The search for family over the holidays

Over the past few weeks I have worked with several family trees for all the adoptees I am assisting. Some I have refined my search down to the individual level. They require investigating each person who may or may not fit into their trees. While others I have set aside a tree of over a thousand people to try and create a new tree using another genetic relative and push forward using their non-identifying information as if it were gospel truth.

Not every adoptee of birth parent case can be treated the exact same way. It takes time to close one case and move to another. It now takes a good hour to warm up to the information surrounding a single search using the notes I have taken and the ideas I have already explored. I have even taken time to remove branches from ancestry trees that just do not seem to fit. Lately I would rather be more accurate than rush forward with partial information.

I know that would make a normal genealogist cringe to think I am rushing. However, these are not your everyday genealogical cases. Sometimes it requires pushing the envelope and accepting someone else’s potential poorly done amateur genealogical tree to breach the other side. As long as I take the time to prove a weak branch then I feel justified. Yet I am even more critical about taking information on its face value.

At the same time all this research is going on, the Holidays came. They also came right after a trip I made to meet birth family I had never encountered before. This year has been a time of remarkable discoveries, both personal and profound. I have read over two-dozen books on the subject surrounding the adoption experience, genetics, genealogy, search, reunion, and the psychological impact from so many different scenarios related to each subject. Combined, I can think of no other community of people who can even fathom these experiences than the very people I devote my time assisting.

I went looking for myself over a year ago and came back surrounded with familiar and familial faces. I looked in the mirror and realized it took some cleaning, glasses, and a bit of wisdom to truly see who was looking back. All the questions I had, now come more clearly into focus. Like any other adoptee, I don’t consider myself completely cured of it, but I do feel a change has occurred and it is not all rainbows and unicorns. However, I can now say I know most of the truth that was missing. A longing I was not even aware I needed to fulfill, has started to try and make a place for itself inside my head and heart.

There are still some journeys I have not completed, that I certainly want to. Perhaps if I share my experiences along the way my fellow adoptees and birth parents now in search will glean a bit of insight. I wish you all a warm hug and most happy of wishes and thoughts to you and yours this coming new year. It is certainly on my list that we push further and further into the truth you all deserve.