In 2018 I decided it was time to search for my birth family…. again.
Why again? Well you see in 2013 at 23 years old I finally felt it was time to search for my birth family. This is something I wanted to do at age 19, when the adoption agency said I was “of age” to do so. But I was in the thick of wedding planning and starting my new life as a married gal, so I put it off for a few years until I knew I had the time to really invest myself. I was busy & happy in this new period of life, but I could no longer ignore the fact of knowing that at anytime I could submit a letter to my adoption agency and possibly find out more information on my birth mom. So I paid the fee and I mailed my letter requesting more info.
I had always been told that it would of been my birth mom’s choice at the time of placement to provide the agency with her contact info. If she did, then I’d receive her contact info once I connected with the agency. I always felt pretty sure that she would’ve left it. I guess I assumed she would, she placed two kids after all. So getting my letter back that told me she had not was a huge blow. It was the ultimate letter of rejection. I was mad, humiliated, and heartbroken beyond words.
Full post about that on this post: https://www.theadoptedride.com/good-luck/
At that point I just felt like “well if she doesn’t want me to find her then I should stop trying to do so.” My brother felt the same way and wasn’t bothered by it much, but for myself to accept that mentality it was crushing to say the least.
So what do you do when one of the things you want most in this life blows up in your face? You do the only thing you can, and you try and move forward. Life moved on as it always does but I still thought about her and wished that it would of been different. So with sadness & the ever growing “birth family” hole in my heart I moved forward with my life.
Easier said than done, but with my awesome husband by my side I was able to keep on going. Things were really looking up 4-5 months later when we found out I was pregnant with my 1st child, it was such a high in our life, we were incredibly excited! But just like all other highs and lows in an adoptee’s life you think about your birth mom and are reminded of all she is missing out on. So many feelings came with that – more pain, more anger but mostly just sadness that she couldn’t and or didn’t want to be a part of it.
I was definitely working through a lot of emotions when it came to her & experiencing my first pregnancy only magnified my desire to know her and get to speak with her. With each new experience throughout my pregnancy I’d wonder what it was like for her when she was pregnant with me and my brother. I always wondered if she went through similar symptoms or carried her babies in the same way. Pregnancy brings so many questions that I’d wished I could of asked her, it was a painful reminder knowing that I couldn’t.
Life went on, filled with so many happy moments as we experienced being new parents for the first time. Each of the happy times always accompanied by an ever growing desire to know my own biological mother. When you have that kind of desire to know somebody like that, the aching pit only continues to grow as time passes and time did just that.
Time might of healed the initial sting of rejection but it never healed my desire to know her. So after 5 years of continued longing for her I knew in my heart that I needed to try searching again. Considering this was a huge decision, a difficult decision to make and one I did not take lightly.
It’s hard to be willing to subject yourself to the possibility of more rejection and more pain. It’s something I dreaded and hoped would not happen. But not knowing & constantly wondering about my missing story certainly outweighed the potential heartache. The first rejection affected me more than I ever was prepared for, so trying again was incredibly nerve wracking. But I knew I was ready to try, I knew I’d always regret it if I didn’t try.
Around this same time my brother was emitted to the hospital with an unknown blood disorder that kept stumping his doctors. They were unsure of what it was, so naturally our entire family wished we had any medical history that could maybe help determine what was going on with him. Unfortunately as adoptees in a closed adoption we didn’t have that luxury but it gave me even more of a push to start searching again.
The want was there but the how was unknown, I didn’t know where to start. Where in the world do you start when you want to find your birth family when all of the previous ways have failed? I had no idea! Which was frustrating and overwhelming. I know now that starting with DiscoverFamily.net is the way to go, but at the time it wasn’t there and I was lost when it came to starting over. I was also hesitant to spend lots of money. I never wanted to hinder my little family to solve my own puzzle. So finding a starting point was difficult!
Fortunately there had been numerous commercials on TV about DNA testing websites such as Ancestry.com & 23andme. I kept seeing them and my interest kept peaking. Then when we heard about a girl from my parents neighborhood that had used Ancestry.com successfully & was able to find her birth mom that peaked my interest even more and gave me a little starting place.
I must have brought up the subject multiple times around my husband because one night as we sat on the couch watching TV the commercial for Ancestry.com came on. I again spoke about how I wondered if it would ever work for me. Minutes later I received an email saying that my Ancestry DNA kit was on it’s way. I thought it was one of those freaky “my phone is listening to me” things until I showed my husband and he said he ordered it. He did so because he knew that I wouldn’t ever push BUY if it was up to me, and he was so right! I was dang appreciative my desire to do it was there but my fear of being rejected again was too close to the surface to be brave enough to push buy & truly begin searching again.
Thanks to him making the move we anxiously awaited my DNA test to arrive. We opened that little white box as soon as it came and began reading the instructions about what we needed to do. It was crazy to look at such a little box with something so simple in it and realize it could completely change my life. We had some laughs while doing the saliva test and you better believe it was sent to the post office the very next day.
I forgot to take photos of my actual kit, but thanks to GOOGLE I can show you just what mine looked like.
If you’re anything like me and you have no idea what a DNA test even is or how a DNA test works these photos below are the brief explanation from Ancestry.com .
DNA TESTING – It goes like this……
I know I know some of that was over my head too, but it’s pretty incredible to think that spitting in a tube can do all of that AND find your birth family, right? The skeptic in me wasn’t sure it would provide me any info, but I was willing and hopeful to try.
Waiting for my results was agonizing to say the least but luckily it gave me time to pick a photo for my Ancestry account which by the way was no easy task! Because trying to select a zoomed in photo of myself that would be the very first photo my birth family could potentially see was a little intimidating! If they themselves had already done the DNA kit then as soon as mine was linked to them then they’d be able to see it. No pressure right? It stressed me out and my husband couldn’t stop laughing at how long it took me. Husbands are good to have around when you wanna keep this as lighthearted as possible.
DNA kit had been sent.
Ancestry profile had been created.
All that was left to do was wait “patiently” for my results.
I was so ready for them and if you saw my last post you saw that I ended by saying WHY I wanted to search for my birth family. I said “The truth is I needed more answers to my story. I wanted to know more. Because even having this great love, beautiful kids & an awesome life, there was still so much more unknown to my story. I wanted the answers no matter how difficult it might be to learn them. That is why I decided to search for my birth family. I needed to know my own story for myself!”
Quite honestly I don’t think anyone can understand the magnitude of that unless you are also adopted. There is so much in the unknown, so to even have a glimmer of possibility into solving my own puzzle.. I could hardly wait. If you’re an adoptee thinking about taking on the search for your biological family I’m sure the desire fire is burning within you too. If it is I have a question for you…
DO YOU KNOW YOUR WHY?
If you don’t know your WHY yet, figure it out and write it down. It will help you move forward when the search gets difficult and you question yourself and wonder why you chose to do this!
When the going get’s tough your WHY keeps you going!
If you are starting your search I wish you the most luck!
Next post I’ll let you know what getting my results was like & what were my next steps…