I have always known I was adopted.
It was never an issue. Just a matter of fact. We all look alike, however, so most folks who discovered I was adopted say, “Really!?! I had no idea!” with open mouths. Many have questions for me. Have you ever considered searching for your birth mother? Why not? Do you have any siblings? Are they adopted too?
I am a very open person, so I usually answer these. It’s quite intrusive to ask such personal questions, but I didn’t always have the awareness of personal boundaries that I have now. I’m also a talker, which helps.
I have considered locating my birth family, but have not put any real energy into that pursuit. Years ago, I met someone at an HR conference who loved geneaology, and found some names in a magical database she knew of. But that information basically landed in my lap. No legwork required. No risk.
That’s what it feels like, tho. A risk. What if this person is even more dysfunctional than I am? Addicted? Dead? What if my birth mother is not interested in opening a 30-year old can of worms (ewww)? I’m still working on an adult relationship with my real parents. Going swimmingly, thank you therapy!
Ultimately, I’m indifferent to the idea of locating my birth mother. I hope her life has been happy and full. If we came together serendipitously one day, that would be wonderful. I would like to start with coffee. Perhaps ask some questions. But those names my conference-buddy emailed are three years old. There is no anger towards her, adoption was her only choice. If any of the events in my life had been different, I may not have the family and friends and life I do now. I am healthy and happy and grateful to her for her part in my life.
There is some curiousity, tho. When I gave birth, my daughter was the first blood relative I had ever met. And we have the same face. I cannot describe the feeling, I tear up remembering. My blood, my genes, my face.
In school, every year included a harsh reminder of my difference from almost everyone else. The genetics section of science class. Whose earlobes look like yours? Who can taste the paper? Eye color, hair color, stature, nose, chin, I could go on and on. A note from mom, MamaCarrie cannot participate in this exercise because…
As I age, genetic make-up and family history of disease plays a bigger and bigger role in my check-ups. Do I owe it to myself to find out these terrifying facts about my bloodline?
Do I owe it to my child, to know her genetic history? Do I owe something to her, she that gave me life?
Do we share a face? Probably do…