The most important first step in beginning a search for birth parents is easier said than done. To skip it, however, could make all the difference in your outcome reaction. The importance of being emotionally strengthened and prepared cannot be overemphasized.
Hopefully, if you’ve gotten this far on the Adoption.com website, you know the search is not always easy and it does not always meet your hopes and expectations. Sometimes, it leads to dead ends, other times, it leads to what some have labeled, a ‘second rejection’- a term I greatly dislike that assumes putting a child up for adoption is a first rejection. Although I will admit it is not at all unusual for the adopted child to foster feelings of rejection, the reason I don’t like this term is because it feeds into that feeling. While it is true that this could be warranted in many cases, in just as many cases, it may be a matter of someone caring enough to carry their baby full-term before forcing themselves to allow another to raise it for a great number of reasons. In such cases, the predominant motivator quite possibly could be love. And that’s a far cry from rejection.
Surely, this is the hope of adoptees everywhere, and yet, it is true that this is often not the case, and even when it is, many biological parents have come to terms with their decision by erasing their child, as well as they are able, from their memories. Their baby may even be a long-ago secret shared between themselves, God, and a small handful of tight-lipped ‘others’.
Are you able to imagine that? I mean, REALLY imagine that? In doing so, do you know what you would do should this, in reality, become your story? What if you complete a search, find who you are looking for but not what you are looking for? What if you don’t find the emotional fulfillment you seek? What then?
Many hope to find birth parents as a means to healing, yet the outcome has the potential to create more damage to an already wounded and scarred self-worth…But please, don’t stop reading! I am not a naysayer by any means. In fact, I found my adoptive mother and father in a world where that wasn’t ‘supposed’ to happen. But the doors to my heritage, lineage, and biological parents and family only opened after I was ready enough to sustain damage, should a storm ensue. It wasn’t my idea to be prepared, it just happened that way, and I am so very grateful that I went in emotionally strong, supported by a huge network, rather than weak! So grateful, in fact, that I am now compelled to always, always, always begin the story of my search with a sort of qualifier…Be Prepared.