Okay, deep breath.
I was adopted through a closed adoption when I was three months old. I lived temporarily in foster care until the adoption went through. There has never been a time I haven't known I was adopted. It has always been just another characteristic for me: brown hair, fair skin, adopted, freckles, etc.
As the only child of an only child, I come from a very small family. I've had a wonderful life with wonderful opportunities and blessings. My parents always told me that my birth mother gave me up to give me a better life. And she did.
Today, the majority of adoptions are open adoptions. Families have different levels of contact with each other but, at the very least, they have names and medical history. I had none of that. But being a part of a closed adoption allowed me to be 100% a part of my family. There were no divided loyalties and there was no confusion. I've had curiosity about my birth family off and on over the years but I have never had any real need to seek them out. If I wanted to, I knew I could always go to the agency I was adopted through and begin the process for contact which would include counseling sessions.
The world is changing. Privacy is getting harder and harder to find. Many government records are getting digitized. A few weeks ago, I received a message through Facebook from someone claiming to be a member of my birth family. I was immediately suspicious. This family member had gotten involved with a researcher who makes it her business to track down members of closed adoption triads. Using government documents and records that were online, the researcher was able to locate me. I contacted my adoption agency and they were able to confirm that this was indeed my birth family. Because I am very public person and because I chose not to change my name when I got married, I was pretty easy to find once they had a name.
Since then, I have been dealing with the fallout of all of this. There have been lots of conflicting emotions and I feel confused a lot of the time. The hardest part was that any choice about this matter was taken away from me and my birth mother. There was no process. There was no counseling. Just a Facebook message. Not how I would have chosen for this to happen.
As I feel my way through all of this, many issues have arisen that I didn't expect. I'm not the only one involved. There is my birth family and then there is MY family. Especially my mother.
In the end, though, I am reminded of how adoption changed my life and that of my parents and extended family. I am reminded of all the blessings and all the opportunities I have been given. God put me in this family and told me to bloom and I have tried to do so to the best of my ability. So, as I was work my way through all of this, I am meditating on one of my favorite sayings:
Bloom Where You Are Planted