I thought I would try and explain some of my feelings, fears, and joys.
As I have said before, I have always known I was adopted. This alone did a great deal for me in that I never felt “different” or less than anyone else. To me, adoption was just a different path to the same end result: being brought up in a family. Whether born to it or not, I am part of a family.
Oddly enough I never once even used the “you’re not my real mom/dad” argument against my adopted parents. It never crossed my mind to use it. It just didn’t fit. For all intents and purposes they -were- my “real” parents since they were the ones I had always known as mom or dad. Not to say I didn’t have a complete awareness of my birth families outside of my immediate surroundings; I have always been acutely aware of my “situation”.
Every now and again I would think of what my birth parents were like, but I never really dwelled on it either. I was never obsessed with finding out like my sister was. I figured it would happen when it would happen if it was meant to. I never felt a burning drive to know more.
A lot of that comes from my belief that my birth mom had a good reason for letting me go, and that I am sure her life was better without me. I am also sure my life is better because of her choice for my well-being. And for that I am eternally grateful.
After learning about the court battle which ensued over my custody, I only grew to respect her more and began to lose any respect I may have had for my birth father after reading some of the proceeding’s records. I came to the conclusion that there must have been a good reason for my birth mom to take the stand on my behalf and fight to keep me in the custody of my adoptive parents and not to allow my birth father to obtain any level of custodial rights.
I can’t even imagine the strength of character that took. And you have to respect that.
Of course, now I am in a very odd place. I truly hadn’t intended or been prepared to contact my birth mom. I had only been looking to see if I could narrow down possibilities in the event that I decided I would really decide to try and find her and contact her. I have, over the years, done some basic web searches and found some luke warm leads, but I never really followed through on any of them. Until I did a quick search on Classmates.com I assumed I would always find a handful of possibilities, but never really follow through.
Well, damn my intellect for helping me and failing me at the same time. I was smart enough to narrow down the possibilities and found only one person of the same name at the high school I deducted she would have attended in the years around the time of my birth. And yet my intellect was insufficient to realize that clicking a “Request this user post a picture” button would send a message with my information attached to it. I guess I should have tested that functionality first. Because I got a classmates email from her indicating she didn’t have an up to date picture, and that she couldn’t quite place where and if she actually knew me from.
At that point I kind of went for broke. It was either now or never and I think I am strong enough emotionally to handle what may come of it. So I replied. In that message I dropped 4 names, 2 of which I knew she’d recognize, and 2 of which I figured would be a long shot.
One month later (this morning to be exact) I received a reply.
She apologized for the delay and confirmed that she was indeed the person I thought she was. She indicated that she was open to talking, though admitted right off that I had shaken her world. More importantly, the single question she had for me told me everything about her. She asked: “are your parents the good people I was lead to believe they were? I sincerely hope so.”
I replied and let her know that yes, they are indeed good people. I also indicated I would like to continue talking, but that the 3000 character limit of classmates e-mail system was a bit restrictive (go figure).
So now I sit here and await her reply. And now I get to worry. I have yet to be able to really alleviate any fears she may have. My only contact with her has been through the classmates.com website and the e-mails have been fairly short.
I want to be able to tell her that I’m not looking for a new family, any sort of self validation, or anything of the sort. I don’t want to create any drama or pain. I -really- don’t wish to cause any sort of pain. And lord knows I have no intention of going all Jerry Springer on her. The more low-key and easy going I can keep this, the better; for both of us I am sure.
I’m scared and happy and excited and hesitant, and fearful, and overjoyed at the prospects and potential for actually talking with my mom, but in all honesty, I’m not sure I have a good reason for wanting to contact her. The best reason I can seem to come up with right now is to just say:
“Hi, I’m doing ok. I hope you are too”.