I wasn’t sure what to expect after replying to Scott, one of my half-brothers. He had indicated in his initial response to me that he would never again respond and that my other half siblings wouldn’t even entertain an initial response to the letter I sent to all three of them explaining who I was. But he had questioned my sincerity in my first letter to him and had made some pretty hurtful statements, as well. So I felt the need to try to set the record straight, knowing full well that I wasn’t likely to get another response.

Regardless, I wanted to try again to explain why I, as an adoptee, felt the need to reach out to my biological family members; it was clear that he didn’t understand the viewpoint of adoptees who search because of the emptiness inside, a void that cannot be filled by their adoptive family, no matter how much they love and support you. So I wrote the reply, and to my surprise, I received a response on the very same day.

Scott started by saying, “Since this is the way you took my response, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you.” Of course, in my view, my reply contained many of the same points I had made in my initial letter to him, but the shock had apparently worn off a little bit. But I was pleased with this opening line nonetheless and felt that it signaled progress.

He went on to say that he is a believer in the truth, a major point I had made in my reply to him as one of the most important things in life because of the toxicity associated with keeping secrets. He qualified it, however, by saying that if reaching out to him and his siblings had somehow resulted in this unveiled truth causing pain to them, he would have taken issue with it, no matter how irrational it may have seemed.

And I can accept that. We protect those we love, and as with any shock in life, being rational sometimes falls by the wayside, and blame is misplaced. Scott went on to say that he was happy that my life has worked out and that he would have felt bad if it had not. Of course, he had no way of knowing whether or not my life has worked out based on two letters, but I felt that there was some compassion in this statement.

Unfortunately, as he wrapped up his response, Scott decided not to keep the door open to further contact. But I was still encouraged. “I know I said I wouldn’t respond to you again, but I felt you deserved one,” he said in closing. “Good luck in the future,” he continued. “From the bottom of my heart, I really wish you nothing but the best.”

Obviously, this wasn’t an ideal response, since my ultimate hope was that he and my half siblings would have had the same desire to get to know me, as I had to get to know them. But it was light years better than the first one, which had come less than a week before. So to me, it was a win.