As an adult adoptee, I’ve begun a journey that I didn’t expect.
I’ve always known I was adopted. I believe that telling the child is the best policy for any propsective parents who are hoping to adopt. I don’t even remember being told – I just have a wonderful story of love and longing and achieving that my parents have told me.
In my 20s, I decided to search for my birth mother. My parents were supportive, and helpful – Mom went with me to St. Joseph’s (where I was adopted from) for an appointment I had made. Unfortunately, the man behind the desk was bound by law to not release any “identifying” information. So, I walked away with two pieces of paper, one for each birth parent, describing their height, eye color, hair color, and religion. Big whoop.
One thing I did do was leave a letter in my file, in case either one of them ever searched for me. Years went by. I had made a few attempts at finding out more. I’d learned my birth mother’s name, but that still lead me nowhere. I put it to rest for awhile.
Years later, I got “the call.” My birth mother had contacted St. Joseph’s, and they had my letter, giving permission to release my information to her. So, she had my name and she had my phone number.
We met, and she also arranged for me to meet my birth father. I met my brother and sister on her side, and I was informed by my birth father that he too had a son and a daughter. But he didn’t want them to know.
Years went by, and something made me look on Facebook for them. It took me about 30 seconds to find them – and here I was looking at the faces of my brother and sister. It was exciting, but how would I approach them?
I contacted my birth father, whom I hadn’t spoken to in the past 18 years. Surprisingly, he was supportive of this and he said that he would talk to both of them.
I first spoke to my brother. It was one of the most wonderful conversations that I’ve ever had. We were like peanut butter and jelly – we just flowed into a conversation that lasted two hours.
A week or so later, I spoke with my sister for the first time. Again, it was wonderful.
I hadn’t expected this, or thought about it much. As an adoptee, I figured I had met my birth parents, had gotten my medical history, and we didn’t have a relationship much beyond that. I just honored my birth father’s wishes in keeping our relationship a secret.
But I now realize that siblings are a most wonderful gift. I have my family – my parents – my mom and dad – they adopted me, and raised me and loved me. Now, I have brothers and sisters to call family as well. Joy!