Wow! I'm glad you are finally getting some closure on the issue.
Back in 1968, my father was hit by a car and killed. He left behind 3 kids, ages 13, 12 and 10 (I was the youngest) and a 32-year old wife. For about the first 10-years, I had no idea what this would mean in the long term as I just walked around in a daze over the sudden and extremely significant loss. The Grandparents (my fathers parents) were Italian and blatently worshipped the oldest Grandson (my brother) but were equally as blatent in ignoring my sister and I. By the time I was 12, my Grandfather had convinced me that I was adopted; always saying sh!t like, "look in the mirror, you don't have red hair like your brother and sister, you don't look like anybody". By the time I reached my 20s, I felt as if I didn't belong and truly found myself being an outsider.
When my Grandfather dided in 1988 (I was 31 at the time), I finally mustered up the courage to confront my Mother on "my adoption". She was totally stunned that he had been telling me this for all of those years and swore that it wasn't true. Then came the first shocker; she said that my Father always thought that he had been adopted. I didn't really beleive my Mother when it came to my situation, probably because it had been drilled into me for so long. At the same time, I wanted to know what my Fathers story was.
A couple of months later, I attended a wedding with my wife. I didn't know anyone at all except the bride. There was a guy that I first noticed in the church that was literally staring me down. It continued at the reception and got very bothersome, so I confronted him. I asked him what his problem was. He immediately asked me where I grew up. I told him it was none of his business at which point, he guessed; and he was correct. He then went on to ask me if my Father was killed when I was young. As it turned out, he was a close friend of my Father growing up. His family had relocated, so they lost touch before my Father was killed, but they were very close at one time. He then went on to tell me that he knew I was my Fathers son because he was blown away by the way that I mirrored all of my Fathers manuriisms. I walked exactly like him, moved my hands like him and to this guy, looked exactly like him. All at once, I realized that there was no way that I could have been adopted, because you don't inherit physical attributes through adoption. I sat and talked with that guy the rest of the night and learned as much as I could about the kind of person my Father was. BTW, I later met some of my Fathers other friends, all of which assured me that I was my Fathers son. It proved that my Grandfather truly was the meanest pr!ck on earth.
It was time to find out what my Fathers story was. I met with my Brother and Sister to discuss the issue. My Sister was all for finding out the truth but my Brother was totally against it. I decied to move forward. I knew that my Grandparents had lived in Chicago and I knew that they were stauch catholics. I discovered that most adoptions in Cook County were done through the Catholic Charities organization. First, I searched birth records in Cook County. There was no record of my Fathers birth. I then went to Catholic Charities and requested an investigation. They refused claiming there records were sealed. I engaged an attorney who was also unable to get any records. This was back in 1989.
Over the next 20-years, this ate away at me, but I beleived there was nothing I could do. My wife and I had a conversation about it in 2009. She knew it was something that really bothered me and that without knowing his story, I had a huge hole in myself. She suggested that I make another run at Catholic Charities, thinking that during the past 20-years, their policies may have changed. She was right. I asked for an investigation and they agreed to provide all NON-IDENTIFYING information. After 2-years, heres what I know for sure.......... He was adopted through their organization. He was born on 10-27-35 at a place called Missericordia Maternity Home on 47th street in Chicago. His Mother was a 16-year old high school student who was of 100% Irish decent. His Father was a 19-year old recent high school graduate also of 100% Irish decent, who never knew the girl was pregnant or that he had a Son. He was an orphan for the first 3-years of his life until he was adopted by my "Grandparents". So far, thats what I know. I then found out that the state of Illinois had enacted a law that allows access to unaltered birth certificates of anyone born before 1946. I have requested a copy of his orginal birth certificate, which I should receive within the next few weeks.
If shes still alive, his Mother would be 92. I'd like to meet her or any kids she may of had, but I don't know if they will be receptive. I'm now 53, and after so many years, I feel quite a sense of accomplishment already as I have been able to put some answers to questions that my Father had until the day he died, but now I want to carry it through to the end. My Grandmother is 102 now, and she has no idea that I know the truth. As it turns out, this was the worst kept family secret ever, as every one of my cousins, aunts and uncles, literally everyone in the family knew my Fathers story except him and his immediate family.
Now, at 53 I know what his death meant. We all missed out on so much that it is almost impossible to calculate. But at least now I know the truth............
Last edited by iamjoe; 07-09-2011 at 07:39 AM.
Wow! I'm glad you are finally getting some closure on the issue.
Wow what a story that is incredible after 53 years to finally find the truth out... I would have tore old man grandpa up ad down for the hell he put u through thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for sharing. I hope it brings you peace.
I'd have to let Grandma know, I know.. And let her know the pain Grandpa put you through..
As for the old man, I've been very vocal in letting everyone know how lucky he is that he already croaked. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have snapped him in half, length-wise. The old lady knows he was telling me those things, but she does nothing but deny all of it.
All i can say is wow.
Wow, Thanks for sharing, and best of luck in your search. I hope this can bring some peice to you in some way. I come from a F-ed up family too. My grandfather on my dads side was real bad and abusive to all his children. SO bad, my aunt shot him. but he lived through it. My grandmother just denied it ,or she'ed get beat again....... Good thing this all happened when I was young and before I had guns.
PS. He did die of a stroke along time ago.
Best wishes to ya! Joe
Last edited by boot; 07-09-2011 at 03:59 PM.
Wow, as was mentioned earlier hopefully this brings piece to ur mind. Its such as shame b/c this goes to show how much of an effect parents/grandparents/older family members can have on the mindstate of a child. Best of luck with everything!
My shrink told me that the most logical scenario is that the Grandfather resented my Father because he could have kids but the old man couldn't. After he was killed, the old man decided that I would be easiest target to take it out on since my Father was gone. It sucks, but it certainly makes sense since my Dad only tolerated the old man when he was alive.
There are a lot of details that have gone unsaid surrounding the whole thing. My Dad was killed on 1.11.68 which was a Thursday. A couple of unusual points: for those of you who know the Chicago suburbs, he was killed during a snow storm on Euclid Ave, just west of Rt. 83. It is just west of Randhurst mall. Less than 2-DAYS before, the Grandfather hit and killed a pedestrian during a snow storm on Rt. 12, just west of Rt. 83. When I was in my early-20s, I looked up the details of each accident and found that going by addresses, they were within 4 digits of each other, only one block apart (counting major streets) and on the same side of the street.
As for being 1/2 Irish, I'm cool with that but it is taking a little getting used to since I was raised Italian/Belgian. I was talking to my sister the other day about what our real name might be; I told her I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out its "O'feces" given the way everything has gone............
That is one heck of a story. Good for you. My wife is adopted and has no desire to meet her birth parents. I look them up on the internet every now and then to see if they are looking for her. Mount Prospect must have been a ghost town back in 68, because after Milwaukee and Greenwood roads(Niles) it was mostly farm fields back then. I live in Hawthorn woods, but Euclid Rd. well, kind of erie to say the least.
Hope everything works out for the best.
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