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.

17 Comments to “My Adoption Story – Part Two”

  1. Oh wow. That’s not the ending I was expecting. I hope you find your birth mother. Even if the final result isn’t what you’re hoping for, I admire your bravery in searching her out! I’m sure she’d be happy to know what a fine person you turned out to be!*

  2. Thank you, that is very sweet. I’m thinking that it’s not the ending at all…we shall see! Have an amazing week!

  3. Such an amazing story Jamie 🙂

    I am sure that you are absolutely right, just taking the time and effort to look may prove to be more rewarding than if you were just able to call her up one day. Good luck!

  4. Jamie,

    Saw your blog link on Facebook.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    I enjoyed reading your story and hearing your side of adoption. We have processed through some similar thoughts and desires with our little man. I really appreciate you sharing about adoption. I believe that the more we talk through these stories the better.

  5. I have read this twice now and am praying you find the answers you are looking for. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  6. You know, Jamie, you are living the anticipated feelings my two adopted daughters I think will be feeling eventually. Thank you for being so open to help others get thru the maze that is the process of accepting having been adopted. Your easy personality is remeniscent of our older daughter, and I can imagine that she will follow a similar path on her search/acceptance. We have though, as parents, either have or tried to (and will continue to try) reach out to the BP’s for our daughters future search/curiosity.

    As an adoptive mom, I originally couldn’t really understand the feeling of ‘something missing’. I never thought about my heritage (b/c I didn’t have to, it wasn’t a secret or it wasn’t unknown and what I did know didn’t really matter in my life), and didn’t really think about the potential health risks (b/c it was always right there for me to ask). But, as DDs age I have developed a huge appreciation of the ache, the loss that adoptees feel. It make me sad, and I also understand that I/we can never fill that hole, no matter how much love we’ve got for them. So, my only duty (ok, aside from being a parent LOL) is to help them answer those questions as best we can, as we see the time as right, and as happily as we can, all for our childrens’ sake.. it is, after all, their lives. Not ours.

    Thank you for your story and your bravery

    • Thanks Sara! I really appreciate your comment! I also LOVE your honesty in what you have learned, and your attitude about what your job is as a parent to your girls! It sounds like you are doing an amazing job! I would love to hear more about your story!

  7. Hi Jamie! I am new to your blog and really appreciate that candor and honesty in your writing. As an adoptive mom it is helpful to read. I wish you the best and hope you get some answers!

  8. What a genuine and beautiful blog. I pray that you do continue and that somehow with your humble and candid blog, someone will connect you to her and your story will be complete. Have you ever watched the show on ABC called “Find My Family”? It aired for about a year or so and I haven’t seen it on the air since. Perhaps you can write to the Executive producer of that show – share your story and your blog. Even if he is no longer the Exec Producer or the show is no longer on the air, a connection can be made? Here is a link to an article with his info on it
    http://www.parentdish.com/2009/12/14/find-my-family-on-abc-exploitive-helpful-or-just-tv/
    or try this link to Oprah’s show:
    http://www.oprah.com/own-searching-for/Web-Exclusive-A-Birth-Mothers-Experience

    Good luck!! 🙂

  9. Jamie,
    Excellent story. I am the daughter of an adoptee and an army brat. I understand not having a place to call home and, although I’m not an adoptee myself, I understand the need to know your family history. I always wondered about my father’s birth mother but it wasn’t until I had my own little man that I truly NEEDED to know. I hope that your story turns out better than mine. I can’t wait to read more on Thursday. 🙂

  10. Jamie,
    Yes indeed the Process is most certainly a gift in and of itself!! Now that I have read these two “chapters” , I understand better..and everything is in it’s propper chronology! LOL!
    I cannot believe a couple of the similar thoughts we share, especially about our upbringing and love for our adoptive parents, etc. I, too, had a wonderful life, and still do, but am even MORE blessed to have my “new Family” in it. I love them with a Love I have never really known; it is different than anything else. I think of them every day, love the phone calls we share weekly, even a funny FaceBook comment just “makes my day” — they are THAT important to me now. Some would say this is “the Honeymoon Stage” and perhaps they are right… I think I will feel this way for a long time, though I know things will change of course, over time… that is inevitable and I am NOT naive about it. 😉 I know that there is a lot of “work” to be done, as far as my relationship with me and my BioMom (Sue), but we have really come quite a ways thus far…and we have only met once (two months ago) and been in touch only a few months before that. we are alike in some ways, definitely look alike (like twins 20 years apart!!! if you see my blog, there are photos included)… yet we are different in how we are “emotionally”… which is understandable, especially with a “situation” like this. I, on the one hand, am excited, nervous, happy, elated even…while she is more reserved and though she is able to say (and feel) she loves me, I tend to go a little overboard. LOL. I find myself asking her if I “say too much” and she says “no, she likes knowing what I am thinking and feeling.. and it is just great that I CAN do that”… That was a huge relief for me; i can be quite the Emotional Woman (always have been) and I think and act from the heart and sometimes don’t pause before doing so…. So far doing just that has been a wonderful asset to our relationship, even perhaps helping her along on her own part of this journey….
    I cannot wait to see what happens with this “phone call” and for you to post tomorrow!!! Best of Luck!!!!
    Ellie

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