05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Monday, August 15, 2016

Life Is Full of Life Changing Events -- Michelle Monkou

I used to think that my life was pretty ho-hum. Nothing bizarre. No drama. Pretty much living along the center line of the road. So to think of a life-changing event, I had to perform a memory rewind for important junctions that pushed or heralded me into one direction or another.

Although there aren't monumental events, they are mostly private experiences that I cherish, buried, or will dust off for another time. So the one thing that I have shared and am willing to continue speaking about is my discovery of my adoption and subsequent meeting with my birth mother. 

About ten years ago I had confirmation that I was adopted. It was a feeling that I always had, but didn't investigate too much just in case it was true. But through digital magic, I was able to find out quite easily and received the information I'd requested. 

People ask me if the "feeling" that I was adopted was due to the treatment I'd received from my adopted parents. And no, I was not Harry Potter living under the stairs. I didn't grow up in an orphanage. I was taken home soon after my birth mother delivered me. Her father was good friends with my parents. For better or worse, her father thought it the best solution. My mother kept in touch with my birth mother with updates on my accomplishments. 

Once I'd learned the details, then I wanted to attempt the next step to meet her. That also went smoothly. There was no Hallmark movie drama with family members or my birth mother. Her family knew of my existence and warmly welcomed me. 

So we met in London and chatted at length with the promise that I'd keep in touch. Over the past ten years, our families have connected several times with lengthy visits either in the U.S. or England. Partly due to my connection with my birth family, my daughter plans to go to post-graduate school in England and possibly settle there for the long haul.

I'd say that life hasn't changed much, but that would be untrue since I'm richer and better for additional members to the family unit. 

Life is full of life changing events. And I love my life for all its blessings.

Michelle Monkou

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Judith Ashley said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Michelle. As a long time international and domestic adoption worker (29+ years), I know adoption is not always traumatic. And, having loving and caring adoptive parents does not necessarily ease the pain some adult adoptees feel. How nice that your daughter has an England family and can make her way there if she chooses with so much support. Also not a bad thing that you'll have yet another reason to spend time there. If you need a traveling companion, let me know!

Sarah Raplee said...

Both my son-in-law and my daughter-in law are adopted, as well as one of my granddaughters. All 3 knew they were adopted from the time they were very young. i imagine learning when you are older , even if you suspect, is a life-changing event.

Although she had a happy childhood, my daughter-in-law has been searching for her birth mother for years. My son-in-law says he has wonderful parents and has no wish to find his birth parents. Everyone is different.

I'm so glad you have enriched your life by getting to know your birth family!

Diana McCollum said...

What a beautiful story of reuniting with your birth family! Awesome that your daughter is thinking of going to college in England.

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Thank you for sharing Michelle. I knew you were adopted. But it's nice to hear heartwarming stories about extended families. So sorry for your recent loss!