My first memories were of the beach and shoreline of Southern California. The sea is so ingrained into my identity that I cannot imagine a life starting without it in the backdrop. Yet if I had not been adopted and stayed there I would have likely grown up abroad, and eventually settling back into Texas where my maternal birth family is still essentially focused.
My nature may have come from my biological family, but the nurturing I received from special people that essentially became a part of me were from members of my adopted family. I certainly advocate for the rights of adoptees to know of their birth families, their original birth certificates, and knowledge pertaining to their roots. However, I cannot deny that I may have become a different person than I am today if I had stayed with my birth family, instead of my adopted family.
In many ways, it was me who adopted the family who plucked me out of the system. Even though I was not given a choice, it never felt like that to me. Sure I felt disconnected when people compared me to relatives who I knew for a fact were not biological. While I am a dreamer, my choices have always been grounded in decisions that gave me a sense of control. Perhaps that is a side affect of being adopted, a need to add control where none was initially given.
Despite the years away from birth relatives, it was almost like I was put to a test and knew one day I would eventually come back around to meet them. Yet I have never fully understood how it happened, I just decided one day there were too many details I needed to know. Oddly enough when all was said and done, I met people altogether familiar and yet separated from for a lifetime and realized how special both my adopted and birth families were. Together they both completed my circle.
I no longer live in a state of dreamlike beginnings and not knowing how I got to the here and now with my family. I have been blessed with a complete picture and the very story that brought about my conception. We truly live in a world where the butterfly effect is a reality, not a theory. In that a small encounter with two people who were very unlikely to endure a genuinely lasting relationship created me.
Five decades later I now help people with a similar beginning, find their first stories, and the people who made it possible. There was no plan for this to occur, it just did. I feel blessed to be trusted from those I work with, and honored I can play a small part of their coming to terms with a very important journey in their lives. Although at the same time I am humbled by what they find and how they cope with truths they never quite expected to discover.