Forever Grateful or Forever Lost? Questions to Ask Before You Meet Your Biological Family
"Forever lost they seem to be, looking for answers, fighting their demons, in order to gain some piece in what they call....that cruel reality. Left behind, thrown away, not important, forever lost. What's it like to feel that way and how come I have never felt like that? Why am I forever grateful, honestly happy and completely satisfied? Even more interesting....Why haven't I searched for my biological parents yet? How come I have never looked for my roots?"
The last paragraph of part one in my search for answers, to why there is such a difference in the overall feelings of adopted children. Yes, I'm blessed for not knowing where I came from, even though that may sound strange.
'Aren't you the least curious about your roots? Don't you want to know about her hair color and her eyes? If she's tall like you or maybe a bit shorter? If you have any brothers or sisters? How she's doing? If you're dad is still in the picture? I would like to know everything.' These are the questions I normally get from friends or strangers, having no clue at all, what it would really mean, finding out about an unknown past.
For parents who might think of adopting a child, I feel it's important to know what could happen in the future, when you're child is ready for the search. That way you can support your adoptive child the best way possible, in their emotional roller coaster ride, in finding out who they are and where they came from.
As I mentioned in part one, I have a brother who is also adopted from Colombia. The first thing people ask, is whether we are blood related family. We're not. If they ask us while we're together at a party for instance, my brother always asks: "Can't you see the striking resemblance?"
His face serious, his eyes trying to hide the joke. Although we don't have anything in common, from the outside, people always hesitate and try to look for some resemblance as if trying to look for matching features between an orange and a pineapple.
A part from the same humor, having been born in Colombia and having been raised by the same parents, we differ so much from one another, even though I feel he is my brother for real. The blood bond isn't there, but he came into my life when I was a little girl of four years old.
My parents told me I was going to get a baby brother, coming from Colombia, just like me. I drove him around in his buggy all day long, babbling about my dolls, quickly bringing him back to my mother, when his face turned red, while filling up his diapers. A very proud sister I was, but not that fond of bad smells in general.
There are several reasons, for which I haven't searched for my roots yet. One of them is my brother and his own search for answers. I have seen what it's like, when you actually get the chance to meet your birth mother and the rest of your family. I remember watching the actual encounter on video with him and my adoptive parents, who joined him on his trip to Colombia.
This was in 1995. Right after this emotional journey for both him and my adoptive parents, I certainly got more curious. When asking my parents if they would accompany me as well, my adoptive mother told me she wouldn't. It had been too hard on her. She didn't look forward to going through another emotional journey. I was disappointed and decided to give it a rest.
As the years went by, more questions arose, getting me further away, from any actual effort in trying to search for my roots. They brought some clarity to mind and made it easier for me to let it go for now.
Possible Questions For the Adoptive Child
- Why do you want to search for your roots?
- What would be the benefit throughout your life, if you would know where you came from or if you would never know about your roots?
- Do you want to travel to your birth country with your adoptive parents, your partner or with a support group for adoptive children?
- If you want to involve your adoptive parents, do you realize this can be hard on them too, even though they understand your wish completely?
- Do you realize, looking for your roots, means finding out everything you hoped for or finding out about another 'cruel reality'?
- If you find out, reality is not what you hoped for, do you realize this can be a burden to you, for the rest of your life?
- Could it be possible, that your birth mother doesn't want to be reminded of the sacrifice she made a long time ago?
- Do you realize, the effect on the life of your birth mother, can be as intense as it can be for you?
- Are you ready to be rejected again, if your birth mother doesn't want to meet you at all?
- Trying to find your birth mother or birth father, involves a long road of investigation. Do you keep in mind, the possibility of not finding anything at all?
- That same road will cost a lot of money. Are you prepared to pay for it or do you expect your adoptive parents to help you out?
- What happens if your birth mother is found, but she no longer lives? Would you visit her grave if there is one? Will this upset you more than not knowing anything at all?
- What happens if you meet her for the first time, and she doesn't seem happy at all?
- Are you aware of the fact, that it can be very difficult to find your birth mother and other family members? A lot of foreign countries destroy important documents, to protect the privacy of the biological parents.
- If you find your birth mother and maybe other family members, what's next?
- How do you expect to build a relationship with a complete stranger?
- When finding your birth mother and family in a country like Colombia, maintaining a relationship can be difficult if you live in Europe. Do you speak their language?
- Do you keep in mind, you're the wealthy, rich, adoptive child, whereas your birth mother and family, most of the cases, live in poverty? They would have kept you probably, if they had enough money and food
- That specific difference could mean, having to support your new found family, in a financial way. Do you realize you're birth mother, could ask you to help her family? You're rich, they're poor. They feel saved by their long lost relative.
- Refusing this kind of support, might be more difficult than you think. In what way will you feel guilty for living such a great life, in comparison to theirs?
- Do you expect your life to change for the better, after knowing all about your roots, having received the answers to all of your questions? Or will you be occupied by a new list of questions?
- Do you want to find out about certain family related diseases?
- (In my case) How will the search for your roots, the possible tricky discoveries and the long term effects of knowing another kind of truth, influence your mental stability? I am Bipolar and my first concern in life, will always be my mental health.
The Many Sides to Adoption
Blessed for Life
As I mention in part one, I feel forever grateful and blessed for life, having had the opportunity to make myself a life worth living. Even though I am Bipolar, I don't see the benefit in knowing about the illnesses, my biological family might have.
I know from watching documentaries about Colombia, Bipolar Disorder does exist there too. It gave me the shivers, knowing I could have grown up in Bogotá, a life with my biological family and endless suffering in the end, for living in a country, offering poor treatment for people suffering from any mental illness. It's a totally different world, survival of the fittest, you're poor or you're rich, you die or you live.
With a possible emigration to Brazil in the near future, to live life with my loving boyfriend Alexandro, Colombia all of sudden seems closer than ever. Like me he is adopted, sharing an experience together, making it easier for my partner to understand, how it feels, having so many questions about it. When the time is right, travelling to Bogotá will happen for sure, if only to visit the orphanage, where my life as a baby girl once started. Waiting for a new mum and dad, just like millions of babies do today.
- A Fairy Tale Ending - Letting Go of My Narcissistic Sweetheart - A Choice Between Love, Hope and San
The end of a series of Hubs on my greatest love so far. I am not the type of woman to settle for less, accept the unacceptable or love the impossible.
The End of Love
Update December 2012:
When you least expect the worse, fairy tales do come to an end.
To all of you who commented so far, wishing us a lovely future together..
THANK YOU! Now life goes on....
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- Adoption Diaries: Dear Birthmother, Thank you.
Our son was born in late October - the eve of the season of giving. We were adoptive parents who had learned he was on the way just days earlier; his birth was both long awaited and a bit unexpected.
- Being adopted can mean constant fears of inadequacy
I'm glad that I am adopted. I enjoy the special feelings I get from simple, everyday things; I like that I have two names, that I was virtually the only Asian-American in my town, that I don't look like my parents.
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