Caroline Racicot is on a mission to fill the hole in her heart.
She was 18 days old when her new parents came to pick her up from the Victoria General Hospital, after her 17-year-old mother gave her up for adoption.
Growing up in Mission, B.C., Racicot knew she was adopted and as she got older, she started to wonder why her birth mother gave her away.
“Even though I had a really great family growing up, there was always that missing piece — I had a lot of emotional baggage that came along with it,” said Racicot. “My parents always told me that it’s just she wanted me to have a better life.”
At the age of 15, Racicot learned her mother had only finished Grade 9, was 17 when she got pregnant and had no family support. When she received her adoption papers, Racicot stared at her birth mother’s name – Carol Tieman. The longing to meet her birth parents grew to a point she could no longer ignore.
Following the death of her adopted mother, Racicot decided to reach out to her birth mother and tracked her down in Saskatoon. The pair chatted on the phone. The conversation went better than Racicot ever imagined.
“Our relationship was just wonderful since day one,” Racicot said. “She was happy that I reached out. She said she always thought about reaching out to me, but didn’t know if I wanted to.”
The pair formed a strong bond, visiting each other on occasion, but the relationship began to unravel as Racicot demanded to know more about her birth father.
According to Racicot, the only information she got from Tieman was that her father’s name was David, she was only with him about three times, and he was a friend of one of her brothers, but she wouldn’t say who.
Three years ago, Racicot decided to do a family tree, but half of her life story was missing. It’s something that bothers her every day.
“This is what I need to do. It’s a missing piece in my life,” said the 35-year-old mother of five. “I just want to know who he is. I don’t have any expectations of a relationship. Supposedly he doesn’t know I exist.”
During the search for her birth father, Racicot has done DNA testing with three agencies that found her a third cousin match from a family of 12 with ties to Victoria.
She believes her father may be tied into that family, but isn’t sure where or if he fits in.
By sharing her story, Racicot hopes someone in Victoria might remember her birth mother and who she dated. Her mother’s father was a man named Otto, who came from Saskatchewan and once owned wa bakery in Victoria.
Racicot has also started a Facebook group to share her story. Until her father is identified, the void she feels gets bigger every day.
“I’m basically at a brick wall here,” she said. “For my own emotional well being, I need to know where I came from so I don’t have that aching feeling constantly. I need answers.”
— Pamela Roth