December 19

In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.

John 14:2 (ASV)



I was adopted at birth, so I never knew my biological parents.


“Aren’t you curious?” my eldest daughter would often ask.


Over the years I developed what I thought was an impenetrable rationale: My birth parents had a reason for giving up a newborn and probably didn’t want to resurrect that repressed memory. 


Then, my daughter suggested something I couldn’t so easily refute: “I would never take a DNA test without your approval.”


In that moment, I realized my kids had no way of knowing their legacy beyond me. If they pursued DNA testing years in the future, they might uncover a half-cousin or another distant relative who might not know or even acknowledge a potential lineage.


Truth be told, I worried about being vulnerable and disrupting my own life. I have always been uncomfortable—maybe even embarrassed—about being adopted. Plus, seeking and potentially discovering my birth parents could be frustrating and unsettling. 


Realizing my responsibility to my kids and throwing caution to the wind, I spit in a cup and mailed it to Ancestry.


Five weeks later, I found both my parents…still alive…married for over 60 years…with a daughter who is my full sister…and they were in Alaska!


Living in Maryland at my birth, my parents had made a deeply personal decision that they did not want any more children, so they gave me up for adoption. This was a secret nobody knew or even suspected.


My 94-year-old father quickly realized there was nothing left to hide. My sister and I started Zooming on a weekly basis. My two children and my newfound nieces and nephews—all five of them—were excited to have more cousins. 


Eight months later, my family of four boarded a plane for Alaska and solidified our unexpected and delightful connection with my biological family.


Adoptions are often a story of one couple who makes a difficult and heart-wrenching decision to give up a child and another who provides a stable and secure home. My story has an added chapter with another welcoming home and plenty of room for all.



Allen Wass

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