The Real Reason I Searched
When searching for my biological family, people asked me, ‘what are you looking for? They wanted to understand what motivated me, but I wasn’t sure.
In the early days of searching, I had wanted to locate my biological family and know who they were. It would be a bonus if I could have a relationship with them. However, I could not articulate what was in my heart, so my response was ‘nothing.’ I told anyone who asked that I wanted nothing. This led to the next question, ‘then why are you searching?
Unconsciously this led to a feeling of shame and guilt, which many adopted people feel. I had been inadvertently feeding into the idea that I was a ‘dirty little secret.’ It was the very thing that I had been fighting against as an adopted person.
It took me years to describe why I searched and what I had hoped would be the result. There was no shame in it. Searching for my biological family has nothing to do with material things. What I wanted was not tangible. I wanted only one individual from my birth family to feel the same connection I think I have with them.
After a time, they would see that their life was missing something and that something was me. I wanted that hole filled by a relationship with me. We would enjoy spending time together, face to face, talking on the phone, or texting; that’s what I wanted. I want to pick up my phone and hear them on the other end. We would get to know each other. Our time together would create years of memories we wouldn’t have had the chance to. I wanted them to feel lucky that we’d found each other.
I want my birth parents to own their past. This doesn’t mean I am asking them to say I was a mistake. I’m not asking for them to make apologies for my existence. I want my biological parents to talk to me about the time in their life when they chose adoption. It has been hard along the way for all of us, but adoption has shaped us into who we are today. My biological mother and father have become the people they are today only after their experiences in 1964, and I want to learn about who those people are today. It is alright to let the secrets go. We can heal and be better for knowing.