The stasis that we are forced to live in while we actively search for birth family is very sensitive to the yin and yang of our progress. At some points we may entertain hope when leads may transition into thoughts regarding the notion that we might reunite with someone. Then in the next breath torn away from that scenario to face the possibility that we might not make any progress at all.
This is where genealogy tends to go way beyond the typical researcher and reside somewhere between a constant period or state of inactivity or equilibrium where happiness can be measured for all those touched by adoption.
I encourage individuals on their search to find an outlet for the constant waiting between that somewhere that they started from and the desire to ultimately know the truth. For me, I read many books on what others wrote about their searches. These literary muses were filled with suggestions in which adoptees could glean and cope, while they ultimately created locomotion towards some kind of closure for themselves.
Finding a way to come to terms with this anxiety, that can both bring one’s emotional status out of the darkness only to potentially dash it moments later, may be the single most challenging sensation adoptees face along their journey.
This swinging from one state to another is not uncommon for individuals outside of the adoption triad to have to cope with as well. There are non-paternal events that still can hit close to home for some genealogists who discover a relative may have a brick wall that they cannot overcome, because they too were adopted. Although it is a different perspective when you have nothing to substantiate the proof that someone actually gave birth to you.
Depending on the depths that a child may have come from the foster care system or adopted months after they were born, and the stigma of being adopted may actually be a raw nerve individuals can sense being exposed to a pain that torments them beyond the heartaches of coming into contact with only so many near misses during their search.
There have been cases where someone needed closure or to set aside their case for a period of time so that they could recover from the pain associated with the loss they carry. It is not uncommon that people will ask to put their search on hold to come to terms with the burden of looking. I have seen it in at least three cases over the past year where someone just needed a break to come up for air. Only to take up the mantle again months later for another go at it.
It may just be hours in the day where our attention needs to be put somewhere else. For adoptees it may be on their own children. Everyone has a different way of balancing between heartache and hope. Consider yourself as you make your way through this wilderness. There are just as many dangers that lurk in the recesses of your mind as there are tangible ones that may require your direct intervention when reaching out to potential relatives.
For some, it even becomes too much to ultimately face actual contact. As if the search was never quite real, until it actually becomes genuine possibility. One case I had, someone found their birth relatives and waited months before actually working up the nerve to try and make contact. Others nearly broke down once they actually made contact and made their peace.
You never quite know where you are headed when you plot out this journey day by day, but one things is clear, that you listen to yourself and find ways that you can temper the happiness with the sorrows along your way.