Reasons Why I Wanted To Find My Birth Parents

Why would I want to find my birth parents?

From the time I was four days old until I was 21, I had a picture of my bio mom in my head. It looked like this: there was a beautiful, ornate wooden frame, and inside was just a gray, cloudy space that floated around. Even when I dreamed of my bio mom, she was a person with a cloudy head. When circumstances afforded me the opportunity to meet her, it was nice to fill that space with a living, breathing human. Now I know her shape and the sound of her voice. I know she can sing, and I know she is smart, and I know she has feelings. I love having a picture in that space. Next to her is a picture of my bio dad as a cloudy space in a matching frame. He’s still cloudy. Someday I would like a human to put there too.

Other reasons why I want (wanted) to find my birth parents:

I’ve been to a lot of parties. At every single one of them, the topic of nationality has come up. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but that is how it felt to me since I didn’t know my nationality. I didn’t know if I should celebrate St. Patrick’s Day wholeheartedly (buy a Kiss Me I’m Irish T-shirt, drink Shamrock Shakes for a month, mark it on my calendar in green…), or just as a fun-loving bystander (own at least one green shirt in the event I’m invited to a party). Same for Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Flag Day. Okay. You got me, I feel pretty comfortable celebrating Flag Day. The point is, when you really don’t know your nationality, it can be tricky to feel like you fit in somewhere.

Ah, the doctor’s office. If it’s a new doctor, everyone gets this lengthy questionnaire about personal medical background. I answer all of the questions to the best of my ability, with accuracy and acumen. Then, I get to the part about “family history.” Is there a history of this awful thing or that horrible thing or…? Suddenly I feel like I’m taking a test that I didn’t study for. My heart beats a little faster. I start reading through all of the horrible things that I might have a “history” of, but I don’t know. Hmm.

Remember that day in one of your Psych-101 classes where the professor talked about nature versus nurture? I do. I remember that lesson very clearly. Because I did wonder. What traits did I receive from my bio mom/bio dad? What did I absorb from the family who adopted me? Big feet? Probably bio family. Sentimental? Maybe adoptive family. But maybe not?

So, at 21 years of age I was able to meet my bio-mom. I had the opportunity to say, “Hey! Last time you saw me I was four days old! I’ve changed a lot since then!” I was able to (and wanted to) sort of “show off” how great I turned out. Maybe it’s the six-year-old inside of me saying, “Mom! Watch this! Watch me! Look what I did!” I don’t know. But, there was definitely a part of me that really wanted her to know how things worked out for me.

Allow me to offer some discussion about things that were not a reason I why I wanted to find my birth parents. I did not want either of them to fulfill a parental role in my life. I actually feel a little overwhelmed. I have enough parents. I have my regular parents, I have in-laws, and I also have people older than me whom I would consider mentors. I have enough parents. I don’t need any more.

I also did not want money or material things. I did not want constant contact or to be an added burden. I did not want to tell these people my problems and have them “fix” anything. I had no intention of “digging up bones” that someone wanted to keep buried. I did not want to “have a word” with them in the spirit of blaming or accusing them of abandonment or neglect.

Lastly, I wanted to find my birth parents to offer them forgiveness that they might be seeking. I would want them both to know that I appreciate the sacrifice they made in placing me with my family. Yeah, what if they really did abandon me or neglect me? They just wouldn’t be human if they weren’t haunted by that choice at some point. I don’t care about the situation at that moment surrounding how or why I was put into the arms of another family. I think my birth parents deserve to feel that I forgive them, if that’s what they need.


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