Many of the cases we started months ago have finally come to conclusion. Others more recently have ended with the knowledge of one birth parent or the other. It is not that people are satisfied, but drained by the experiences they faced and contact that sometimes became possible.
I could try and summarize each case, but there are far too many details that would put even the most avid genealogist to sleep. Each case was unique and some extremely challenging. Some even required more than one person to work on it, to cover the thousands of people on their tree.
In the end, the truth unfolded in all its wonder, reality, beauty and ugliness. That’s right, everyone has some hard truths to learn just why relinquishment became the choice with each scenario. Some couples were far too young, while others were swept into secrecy by extenuating circumstances. Still more had tragic endings; either shortly after the birth or years later.
The women who relinquished their babies did not go sailing smoothly into their futures. Their relationships and marriages were ravaged by divorce after divorce, or worse where they simply did not make it to old age. So far, I would say three out of four cases have a challenging ending for the birth parents. It seems that many were troubled as I have read in books surrounding the life after relinquishment. In them, they describe people who felt undeserving of compatibility and decidedly chose spouses who were incompatible. I cannot tell you if any were abusive, because some stories just don’t have those kinds of details. However, their choices in life seemed to reflect their separation from their first-born; the vast majority it was the first child.
Of the remaining twenty five percent, there were bittersweet happier endings. All adoptees seem at peace eventually knowing about their roots. While I cannot say it was a cure, it brought to light much of the darkness enveloping the past. No there is not a pot full of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, not one of the people we have worked with regretted finding out where they came from and the bits and pieces that make up their nature. In the beginning these new found factors contributing to our knowledge might seem simple and unremarkable information. However, over time they become the very reason we turned back time to find out who we came from and what heritage still lingers in our veins.
Not every search can be called concluded. Many are still deep in the thick of much effort or confusion, sorting through the myriad of challenges presented along the way. However, the very act of searching has brought to light information about relatives, including their paths, choices, trades, and historical factors they lived through. Occasionally a lucky photo can provide a glimpse into the past. Yet, even with all these details the only drive to keep us going is the hope we can find out who brought us into this world; our core architects, who, clumsy or not contributed an equal portion into our genetics but left us without a manual.