Reunion Can Be A Wonderful, Wonderful Thing

It has become very common these days for adoptees to search for their original families and more often than not they are surprisingly successful. One note about today’s story – the word “reserve” refers to Canadian aboriginal reserves. It is a system of reserves that serve as physical and spiritual homelands for many of the First Nations (Indian) peoples of Canada. In 2011 some 360,600 people lived on reserves in Canada, of which 324,780 claimed some form of aboriginal identity.

Today’s story – I Found Her

For years I’ve wondered who my birth mother was, I would day dream about the indigenous life I would live if I was with my birth mom. I would be a different me. I was just a baby when they took us from her, both me and my brother. I was only 18 months when I was adopted and my brother was 4.

Today I was doing some research about my old last name and I found someone on LinkedIn that had my reserve in their bio and had the same last name. I emailed them, and found their Facebook page. They added me as a friend and promised to help me find out who my birth mother was. This person turned out to be my cousin. I took my original last name and filtered the friend’s list for girls with my original last name. I sent out a default message to all of them stating who I was and what I wanted to accomplish. “Please help me find my birth mom.”

Most agreed to help me. I had a sense that I was getting close. Then, I got a message from this lady who I knew was the right age, lived in the right reserve, had the right look. There was just a feeling about her that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. She messaged me – “I know who your mom is. Call me.” And gave me her number. I called and she said, “I’m your mom.”

I couldn’t believe it and I started to cry with her. She told about how she was going through a hard time and couldn’t parent me and my brother. I also found out I have other siblings who I am trying to get in contact with. I’ve talked to my aunt who raised two of my siblings. My aunt got a call from my cousin telling her who I was and after that I got a call from my aunt. She told me she could have kept me and she felt guilty for sending me into foster care, instead of raising me with my other siblings. Of course, I’m hurt.

I won’t give away this chance to recover my wholeness. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. My mom has invited me to her house for coffee tomorrow. I’m feeling so weird about it. I am also meeting my aunt and cousins. This is unbelievable, the family I never had is coming back to me. I hunted for a long time and never got anywhere with the adoption agency, or the reserve itself. No one could tell me who I was until my biological mom said it herself. I’m still in shock.

It’s so much for my 22 year old brain to comprehend, that this is really happening. I can’t believe my messages got to the right people, and now I’m getting messages from my cousins that they are excited to meet me. I want this first meeting to go ok. My heart is beating so fast, it’s like something I can’t even comprehend. I found her !! I will always know who my birth mother is now. She can’t hurt me, because she can’t hold secret from me the information about who my original family is anymore. I think she was shocked that I messaged her.

Coincidentally, just yesterday I got this notification from an adoptee, Ashley Billings, who I follow – “What If I’m Never Found”. She ends with these thoughts – “We all want a fairy tale ending like we see in movies. Reality is that my story could be the farthest thing from a happy ending. I have always pictured big dramatic meetings for my birth parents in my head when I truly have no idea what the situation could be. I know all I can do is pray and trust that God has a plan for my adoption story.”

Reclaiming The Adoption Story

Ashley Billings

I’ve been running behind on everything all week and today is no exception.  Running out of time to do a blog today, I thought I would share Ashley’s own blog with you as she is an adoptee with her own story to share.  I met her through this blog and I follow her own blog too.

In her “About” section, she writes that she is 17 years old and was adopted at five days old. She describes her adoptive family as the most amazing in the world.  However, she also admits that being adopted has definitely brought up many issues and feelings. She says that she has found adoption is often told from parent’s and family’s perspective. Way too often, people don’t consider what the adoptee is feeling and going through. Most resources are geared towards parents and families.

She wants her readers to know – EVERYONE’S feelings are valid.

She wants other adoptees that find her to know that they are not taking this journey alone. She acknowledges that everyone’s story is unique.  Her purpose in writing the blog is to reclaim the adoption story by voicing her own journey through adoption.

Her latest entry is titled My Perfect Life. She writes that while everything on the surface of her life appeared very good, it was weird to her how she was still so sad all the time.  For her, discovering God through a friend has helped her continue forward with her life.

In another blog – I’m A Foster Aunt – she describes how she has struggled with a fear of being unwanted. Because she was given up for adoption, she always felt like, “Well, if my own mom didn’t want me before she knew me, why would anyone else?”  Many adoptees have abandonment and rejection issues.

In What Is My Tattoo – she describes it as right under her ankle and is It is a heart and a triangle overlaid one another. To her represents the love between the child, birth family, and adoptive family during the adoption process. She says it is a constant reminder to her that no matter what she believe at any moment, love went into her adoption. She says “I know my adoptive family loves me, but often I question if my birth family does.”

Adoption is complicated and every triad is different.  I can’t answer her question about her birth family but I sincerely hope that someday she knows the answer herself.