It’s somewhat of a fairy tale story, everything working out just right. That being said, it’s also been much harder than I could ever have anticipated.
For as long as I can remember, I have known that I was adopted and it has felt right. My adoptive parents (Mom and Dad) explained simply that they always wanted to have children, but couldn’t on their own, so God helped me find my own special way to their family. I looked enough like my mom that a friend’s mom didn’t believe her when he told her I was adopted. She bet him a dollar that he was trying to trick her.
When I confirmed that I was adopted, she still didn’t believe us until she talked to my parents.
Being born in the seventies meant my adoption was closed. I knew a handful of details about my birth parents – height, hair color, eye color, education. Somehow, we collected a few other tidbits of information – my birth parents were married when I was born, but a divorce was impending and they wanted me to grow up in a home with a mother and father. I cherished this knowledge and treasured both my parents and my birth parents all the more for it.
My childhood was idyllic and I felt a deep sense of gratitude to my birth mother for giving me such a great gift. I knew she knew less about me than I about her, so I wanted to find her to say thank you and let her know how perfectly everything had turned out. As a teenager, this desire was at a peak. The internet was emerging and my search led me to voluntary registries. When I turned 18, I was old enough to sign up with an international registry and three years later I was able to sign up with one in the state where I was born. I mailed in a form with information about my birth and waited until a match was made.
Nothing happened at first. In the meantime, I got married, graduated from college, and moved to the other side of the country. On a trip home, my parents picked me up at the airport. That night, as we drove to my childhood home, I looked up at the stars and my thoughts turned to my birth mother. In my head, I composed a letter to her.
When I got home, there was a letter addressed to me, which was a surprise since I no longer lived there. Opening that letter opened a new world. The state registry had made a match between me and my birth mother. Within days, I knew who my birth mother was and where she lived. I was overwhelmed. A lifetime mystery was suddenly solved. The letter I had written in my head found its way to paper and a new relationship was born.
Over the coming weeks and months, we wrote, called, and emailed before arranging a time to meet. It’s been over a decade now, and, like with all relationships, it’s still growing. I have met my birth family on both my mother’s and father’s sides. We are in regular contact and are happy to be sharing our lives again. My mom and dad have been supportive and are still some of my best friends.
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For help to find birth parents, visit the new adoption information website.