I’ve gotten mixed reviews about the idea of travelling to meet my biological family. On one hand, I’ve gotten support and encouragement from close friends because they know the stress I’ve been under and how badly I’ve always wanted this. On the other, I have people that aren’t nearly as close to the situation inserting their opinions. Of course, I realize that by sharing my story on social media, I’m just asking for opinions, both positive and negative, so that’s not the issue. The issue I want to address is the idea that by spending time and money to go visit my biological family, it somehow devalues my adoptive family.
I’ve heard “don’t forget who your real family is” more times than I can count this week. There’s the idea that it’s disrespectful to my parents heading out to meet part of my biological family. I know that even my parents felt a bit insecure with all my interest in my adoption when I was younger, probably because they were a bit worried that I might be more interested in my biological family than them.
I feel this is a huge issue with many adoptive families. They’re worried that they may not be good enough, that their child might feel more loving toward their birth family. To combat that, they shut down at questions about the child’s origin. For most of the adopted people I know, they don’t wish to be back with their biological family. Even for someone like me, who had incredibly difficult issues with my parents growing up, that’s not the case.
There are many people who know enough about their biological family to know that reuniting with them would be an emotionally unhealthy move. There was a history of abuse, they were stuck in the foster system, something negative to discourage any sort of reunion. But my story isn’t like that. My birth mother wasn’t some strung out addict. She wasn’t forced to give me up. Simply put, she loved me and was mature enough to realize that she couldn’t give me the life she wanted me to live. She was 24, at an age where many people are choosing to start having children, but she was still in college and my biological father wasn’t interested in parenthood. Someone who is that strong and cared that much about me is someone I very much want to meet.
So for those who know me personally, and for those who might have somehow stumbled upon this blog and have a similar story, I am not doing this to find another family. I’m not traveling halfway across the country to spite my family and make them feel like they weren’t good enough. I’m doing this because I want to get to know my birth family. I want to build a friendship with them. I’m doing this because of burning curiosity and questions I’ve experienced my entire life. I haven’t come across many people who are remotely as curious and constantly in my head as I am. Mostly, I’m doing this to thank my birth mother. Giving a child up has to be one of the most difficult things any person can do, and sacrificing any selfish desires she may have felt in order to provide me with a better life is an incredible gift.