I asked my mother on her deathbed – chronicle from Rachel

rachel photo from two eggs of a cuckoo in a net of other birds

The photo shows two cuckoo bird eggs in another birds nest, in New Zealand. The two eggs showed up in the nest just before I arrived in New Zealand last year.

Canada – Alberta – Calgary / The Netherlands – Amsterdam / Paternity Fraud – Biologic Father – I was born in 1951 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My mother was German and my legal father was Dutch.

When I was three, my parents, my older brother and I immigrated to Canada. It was 1954. In 1955, seven months after our immigration, my second brother was born. Four years later, in 1959, a third brother was born. We all grew up in Calgary, Alberta.

When I was 21, my parents and two younger brothers moved to Victoria, British Columbia. In 1977, when I was 26, my second brother died in a car accident. He was 22. We were very close and I was heartbroken. Not long after, my legal father died, in early 1980. It was a tragic time for my family.

I had stayed in Calgary, attended university, and earned three degrees. In the latter part of 1980, I married a successful lawyer. My mother was very happy about it.

Seven years later, in 1987, my marriage to the lawyer had come apart. My mother was on an extended visit to Europe to visit her relatives and when she came back, I told her of my decision to leave my marriage. The news upset her greatly and she began to cry.

I tried to comfort her, but she could not stop crying. Then she told me, “You have a different father.” She told me that he was married, living in Amsterdam and he and his wife had six children, one of whom died. She was still crying and I said to her, “That’s okay, Mother.” I was still trying to comfort her. Then she told me, “Your brother also. He had the same father.” This was the second brother, born in 1955, who was killed in a car accident. He and I were very close and we had a special bond with each other.

I listened and accepted the new information, but it really did not sink in. My mother told me my birth father’s name and said that she was in touch with his wife. She said that his wife did not know about the two children he fathered.

I thought, ‘this man, my birth father, is married. He has a life and a family in Amsterdam. I am not going to upset anyone by trying to make contact.’

After that day in 1987, my mother closed up like a clam, and she would not talk about him.

Ten years later, in 1997, my mother telephoned me one day to tell me that my birth father had died. His wife had phoned her from Amsterdam to tell her the news. It was in that phone call that my mother confessed to his wife that she had had two children by him – my brother and me. I cried after I heard that he died because I knew I would never meet him.

Now, slowly, the information was beginning to sink in. Who was this man? What are his children like – my brothers and sisters? I wondered how I would go about finding out. But, I was not willing to hurt anyone’s feelings by trying to make contact.

Nevertheless, in 2001, I looked through my mother’s address book, just before Christmas, and found my birth father’s widow’s address. I mailed her a Christmas card and enclosed a photo of myself, my present husband and our three sons.

I heard nothing until February 20, 2009. As it turns out it was a month before my mother died. On that day in February, my husband received an email which was addressed to me. It said “I am your half-sister from the Netherlands.” She gave my birth father’s name and asked me if I wanted to have contact. Her mother had died and she had found the Christmas card which I mailed to her mother in 2001. My half-sister kept it and just before she sent the email to my husband, she looked for me on the Internet.

Now, for the past three years, I have been trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I have travelled to Europe and to New Zealand, meeting relatives and trying to find out more about my birth family.

I asked my mother, on her deathbed, whether my legal father knew that I was not his child. She said, “No, he did not know.”

He was a “Kuckucksvater”. There is an equivalent word in English: “cuckold”, but this word is not used in North America, as far as I know. That could be, because there are no cuckoo birds in North America. There is no exact English equivalent for “Kuckuckskind”. The terms bastard and devil child are not quite accurate.

This article exist even in german. Diesen Artikel gibt es auch in Deutsch. Kuckuckskind – Ich fragte meine Mutter an ihrem Todesbett – von Rachel


About Maximilian Schneider

In the beginning of 2011 I found out that I am not the biological father of my beloved child. Shocked as I was I started looking around for help in the real world and here on the internet. But there wasn't any help to be found. Instead I started a blog myself, so that from now on others out there in my situation were not alone anymore. It started in German for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and soon became a port for the betrayed children too, which have to find out who they are and how to act with their mothers, the social fathers and maybe even now with their biological fathers. So here I am now for English speaking people like you, too. Get in contact, ask me what ever you care about or just tell me your own story.
This entry was posted in Canada, Chronicles, New Zealand, The Netherlands and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I asked my mother on her deathbed – chronicle from Rachel

  1. Pingback: Second Caveat: No Bastard Children | Women in Contemporary Relationships

  2. Pingback: Now, I am part of a large clan – chronicle from Rachel – Part Two | The Milkman's Child

  3. Pingback: Kuckuckskind – Ich fragte meine Mutter an ihrem Todesbett – von Rachel | kuckucksvater

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