Essentially my blog begins where my search ends, in fact two weeks ago. Its truly amazing how difficult it is to write or speak about– even with some degree of anonymity. The entire process is wrought with emotion, and at any moment I felt as though I could explode, scream, cry, so I tend to just clam up, and say nothing– I think again, this is the overachieving, people-pleaser in me, I need to have everything held together at all times. And quite honestly, I don’t want to hurt those close to me, especially my partner with whom I share my life, and for whom it is hard for him to grasp this whole thing, as he has had so little exposure to the topic. Even friends try to be supportive but often say the wrong things– it is obvious that their only exposure to the subject of adoption, is that which is in the media or from adopted parents. Bastard Nation or even the American Adoption Congress are foreign terms. But I digress.
I passively searched for my mother since my early 20’s, so about 8 years. I never felt secure enough to give up my career, or move back to southern New England for a longer period of time, to do the search on my own. My initial search was prompted by finding my non-identifying info in a safe deposit box at my mom’s. I nearly had a heart attack finding this, as things just jumped out at me- 1. my mother- 17 yrs. old, intelligent, attractive, buxom (i love this one, big boobs are def. a seller), wants to be a veterinerean, shows dogs, in university, 5’6, brown hair, plays softball and swims. Ok, the university thing was probably a lie, as I would later find out she was 16- unless she was Doogie Houser DVM. Dogs, true. I find this and think, shit, I’m 5’6, was a good swimmer and softball player, too many things matched my life. The information stated my grandfather was an engineer, father wore glasses. So, even bits of this paper (aside from the marketing content) were beginning to fill in some gaps in my life, like, where the hell do I come from, I often felt I was living in a parallel universe to my adopted family (no I dont hate them, or have a bad relationship with them– that may be a topic for another day, since my adopted life was far from the pretty two parent white picket fenced home on a cul-de-sac promise, there were def. some Joan Crawford moments, but in retrospect could have been worse).
So 8 years later, after trying to make connections with all of this information, and the info my parents were given verbally from the agency (which led me to all the wrong places), relying upon university alumni stuff, yearbooks, military records, library birth indices, I realized I was not going to succeed by myself. Unless, one is a trained expert, you may end up digging yourself into a deep hole, as I did. Also I think I kidded myself into believing that it would be easier. Since, I was born in such a small hospital, I thought, I’ll just ring them and get my birth records, I mean I was the only baby born that day. Surely, the hospital will help me. (right, uhhh.) So I decided finally to hire a professional, and bought some books to try to come to terms with this search thing. I did not get to experience the catharsis of completing the search myself, but, whatever, everyone needs to do this their own way.
Literally I read 2 pages of the book before my search was unexpectedly completed, which left me no time to read the how to cope with this bla, bla, bla, because now I had a name of my birthmom, and some obituaries of my deceased grandparents, which indicated I have younger siblings and they have children. The hospital did indicate that my father was named XXXXXXX (not very WASP-y sounding).
So what do we all do in this technologically modern world when we want to find someone, we google them. seek and ye shall find- within one day of having a name, i have websites containing pictures of my siblings and my mother. And then it just becomes way to surreal for me. I find these, and I could not move out of my chair for 2 days. I was a wreck. My resemblence to my siblings is striking, and to my mother. I did not want to move out of my chair for fear that I would once again lose the webpage or pictures, as they are my only link to them.
After 2 days I faced the decision of what to do-call, email, fly over there and show up– first, I took a shower (I seriously did not move from the chair for 2 days). Then I spoke with a very helpful birthmom from the AAC who offered to make contact with her for me. She has acted as an intermediary before, and since she was also a compassionate birthmom, my mother may be more inclined to open up. Honestly, I thought this was probably my best option- quite frankly, im really bad on the phone, and often say things which i letter wish to rescind. We also thought that my mother may be more open to meet with me since she has younger children who have children and they are not married, in other words, she did not convince them to relinquish.
Last week my first mother was contacted, and responded that she is not interested in contact with me at this point. My younger siblings and her husband are unaware of my existence. I have digested this, and now need to make a decision as to whether live with this and hope she decides differently, or further pursue contact. Either way, I’m not completely without hope, though I do feel rather numb about it.