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A Question for my British Friends
February 18, 2004
3:06 am
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deehmah
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Hi - I haven't written often but when I have, the responses have been so very warm and helpful. Mostly I lurk, as someone else put it, and even in that, I have learned so much. My question is this - I was adopted here in the states when I was 2. My birthmother was from Scotland, working in Liverpool and came over to the states as a domestic. I was born here. I found my birthmom when I was about 25 and the relationship never really developed for a number of reasons. She was reluctant to talk about my father and only told me that he was an American serviceman stationed outside of Liverpool and I was the result of a brief affair. This was in 1953. He was either black or some other brown skinned minority. I spent years searching for a man with the name she gave me, hiring detectives, writing to military bases, etc. etc. Anyway, a couple of years ago I decided to write to the agency I was adopted thru to see if I could get more info. Well, the story I got was totally different. They had on record that I was conceived on the ship my mother took coming over here and my father was a steward who was from Liverpool. They would only give me his first name. I know now that my birth mom is the only one with the true answer but I am so afraid to approach her. We haven't spoken in about 10 years and about 3 years ago I wrote her several letters which she never answered. I don't know which story is true but I'm leaning towards the shipboard romance one because it sounds like something she wouldn't want me to know. I don't really care and don't judge her, having done many not so proper things myself. But I would really like to know the other part of my heritage. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could search for my father on my own? Is there some way to find out the names of ships that came to the states and get passenger and staff lists? I do have a first name from the agency which is different from the name she gave me. I am at the point where I will try anything and do any amount of work necessary. I feel that time is running out as my father would be in his seventies now and I will never forgive myself if it's too late when I find out who he is. Any suggestions would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks

dee

February 18, 2004
10:51 am
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mj
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Hope that your British friends respond. Good luck in your search Deemah.

February 18, 2004
2:56 pm
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deehmah
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MJ
Thanks - do you think I worded that wrong? I hope no one is offended.
dee

February 19, 2004
1:45 pm
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Kessie
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Hi,Deehmah

I noticed this - it's a complicatd problem isnt it? I'd love to be able to help you but I really dont know the answers to your questions at the moment. I will ask around, and see what I can find out. It's a great pity that you cant get your dad's name out of the agency. Can they legally keep it from you?

You will be able to pinpoint to within three weeks, though the date of conception (provided you were born at term) so identifying the ship wouldnt be too difficult. Would the agency be able to tell you if you had been premature? - Its worth a try anyway.

All the best, K

February 19, 2004
11:21 pm
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deehmah
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Kessie, thanks so much for answering. I was wondering if this board was the wrong place for this question. But then I thought, all this has to do with all my abandonment and self-esteem issues, so the search for my beginnings are actually relevant. The agency says that my fathers name is confidential. They can not give me any 'identifying info'. So they only gave me a first name. I was born March 11, l954 and was full term so I see my conception as sometime in June of 1953. The agency said my father was from Liverpool and was a steward on the ship my mother came to the states on. Being as she was coming to be a domestic here, I doubt it would have been any type of cruise liner. Again, the problem is though that I have 2 different stories about my father. After years of searching for an american g.i. with the name my birthmom gave me, I'm beginning to think it was a story she made up out of embarrassment. The steward on the boat sounds more real. And that is what she told the agency back then, believing she would never see me again. If you could give me so clues, I would do any and all research necessary. Thanks so much for any help.
dee

February 19, 2004
11:37 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi Deemah,

You were born on the same day as my Mom - although a different year.

But, what I wanted to tell you is that depending on what you find out - some people were able to come to the US from the UK on cruise liners after working in the shipyards for passage instead of pay. That was how my Grandfather was able to come here.

Perhaps that will help you too in some way.

Good luck.

Z.

February 19, 2004
11:40 pm
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Squeezles
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Deehmah, I can understand the agency not giving you the full details of your father for privacy reasons (although it must be so frustrating for you). Will they agree to pass on a letter to him for you? Can they even tell you if he's still alive? It's sad, he may not even know he has a daughter.

February 19, 2004
11:44 pm
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Squeezles
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In terms of the lists of passangers...are there any maritime organisations that could supply those details? We have a maritime museum where I live...if you have one of those, maybe you could try contacting them for any further leads you might be able to take.

February 20, 2004
12:43 pm
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deehmah
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Hi all,
Thanks so very much for the responses and suggestions. Squeezles, I will look into the maritime organizations. And Zinnie, thanks for your suggestion too. I guess I can't assume anything. As for the agency sending on a letter, I don't think they know anything but his name. I really need to approach my birthmom about this but I am so afraid of rejection. I found her when I wa 25 and we met once. I lived in Boston and she was in California, then moved to New Orleans. We kept up correspondence
for several years.
My adoptive parents were still alive and my son and I were living with them at the time. It made it incredibly difficult to have any kind of relationship with my birthmom as my adopted parents didn't know I had searched and found her. I couldn't tell them. My adopted mother was very jealous and controlling and there would have been hell to pay if she knew. Anyway, my birthmom seemed to want to 'reclaim' me. Wanted me to move closer to her, go to Scotland with her, be her daughter, even though I didn't know her. I was so torn at the time.She got upset with me because I couldn't do those things and she
stopped contact with me. After several years, I tried to re-establish with her but she was cool and told me I had hurt her as she had told all her family about me and I dissapointed her by not becoming closer. For years I blamed myself for doing something wrong. I finally realized that I did nothing wrong, her expectations were unrealistic and she was the one with the problem that
she would get mad at me, the one SHE gave away, for being hesitant. Anyway, a couple of years ago I wrote her a couple of letters to try to reestablish contact again but I never got a response. Yes, that's hurtful. But I won't force myself on her. The problem is that she is the only one with the answer. What would you guys suggest? I have her phone number but am afraid to call. What if she hangs up on me? I don't know that I could handle that. Do you think writing to her again and appealing to her to tell me would work? There are also medical issues involved. When my son was 13, he had an accident and it was found he had a bleeding disorder. A form of hemophilia. I was tested and found I had it too. I was very lucky to have made it as far as I did with no problems. Now my granddaughter has some heart problems. Where does this come from? What is my medical history. What if I need close relatives for blood transfusions and transplants or any kind of genetic testing. This is what is so unfair for adoptees. Anyway, any help you guys give me is so very appreciated. Thanks.
dee

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