Contributed by Maryanne Wilford
I have always known I was adopted, and I am very grateful for having such loving parents, but still, there has always been a piece of the puzzle missing. So when the last of my parents passed, I decided to do some digging.
I wasn’t wanting or even expecting to find anything more than my family roots.
My mother’s surname was Hickey, and that is all I knew.
Hickey is an Irish name and as I had always been drawn to the Celtic way, this attraction made sense.
I have been to Ireland four times and lived and worked in Scotland for two years. So when I found that one of my parent’s family was from Scotland and one was from Ireland, clarity and understanding began to emerge.
What I wasn’t expecting was to find 4800 relatives with my DNA.
All but 2 were second, third or fourth cousins, but 2 were closer—a half-sister from my mother’s side and a niece from my father’s side.
Once talking to these amazing people, we were able to piece together 2 halfsisters from my mother’s side and 5 halfsiblings from my Dad.
This discovery amazed me.
I was raised with one adopted brother, 2 foster siblings and 3 step-siblings.
Now there were 7 blood related family members.
Last year during Covid, Sunrise and Qantas had a competition to be reunited with family interstate. Despite my story not being a reunion story but rather a first meeting, I still won the competition and last month met four siblings living in Melbourne.
I had spoken to all of them, but meeting them took my excitement to the next level.
Unfortunately, I could not meet my mother’s daughters, but they have been amazingly kind and very sharing with information and photos.
My father’s children opened up their homes, family and hearts to me.
I imagine this was hard for them to take in as, between all of them, I am the product of an affair, but as my older sister and brother said, these things happened back then and still do.
I spent 10 incredible days in Melbourne. The kindness shown to both my husband and I was very moving and gratifying.
I’m sure our parents would be proud of the level of acceptance and forgiveness shown and that we were all finally able to embrace with warmth and affection.