Adoption is a complicated experience. I was adopted at birth. I went through childhood as a pretty normal kid. I stayed busy with school, church, and other activities. My adoptive family was my whole world. My mom and I were inseparable. I knew I was adopted, and I had a healthy dose of appreciation for my birth parents, but I didn’t have the desire to find them.
Life got hard after that, really hard. Actually, my life was never easy again. Out of all of the emotions I felt throughout my lifetime, the only ones I ever had for my birth parents were love, gratitude, and respect. They gave me life! They loved me enough that they chose life for me. They had no control over the things that happened in my life, good or bad. They made what they believed was the best decision at the time. That’s all anyone can expect.
I already helped my little sister find her birth family by the time I had kids of my own. Something about having my boys triggered a desire in me to search for my birth family. I had ridden the emotional waves with my sister through her reunion, and I knew it was time. I took a DNA test and started my search and reunion journey.
When I met my birth mom for the first time, it truly felt like I was home. I was excited and elated. There were no feelings of animosity or resentment, only joy and love. We had emailed a few times before the meeting, and my reunion was not without surprises. I found two half-sisters and two full sisters. I learned that my birth parents had gotten married after my adoption. While I may have had questions about what exactly happened and why I never had negative thoughts towards them.
I will tell you there are some wishes that I would have if we could do it over. I wish I had been able to know my birth parents when I was younger. My birth father passed away a few days before I found them. I wish I had known him. I miss him even though we never met. I would have wanted to know that I was the spitting image of my mother.
I get a twinge of sadness when I see photos of my sisters together when they were little. I was supposed to be there with them in those moments. I grew up with different sisters, but it would have been nice to have the opportunity to have known them. We might have attended each other’s weddings and seen each other’s kids born.
Will my child hate me?
I’ve been an active member of online adoption communities for years. I have heard many stories different than my own. Some of those were much less pleasant than mine. I have never heard adoptees say that they hated their birth parents for placing them. It takes a tremendous amount of love, strength, and sacrifice to place a child. If you are already worried about how your birth child will feel about you, I highly recommend open adoption. Whether you have contact with the adoptive parents only or have some interaction with the child is up to you. At the very least you should make your contact information available to your birth child when he or she turns 18. You should feel safe in the knowledge that your child is not going to hate you, but will most likely come looking for you.