New Year thoughts on our search for birth family

The New Year started off with working with three new adoptees looking for their birth families. One I am actively working with for the past two weeks, and the other two likely waiting on DNA test results from AncestryDNA.

While I have been working on my search across with all the adoptees, birth parents and adopted parents I am working with during my time off these past two weeks I have also been reading up on how others have coped with their journeys.

While many of us have similarities, much is unique to the individuals. Like a fingerprint, each one of those touched by adoption have a unique perspective that really is central to how they evolved as people. I find it strangely comforting to assist these people. There really is no pay dirt involved in volunteer work except the philanthropy that motivates it. I have heard of genealogists that get paid for their research, but it is really not my motivating factor.

Sure I would love to make a living off doing this kind of stuff, but realistically it is not my model to take advantage of people essentially robbed of their identities. Obviously, I know full well what it’s all about, being an adoptee myself. Even after finding my birth family coming to terms with the reality I never had growing up is odd to assimilate. It is not as if I was given all the ingredients and now can bake a new me, complete with all the history regular folks can look back upon from the very beginning of their lives.

Having won these keys to my past allows me to pull from the shadows parts of myself that, with time; I can start to reflect upon with some familiarity. That’s certainly not the same as the non-adoptee experience. It initially takes a fantasy of what my birth parents might have been and molds them around the reality of who I found. Now my ghosts have real features. Some I recognize, while other parts I just cannot yet take in.

I guess my expectations were never really set in stone ever. I simply thought torturing myself with “what ifs” was just not the best thing to entertain throughout my life. My search started as a curiosity. Then it bloomed into a challenge. Then it eventually grew into an obsession. Was that healthy to allow it to grow to that level? Likely not. Yet that’s something I have learned about my birth family and myself. We’re obsessive about the goals we set in front of us.

Some my call it unhealthy to focus one’s attention on something until the world around us falls away and our goal resembles some acute tunnel vision. But for many who I have met in my birth family, it actually seems to be a natural trait that flourishes. Some of those I have met recognize it in themselves. Whiles others just seem to allow this pervasive trait to blend into their personality.

At first I wondered why most of them seemed content to be rather reclusive in their independent pursuits. Now I know why they are all quite independent of one another. It’s simply in their nature. It is what drives me, and it is what drives many of them. Now, I am not going to say I am so familiar with these folks that this is their only trait. Many of us are balanced in our lives. Although I am not sure I can count myself as one of them yet. This past year has taught me to accept myself more for who I am. It has also taught me to strike a balance between many of the things I do.

The funny thing is, I think I am just mastering how to compartmentalize much better than ever before. I don’t think I sink myself into anything I do any less. I just find it easier to multitask. A lot of sharing about personal obsessions, but it has a motivation. What would that be, you might ask? It is at the heart of many searches. Something I think every searcher is looking for absolution from. Trusting the reflection in the mirror, and knowing themselves with a complete picture of where they came from and who makes up their ancestors.