Hey, birth-mom! I’m looking for you. I want to find you.
I’ve written several posts throughout the last few years, regarding my adoption and emotions around the issue. I’ve talked about the statistics and what I want people to know about being adopted.
A year ago, I received my DNA results. I found out what ethnicity I am and how much actually matches up against with the papers provided by the agency.
Receiving My File
It took me three months to work up the courage to fill out the paperwork and walk into the Family Services office.
I walked into the sterile-looking office with my husband’s hand tightly grasping mine. A babysitter stayed with our son, and I couldn’t help but to wish that he was on my lap, providing unspoken and unknowing emotional support. The caseworker walked in with my printed file.
I felt a confidence I had never experienced in that moment. I knew and continue to know that regardless of what the words within that file stated, I am the daughter of Ren & Rena Hayhurst. I am the wife of Adam and the mother of Oliver. God knows me and is completely aware of my emotions and needs.
The caseworker read the content of the file to me. Adam and I were literally on the edge of the office’s l-shaped couch. I would say that the majority of the file consisted of what I knew: age, physical attributes, demographics, circumstances…
The only things that I didn’t know prior to the meeting were details such as hobbies and each bio parent’s family medical history. Both of my bio parents were young–early twenties. Bio dad worked as a mechanic and struggled with drug abuse. Addiction issues were on both sides of the family, and so were a number of illnesses.
She had far too many hobbies and wanted to do absolutely everything that life had to offer.
In all honesty, even her personality and interests sounded like me. That fact alone was something I told myself was something that could not be inherited: something I told myself to make myself feel better about being the only adopted child in my, otherwise, completely biological adopted family (whom I will always refer to as my real family).
I grew up wondering, though, do I look like her? Did she suck at math? Did she love to sing? Would I recognize her if I was looking at her? Better, would she recognize me?
All of these questions swirled in my head. The toughest part about all of it was that suddenly she felt real. I received my file, and I immediately stated that I wanted to sign the consent for contact forms right then and there, and that’s exactly what I did.
The State wasn’t much help, and of course, they said it could take a long time because thanks to the early nineties equating to the stone age–they didn’t have my adoption paperwork digitally converted.
I was stuck and involuntarily, metaphorically put on hold.
Ancestry DNA Experience
In August, my mom received notification that a DNA-matched family member found me on Ancestry though my DNA results. The matched woman believed that she and I were cousins.
I jumped the gun. Before my mom figured out how to get the cousin’s email address (to surpass me having to log in to my mom’s Ancestry account and to use their message tool), I started searching the web for any information my mom sent to me with identifying information. I stumbled across a name that correlated with the woman who messaged me; the name ended up being my second cousin’s son (he has a pretty awesome Insta following so his name easily popped into my search results). I asked him to let her know that I’d love to be in contact with her. As any proper mama bear should, she was worried and low-key creeped out when she found out how I found her. Like I said, I jumped the gun. I was too excited, and I’m pretty sure I scared her.
We corresponded for two emails before she stopped responding. Before our contact ceased, she not only confirmed our biological link, but also provided the name of my biological grandmother: my birth mom is the oldest of this woman’s three daughters, and it about kills me that I’m that close, but still don’t have a name.
You see, I don’t have access to my original birth certificate. Private and closed adoption in the early nineties? Yeah, I’ll never see that piece of paper.
Through records, I know where my bio grandma lived prior to marriage, but after that? I don’t know whom she married, I don’t know if she took his last name, and I don’t know the names of her children.
So again, I was involuntarily and metaphorically put on hold.
Picking Up the Pieces & Reaching Out
I’ll admit it.
I was a little bit emotionally scarred after my emails began to go unanswered. That second cousin was the first hint at who I biologically was–ever.
And like I said, I don’t blame her for ceasing correspondence. I came on strong…and a bit creepy…and I told her that she had a cousin who placed a baby for adoption–something that she had never known.
Still, it took me several months to be able to even ask questions in an adoption group of which I’m apart. National Adoption Month (November) rolled around, and like I do every year, I knew that I needed to write something and put it out there.
I will always advocate for adoption, and when I do, I inevitably have to address my identity as an adopted child.
As you can imagine, there are very mixed emotions. No matter how beautiful life has been (and it truly has), I’ll always have to wrestle with that very basic human instinct that someone–in some way–abandoned me. I know logically that she didn’t. This birthmother went through hell and the worst imaginable pain a mother can experience to do the right thing for me, and hopefully, what she has found in the last 25+ years, what was to be the right thing for her.
After writing my first post about adoption this month, I found myself prepping what was to be second: this post, the one you’re reading.
One night, after I had taken plenty of melatonin and my nightly antidepressant, I was pretty out of it and that was all it took for my mind to tap out on the phone’s digital keyboard the following:
Long story: trying to find my birth mom. Got my file earlier this year. Ancestry dna matched me. I found my second cousin, we narrowed it to knowing which aunt of hers would be my maternal grandmother (I have her maiden name). I am the bio daughter of one of her three girls. The second cousin ghosted me so I don’t have info beyond that. I do have some identifying details for my birth mother. Where do I go from here? Birth mothers, would you be bothered if your closed adoption birth child actively looked for you?
I honestly forgot that I had even written it the night before: with all of the grammar and capitalization mistakes, it was obvious. I woke up to notifications.
Someone knew how to help me.
And she did. She did help me. We’ve narrowed the likely names of my birth mother to three women, and all of the sudden LDS Family Services decided to send file records electronically, so in all reality–I might find you, birth mom, by the beginning of the year.
And that is a joy (and yes, anxiety) that is inexplicable.
Wooooooo! If you made it this far, you deserve a giveaway.
This post is 1/2 adoption posts written for National Adoption Month 2017. You can read the other post here or view all other Mon Fig adoption posts here and here.