Personal Notes on Adoption

I started searching for my birth mother before my 21st birthday. As I write this, it’s less than two months ’til my 71st birthday. Two weeks ago I had a three-and-a-quarter-hour lunch with 15 new-to-me people, each a member of my genetic family, or one of their spouses. Three more have connected with me on Facebook, and I recognize last names of others commenting on my FB posts.

There are more of them, too. I was born the second of 11 children. (That wasn’t anywhere on my “what do I expect to find?” list. Don’t search unless you’re willing to discover anything, and everything.) So I come from a large family with a wide range of gifts and challenges. Seven of us are still alive. And that’s just me and my siblings.

My-brother-I-grew-up-with has never had the slightest interest in searching for his genetic family, or in being found. One of my cousins adopted a child born overseas. Another of my cousins surrendered a child for adoption. Some adoptions are open, some are closed. Some work well, both ways. Some don’t work well at all.

I lost a friendship, years ago, when I was unable to celebrate my friend’s finding the college-age child she had surrendered at birth. We were already estranged when her son asked her to withdraw, for the sake of his adoptive family, so I don’t know if they ever reconnected later. Several others friends found birth family from whom they¬† had, sooner or later, to withdraw; they’d say “escape”. One of my “new” cousins was given up for adoption and found our genetic family 24 years before I did.

And I’m sure I’ll add more notes as time goes on.

MKJ, July 25, 2017, 7:45 PM