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My True Story by Cheri McEachin
Martin Luther King once said, "It's important to know where you came from". How true is this, as not knowing your roots is a killing in itself. We all have a destiny and we need the past to guide us in order to fulfill it. At the age of 36yrs, I am now fulfilled, complete, the puzzle has finally been put together, and I can now say, I know who I am and where I came from. But, what a long road I had to take in order to succeed.
My new venture in finding who I was and where I came from, started at the tender age of sixteen when I had a misfortune of learning by ordering my birth certificate, that the name I had grown up with was not to be, but some foreign unheard off name. I had always known that I was adopted but, what I didn't know is that the adoption was not completed. So, was I not legal and why in the world did I have to prove to people of authority that I was who I said I was instead of what was on a birth certificate that I had not seen before. Questions were then asked to my adoptive parents with no feedback, I decided that the search was on.
I managed to get hold of my original birth certificate and a kind man from Social services tried to locate my parents from the address on the certificate, but to no avail. So, here I was lost in identity with a huge gap in my life that I or anyone else could explain. My name and colour of my skin was a mystery. How empty I felt.
The emptiness inside tagged on to my sole for many years even when I was married in 1987 and bore three children in the next ten years. We moved to America and started living as normal people getting through there lives, but there was always that acing feeling of not belonging and not knowing who I was. To explain to my children that I was born in England but that is far I can go, to explain to my Doctor that I do not know my family history. I was living day to day without a clue on the future of my health or if there was hereditary disease waiting to catch me at a certain age. Some might say this was a lucky charm, I say, I want to know.
As the years went by, I contact several agencies in America, Private investigators and Social Services both in London and Cambridge. Nothing! Then to my salvation, a little machine called the Home Computer was born. Over the next 10yrs the World Wide Web was born and grew to the information highway. Adoption registers became available, website for information and my search was heading towards a maximum exposure, yes this was it. The excitement was becoming an obsession that at the age of 36yrs old, my business as a manager for talent in the entertainment world became stagnant. My acting career was thrown to the side. Was there a purpose for this obsession that had a hold off me for this long? September 11th 2001 was devastation in itself; funerals were held with unanswered questions and lost lives that were unnecessary. I would not leave this planet without my mission of life being completed; my identity had to be resolved.
A researcher kindly took on my adventure and managed to get hold of my Birth Mothers marriage certificate and then, a birth certificate of a half brother. The feeling I had grew to a point of explosion, to think that I have a brother, a blood brother out there that made my obsession more powerful and thrown my mission into oblivion. My mind was racing, my search expanded to all of Europe, connections were made, chat rooms consisting of other adoptees helping one another to overcome this hole in our lives and my own UK researcher site went up. I contacted every newspaper in England pleading to place an article for me, most of them agreed, so the writing started.
While I was writing these articles, I thought I would try to approach from a different angle. I have been always told my nationality was French/Mauritius, so I went searching the web for Mauritius and found that they have a newspaper. More emails were written and answers were to follow with a generous reporter saying he would print my search.
I had done all I could, I was mentally exhausted from 20yrs of searching. I realized my obsession need to go into a dormant state for a while, thus it did, for one day!
On the 1st February 2002 I opened my email as normal and started to read. I suddenly became lighter, I was floating into a state of shock, and my heart was beating a mile a minute, I was numb and the tears rolled down my face. I had to blink away my tears to read the words, "My dear Cheri, I do not how to tell you this, but I have found your Birth Mother". The next seven emails I read was marked "urgent, please call this number in Australia". I took a breath, looked up and said goodbye to my angel as she floated away with an envelope to be buried, my search was finally put to rest. I could feel a sense of being completed and throwing that void out onto the streets.
Being a so passably adoptee, we are prepared for rejection or information we might not want to learn, but we are not prepared for the positive. It was overwhelming when all the emails from my lost family came in wanting to know me and how excited they were. They had been searching for me to. I then received several phone calls from a 2 half sisters and my birth mother. All my questions were answered and this is a happy ending to a 20yr long and exhausting search. If I was to give advice to any other Adoptee or Birth Mothers out there it would be simply be, never give up!