Privacy Schmivacy.

I will jump straight in to the adoption saga today.

As I wrote yesterday, it dawned on me…… But what you ask? It dawned on me that I was becoming a genealogist!! I had spent the previous year doing work for my mother in her client files and I had sourced, cited, labeled, tagged, and organized so many pieces of information. For me to do it in my own tree, it was like second nature. I appreciate the tools, like templates, that allow for ease of use to help with citation and sourcing, but I do like knowing how and why those elements need to be there. If you do genealogical research and have not picked up a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills, it his HIGHLY recommended.

Well, I was sitting realizing I had turned into my Grandma and my Mom. I was bit. Genealogy had me and pulled me in. And like most genealogists (or at least the ones I know), I needed more names. I was insatiable. Like a zombie for brains, I NEED NAMES! In between all my searching for my family, I needed to feed my addiction to Facebook (don’t act like we all don’t have it). I went to my page. Check my news feed, messages, friend requests. And the light bulb came on. I grabbed the obituary of my biological grandfather and gleaned the names of the biological siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. I entered the names and checked their “friends” and sure enough, everyone was related. I had EVEN more faces and names.

Dilemma. Do I send a friend request to them?

Here is my daily soapbox speech. I respect the attempt to protect privacy. I do not, believe in privacy however. Privacy make make us feel better and more secure, but we live in an age where information is more attainable than ever due to open records, online presence, and social networking. We can strive to respect privacy buy not blasting a person’s private information in public. It is my practice, professionally and personally, to TRY not make living people visible in my trees and reports. I cannot absolutely guarantee it will not happen and if it does, it is coincidental. I have heard many folks gripe and moan about online privacy and stealing information, then I watch them hand out their debit card to a stranger to pay for lunch, while screaming for the free unsecured wi-fi. Go figure? Rant done. I did not send a friend request to any biological family members because I respect their right to privacy EVEN IF they did help me fill out my biological family tree even fuller by posting ALL their family members, tagging them in pictures and not having a single privacy setting on Facebook.

I did have on thing that was bubbling under the surface. I had a phone number in a city directory for my biological maternal grandmother. I looked at the number and questioned my desire to call it. Was it appropriate? Was I ready for it? I thought about all the possibilities. I thought about what I had read in the non-identifying paperwork about the support from the both sides of the family that was offered to my biological mother. I thought about whether they wonder “if” or “when”. I thought about my mother and father (this will always refer to my adoptive parents because that is what they are…my Mom And Dad). I thought about everyone involved.

I picked up the phone as my mom sat next to me. I dialed the number in my hand. It rang. A voice answered. “Hello?”


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