“I’m here and available if you can forgive me enough to communicate.”
It was a fluke that I had even received the email. It had automatically gone to my junk mail folder, which I usually delete without looking at its contents. But on that day, something made me look, and there it was. At 32, I had been found and contacted by my biological father.
I was adopted at the age of 5 by the woman who had been taking care of me off and on for years (for the full adoption story – click here). I grew up believing that a loving environment was far more important than biological ties, that while people often repeated the saying “blood is thicker than water”, I believed that a loving bond could trump it all (and I still do).
I grew up without knowing what it was like to have someone’s eyes, to inherit a personality trait from a parent, to share the same physical features as a sibling. I was a biracial girl (African, Macedonian, Irish, German) with Caucasian parents. I was raised as an only child. My family life was perfect in every way, so perfect that I had no interest in trying to find my biological parents. I had known some of the story, had accepted the reality of my situation, and had settled into a kind and loving family. But receiving the email made me curious. I had to know where I came from.
“I have never felt resentment towards you and am thankful for the decision you made to do what you thought was best for me. I’ve had a wonderful life and was raised by the most loving family a child could ask for. That being said, I have always been curious about who you are and where I come from, so I’d love to get to know each other by email if that’s alright with you. I’m sure we both have a lot of questions for each other. Thank you for thinking of me and for feeling ready to reach out to me after all these years.”
My adopted parents welcomed the idea and thought it was important for me to reach out to him to learn more about my biological background. The story of why he had made the decision to give me up, and how he has lived with the decision he had made is a long and complicated one, but we have been emailing each other every day since (for over a year now). We have had 5 visits in person and have started our own unique relationship.
I’m grown up now. I have my own family and have a solid and secure extended family. My life is complete, which is maybe why the decision to welcome this new person from the past back into my life was an easy one. I have no expectations and he has been very understanding, leaving me with the power to decide how far we take this newfound friendship.
I have a unique family – loving adopted parents, 2 step siblings, 2 foster siblings from equally complicated backgrounds, and a large extended family on both sides. But I’m not out of love to give, and I always keep an open mind.
To now know my biological background and history, to have someone in my life who looks like me, who has the same interests and personality traits as I do is exciting and new. I will definitely keep him in my life, although I’m still figuring out how far I’d like to take our relationship. He will never replace the father who raised me, but will always be the one who made me.