Friday, August 11, 2017

Smile Because It Happened- Flower Portraits by Tracey Grumbach

Harford County Artist Tracey Grumbach
Imagine learning one day that you are not who you were told you were for 50 years. You always felt like you were not that person and didn't fit in, but didn't know why. Imagine waking up one day and not knowing your name, your birthday, who your parents were, or any familial medical history.  That is exactly what happened to Paul Joseph Fronczak, or Jack Rosenthal, as he later learned was his birth name.  In his memoir, The Foundling, Paul writes about his connection (or lack of connection) with the famous story of the newborn kidnapping in a Chicago hospital back in 1964.

Because a friend of mine, Allison Demski, was one of the genetic genealogists that worked on and helped crack his case, I was able to chat online with the author, Paul, last night. Allison lead a group of us in a book club for The Foundling and she was gracious enough to set up a meeting with Paul in a private Facebook chat room and Paul was gracious enough to join us. He was so very open with all of our questions and very honest and forthcoming about where he is in his investigation and his relationships with those in his life. (I'm trying to be general here as I don't want to spoil the memoir for those who plan to read it.)

My question was in relation to his feelings about being adopted since I am the adoptive mother of twins. I asked, "What advice would you give to an adoptive mom to help reduce the risk of severe identity struggles in adopted children?" His answer was that most, if not all adoptive children will feel some sort of void in their lives in regards to their biological family. He suggested that adoptive parents should allow the children to be who they truly are and to be supportive and loving if the adopted children should ever want or need to seek out their biological family. He assured me that it is not a personal attack or an attempt to replace the adopted parents. It is instead, a deep seeded, primal instinct to know where you come from.

I appreciated his advice and was glad to hear he thought we were doing a good job with how we choose to handle the adoption with our twins. (We went on to have a longer discussion on this topic). Brian and I attempt to keep open communication between us and the biological parents through email and pictures. We have a strong, close connection to the other adoptive families of the twins' biological siblings. We answer any questions the twins have about their birth family as honestly and openly as we can. And we plan on helping them, if they choose when they are adults, to seek out and meet with their biological parents. I have never and don't forsee myself ever feeling like they are trying to replace us just because they are curious about their origin.

I know trying to handle the adoption with delicacy won't take away the twins feeling a void where their biological family should be. I do hope, however, that it lessens it. I hope it takes away the mystery of it. I hope it takes away some of the sting of it. I hope it takes the adoption from something that they might be ashamed of to something they want to celebrate (and we do every year on the adoption date).

What a blessing to have Paul's perspective as a 50-something-year-old adoptee to help guide others along in this journey of life. According to Paul, he is working on a second book with updates about all that has happened since the first book ended. I know I will be buying it!


Tonight is the last night Brenna will be sleeping here under our roof for quite some time. She is off to Florida in the early morning hours tomorrow. Right now I am holding up emotionally, but that may change at any second, LOL. Please say a couple of prayers for a safe journey for her and Brian, who are driving to Florida with a trailer in tow, and for the twins and me for a safe flight on Sunday. We would also appreciate prayers for us and her as we adjust to our new normal of having her live so far away. Thank you in advance. I will be trying to either schedule posts or write posts while in Florida, so be sure to check the blog on Monday.


This digital art piece is another in the Portrait of a Flower series. This image was created with an iPhone 6S Plus. I used a white rose inside a soft box with side lighting. 

Have a great weekend!


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