No sooner and no later

Some adoptee searches are just meant to be, no sooner or no later than when they occur. In Yiddish, the word “bashert” comes to mind. I learned the word working for a Jewish craftsman back in the years just following my work in art restoration.

In many, if not all, the searches I have worked with or read about had coincidences that would simply not have happened if the trek upon that particular search had occurred any sooner or later than that very moment in time. Some windows of opportunity just are not open indefinitely. It is one of the driving forces in a quest for the truth about our birth family.

Today I was talking to my wife about some of the searches I was involved in that just felt odd the way certain things occurred to help further along the goals for several individuals. She said she could still not believe how I found my own birth family. The people involved, the alignment of the stars seemed to be evolving in a timely fashion, as if fate had a guiding hand to create a mosaic path toward my goal.

While I have faith in God, I don’t frequently practice it in a church. However, be it divine intervention, fate, or a necklace beaded with coincidence after coincidence, it is hard to fathom so many things that had to happen for me to end up twenty miles away from my birth mother when it was all said and done.

I have recalled this feeling before when touting the desire for other adoptees and birth relatives starting their journey. Although in the thick of a search, sometimes there is not always time to stop and appreciate the roses along the path. There is a drive to simply find out the next hidden impression amongst the scattered dust of our trail before some wind blows away our chances to find the next clue or make progress of any kind.

My wife says that I am a driven individual. That when I put my mind to something I never give up until I see it to its conclusion. That may be beneficial for those I assist, but it certainly does give me pause at moments to consider how I manage my time between all the other responsibilities I have in my life. I’m told I should be driven to earn a million dollars, because then we would be better off. Yet, in many ways, I already feel wealthy. It’s just not the kind of wealth one can spend to pay off the creditors. It is rather the kind that one can look back on your life and feel you made a difference to many who really deserved it.

A lot of the people who feel the drive to help others in their search for their first family usually know full well what it is like not to know where they came from, or can empathize with those souls who are touched by the missing roots that closed adoption created in the wake of their inception.

Waking up to the idea that you are not alone with this feeling that has always been with you your entire life can sometimes be like waking from a dream. I seldom felt haunted by not knowing where I came from. However, once I made the excuse to start looking, that need to know became insatiable. It is not that I could not function in day to day life, but what was once just a glimmer of interest could no longer be pushed back down into the recesses of my mind.

The more I shared with others touched by adoption, the more I realized this was a global phenomenon. Even those not interested in looking, completely satisfied to their lives as adoptees, are seen as delusional to those of us in the midst of this knowledge. Like some great conspiracy was afoot from the beginning of our lives, and now the haze has lifted to reveal our place herein with humanity. I felt like a fool, when I finally understood what was missing. That anything was missing at all was the most nerve-racking sensation. Followed by the typical guilt to shut these thoughts up and be the obedient, compliant, and satisfied adoptee I was supposed to be.

Hoodwinked, yet defiant to the end, I am driven to find out more than my own truth. However, the decision to look, the need to know, is a very personal choice that only the individual adoptee or birth relative can make. No sooner and no later than when it was meant to be. Now if only the laws that closed our adoptions to begin with could be wiped clean away, can it become as easy as opening up that information without a great deal of effort, patience, and dedication; as it is now. Choice after all was the first thing taken from many of us and it can sometimes consume us entirely who try and defy the very system put in place to deny us from this knowledge.