Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thoughts on Relationships

Finding my birthmother was a bit of a shock to me. Even though I had searched for nearly twenty years and had thought a great deal about what it might mean to find her and believed myself ready for any reaction she might have, I had never thought about the days, months and years AFTER I found her. Like a bride who is only focused on the wedding day and not the marriage, I had given zero consideration to what the consequences, possibilities, difficulties and oddities that are inherent in creating a relationship with another adult who has baggage (intense, scary, upsetting BAGGAGE) that is deeply associated with me and my birth.

My birthmother, who from now on will be referred to as L, just because it's easier, is a wonderful, loving, effusive, ebullient woman who has enjoyed her life to the fullest. She is also a widow who deeply misses her husband, who has lived with shame, guilt, anguish and regret over my relinquishment, and who has had a cascade of medical problems in the two years since I found her. She is easy to talk to, witty, a great listener, fiercely defensive of those she loves, melancholy, sometimes forgetful, and occasionally guarded. She and I are essentially linked by my birth but we were strangers to each other. She had hopes, dreams and aspirations for me that I could never have known about and I envisioned her life to have unfolded in a myriad of different directions without once guessing the real story.

Letting Things Ride

One of the recurrent realities of my search for my birth family has been that the need, that desire that drives my actions, has been one that ebbs and flows throughout the years. Sometimes I was consumed by the search, could think of nothing else, worked furiously on the internet, in chat rooms, in adoption search groups and read, read, read about other people's successes and failures. At other times, the search took a back seat to the rest of my life, to the immediacies of work, life, friends, family, and other passions.

Apparently, the need to blog about my story has ebbs and flows as well. When last I posted, I was about to detail the relationship that I built with my birthmother since I found her, what happened in the search for my birthfather, how the search impacted my relationship with my parents, and the question that everyone asks: did I finally meet any of these people in person?

Life is a constantly evolving adventure for me with new revelations and new experiences around every corner. I hope you're ready to hear more because I'm back in the writer's chair with lots more excitement to share!