Since the death of my much beloved Aunt in October, I have been feverishly trying to trace my family history before the remainder of my paternal family is gone. I am almost a first generation Canadian. I say this since my grandparents were born in the Ukraine and some of my aunt’s and uncles were as well. My father being the youngest was born here, in Canada. My grandparents came from a rich village which consisted of 998 families. I have been searching ancestry sites and involved in genealogy forums. The Greek catholic church has not submitted their records to the state archive office and in order to obtain my family information, I need to convince the regional registry to “disturb the past”. It has been months since my request and I have no answers. This has made me realize how a sealed record adoptee would feel. The frustration is enormous.
In doing my research I have met many who are along the same path as me. I have seen many people’s family records and I have seen many Catholic baptismal records. What I found interesting is that there were NO adoptions. There are many baptismal records which state “illegitimate” and no father listed but these mothers kept their baby and raised them. What I found interesting also is that the grandmothers lived with, worked and assisted with the raising of the child whether in or out-of-wedlock. My grandmother, for example, lived with my great-grandmother when my grandfather left to Canada to start a life here. She, and three children, lived together. My great Baba did not tell them to find somewhere else to go as she did not want to raise someone else’s children. Family was truly family.
I come to this blog post after witnessing a soon to be aunt declare that she will not support or raise her niece/nephew unless she has “ownership papers”. The mother of the young mother-to-be refuses to help if she keeps her baby and the father-to-be’s mother is the same. What happened to family? I mean REAL family.
One of my best friends recently married a mother of one from the Philipines. She, along with the rest of the family, lived together and helped each other with children, work and cooking. When she heard my story of adoption loss, she was appalled that family would turn their backs on each other due to greed or self-righteousness. Many people think that we in North America live in a developed nation. Do we? Look at how we treat family. I think i would rather have true happiness with ALL my children living with all my family under one roof (crowding and all) than to be missing one of my descendants. I wonder where the traditional Baba’s, Mima’s and Grammy Grams have gone.