest feelings and some of your deepest emotions from a perspective of empathy. That’s a hard thing for people to get if they haven’t been through it. And I think, you know, the online adoptee groups are incredibly important for people to be able to sort of openly express and emote and get support, which I think is, is incredibly important. Not a lot of people that all will actively go out and seek to go to therapy. But when you can just go online from the comfort of your living room and talk to what you know, I’ve heard people say our crib mates, you know, lots of people who understand your perspective, that is incredibly healing for a lot of folks.

Megan (35:49): Definitely. And even though, you know, we all have different experiences, we all connect on the same level. And even though we’re all strangers and we live in different parts of the country, they’re my family. They’re part of my family. I, you know, I it’s been so great. And thank you so much for having me on your podcast. It was really exciting

Damon (36:07): It’s my pleasure. I’m really glad that you had the time to share your story today is I was fascinating to hear you talk a little bit about just how much you tortured your mother, but I’m so glad you feel like you’ve got the healing now.

Megan (36:19): Oh, that’s my mother. I’m still apologizing for it.

Damon (36:24): I’m sure she appreciates it. Thank you.

Megan (36:27): Yeah. Thank you.

Damon (36:29): Take care all the best to you.

Megan (36:31): You too. Thank you.

Damon (36:32): Bye bye.

Damon (36:38): Hey, it’s me. I’m really glad that Megan got counseling for her emotional state. It can be really hard to deal with life in general and being an adoptee can be especially hard because in some cases you’re living two lives, whether you want to or not. There’s the, life you’ve lived in your adopted family and the one you’re inextricably linked to through your DNA and your heritage. Quite a while. After our interview, Megan emailed me to say that after three months, she finally opened the box with her mother’s belongings inside and put those items in her own closet. But she said she still hasn’t been to the place where her mother’s ashes are scattered. In that email she wrote, I think I will keep the image in my head that she is still out there somewhere. Even if it’s not true, I’m Damon Davis. And I hope you’ll find something in Megan’s journey that inspires you, validate your feelings about wanting to search or motivates you to have the strength along your journey to learn who am I really, if you would like to share your adoption journey and your attempt to connect with your biological family on the next season of the show, please visit

Damon (37:50): You can find the show at, or follow me on Twitter at Waireally? And please, if you like the show, you can subscribe to who am I really on? Apple podcasts, Google play tune in radio or wherever you get your podcasts while you’re there. Take a moment to share a rating or leave a comment. Those ratings can help others find the podcast too.

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