Between home life, work responsibilities, building family trees, reading up on the subjects of genealogy and online databases occasionally I get swamped and just eating a day with busy work.
Although I had a conversation with a birth mother today who we feel we are close enough to a potential candidate for her birth son that a phone call is warranted. I shared my own experience, and how I felt meeting my birth mother. The awkwardness of trying to find the right way we both felt was appropriate to identify with one another.
I told her I would be happy she had this problem to begin with, but to be sensitive to this individual and try and gauge their comfort level. If they ask for definitive proof then one can certainly bring up the offer to get a DNA test performed. However, I like to think you want to warm up to these potential birth relatives before you pop a question like that.
Sharing notes about birth dates, places, and knowledge you have that might pertain to them coming about and what kinds of questions they might have that you should consider before being put on the spot.
I also like to think you have to listen and voice concerns when you hear doubt or anything else. Be open and honest. Assure them that you don’t mean to be an intrusion in their lives, but that you would like to open a line of communication with them that they would feel comfortable with. Then see what they are willing to offer, if they believe that you are in fact an actual biological relative.
Who knows, maybe they think you know someone in their family is well known and this is some ploy to get at some secret family wealth. Trust is earned over time and through experience. Trust what you hear and sense and just follow their lead, answer their questions and be sincere.
At the very worst, both adoptees and birth parents fear rejections from meeting one another after so much time has transpired. Try and be calm and realize there may be more opportunities to try and reach out, even if your conversation does not go along as planned.
If for some reason this individual does turn out not to be a birth relative, based on some negative DNA test or hard facts provided, take a deep breath and realize your journey does not have to end in tears. We can keep looking. I know first hand how hard it can be to get this close only to find out its not the person we thought it might be. You can only take a deep breath, give yourself a lot of credit for taking this leap of faith, and make every attempt to move forward. Trust there is some reason or purpose that’s somehow testing your patience, and keep your spirits from overwhelming you.