ORPHAN TALES: A SEARCH FOR TRUTH, LOVE AND FAMILY
As a little girl growing up in a New York upper middle class family, Nanette Beth Wolf always felt the alienation and tension in her family. She never felt a part of what seemed, on the outside, to be a loving family, and always felt that a big piece of her was missing, but could not identify what it was. Instead, she endured years of deception and estrangement from both of her parents, which at times, bordered on physical and emotional abuse. Having no siblings to help balance out her life, she dreamed of a mother who would nurture her in the way that she needed to be nurtured.
She got her wish, unexpectedly, forty-two years later, when, mourning her father’s death, it was revealed by her aunt, her father’s sister, that she was adopted. This came as a total shock, as Nanette also learned she was the only family member who was unaware of her adoption in 1955. She then kept this revelation secret from her mother and her aunt.
This started a cascade of events, including the beginnings of a new relationship with her adoptive mother who remained totally unaware of her findings. Over many years, Nanette and her mother grew closer in every way, and the love that she felt she missed began to emerge, replacing all of the years of doubt and uncertainty. When her mother passed away in 2008, it left her feeling like an orphan once again, yet instilled a bravery in her soul to begin the search for her birthparents, as upon her mother’s death, it was revealed to her for the second time, by her mother, that she was adopted.
Armed with the love of an elderly cousin and a relentless will to uncover her true identity, Nanette continued to battle the odds against a state that holds all adoption records secret, denying the human birthright of its citizens to know who they really are. Even more important than solving this mystery, Nanette realized through this process that what she longed for in a mother was always there, and the family that she searched for is all around her.