adoption baby photo

I began my birth family search with energy. Filled out all the forms. Blew the dust off my adoption records and dutifully found as many “facts” as I could.

And then – dead end.

With the information I have, there’s really nowhere to go. Unless I try some other routes.

After meeting with some friends last night for haemul pajeon and other Korean deliciousness, I learned about some alternative ways to, er…get the word out.

One is to put an ad in the paper. Another is to go on a Korean tv show.

My friend who works with adult adoptees was very kind in her caution. She told a story of an adoptee traveling to Korea to meet her birthmother, only to have the woman back out at the last minute. So she went through a sort of rejection, yet again.

And then if you do meet, the relationship might be its own form of trauma. I can’t even begin to imagine the level of guilt, worry, fear that someone who gave up a child might feel. To see your son or daughter for the last time as an infant, a toddler, a child. And then, sometimes decades later, to see him or her again as an adult.

The possibilities when confronted with any birth family are myriad. It’s slightly terrifying.

But then, my friend talked about how some of the birth families watch those Korean tv shows religiously, hoping and praying to see the children they lost.

My adoption records say I was born in Seoul, but there’s no way to know if that’s true. There’s a note about where I was first discovered – but that also could be a fabrication. For the first months of my life, my existence is a virtual unknown.

And actually, I’m pretty okay about that. But maybe someone out there isn’t. And that’s why I’ll do my best to take the next step in this search, whatever it may be.

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