…And the Envelope, Please.

by Laura

And there it was. The envelope I’d been waiting for with the return address of “Springfield, Illinois”.

My Mom.

Charlotte McManus from New York. She was 20 years old.

Father’s name “legally omitted”. Well, okay…I was working those DNA matches and it was just a matter of time and diligence before I cracked that one.  R i g h t???

The OBC looked exactly like my childhood birth certificate except it wasn’t a photo-stat copy, white on black. The doctors and the address of the hospital were all the same. Birthdate, time, weight, length…all the same. But the stunning difference was two-fold: the Mother’s name wasn’t Marjorie Luner and my name wasn’t Laura.

At the bottom of the paper, I noticed Charlotte’s signature. My birthMom’s handwriting…which was suddenly very real and very dear to me, because I had already found her obituary; she had died in 2002, the day after her 67th birthday.

From the time I received my DNA test results to the day I received my OBC, only about a month had passed. From everything I’d read, most folk looked and looked and looked for YEARS before getting anywhere close to where I’d gotten in just a few short weeks.


The emotional impact was huge. The stunning truth was what I had suspected for a very long time:  the legal name change that was part of my adoption proceedings was real; my name, given me by Charlotte, was Marie. But seeing the proof, up close and personal, was quite overwhelming. I thought I was very, very done with “processing” my personal adoption stuff.

But I wasn’t.  Not with this in my hot little hand; not by a long-shot.