Reality is stranger than fiction

When it comes to the modern family there are no limits as to how strange marriage can take on so many different guises. It is understandable that not every relationship is going to work out long term. While marriage in the modern age can begin and end as frequently as people can afford the change that was not always the case in the past where even the unhappiest people would stay together “for the family”.

There was the church and society that also put pressure on the family of old, to force marriages to last, even when they should have been broken apart. Considering the records kept in the past and modern day, and it becomes tricky to actually track and record the accurate genealogy of the modern couple. This does not play out well when attempting to track down birth relatives.

When it comes to the women who relinquished their children, there were many cases where they were being heavily influenced to do so because of their parents and society at large, condoning them when attempting to keep their children outside of wedlock. The fallout from these relinquishments meant a hasty rush to find a suitable husband, and not necessarily the most compatible one. Entering into an abusive relationship was not that uncommon, simply because these women did not feel they deserved to be happy after giving up on their first-born.

Now, I certainly cannot speak for all cases, only those I have read about. However, the pattern did seem weighed against them to have a successful marriage. They were often told that they would heal from the pain that relinquishment caused by marrying quickly and having more children. While this did bring the warmth of a shared bond back into their lives, for a lot of these women it did not fill the whole in their hearts. It was if society had condemned them, and they were doomed to remain unhappy and not entirely whole again.

Realizing their marriage was not with someone they truly could endure over the long term, divorce became all too common. Having started their young adult life confused, damaged, and lost with little or no counseling to face the pain these lost souls sometimes endured a lifetime of suffering.

Now imagine a search being taken up by either the birthmother or adoptee. Not only is a search not guaranteed to bring them together once more, but once found it could become a roll of the dice that either side may be unwilling or emotionally unable to face the other. Whoever took up the mantle of search, exploring the feelings and myriad of thoughts surrounding the true nature of their situation, whomever they find may have never quite resolved their feelings of separation. Thus a reunion can be a challenging encounter to come to terms with.

There have been so many scenarios played out, I cannot tell anyone for sure if a reunion will even take place, let alone take hold and flourish. Sometimes people may have to learn to be content just finding a birth parent, but never be able to actually communicate with them. In all the cases I have been involved in, I would say that of those where birth parents were still around, about seventy-five percent of them were willing to meet half way and try and allow their remaining time be available for at least a partial relationship with the adoptee or birthparent.

In my case, my birth mother and her family have received me with open arms. Yet on my birthfather’s side, no one will even return my letters. I had to pay a private investigator just to find out if my birth father was alive and answer several questions I had. There was complete denial, and even faced with DNA proof, there was the suggestion that it was made up. I could have jumped on a plane and forced a confrontation, but it simply was not that important to me. I found out the truth, have a half-sister who is willing to speak to me, and that has just got to be good enough.

Oddly enough, I have ten generations of the paternal side mapped out genealogically. I know more about these people than they likely know of themselves. Distant cousins communicate with me, and we work to extend distant brick walls on that side of the family, yet the modern era of relatives want nothing to do with me. I have experienced both sides of reunion; the wall of silence, and the complete opposite. My nature is deeply understood now. I have the quiet and reclusive nature of my birth father, and the keen intellect and deeply focused aptitude of the maternal relatives; who also happen to be very strong willed. Perhaps that last bit is a blend of both sides.

Knowing my nature and having a past that extends hundreds of years before my birth is a satisfaction I cannot even describe. There simply are no words to describe not knowing this information for almost half a century, and then within the span of a year, knowing it all.