How Do I Survive in Two Different Worlds?

Search and reunion introduce adoptees to a life lived in two different worlds.

Rebecca Tillou June 03, 2018
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It is not so strange or uncommon of a concept if you think about it. Most of the US population survives in two, or more, different worlds. They have the home world, and they have the working world. People are able to survive successfully in multiple worlds because they adapt to them. They learn what works, what doesn’t, and they evolve.

One would think it would be easy to live simultaneously in the world of being an adoptee and the world of being a biological child. It isn’t though. There are many emotions involved, and those emotions are not emanating from just one person. They are from many people, and from all sides of the equation.

When I began my search for my birth family, I focused on just that. The search. I didn’t stop and think about how my future would change if I found my birth family, or if I never found them. Once I did find them, I began visiting a new world. A world of unknowns, a world of insecurities, a world of firsts. As one phone call turned into 10, and an email turned into photos being sent and video chatting, my visits to the new world became more frequent.

After about two weeks, I would say I was living in two different worlds. It was and still is, difficult at times. I love my family and I never want to make anyone feel slighted. When I started conversing and visiting my birth family, I wouldn’t mention it to my adoptive family, unless they asked how the search and reunion were going. I hid my worlds from one another. Hiding is stressful. I have tried to combine my two worlds inadvertently through social media by posting photos of both families so both can look at them and comment if they wish to do so. But I want the two worlds to collide head-on. I would love them to meet.

I feel like I have been selfish in my search for this other world, and I don’t like feeling selfish. Then again,  another part of me says it isn’t selfish finding out who you look like, and where you get your genetics from. It may not be selfish, but I have to remember my family is my family. They raised me, they were the first people I ever trusted, and that I ever loved. To bring a new family into the mix, there is going to be skepticism, and there is going to be lots of questions as to how the other world operates.

Bringing two worlds together is not something that happens overnight, but it can be done. Time and patience opens minds and hearts to one another and can create a beautiful connection.


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Rebecca Tillou

Rebecca was adopted as an infant. She found her birth family in May of 2013 and continues to keep in touch with them. Sadly, her birth mother passed away in 1999. She and her husband live in New York and are the parents of two beautiful little boys, Dominic and Nicolas. They also have a German Shepherd mix named Chester. She was recently diagnosed with FASD at 34 years of age. She is currently working with and to get the word out that there is hope, and that you are never too old to better yourself.

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