Three years ago, a few days before Andrew Cadieux's 21st birthday, a stranger sharing his last name sent him a message on Facebook. His mother denied knowing the person at first, but eventually admitted the stranger was his birth mother's sister. The woman he'd called mom all his life was another aunt.
The revelation tore the lid off 21 years of family drama that she'd hidden from him.
Cadieux's birth mother had Down syndrome and couldn't care for him; his aunt and uncle had adopted him. When his adoptive father died, a feud tore the family apart, leading Cadieux's mother to decide it was better to sever ties with the family and never share with the young boy his history.