Searching for where an adoptee came from requires a special kind of courage. It might be opening up a “can of worms” has my dad always believed. There could be disappointment. The relatives one finds are real people with real flaws and also a kind of beauty because they are a connection. It is better to know who you are rather than live in a mystery.
For an adoptee, the connection to one’s ancestors has been broken. That matters. When adoption is in one’s family history, those impacted only want answers and the truth. There isn’t a desire to disrupt anyone’s life. If relatives want to meet – wonderful – those I have met have been very helpful in filling in the understandable gaps in my ancestry. Sharing the stories we weren’t there for can help us to heal.
Loss of the most sacred bond in life, that of a mother and child, is one of the most severe traumas and this loss will require long-term, if not lifelong, therapy. If not therapy, then answers and a knowledge of something that is real and not falsified.
Finding one’s roots does not deny the love and value that one gives to the people who were there in life thanks to adoption. The aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents in my own life are treasured and held precious even if there is no true genetic bond with these.
A life can be symbolized by a circle – birth, maturity, old age and death – completion, rebirth or heaven. Coming to know my roots has also been a kind of completion, a bringing the arc of my life full circle.