Chapter 2

Chapter 2

By now, you know that Shannan did not get an abortion and the baby she had in 1989 was adopted by her cousin. If you're anything like me, you're burning with tons of questions and I'll do my best to answer those. 

Chapter 2 in a way, is the healing journey. Not that I had trauma from finding out I was adopted or feeling abandoned, but adoption within a family can be messy. And Shannan rightfully had to navigate a bunch of big feelings and scenarios having started high school birthing a baby that she didn't keep.

To clear the air for the most asked question, no, I do not call Shannan "Mom". I have a mom, her name is Jenny, and yes she is my "adoptive mom", but nonetheless, she is who raised me and was my mom. Same for my dad, he's the coolest.  Shannan and my parents did their best to have family members called by their adoptive place meaning a biological aunt became a grandma because of adoption, and vice versa. So, Shannan and her husband were my cousins, and my "biological cousins" became my parents and siblings. 

Growing up, I remember always knowing I was adopted, I am not sure exactly what age, but it feels like I always knew. It was never a taboo word, or an uncomfortable conversation. My parents were very gracious when I had questions and did their best to answer them. One question, however, did not get answered the first time I asked, and that was "Who are my biological parents"? It wasn't that I didn't love my mom, dad and siblings, but theres a mystery to it, the two people who created you, knowing about their existence but not knowing them personally.  I started to create narratives in my mind that they were homeless and couldn't care for me,  or the mother was a famous actress and didn't want to put her career on hold etc. 

Around the age of 12 is when my parents decided it was time to tell me. Little did they know, I had already found out. See, my parents had a filing cabinet and in it was a manila envelope titled Cari's Adoption. I went through it, realized cousin Shannan was my biological mom, a longtime "family" friend was the biological dad, and that was that. Both of them lived in Southern California and I grew up in Northern California, so I assumed it would be a good bit of time before I saw them again. I put the file back and carried on with my 12 year old life and didn't think much of it. Until my parents sat me down and put that manila envelope in front of me. I remember being more scared that this was a AH HA! Caught ya moment. But instead they let me go through the file and asked if I had any questions. My mom was crying, my siblings were sitting there awkwardly, my dad was anxiously waiting for me to say something. And I was totally unfazed, I asked to go back to my friends house! My parents were convinced I was in shock and still processing. They didn't find out for over 20 years that I had already known before they told me. 

For me, finding out these two people I had already known my whole life and built familial relationships with, was kind of like finding out Uncle Joe is just your grandpa's best friend from childhood.  It didn't change anything. Shannan didn't magically become MY mom. She was still my cousin, but more like another big sister. 

Now the messy part doesn't involve myself, Shannan or my parents. We all got along just peachy, life continued on and we all had a really unique and amazing relationship. But not everyone in the family felt that way, or felt that was fair. Looking back, there were hurts still in their hearts from before I was ever conceived, but those all came out years later when another wound opened the door. Navigating that at 12 wasn't easy, and it didn't get easier the older I got. What I did learn is that forgiveness is a better option than resentment; the latter leads to a plethora of problems.

As for Shannan, she married her high school sweetheart, Javier, whom she had known since Junior High! She will share Chapter 2, part II soon on her life after Chapter 1. 

Chapter 3 is still being written, but it starts with three women with intertwined stories starting a non toxic, made in the USA cosmetic company with the goal to give extravagantly to pro life causes. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.