Thursday, December 29, 2005

Journey to the Beginning: The FINAL Chapter

Thirteen years ago, my birthmother requested the opportunity to meet me. And I said no.

Over the last few months, I have been communicating with her. In that short time, many realizations have come to me, much has been confirmed and I have seen a side of myself about which I am not entirely proud. And although not much time has passed, all that was to be learned has been learned from this experience and I sit here tonight to give you the final chapter of my journey. Albeit a short and bumpy journey...

On Christmas Day, I was fully prepared to gush to my family about how much I love them and how rich and full and complete they have made my life. But the opportunity to step forward and do so never seemed to come. Until one point in the evening when somehow a relative of mine began speaking about an adopted friend. Then without even a glance toward me, I was given a bit of a tongue lashing for seeking out my birthmother, for taking this small and simple journey back to my beginning. It was not an outright tongue lashing. It was sly and a bit underhanded. But I wouldn't be crediting the intelligence of my relatives if I thought it was merely coincidence that the adopted friend of which she spoke adamantly denied any desire to ever meet her birth family. The story alone was an implication that not all of my family agrees with my decision to grant my birthmother's wish and fulfill my own curiosity. And that's fine.

Entering into this time and place, I knew 3 things for sure. One, adoption didn't hurt me or cause me any pain, grief or sorrow. Two, our lives truly are in God's hands and He predestined the family into which I would be born. And three, all I wanted from my birthmother was INFORMATION, not a family, not a mother and not a best friend.

That brings us to the conclusions that have evolved from this journey.

1. I am the woman that I am today because of the family I grew up in. I am not a product of my birth but of my life.
2. I spent my entire life feeling different from everyone. And I was. But my differences were not a result of being adopted. My differences are a blessing, a gift, a route to my becoming the diversity-craving person that I am today.
3. There are two people involved in an adoption reunion and although you know what you expect to get out of it, sometimes convincing the other party is not so easy.

What everyone else thinks about my decision to search or the outcome doesn't really matter to me. I could use so many cliches right here... the one about glass houses and that other one about walking a mile in my shoes... And they would all be relevant. The bottom line is that this is something I needed to do to be able to move on with my life. Coming full circle in the acceptance of ME has been an obstacle in my life for many years. The wondering has shrouded my ability to see a future for myself.

The journey may not be completely over but I know what I need to know. I received the confirmation that I needed. Just days after beginning, I called my mom (my REAL mom who raised me) and I said, "You know mom... I don't even feel adopted any more."

As crazy as that sounds it's true. Now, I just feel like Michele.

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