Two years before Lance Morrow’s mother, Connie Ethier, passed away, she dropped a bombshell on the family.
Lance and his sister grew up thinking they were the only two siblings, but apparently that was not true. Before her death in 2002, Ethier confided in his daughter that she had Indigenous roots, and gave birth to a son before Ethier had her and Lance.
Lance’s sister told him, but he was skeptical, and couldn’t get his mother to elaborate.
“She [Ethier] just didn’t really want to talk about it. She was just really standoffish and really wouldn’t answer,” he remembered.
But after his mother’s death, the family secret gnawed on him. What if it was really true?
So he looked up his lineage online and found that they indeed had Indigenous roots. His next step was to search for any adoption records that would help him find his long-lost brother. A month later, he received a letter that confirmed this mysterious brother, but that was the end of the lead. Morrow’s father left the family long ago, and Ethier’s second husband knew nothing of this either.
“So the ball has just been rolling along here, finding out all kinds of stuff I never knew about,” Morrow told CBC. But he also felt “hurt” that she felt she had to hide all this.
In fact, there was a dark side to these revelations.
Morrow and his wife Kim Rasberry figured out that the baby must have been given up for adoption in the late 1950s, around the time of “Sixties Scoop.” Ethier would have only been 21.
During the Sixties Scoop in Canada, thousands of Aboriginal children were taken from their homes and placed with non-Indigenous families instead. The adoption agency could not confirm this was the case with this specific adoption but said if the adoption happened during these years, it was basically a given. Rasberry had a feeling that’s why Ethier felt she had to hide all of this.
“It would make sense why she would never speak about being Aboriginal and why she would never speak about the brother,” Rasberry told CBC. “Because maybe she felt if she disclosed she was Aboriginal to anybody that maybe Lance and his sister would have been taken away from her, too.”
Nevertheless, now that the secret was out, Morrow felt he had to know more.
He set out looking for this long-lost brother, putting out over 100 classified ads in papers across Canada hoping someone would return with this information.
My husband Lance Morrow is looking for his birth brother that we just found out existed last year… He would have…
Not long after Morrow put out the ad, a woman living in Canada saw it, and contacted him via email.
She told him she recognized the name and photo of the man published in his article—it was her father.
So Morrow had not found his long-lost brother, but he ended up finding a half-sister he didn’t know existed.
“It’s been quite exciting,” he told CBC.
— CBC Canadian News (@CBCCanada) December 27, 2017