I had the strangest experience one day catching a cab home from Myers in Queen Street as a 17 year old. The first thing the cabbie said to me was 'Who is your father' and 'Is he your real father?', to which I replied 'Of course', as I didn't know any better. This happened the same year as someone called out 'Judy' to me and when I turned around they said, 'Oh you are the dead spit of my friend Judy'. Well you guessed it, my natural father was a cabbie and my sister who is just over a year younger than me, her name is Judy. Being an adoptee from the 1950s it was a common experience for the adoptive parents to never tell that you were adopted, but, in fact, so many people did know. I was quite surprised when one of my teenage friend's friend said to me one day much later, that he had always known I was adopted because his friend's parents lived behind my dad's parents. And so it goes on. Of course everyone knows practically except yourself. No use beating yourself up over it though, as if you should really have guessed somehow. Of course I did ask them many times who I really resembled. It's really only as I have gotten older that I am more accepting of the situation. That is just how it was. Personally it would have been great to have had an open and honest knowledge of what went on, but that was not acceptable then because it was not such a good thing to be the child of an unmarried mother back then. Being a late discovery was an incredible shock to me and I certainly admire the people who discovered late and their lives never missed a beat! Mine went into a downward spiral which was to take many years to recover from. It was really the shock more than anything. Nothing can compare to meeting people who actually resemble you, speak like you and have mannerisms just like you, after a lifetime of never having that. It's a mind-blowing experience literally.
After discovering I was adopted in my 30s, I met my natural family. It was amazing to meet them, but definitely a difficult experience to assimilate that into your life as a Late Discovery.