Some adoptees, like me, are haunted by those who they know all about and yet cannot make direct contact with. My journey included an in depth search for my birth-father. I just happened to have more information about him than my birth-mother, so I spent a few months scouring through people with the same initials and last name as him.
In most cases any information you have should be approached at the most reasonable assumptions first. Meaning, if you were born in California you should look there first for birth relatives. If you eventually eliminate that area, then move one state in each direction and look there next.
Well, I happened to find and validate my half-sister in California. She had a tale to tell me about how her father and mother broke up when she was two years old and she did not see him again until she was twenty-four. It was chilling to hear her story. Which included dreams about watching a man come to her house yet she could never see his face. She sought him out in her twenties and managed to find him. However, his proximity and longing to be with her was just too uncomfortable for her to come to terms with.
I never was able to determine if their marriage was a consequence of his infidelity with his wife. The timing could not be more awkward. My half-sister was born in 1965 and I was born in 1967. I could tell she had become very self reliant over all these years and was always busy with work and family. She is a nurse at a hospital, go figure we both have an affinity for helping people.
In the process of my search I tracked my paternal side back ten generations. I even met several diehard genealogists at the far side trying to determine their brick wall. A gentleman named Humphrey Belt. I even acquired a large book and added a new branch to the family tree that was not documented before.
Although I have this extensive history of the “Belt” family, other than this half-sister, none of them want anything to do with me. I rationalized that he had lied about how his first marriage ended and just could not bring it to light after all these years. I also thought that maybe his encounter with his daughter and failed reunion was very painful for him and he did not want to encounter another. Yet, I did make every attempt to contact him and his children. I even sent a private investigator to his door to interview him.
Still, based on the description my half-sister gave he did not appear to be someone I really wanted to get to know. So perhaps it was for the best. Still it haunts me to know so much about a group of people and have no contact with them. They make up half of my DNA and yet they will all go to their graves without knowing me. To them I must appear as some crazy adoptee who’s hell bent on disrupting their lives. Little do they know, I have so much to offer.
It as if some doppelganger walks the earth who looks like me, but is twenty-four years older. I attained a copy of a recent drivers license of him. I can see myself in his aged face. Some say they don’t see as strong a resemblance as I claim, but one knows those eyes and that face staring back at them in the mirror.
So while half of me knows of a family perfectly willing to spend time with me, I know all too well the other side of that coin; a shadow that lingers far off to the west of me slowly withering away in silence.