I was speaking to my girlfriend who has known me for the past 30 years or so, and she asked me this: “Was searching worth it? Are you glad you did it? Would you do it again?” Simple enough questions – right?….
Did I like everything I found? I don’t consider it a matter of liking – just a matter of accepting. I suppose if you have true expectations, then you are more likely to be disappointed. Every adoptee thinks about their birth parents. It’s when you interject fantasy that you will likely end up disappointed.
The reality is – adoption is profoundly life-altering – to every person involved. There’s no way around it. It just IS.
Some choose to never look, some look and end up with a good relationship and some don’t. And every other possibility in between. But it is our right as humans to know where we came from. To seek our truth. To find peace.
Every adoptee has two sets of parents. Many adoptees such as myself were raised in a good and loving family. Many adoptees weren’t. I don’t think either scenario should necessarily have anything to do with your search and your truth.
Many adoptive parents are scared or threatened by their son or daughter’s search. There is nothing to be afraid of. Of course it’s your nature as a parent to worry, but there is no threat. It is something your son or daughter has to do because it is something they ARE – adopted. Adoptees sometimes become torn up, feeling they have to “choose”. Many adoptees are “pleasers”. They feel guilty. An adoptee should be able to search without guilt. There is enough fear within them, and they need your true support and love.
I searched because I wanted to know who I looked like and I wanted to know my medical history. I already had my family and life, and nothing was going to change that. I met both of my birth parents, and now I only (minimally) speak to one. You would expect that it would be your birth mother who you end up having a relationship with, but that’s not always the case. I will never understand my birth mother’s need to control, and her disappointment and disapproval at my resistance. I also don’t understand how she can have grandchildren in this world who she rarely or never sees. She had started a college fund for her granddaughter, who is now a senior in high school, and apparently is forgotten. I don’t judge her – because of what happened to her in 1961. I don’t understand her, but I don’t judge her.
It’s a lifetime journey that is always evolving – you may find your truth, and you may always struggle. Nothing can change being adopted.
Would I search again? Without a doubt.