I found my birth parents this summer. Adopting Salvation is our story in three parts.
I was born in June, 1970 in Detroit, Michigan and placed for adoption. My parents took me in one month later and formally adopted me that October.
I’ve always known I was adopted but never gave much thought to finding my birth parents until I lost my first pregnancies. In 2007, desperate for an explanation, I started the search so I could learn my medical history.
The Confidential Intermediary I hired via the court system asked me to release my full name, address and other personal information. “This will act as a sign of good faith,” she said. I said no. “Them first.” I said. She said no (this was a legal issue). I had very young nephews at the time who shared part of my last name. I was uncomfortable.
“What if they are convicted pedophiles, rapists, murderers?!?”
“They’re not,” she replied, adding – and I’ll never forget this – “They’re you.”
Of course they might very well have been deviant creeps but her point was clear – was I a deviant creep? Well then being cut from the same cloth, they likely weren’t either. Take a chance.
I said no.
Instead I received what the courts would allow; something called “Non-Identifying Information”. I discovered that at my birth my mother was 22 and single, had brown eyes and a fair complexion with a “sprinkle of freckles”. She enjoyed basketball and baseball and was “described as warm and friendly”. At birth she gave me the first name of Linda. My father was 19, also fair with brown eyes, was Irish, Scotch and French and “described as intelligent and friendly”. He was aware of the pregnancy and voluntarily agreed to the adoption.
Safe and pleasant information. I held it in my arms and then filed it away. “A” for adoption.
This spring, nine years later, staring 46 in the face, the thought of finding my birth parents resurfaced. At my age, (and theirs) I could feel doors closing and it seemed very foolish to let them shut. Two healthy children later, it was not so much medical history I craved but a curiosity to be satisfied: where did these dimples come from, the same ones that kiss my children’s cheeks? How is it possible I have no grey hair? Who am I to thank for my low blood pressure and curse for my size 11 feet?
But most importantly, what if they’re gone and I’ve missed the chance?
I contacted the court. I filed new paperwork. I said yes to finding my birth family and almost instantly learned new things about myself; I was an eldest child, an older sister and even a cautionary tale. New doesn’t come around as often anymore so I chose to embrace it. I said yes, held the door open and waited for them to walk through.