The Secrets Families Keep
by melissa ~ June 17th, 2012. Filed under: Articles.
Dominique Moceanu. It didn’t matter that when she was an Olympic gold medalist in 1996, I was 18 years old. I still wanted to be like her. As a young girl, I had been obsessed with gymnastics. My family couldn’t afford gymnastics classes, so watching it on TV was the closest I ever got to the sport. Even at the age of 18, I still glued myself to the TV whenever gymnastics were on, and my mother still apologized for never being able to give me the opportunity to participate in the sport. And there was Dominique, at the age of 14, along with the other members of the “Magnificent Seven” medaling in Atlanta. I was so impressed with her talent, her poise, her personality.
Little did I know that day in 1996 as I watched her in the Olympics that Dominique’s lives and mine were more alike than I ever could have imagined. No, I may never know what it’s like to be an Olympic gymnast, but I do know what it’s like to have a secret adoption in the family (and in my case the abortion that preceeded it), to have that secret come to light, and to have siblings involved.
As the AP and Life News reported last week, in her recently released memoir, Off Balance, Dominique discusses how, in 2007, she received a letter from a young woman who identified herself as her biological sister who had been placed for adoption. As Moceanu states in a recent 20/20 interview, “It was the biggest bombshell of my life. I had this sister that was born who was given up for adoption, and I never knew it.”