It's March. When I think of March, I think of Spring, Woman's History Month and yes, of course, St. Patricks Day. With its pots of gold and rainbow's, four leaf clovers, for luck. When I think about luck and adoption, that's where the waters get a little mucky. Can you imagine being the only person in the world you know you’re related to?
I think most times we adoptees feel more un-lucky then lucky when it comes to the daunting task of searching for our long lost birth families. Searching (really researching) is something not everyone is good at or even lucky with. But in adoption, we HAVE to be good at it. It is amazing to me, how often I can be on a search, and one day find nothing - but through my tenacity - the next day WHAM!, I have hit the mother load of information. This is where little bits of your birth information can go a very long way.
A little story.....just recently we had a birth mother (Ill call her Shannon - nice Irish name). Shannon came to us in search of her birth daughter. For weeks, we could not find anything, nothing. And of course a birth parent search of an adoptee is pretty hard on it's own. The one thing that means a lot in any search, are the details. We asked Shannon what she knew or remembered about her daughters birth? She knew the obvious things: the date of her daughters birth, the hospital, what county she was adopted from, and a last tid bit of information - what the adopted parents had named her. That was lucky, eh?? That last little tid bit led us to finding her beautiful adopted birth daughter. Shannon had the presence of mind to "remember" this really important information.
We all have the ability to search. It takes time, sometimes years, sometimes not and it certainly takes tenacity, and endurance! At some point you may feel you want to give up, that luck is just not on your side, and you feel you have nothing, no information at all. Not true. If you listen, if you write down everything your know of either your adoption (keeping a journal), your relinquishment, the stories you were told growing up and over the years. Get your original birth certificates. Hopefully you are one of the "lucky" ones who was born in an open state. Get your non-identifying information. Do the work!! We can all be lucky in search and research if we just use the tools we have, and the angels that are here for you. See our website under "search tips" for more information.
Adoptees in general don't feel very lucky, in an every day sense of the word. We are missing a part of ourselves, that in some cases, may never be found. But we just can't give up. We have to have and share hope. We have to be each others cheerleaders. We also need to talk to our adopted parents, and include them in our search. We have to let them know that we are grateful (in most cases) that we were "chosen" rather than face any other horrible scenario. During our lives, our adopted parents, try to understand us the best they know how, with NO tools of their own. They have loved us, sheltered us, and nourished us. We also have to have that difficult "search" conversation with them. This is our destiny. We now have a voice, and a choice. And we need to use both.
And then, of course, we have to contend with society. Argh!!! A society that in general doesn't understand adoptees pretty much at all. They label us, they make us feel ungrateful that "we should feel lucky we were rescued". Really? Has anyone ever asked us the depth of our adoption related intricacies, trials, and tribulations we face, every, single day of our lives? Probably not. We just keep on keepin' on, with the hope that some day, one day it will be our turn to have a little of that Leprechaun luck.