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Looking for adoptee input on searching

09 Aug

I’m looking for adoptees willing to weigh in on:

  1. reasons why you could and did tell your parents you were searching for your family of birth.
  2. reasons why you couldn’t and wouldn’t tell your parents you were searching for your family of birth.
  3. reasons why you chose not to search until your parents passed.
  4. reasons why you chose not to search.
  5. reason why you searched
  6. reason I haven’t listed

And if you could refer to all numbers that corresponds to what you did that’d be helpful so I don’t assume incorrectly.  Also, if you care to share, about what age you started to actively search. Feel free to wander farther afield than the above choices if you’d like, you have the floor.

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15 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2018 in Adoption

 

Tags: , ,

15 responses to “Looking for adoptee input on searching

  1. Paige Adams Strickland

    August 9, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    1- I told my A mom because I knew at the time she would accept the news and actually be happy for me and wish me well. She wanted to know everything and said she would have done the same thing if she were in my position. I told my A-dad, (my A-parents were divorced) b/c my A-mom thought I should since I told her, but my news was not so well-received by him. From then on, I only shared when asked. I didn’t want to tell my A-dad because I knew he’d react that way, but I also knew the truth would slip out eventually if I didn’t, and that would be worse.

    4- I chose not to search until I was an independent adult not living in my parents’ house. That way they had less say and influence over my feelings and actions. They weren’t that old. Waiting for them to pass away was not an option.

    5- I found out from watching a talk TV show that I had the right and freedom to do this since my state was, at the time, semi-open, and my birth year was inside the open window, Curiosity, Health history, Social history/heritage, to find out what exactly happened that would cause an adoption, I wanted to meet someone who resembled me, Once I found out that I had siblings, I wanted to meet relatives my own age. (I never had 1st cousins before adoption search and my A-bro and I were 6 1/2 yrs apart and did not have that much in common.) I was lonely and looking to connect w ppl my age range, I wanted to feel more “normal” and less “adopted”.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 9, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you Paige, so many similarities between us in choices. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. juliemcgue

    August 9, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    I started my first search at 30 and got nowhere with Catholic Charities in Chicago. Then at 48, I had a health issue and revisited searching. My adoptive parents were alive and held my adoption records. I had to ask them for the paperwork and while they always said they’d help, my mother was less than supportive. I had a difficult search and ended up using an intermediary to find my birthmother and she denied contact, so I had no health history. I got a judge involved and she provided the health info. My parents ended up getting mad at my birth other’s reluctance to help and switched their support from poor to all in. We are full circle now. I have a good relationship with my adoptive parents and a tenuous one with birthmother (birth dad is dead). Feels good t be on the other side of all of it. So very stressful. I blog about my adoption saga and am writing a memoir about the search (juliemcgueauthor.com) Happy to share what I know about closed adoption searching in Illinois.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 9, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      You had a hard journey but better than expected ending – good for you. I hope everyone checks out your blog. Thanks for talking.

      Like

       
  3. Brent Snavely

    August 10, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Chronologically:

    2 reasons why you couldn’t and wouldn’t tell your parents you were searching for your family of birth.
    As a teen, the subject of my birthmother caused she-who-raised-me a great deal of angst. When pushed, she provided me with information that ran contrary to the “gotcha” story I had been told since early childhood. Decades later, I found out I had not been lawfully adopted and those-who-raised-me had no legal power to raise more or to prevent my mother from taking me back.

    1 reasons why you could and did tell your parents you were searching for your family of birth.
    I stopped self-medicating with alcohol after experiencing significant difficulties as a young adult, and found “something” to be missing in my life. I began a search with the help of a Search Angel but ran into a dead end.

    3 reasons why you chose not to search until your parents passed.
    The death of she-who-raised-me was only incidental to my resumption of my search — the 1940 Census information was made public in 2012 and indexed shortly thereafter. A Search Angel located my mother’s sister within one hour of my having provided the information I had available to me.

    5 reason why you searched
    A central reason was to find “my people” through my mother, and to find out what my “race” happened to be — I am neither Black nor White by way of appearance, and had been identified by others as being a member of a number of different racial categories during my lifetime, making the “what are you” question a particularly painful barb.

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    • TAO

      August 10, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks for going into detail Brent – still waking up and need more coffee.

      Like

       
    • TAO

      August 12, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      You were certainly dealt a rotten deal all the way around Brent, I’m so sorry. I hope you’ve found the answers that you rightly deserved to have always known. Deeply troubled you had to deal with any of this and how strong you be to still be standing.

      Like

       
  4. maryleesdream

    August 11, 2018 at 1:24 am

    1. reasons why you could and did tell your parents you were searching for your family of birth.
    I probably could have told my adoptive mother, I just didn’t want to. I went so far as getting a PO box for mail from my natural family.

    2. reasons why you couldn’t and wouldn’t tell your parents you were searching for your family of birth.
    I felt it was my own, private business. I did not want to share it with my adoptive family. I was, and still am, very uncomfortable talking about my natural family with A-mom.

    3. reasons why you chose not to search until your parents passed.
    I was going to wait until a-mom passed, but she is very old, almot 89. She lives with me and my family.

    4. reasons why you chose not to search.
    I finally did search, when I was 48, almost 8 years ago.

    5. reason why you searched
    I was afraid my natural parents would die before my adoptive mother did. Turns out, it did happen. Mom died 3 years ago, 4 years after I found them, and A-mom is still here.

    6. reason I haven’t listed

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 12, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      Marylee – sometimes keeping things separate turns out to be the best policy, even if you could have, and sometimes it’s just your journey to take. I’m happy to hear you did and had some time to get to know your mom.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Nara

    August 12, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    1. reasons why you could and did tell your parents you were searching for your family of birth.
    N/A as I have never searched. I did tell them I’d done the DNA testing, though. I think they were maybe a little surprised, but since I had a (bio) baby, I actually talked a lot more with them about being adopted.

    2. reasons why you couldn’t and wouldn’t tell your parents you were searching for your family of birth.
    My mum once said that she would be really upset if I did. Although they’d support us searching. I know it would hurt her. My father would probably be more circumspect. They always said they’d support me if I wanted to go back and visit but I never did. They always said it would be difficult to find my birth mother (who was single) as she traveled somewhere to give birth but didn’t live there. And it was a closed adoption. They don’t know I have the details and that my birth country supports adoptee searching. So I could; I just haven’t.

    3. reasons why you chose not to search until your parents passed.
    I think this is more likely me. I don’t know. I definitely feel closer to it now that I have a child who shares a link to my birth country and I feel I’m missing pieces to give… but I also think life gets in the way and I don’t want to have to dredge up a lot of emotional stuff that it would do if I searched and my parents found out.

    4. reasons why you chose not to search.
    I honestly don’t know. I always had the expectation of a closed adoption that was final. So it never seemed like the kind of thing I’d do. I’m someone who doesn’t get their hopes up and doesn’t like to set myself up for failure, and I feel like searching might do that. Also this sounds facetious but I have a busy life.

    5. reason why you searched
    N/A

    6. reason I haven’t listed
    I think thinking about adoption more is definitely linked to [trying to have, or] having your own genetic/bio child. I have thought way more about adoption in the past few years. And having my baby who looks like me makes me think a lot more about whether there are other people who look like me. And how could my mother have given me up? And does she carry some kind of emotional pain like I would if I lost my child?

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 12, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks Nara – you’re full of nuance in your answers. It’s amazing how feelings evolve over time and lived experiences shape them. If you ever do – you’ll do it with braveness and great forethought for everyone else. Hope all is well with you and yours. Cheers!

      Like

       
      • Nara

        August 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm

        I’m good, thanks! Yes, I feel like my feelings on adoption have changed immeasurably since starting blogging… and you know that a lot has happened in adoptionland… but on the surface I’m the same; I mean I get on with my family and all that. I think I have a lot more background thoughts on adoption now. And I maybe interrogate myself a bit more now. I feel a little uncomfortable with some of the “fog” type stuff I used to spout, but equally I’m not so critical as many are, which is probably down to lived experience. It’s definitely an ongoing evolution and I’m sure it’ll continue to be!

        Like

         
        • TAO

          August 12, 2018 at 9:47 pm

          Never feel uncomfortable regarding what was, life is a journey of constant learning, thinking, changing. All good for the soul. Happy you’re good.

          Liked by 2 people

           
  6. Nara

    August 12, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    If you want a lot of input, why don’t you post in the group? Or I could post if you want? It would be a good discussion although not sure how many adoptees are active nowadays.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 12, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      I’m actually pretty shy (who knew). Feel free if you want but the amount of adoptees keeps dropping. I did up this pretty much on the fly after an AP boiled down adoptees and searching to the fact that our parents never talked about adoption and we didn’t want to hurt our folks. Nuance, lived experiences, personalities, experiences are all lost on many…

      Liked by 1 person

       

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