As an adopted child, I was always told that my birth mother loved me so much that she not only gave me life, but she wanted to give me a life. When my husband and I adopted our son, we continued the same teaching in our home. I treasure the truth and the openness that my adoptive parents made a priority while I was growing up, and have been completely truthful with my son in regard to his adoption. In addition to knowing the truth about our adoptions and the love of our birth mothers, my son and I grew up knowing that when we were ready, our adopted families would help us in our search for our biological families.
My son completed his search first. We were so excited for him. He located his mother, her father, and her brother and found out that he has several biological brothers and sisters. His mother was thrilled to hear from him and we feel a strength and closeness in the circle of family that we have now gained.
After the success of my son’s search, he and our three daughters began encouraging me to continue in my own search. I had started it several times, but had hit road blocks so often that I finally gave up. You see, unlike my son, I was born in Newfoundland and my birth parents were Canadian, making the search much more difficult. With the support of my husband and children, I began the search again, and with the help of the private investigator that had assisted my son in his search, I found my birth family within five months. Unfortunately, my birthmother had passed away eight months prior, but my birthfather was still living– and I had six brothers and sisters! I grew up an only child so this was a dream come true for me. And to make things even better, they wanted to be part of my life and were excited to get to know my adoptive mother.
This summer, we had a family reunion that included all of us. The family that raised me was accepted as part of the biological family and vice versa and I have found peace, continuity, and answers. I have found my roots, my heritage, and a very large family of loving, kind, and generous people. Not everyone is this fortunate or has the outcome that my son and I have had, but I think that as adoptive parents, we have a duty to be supportive and understanding of the needs of our children to find their families. It does not mean that they do not love us any less; it means that they need to complete the circle and join us all together as one. They need completeness and they need to feel whole.
As an adoptive child, I know the love I had growing up from two people whose whole world revolved around me, but who also knew that I had to complete my life circle. They were wise enough to know that that circle included them– for without them, it would not be possible.
Adoptive parents need to be honest with their children. Tell them the truth. My son and I are proud to be adopted. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not a dreaded secret, and it brings families together and completes the circle. I always remember that my birthmother loved me dearly. She loved me so much that she gave me life and then gave me a life, just as my son’s birthmother did. But I also know that she never stopped loving me and both my son and I were given a great gift– the love of two moms who would give and do anything for their child, and the love of a family who embraced us and loved us with all their hearts. It does not get any better than that.