Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In search of gifts

The one question I get asked the most is "Knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again?"  Meaning if I knew the outcomes....a difficult & strained reunion and the awful discoveries I have had to come to grips with...would I do it all over again or change anything?  I think that when they ask after hearing my story, they are assuming my answer would be an emphatic NO!....but in truth, my answer is actually YES!

While I'm not happy with the sequencing of events, or how it all played out and how there were so many forces working against a successful reunion (my own unprepared force included there) or the lies I have had to extract the truth from, I do not regret any of it.  I wish I had been prepared for the avalanche, found support much earlier rather than beyond the halfway point, but everything happens for a reason.  It has taken me a long time to discover the reasons.

I say yes, because in spite of everything, I am much more grounded now, more whole less half.  I have a strong sense of self that I never knew before.  I truly do believe there is something to the "not knowing" that will quietly peck away at your inner self, inner core...a dull ache, a dull longing in the back of your heart, a void....a question mark in your life's narrative.

Does reunion solve anything or fix anything?  Err...no...it actually can bring up issues you never even knew you had or were lurking under the surface that bubble up that you'll need to deal with...but what it does do is ground your feet to the earth...no longer untethered, floating betwixt & between, neither here nor there...for me, it was like I had finally been given a license to live, to grow, to become better, to improve, to move on, to close the gap, to fill the void, to close the circle, come full circle, get unstuck...to become who I am supposed to be. It's given me a voice...my voice.

I wouldn't take any of it back (well, except for some of the links in the chain of events...and possibly remove some extraneous characters that did more damage than good...those I would do differently, but I do not regret).  I may wish to rearrange how the events happened, but not that they happened.  I was myself, in all my screwed up glory...I was honest to myself...and in the end that is all the really matters.  I can't say enough about finding your self and finding your tribe of adoption support.  Even though I may not have found the perfect reunion, what I did find was extraordinary.  Meaning that what I found along the way was an amazing family of like-minded people.  They get me to my core and allow me to just be me. Although the universe may not have given me the perfect "love, light & rainbow filled" reunion, I believe in return I was rewarded with several other precious gifts instead.  When you find what I found, you have to "mine the gifts" and find your own light from within.

What it gave me in return was my lost sense of self and a tribe...an amazing circle of friends.  Full of unconditional love & support that I never knew could exist.  To be honest, I don't know how I ever lived with out them.  They get me to my core and for that I will be forever grateful.  They help me laugh when things get rough, they are mirrors for when my reflection gets blurry.  They allow me to be "me" in all my messiness.  They ride both the bus and the limo.  There is a shorthand between us, we don't have to explain ourselves at length, we speak the same language that most will never understand.  We understand even with the most subtle look or a slight shift in tone of voice and even through subtle body language.  I am in awe of my circle, we feed off each other in inspiring ways...we push each other to get unstuck and hand over the tissues and crack the jokes to lighten the mood during the rough times.  They are priceless and I can't say enough about them and how lucky I feel to have stumbled upon them.  I really can't stress enough how important support is during search & reunion...how finding like-minded people can be a life raft during the emotional rocky seas of search & reunion.

If you are contemplating searching, my humble advice (or "hindsight is 20/20" in my case) would be to seriously consider the following "top ten" before you begin to search:

(1)  Find support.  There are many organizations and wonderful people who know what you are
dealing with and are ready to help you on your way. (I'm hoping to get a resource page up soon!)

(2)  Read, read, read and then read a little bit more.  (I'm also hoping to get a book list up here too...check back soon!)

(3)  Ask yourself the tough questions...what do you want, what do you expect, how will you handle rejection...how will you handle something like what I encountered...etc.

(4)  Be prepared for any outcome.

(5)  Be gentle with yourself...go at your own pace.

(6)  Find your like-minded tribe.  They will soften the edges and the anxiety.  They know what the path is like and will help you when you stumble.  They can be lifesavers that will make you laugh during the rough times and remind you that you are worth it, that this is your story and that you have a right to it.

(7)  Be open minded.

(8)  Be considerate of others but also keep in mind, you are not responsible for how others react.  You cannot control how everyone else feels.  I spent so much of my time worrying about what everyone else was thinking and feeling that I got lost at times, forgetting about myself and how I was feeling.

(9) Self-care is paramount in search/reunion.

(10)  And always remember to pull the safety bar down tight and keep all hands and feet inside the ride before it comes to a complete stop.

And above all else, mine the gifts...no matter how small...for they are gifts and it's your journey...your history and you have a right to know your roots and be happy, come what may.

Dandelion chocolate image source


  1. thank you for this post. great insight and information!

  2. love this and passing it along to others that need this validated and re-affirmed!!