The Truth Wants to Be Known

Stories of separated families, secret adoptions, long lost relatives have always caught my attention, even before I found out such a secret in my family when I was 46 years old – that I had been adopted. For a long time, the forces seemed to have lined up to keep it secret from me. But the clues were there all along. My birth certificate revealing where I was born – different than what I believed but I thought the administrators had made a mistake. There were no stories of my birth. I had recollections of my birth grandmother and sister, although I did not know they were my relatives. I thought they were friends of the family. Eventually it was a phone conversation between my two sisters and a curious bystander, a family friend who took to the internet as he listened, to proactively pursue a truth that wanted to be known.

I have read accounts of adoptions, twins mixed up at birth and more, and always, always events conspire even across great distances to enact chance meetings, new revelations of information, someone who can no longer stay quiet about what they know.

It happened again this week. My sister (who I met in 2008) arrived from British Columbia for a memorial for her father (my birth father) who died last fall. When his obituary was published in the paper, a long-lost cousin – the daughter of my birth father’s brother – contacted my sister. This cousin and her sister live here in the Halifax area. And she put my sister in touch with a great aunt (sister to my birth grandfather) who is now 88 years old and lives an hour away from me.

Sisters and Cousins Meeting for the First Time

Lots of excited visits and conversations. And different endings to stories. When I wrote Embracing the Stranger in Me: A Journey to Openheartedness, my sisters and I had been under the impression that our grandfather had died derelict as an alcoholic on the streets of Halifax. None of us knew what had happened to him. But our cousins – also his granddaughters – did know what happened to him – a story in and of itself that I might share one day. He did not die derelict on the streets of Halifax. Somehow he ended up in Northwood Manor, a leg had been amputated, I assume he sobered up, he was a model and favourite resident who spoke often about his loving family.

This story has been, is being, re-written. Like so many. As more truth shows up. Truth that wants to be known. And there are still mysteries to be unravelled in this crazy family, for sure. Especially about my birth mother’s side of the family.

My sister and I went to visit our great-aunt who is gifted in similar ways to us, participates in spiritual and meditation circles and paints. She paints many things but one painting in particular is very striking and one of a kind amongst her collection – a picture of a medicine woman, rising up from a big cat, a leopard. Painted directly on the wall in her basement at exactly the same time very similar artwork was being channelled for me for a tattoo and the cover of my book. And my great-aunt did not even know I existed.

It is not only in spiritual matters that the truth wants to be known. I have experienced it happening over and over again in work situations. People try to hide things, be secretive or are out of alignment with their own integrity or the integrity of an initiative. It is discovered or revealed in one way or another because the truth wants to be known and forces will continually offer ways to make it so if we have the eyes and the will to see.

6 thoughts on “The Truth Wants to Be Known

  1. Michaela Sieh says:

    Oh, Kathy – the painting and your tattoo… far beyond words. Amazing. Beautiful. While reading your words here, I wonder: will we, one day, sit in circle with friends who were adopted and co-create a sacred space for our stories? Sending you love, from across the ocean.


    • Kathy Jourdain says:

      Dear Michaela, one of my dreams is to invite stories to be produced in a book of adoption stories. Also one of stories of dementia and possibly one of stories of spiritual journey. And sitting in circle with others to share stories – well…. yes to that too.


      • Michaela Sieh says:

        I would love to think with you what it might take to start collecting stories of adoptees and adoptive families. There is a beautiful website ( – you may know it. And taking a short moment to browse there this morning, I found this series of blogposts, called “Rooted to Resiliency”. Sitting here with tears – this sense of finding roots in resilience is resonating deeply. Re-connecting me with my memories of my great-grandfather who died in Majdanek. He was rooted in resilience.


  2. Carmen van Soest says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Lovely story of lost connections..this is Carmen by the way, I would be interested in sharing my adoption story as well. It sounds like a wonderful idea to me. Hope you are well and that your visit with Deb was good.


    • Kathy Jourdain says:

      Hey Carmen, I would love to have your adoption story as part of a book of stories. This project has been on the back burner but all of a sudden it is gaining a bit of momentum. Visit with Deb was really good. Looking forward to the next one.


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