Do you want to meet your birth parents?
Sometimes this question took me by surprise. Say it out loud and see if it doesn’t do the same for you….
It surprised me because – DUH. Like how is that a valid question, of course I do!
I realize now that I’ve grown up, that adoptees will have different responses to that question. But I believe that any adoptee at one point or another has the desire and wish they knew or wonder or want to meet their biological family.
Sometimes when I was younger the thought of ever meeting them was a little frightening to be honest. But for the most part that question was always a yes, ever since I was young. Now that I’ve reunited with my birth mom & while I was in the process of finding her I’d often get asked “how long have you wanted to?”
My first recollection of wanting to was when I was 8 yrs old. I remember sitting down with my mom in our kitchen getting baptism invites ready to send out, I was pretty proud of my very own little invite with my face on it. A day all about me, it was exciting! While I was excited I remember wondering if my birth mom would come, ya know if we knew her and could give her an invite. Then it turned into wondering if she’d be proud of me. Then I was wondering if I’d even be getting baptized if I was under her roof or not. So many thoughts came. This is what my adoptee brain does, constantly overthink’s about every possible option.
Sometimes it’s hard to look back at this photo and realize how little I truly was. I can’t hardly believe it’s been that long that I’ve been longing too know my birth mom. Sometimes it makes me sad to look at my little face and realize the depth that I felt at such a young age.
The question was usually “Do you want to meet your birth parents?” So I’ll explain a little in two separate parts because I thought of them differently.
Do you want to meet your birth mom? YES. Always yes on that one for as long as I can remember. I wanted to meet her for so many reasons but most importantly to thank her. That reasoning was always always priority 1 when it came to my intention of why I wanted to meet her.
Through the years the other reasons varied. Tough years I wanted to show her some tough love, I had the mentality that I just wanted to show her “what she missed out on.” Other years I wanted to just know about her, like a fly on her wall without having to put forth my own effort of getting to know her because it sounded to difficult. But the older I got the more I truly longed for a relationship with her to get to truly know her. Good, bad, messy..all of it. I longed to thank her, hug her, talk to her, see her, laugh with her, get to know her friends and family and her hobbies and dislikes. Basically all of the things that people WISH they could do with people they have lost due to death. Because really, that’s what it felt like for me. Meeting her was always something I wanted to do but something I wasn’t sure if it ever would. Most of the time I figured it wouldn’t because most of the time it felt like she had died. I think that’s what it feels like for an adoptee who gets taken from their mom at birth.
Do you want to meet your birth dad? I dunno. That was usually my response. That’s how I usually felt, and to be honest it’s still how I kinda feel. This one was always trickier for me to answer because I just wasn’t sure.
Probably because I knew less of him, I mean most of what I knew about him wasn’t great and was for the most part the first reason I was placed. Because he didn’t want it – it being me.
So yeah there has always been some amount of resentment there. But I’d be lying if at one point or another I didn’t feel that towards my birth mom in some form as well. It’s impossible not to as an adoptee. Most of these feelings happened in my tough teen years, but usually those feelings quickly suppressed with how much appreciation I have for them in general.
I know there are two sides to every story, so I’ve always tried to keep that in mind and still leave room to give him the benefit of the doubt. Most of my years I didn’t give it much thought. Because I didn’t really want to insert myself in somebody’s life who didn’t want me in the first place. But just as soon as I have a thought like that, I have a thought of wonder and think well what if and maybe I do…
It really wasn’t until I was searching for my birth mom and constantly hitting dead ends, and wound up finding him first that I gave the idea of him more thought. But it’s been over a year since finding out who he was and I still haven’t had the balls to reach out yet. Why? Well most likely because of my original answer – “I dunno.” I had my search angel Troy reach out to him (that’s a story for another day) so clearly I’m open to it. We will see where it goes.
Wanting to find your birth parents is one thing. Having the courage to actually follow through is another. It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s exciting and it’s emotional. But the inner peace that you will feel as you take steps to solve your own puzzle is simply too fulfilling not to try. I can promise you that.
Do you want to know what makes both of those answers equally challenging? The fact that while all of the above are my feelings and I’m valid in feeling those, there is also a side of total hesitation because when asked this question:
The answer is Yes.
But my immediate follow up thought was always….. but I don’t want to hurt or offend my parents in the process.
Freakin A! Can you now see why being adopted is also a constant form of confusion? Navigating those feelings as a youngin’ & still to this day ain’t the easiest, but more about that another time.
Note that all things that are written are from personal experience.