Red Light. Green Light. And Sometimes it Stays Yellow for a Long Time.

“I look for a sign. Where to go next. You never know when you’ll get one. Even the most faithless among us are waiting to be proven wrong.”
― Jillian Lauren, Pretty

I know what’s happening.  I’m emotional.  Scared.  Afraid of what might happen next.  Or maybe I’m afraid that nothing will happen next.

Sometimes I just go full steam ahead.  Everything makes sense and things happen.  Not always good things.  Even when good things do happen in this crazy search, it can be scary.

I do realize that it’s all emotional on my part.  I have enough raw data and information (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) to power through and get the answers that I think I need.  What if I upset people?  Maybe I don’t need the answers. Or maybe if I just keep telling myself I don’t need the answers I can move forward and get the answers and not be affected by the consequences.

No way.  I know that I am fully attached to the outcome of this whole thing.  After my second attempt at contacting Margaret some 25 years ago, my desire to reconnect with my biological family had somewhat faded.  I’m sure it’s because of her letters and the impact her words had on my delicate psyche. But why did I choose to be so affected?

Frankly, I’m exhausted. I don’t know why I got a bug up my ass in 2013 to reignite my search. Because I turned 50?  Maybe. Emotionally, it’s an all-consuming project.  It’s been difficult to accomplish stuff on my normal day-to-day to-do list.  One day I am motivated by my progress and new connections and the next I am frustrated by a relative’s mere stranger’s reaction and attitude and the emotional doors being slammed in my face.

So sometimes I see a yellow “caution” light in my mind. I have to take time out to process things. Sometimes I have to press “pause.”  That’s why there are some long pauses in this blog. I apologize for that.  But it’s all happening right now.  It’s affecting me right now.

I did hear from my bio dad.  He responded within a few days of receiving my message via 23andMe.

Jackson Summer, a Father wrote:  

What is very strange about this is that I am from the same town as Margaret and although not exactly 50 years ago the love of my life was named Marian Michaels.  We met in school. I was 16 and she was 14. To make a long story short we were together for 8 years at which time the relationship broke up because of my drug use. Because I loved her so much, I went away and straightened myself out. Unfortunately, I had destroyed the trust between us and we went our separate ways. I eventually married and had a daughter and Marian married and had a son and a daughter. Years later, my wife passed away due to cancer. Marian’s husband had died one year earlier.

Today Marian and I are best of friends and often visit one another.

Laureen, your inquiry has piqued my interest. There are so many coincidences in our stories. I would enjoy geting to know you.

My very best to you,

Jackson Summer

So that was a little odd.  My bio mom is Margaret Michaels. The love of his life was Marian Michaels.  Is this some other weird piece of an even more twisted and fucked up puzzle? It didn’t make sense.  So I gave him more details.  I paraphrased all of the information from the non-identifying data I had received from the wonderful Mr. Witt (I eventually gave him a copy of the paperwork with all of the details). Now he would know that I knew that he had been arrested with Margaret.  It also gave him a bit of back-story about his relationship with Margaret. It’s what I knew. My truth, right?  He couldn’t deny it. The part about “going away to straighten himself out” made sense to me–that had to be the time he served in prison. Had to be . . . right?  Plus, what about the DNA?  I know Margaret is my bio mom. And the DNA is solid confirmation (to most of the logical world) that Jackson is my bio dad. His next response:

Hello again,

One of the reasons I am as open to helping you find your dad is that my father died when I was 6 and although I was raised by my mother, she never gave me much information about his family. I very much understand what is like to not know about those who brought you into the world. There are so many coincidences about all this–to say nothing about the genetic match!

The problem for me right now is that I have no memory of being with anyone other than Marian Michaels during this time. I have written to her about this and asked her if she remembers any of the names you wrote about. I have not heard back yet. Also, I majored in Art and English, and although I helped teach a evening class at the city college, that lasted less than a month. I do not even remember if I took any classes at the  local junior college.  I was and still am an artist and I was well known for the jewelry and metal work I did. I used to sell my work at the beach every weekend.  I think most people who knew me then would have connected me with art and the craft of jewelry making. The description in the paperwork you provided simply does not describe me back then.  The area where I lived was very different then…..many artists, writers and creative minds.

It has been a long time and you have piqued my curiosity to no end. There is so much coincidence in time place and of course the genetic info.

My Best,

I’m happy that he’s open and honest and willing to “help me find my dad.”

23 thoughts on “Red Light. Green Light. And Sometimes it Stays Yellow for a Long Time.

  1. Oh, this is crazy! DNA is a definitive answer, not a “coincidence”! He must have connected the dots but maybe is having trouble getting his head around the fact that his Marian/Margaret never told him about you. I am glad he is willing to continue communicating. Fascinating story!


  2. Our stories are different but feelings the same.

    I had to take a step back from my situation too. What did I want from this connection? What do you want? ** I wanted to be wanted. Not rejected. The problem with this – we can’t control what others think and do. Ultimately it is only YOU that can create your own happiness. Explore this relationship. Look for those signs. Let him share with you his life and ancestry. If he wants to be oblivious to the facts, let him. Maybe he will eventually realize.

    If he’s tested at 23andme, has he tested elsewhere? My bio dad and 1/2 sibling both tested at and it came back labeled in black and white PARENT.

    Don’t be a stranger writing…sometimes sharing our feelings helps us cope and makes us a tad bit stronger. 🙂


    • Thanks, Meg! Yes, the writing is really helping me sort out the weirdness of the story and the confusing emotions. Plus, I really believe that my children are entitled to know their story–it’s their history, too. And I am so grateful that other adoptees are reading and sharing. I used to feel so “alone,” but now I know–there is an entire TRIBE of us out there with similar stories and emotions. Thank you so much for reading and sharing!

  3. I didn’t see that coming. The only explanation that makes sense to me (other than a twin brother) is that he was too wasted back then to remember what happened.

    • Helen! I chuckled a little at your comment: “I didn’t see that coming.” Did you see Philomena? That was one of her favorite phrases! ❤ Thanks for reading–and yes, he was definitely a little too fuzzy to remember. But there are other explanations/options–stay tuned.

  4. The other dna matching that could show similar matching to a parent child relationship is a full sibling I think… is that possible?

  5. I was going to say what Helen did. He admits having a drug problem in the right time frame. It’s also possible that, if the two Michaels’ are sisters or cousins, that he didn’t even realize that one night he was with the “wrong” one (if she desired that). I would guess that Marian knows the truth. (I hope you’re using make up names in this saga.)

  6. Read this blog in the wee hours of the morning and wished I could call you! Of all the posts, this was the most personal and vulnerable. Wanted to give you a virtual hug! It doesn’t matter how much I know, I learn more every time I read a new chapter of your story. Even though I can’t ever fully know how it feels to be adopted, you manage to pull us non-adoptees into your head and your world and I’m so thankful my friend is sharing so much. It makes me love you even more! X0

  7. Very concerning that he went away from her as he had his own drug problems. Never mentioning being locked up. His girfriend married and husband died or is that some lie Margaret told him in their communications of late, Remember on public record and to you, she never married or had children. At first I kinda of understood Margaret with her 50 year lie. It had been a lie so long she probably believed it herself but why after 50 years would she lie to her once upon a time boyfriend. Is she trying to say the records were mixed up lies and really you were born to another woman. In part of his writing, it seems he is trying to figure out if he possibly could have conceived a child with another woman that also ends up locked me. Her name is probably Margaret but was probably called Marian to her friends. Oh so many parts to put together.

      • I repeat, Laureen, this is a book that needs to be written. Maybe as fiction. I hope by now you know the truth and have found some of the answers you are looking to find. I can’t even imagine how much stress trying to find a birth parent could become. Margaret could have ended all of this 25 years ago by giving you simple answers to health questions and telling another one of her lies by saying she really didn’t know who the father was as there were so many men in her life. I have some thoughts but they are too wild to even speak of or put on paper.

  8. If I recall correctly the report stated they have no record of him after his arrest. It also made mention of a mercedes. Maybe his family had the money to keep him out of prison and send him away to a nice rehab facility?

  9. Pingback: The Lies That Bind . . . and Other Truths | Adoption: My Truth

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