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Our DNA Kit Commit Winner is Mary Nilsson of Antioch, Illinois

Posted by Adoptee Merch. on



My name is Mary Nilsson and I submitted a request for Adoptee Merch’s DNA Kit Commit Program. My reason is, I need help purchasing a DNA kit because I am short on money and my budget won’t allow this type of expense. I’m a disabled city bus driver. Sadly, I fainted from a lifelong condition and this ended my career at 54 years old. I’m currently living on SSDI and it uses all my money each month for living expenses. This doesn’t allow for extra luxury expenses, like a DNA Kit.

I was born in 1957 in Chicago at St Vincent’s home for unwed mothers. My mother was 20 years old when she delivered me. She turned 21, 5 days later. My adoptive parents were doing well financially and were able to move ahead in line by making large "Donations" to Catholic Charities. I made all these discoveries after their deaths when I came in possession of their belongings and discovered my adoption papers. This is when I finally had my biological mothers name.

Let me share a little history.

My childhood was somewhat abnormal as my adoptive mother was an alcoholic and my adoptive dad traveled for his job. My adoptive mom wasn’t mean, but she was absent upstairs for sure. My brother who was also adopted (from another family) and I ran wild around the neighborhood. My brother was gay and sadly he died in 2013 of AIDS. He was put in homes by his biological father and treated like he was never good enough.

I guess if it’s not born in you, it’s the lack of a mother and father.

I was told I was adopted at 5 years old. The kids in the neighborhood were teasing me about it, so I asked my adoptive mom what it meant. From that minute on I was screwed up. Confused to say the least. I was told I was chosen. My Brother picked me out. Not only was that not comforting, but scary as hell for a child.

Although they never treated me bad, I became bad. As I grew up I got worse and worse. I graduated finally after being put in homes and detention centers by my adoptive father. I did every drug known to man (except heroin) this was the 70’s. I never came home and partied daily. I skipped school, and I was promiscuous and just totally BAD. All the while feeling like I wasn’t even born or like I was grown in a test tube or something.

I did meet a man who was 10 years older than I was at a nightclub when I was 19. Somehow after all of that I had a very good work ethic and things went ok until his physical violence for 5 years became too much. He beat me half to death and made me abort my child.

I decided to become what I knew I was, Gay. It was a big mistake to never have a child. Because now you really have no blood. It’s very hard. But after all I have been in just 2 relationships since and I am now 60.

I was blessed with being able to raise my fit’s girlfriends 2 children from baby’s and they are still in my life today. I have been with my wife Linda for 14 years now and I’ve helped her raise my step daughter from 10 years old. She just turned 25.

But still the void remains.

I continued my eager searches for my biological family throughout the years until one night at 54 years old I went on an adoption page on Facebook and put in my details. This was 2012. Right away I started getting messages. I was told I should make a poster and post a picture. A search Angel Pam Leeper (AKA Pamela Karanova) spotted my incorrect post and by morning I had everything there was to know about my maternal side. What had taken me 30 years had taken her less than an hour to find, my biological mother. Pam has never left my side through these crazy and horribly disappointing last 6 years.

I have had a few angry letters from my bio mother who says her pregnancy with me was "the worst time of her life" and she asked me to promise not to search further because I was an embarrassing secret. Turns out she was pretty much horrified I located her. I found out she had 3 more children that must have also been horrified because I’ve been told loud and clear to disappear. Yea right lady. Don’t hold your breath!!

At that point I realized I went on a huge search just to be rejected by all. My biological mother did give me my birth fathers name, but I continue to have questions if this is really him and if it is, where is he? She insists on his name, but I have heard a different name as well.

As you can see there is so much uncertainty hanging over my head about WHO AM I? WHERE DID I FROM? I need answers, I need my truth. I will never feel settled in my spirit until I know who my biological father is and where he is. Do I have siblings out there who might want to get to know me? If so, where are they?

I am so very grateful to be nominated for the Adoptee Merch DNA Kit Commit program for a chance to find my paternal side. This is extremely important to me. I feel like it’s now or never and Thank God Adoptee Merch chose to help me because I never thought I would have the means for DNA testing due to financial reasons.

Thank you for supporting Adoptee Merch. Your support is helping me receive the answers I’ve always dreamed of. I will keep in touch and let everyone know in an update letter how my search is going and what truth I find out due to this amazing program.

Mary Nilsson