Adoptees' search for family can fundamentally change us

Prior to my search I had reached a point in my life where I was really starting to feel that a lot of people were placed on this world to just serve their own interests. I had become very jaded and had felt like places outside of my home were cold and uncaring. Not every day was so bleak, but generally I would not extend myself far from my immediate families needs. People just felt so vain to me after a while.

During my search for birth family I reached many points where it was impossible not to put my trust in people, be sincere, and extend something that had been snuffed out years ago; Faith. Even then I was very untrusting of people and felt I had to initially deceive them to get the information I needed, before revealing my true motives of finding my first family.

Slowly over the months things began to change. Little did I realize that I had become completely exhausted with the charade. As an adoptee being a social chameleon is a skill one acquires early on, as independence is a lesson ingrained at infancy. However, in my late forties amongst actual biological cousins, I was reaching out to regarding my search, I had psychologically had it.  I was done role-playing my way through life.

What initially started as uncomfortable preparation before making an awkward phone call became an exercise in patience just to keep from being blunt and straightforward with the folks I met. I totally understand the spent patience of adoptees who have become advocates toward reform of adoption laws, practices and anything to do with the wall of silence surrounding our origins.

Once we shed the layer of protective skin around our secret inception, it really becomes difficult to deal with any resistance in anyway, shape or form coming from those not touched by adoption. Imagine your whole like has been a charade and then suddenly you are given a stage, a spotlight, and a moment to express all the pent up feelings kept inside your entire life.

At a point in my search there became a moment of clarity that I just could not ever give in to going back to the way things were before. There just was no way I was going to stop until I found out the truth. In fact the day I found my birth mother and concluded a conversation over Facebook chat, I stood in my house and yelled at the top of my lungs for what felt like five minutes straight. Afterword’s, I stood there with my hands extended to the ceiling in elation. Somehow, I felt I had accomplished the impossible. Something I really felt was not even within the realm of reality.

As I stated previously, I did not suddenly become a whole person; as if raised from the moment of childbirth with biological family to this moment, but my faith in the dozens of people who helped me along the way did sink so deeply into my psyche and bones that I felt forever changed.

Today, even after helping a dozen adoptees find their family, that elation has not evaporated. While I have not become naïve to people still wanting to serve themselves in this life, my faith in humanity, as a whole, has been resurrected.  Now I know that finding family is not easy and it does require a lot of dedication and time to perform, but for me it is not a matter of “if we find them”, but “when”. My hope for all I work with is sharing this renewed warmth with those distant cousins we are asked to reach out to from time to time. In most cases, they are not cold and unfeeling. They are actually there in a way some of us are just not expecting to find them; as our natural family.