Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Journey of Finding Myself- A Glimpse into My Adoption Story

I was fairly sure growing up I knew who I was. It never dawned on me that life could be any different. I remember a conversation I had with my mother when she had told me that I was adopted. She had explained  why some people adopt and why children are put up for adoption. At the time, I didn't fully understand.

It wasn't until I was a teenager when a conversation with mother put things in perspective for me. We talked about the choices a person has when put in this situation. How it wasn't a choice that was easy. Also  if I ever did go looking for my birth parents that I need to respect that other person's current life. Maybe they were married and had other children and it was something they didn't want to relive. Or that their spouse didn't know about this child who was put up for adoption. She had said that it wasn't my fault if that was the way things go.She wanted me to understand that people had lives they lived after that choice was made and that I needed to respect that.

 It wasn't until I was in my late 20's when I was having medical issues. A Doctor at the time urged me to seek out my medical history. At the time I didn't think I was emotionally ready to start the process. I knew I want to do so.. I had so many questions. My worry was telling my parents that this was what I wanted to do. I had worried for nothing. When I told them, they were 100% behind my choice. They knew this was important to me. I am blessed that I had two very open minded Parents. They knew I loved them and that wouldn't change. So I started the process....

When I started I was told it could be awhile. It was going to be a waiting game. I get a call two weeks after I  had signed the Registrar. The social worker had found my birth mother. I was floored. Sitting at my job at the time when I got the news, I couldn't speak. I think my co worker thought I had a stroke or something. The first person I called was my Mom. She expressed that she was very happy for me. She knew this was a life changing event.

From that day, it started my journey in discovering myself. My history. All those questions I had growing up were going to be answered. I was finally going to talk to the woman who gave me life. Through letters, pictures and phone calls we got to know each other. I found out that I had this big other family, with Aunts, Uncles, cousins and siblings. Through the years, I have gotten to know my family. Even though I haven't met all of them, these are the people that I am blood related to. These are the people that I get some of my looks and some of my quirks from.

This past winter I was able to visit my hometown. And during this visit, I had one of the best experiences of my life. I got to actually meet my Birth Mother. This was almost a decade of waiting for this since we had started talking. I will never forget the look on her face when she knew who I was. I would like to think she was relieved to know that I had thrived. That I was ok. Standing in the rain as she hugged me, never wanting to let go, felt surreal. All those worries she had for the past 35 years on whether or not I was ok, I think fell off of her heart, just like the rain falling around us.It warmed my heart to know that I was able to give her a peace of mind. She found me. We spent the whole afternoon just talking. There was still one question I had for her, that I was hesitant to ask. Who was my father? As I had nothing on him. She had brought some pictures of him. It was almost like adding that last piece of my puzzle. I can see my eyes in this man. The thickness of my hair and my nose. I didn't have a connection, except for looks with this man. Maybe in time, I might contact him, when I build up the courage.

Also on this trip I met my half siblings. It was kind different to be the Big Sister, having been a little sister. It was surreal to me. I had a Sister and a Brother. I am blessed to have them in my life. I have an older brother, whom I love dearly.The last thing I ever wanted was for people to feel like I was replacing them. My older brother will always be my brother. He is the person I grew up with. The person I looked up to as a younger sibling. I am the only sister he knows. I look at it this way, you can never have enough people in your life who love you.

I feel like this journey has made me more open minded about things. I was never upset at the choice my birth mother had to make at a young age. If anything it makes me appreciate the choices my generation has. I can't even fathom how difficult it must have been to put a child up for adoption and then go through life wondering if you had made the right choice. I think people who are looking for their birth parents need to remember that. It isn't an easy choice. In this journey, I have to give my love to the parents that adopt and raise us children. Especially my own. I couldn't have asked for more supportive and loving parents. They have been with me from the very start. Always letting me know its ok. Understanding why I needed to go on this journey.

I wrote this as I thought that if I shared my story about my journey as a child who was adopted by two loving parents, that it would give someone else hope. It would give birth parents who are desperately searching for that child they gave up some hope. It would give those who are trying to discover who they are some hope.  I hope that this inspires. Now that I have children of my own, I want them to know just how special families can be. In time they will understand why some choices have to be made. And what makes their family unique. That you can never have too many people who love you.