Archive for September 19th, 2011

September 19, 2011

My Adoption Story – Part Two

Welcome back! Thank you for the amazing responses to part one of the series, which you can find, here. I was blown away with the depth and honesty in all the emails and comments I received. Thank you!

I left off on Friday explaining that a decision had been made, as to whether or not I would try to find my birth mother. I have to take a little step back before explaining that decision; a little more back-story is needed.

I wrote that I had a thousand questions in my mind, and that I felt like there was a piece of myself missing, from my own life. I thought about it all the time. I confess that I am a little Type A, and tend to obsess over things…and this was definitely one of those things. Generally speaking, when I do obsess over something, I work through it and can let it go…but for whatever reason…I couldn’t let this go.

The story about my friend, who had lost her father right after meeting him, definitely came into play.

Other factors were also involved. I had grown up without siblings. I had grown up moving every few years, never settling down  anywhere. I had no life-long friends, didn’t know my grandparents very well, and my cousins were all either much older or much younger than me. I had no roots. No sense of who I was, or where I came from.

I’m not complaining about the life I have, or my childhood either.

I certainly did not have a hard life. Quite the opposite really. Mom and Dad CYL are really amazing people. I never wanted for anything, although I was not spoiled in any way. I got to see some amazing places growing up that many people will never see. I went to good schools and lived in good neighborhoods. I had opportunities growing up that a vast majority of the world will never know.

For a long time, the fact that I had such a blessed childhood made me feel guilty about wanting to search for my birth mother. Through self discovery, I realized that I needed to do what I needed to do…regardless of how it may make anyone else feel. I cannot control how anyone else responds…I can only control my own actions and hope that the people in my life understand.

So, I went looking.

Mom CYL had always told me that once I turned 18, she would be happy to help me find my birth mother. Mom CYL has worked in the field of genealogy for decades; I thought there was no one better to help me look. It sounded so simple.

Turns out, it’s not.

Privacy issues, red-tape, language barriers, and lack of understanding, were just some of the barriers I discovered.

I first asked Mom CYL to help me when I was pregnant with my Bean. I’m not sure what may or may not have been found, but new-mommy hood kind of side-tracked me.

That was almost 7 years ago. Anytime I brought it up, I was met with a lot of enthusiasm, but the barriers we faced trying to search on our own, made it seem impossible. Mom CYL had obtained a copy of my birth certificate, which I had never had until that point…but it didn’t do me a whole lot of good because it had only Mom and Dad CYL’s name on it.

Like I have said, after I met the amazing woman I talked about on Friday, the desire to find my own birth mother was intense. I again asked Mom CYL to help, who told me that she had found a list of my birth mother’s siblings. I Googled/Facebooked and MySpaced all of their names and birth dates. Nothing turned up. Mom CYL eventually found the name of the man my birth mother had married after I was born. No search found either one of them.

I paid for help with simple online searches, and came up all but dry. I obtained, through the Orange County, CA (where I knew she had been born) courthouse, the names of her parents via her birth certificate. Their number was not listed. Their address was not listed.

I’ve written on my Adoption Stories Page, that I’m a researcher…I love to research and to find answers. I find myself completely lost in this though, feeling forced to accept the possibility that I may never know. It’s a humbling experience for someone who is not used to accepting, “No.”

So, while I have made a decision…I’m not yet sure what that means.

I’ve certainly learned a lot though. While I’ve not yet learned what my birth mother may look like, what color eyes she has, where my mousey brown hair comes from, or if my tolerable quirks endearing qualities are in, any way, genetic…I have learned that I do want to know where I come from, even if what I find is not what I’ve imagined it to be. I’ve learned that while I absolutely adore adoption, I wish mine had been more open…or at least, I wish my adoptive parents could have kept track of my birth mother. I’ve learned that it’s ok for me to say, “There is something missing and I need to find it.” It doesn’t mean that I am not completely happy with who I am, or where I come from…it simply means I desire (and deserve) the whole story of my life. Don’t we all?

The truth is, questions are imperative…even if we never find the answers we think  we are looking for. To question who we are, where we come from, and where we are going, is the very journey of life.

I’ll leave you, for now, with a quote that I hadn’t recognized as a piece of my own adoption story, until just now. This quote, by an amazing woman has helped me through so many things…and it has again, popped into my mind while writing today.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change your life; and the process, if nothing else, will be its own reward.” Amelia Earhart

Deciding to act in this situation, to decide it was, in fact, ok for me to want to find this piece of myself, was absolutely the most difficult part of it.

Will I ever know the smile of the woman who felt me kick inside of her, when I was just a little bean? I don’t know. I truly believe though, that if nothing else, the journey, the process, will be its own reward.