“If you knew back when you started searching your reunion would turn out the way it has, would you still have searched? I know it is a somewhat silly question, revisionist history per se, but I am just curious if say, if the results of your search changed your opinion on searching in general?” I asked my Easter House adoptee friend sitting in front of me.
Friend pauses for what seems like a long time. She looks up, bites her lip, starts to speak and then stops herself.
“Yes. I would still have searched. I needed to know this information. I HAD to make this contact. The unknown was making me feel crazy. I don’t feel crazy anymore even if I do feel disappointed in the outcome of my reunion. I know my story.” says friend.
“I totally get that. While my situation is different, being a mother, I would also still search. It was less about me and more about her. She has a right to this information, to know, to ask. Since the law does not currently allow her to know this information, I had to do it to give it to her. The fact that she does not want it, does not want to know me, does not negate her inherent right to her information. Sure, I wanted to know her too but my real goal was to let her know who I was, how to contact me, and give her access the law prohibits. ” I offer in return.
“Where I have slowed things down and rethought my approach is in my actively helping others search. In the early years I helped hundreds of people, spent many personal hours doing searches for others, these days, I don’t spend much. I make myself available. I answer questions if asked. I run ehbabes.com and share information there to help others but the intense, time-consuming, active searching? Over and done with that. I cannot do it anymore. I feel bad about that.” I continue.
Friend shakes her head as if nodding in understanding.
“When I fell off my personal reunion rainbow cloud and truly felt the pain of the outcome of reunion, it occurred to me that while I had the potential to bring good things into people’s lives by helping them, I also had the potential to bring in bad. Also, it took so much of my personal time, time away from my kids, my husband and personal life. I had to stop it, cut back, trim it or something…Adoption already took so much of my soul. I could not give it anymore. While I had no say, confidence, ability to fight it back in 1986, I do have the strength now” my voice trails off in bit of pain.
“I think that is totally understandable, Suz. I don’t think you should feel bad. You did good things. You helped me and it was good. You have helped many others. That work was good too.” friend says.
“I am not so sure….” I say as I grab my purse and head towards the door.
Come back tommorow to read the second part wherein I will share a touching statement I received from one of the adoptees I had helped. Many adoption reunions go wrong or are less than fulfilling. Some do go well.