IOWA -- Like a lot of children adopted in the 1980s, Becky Pospisal grew up knowing she was adopted. “They just always told me that somebody else gave birth to me and that I had a different mom and dad.”
Nothing about being adopted bothered Pospisal until she started getting older. “We did school reports where you’re supposed to pick a country that your family was from,” she says, “and you’re reminded at those times that you don’t know where your family is from. You don’t have that history.”
As an adult, the missing pieces became more troubling. “The worst thing was going to the doctor and filling out medical history and having to write ‘unknown’ on everything,” she explains, “and when I was pregnant it worried me. My husband knows his family but you think, what am I giving my children?!?”
The choices her birth mother made left her feeling angry and resentful. “We had a closed adoption. My birth mother had the opportunity to write a letter or do a video that I would get when I was 18 and she chose not to. My mom and dad were disappointed that she didn’t do that. I think they thought she owed me that, and I felt she owed me that.”
Pospisal recently decided to try to find out more about her birth family. “I took one of those DNA tests, an online DNA test,” she says. “When it came back, it said I was 50 percent from Western Asia, which is the Middle East. I immediately thought it was a mistake."
Pospisal recruited her mom and they started doing some digging, going down several rabbit holes on the internet. “Several month later, I was matched to a potential first cousin in that part of the world. I reached out to him and he was just as surprised as I was!”
After doing a little digging of his own, Pospisal’s cousin was able to share details about her father and the circumstances that led to her adoption. “Thank God for the internet. I found him. I have pictures of him and know what he looks like now.”
For Pospisal, it was a way to get answers without disrupting other people’s lives. And it changed everything. “Taking that simple DNA test opened up this whole box. I feel like a weight is off my shoulders and it’s a relief. There’s no mystery anymore.”