The Ups and Downs

Searching for your biological family is by no means an easy decision to make. In some ways both the adoptee and birth parent strain to come face to face with the reality that those they are seeking out may not welcome them into their lives.

This is quite possibly a situation most of us never came to terms with before we started our search. They’re times when finding out a little bit of information on our search can restore hope; the hope that we may someday find them or other biological family related to them.

It is not as if our adopted families or individuals we married and had children with are not a major part of our lives. It sometimes just starts as a curiosity about our natures and slowly evolves into a need to know more about ourselves. I cannot imagine a life without the family I grew up with or the paths I took throughout my life that led to my wife and children.

It was as if I was destined to be an adopted child, because I cannot look into my children’s faces and wish it were different. I simply cannot even entertain the thought. However, knowing why you think, act, or do things differently than your adopted family is a subtlety that adoptees may not realize until they have reunited with their genetic relatives. There has not been a single adoptee I have met who reunited with their bio-family who was not meaningfully aware of their similarities. Finding family is a difficult decision to undertake. However, once it is accomplished there is a mixed bag of what one can find.

I do not want to taunt those looking with the feelings and challenges of reunion, but know that looking and finding fulfills as much good, as it also weighs upon your mind. It never comes as a fairy tale ending, but even in the worst of encounters, everyone finds a truth that was missing before. I have known folks who have searched all their adult lives and found many dead-ends. I have also known some who have found their birth families the day after they started searching.

For me it was important to understand why I started looking and what my expectations were even if I never found someone. Coming to some terms with the reasons and questions you want answered can help you cope as your journey seems to go on and on. Look for those things that rekindle hope and peace of mind. Whether or not your journey comes to fruition, you will still have questions that you thought would be answered, yet were more about yourself than any biological family you could find.

Truth is a powerful need to fulfill in both adoptees and birth parents. Look for ways you can persevere as you search. The deeper you dive the more often you need to come up for air. Be wary of your limits.