Thursday, November 01, 2007

Adoption Month

November is Adoption Month! It's an exciting time to celebrate all types of adoption. At work we are trying to finalize as many adoptions this month as possible. And we are going to have a big adoption party for all the kids that have been adopted this year. That should be fun stuff!

At the adoption support group here in town they have asked me to share my story of meeting my birth family. I've never really done that in front of a group before but I'm excited to do it. I think we have a pretty cool story.

When I was 15 I decided that I wanted to meet my birth family. I mainly wanted to know who they were, what they looked like, and if they were okay. I talked to my mom about it and she was cool with it so we went and met with the lawyer that arranged my adoption. We met with him from about 3:45 to 4:15. I told him what I wanted and explained that I understood it could take a long time to find them but that I wanted to try. He agreed to make some calls and get back to us.

After we left his office we went and ran some errands and got home about 5:45. There was a message on our answering machine from the lawyer saying that he talked to my biological grandmother and that she and my birth mom would be calling me at 9:00 that night! WHAT????!!!! That was fast. Talk about shocked!

That first phone call with them was pretty awkward. I tried to explain to my birthmom Karla that I really loved my parents and they were great. I didn't need her to be my mom but I needed some answers and I needed her to be my friend. She was really understanding and open to that. I think she was more nervous about talking to me then I was to her. She has since told me that she was afraid I wouldn't like her. That first conversation was on a Monday and that next Friday they came to meet me in person.

That was Valentine's Day in 1996! Seems like forever ago now. The day of the meeting I was so nervous my stomach was upset. So my mom picked me up from school early and we hung out together. We went and got a balloon bouquet for her hotel room that said "It's a Girl" and then sat around waiting for them to show up.

It was so weird the first time I saw Karla. She and I looked a lot alike. It was really strange to look like someone, be related to someone and not know them. We had a good first visit and we have stayed in touch since then. She and my mom had a good relationship with one another and were pretty close. That made the whole process so much easier.

Getting to know my biological family has not been easy but it's been worth it. It's an evolving relationship that changes over time. Sometimes it's easier than others but it does take work on everyone's parts. It so odd to be with people that are your "family" but they don't know you. Everything is different when I'm with them. They celebrate differently, they interact differently, and they are just really different from my regular family. It's always wonderful to see them but at the same time it also wears me out. I have to try harder when I'm with them. When I'm with my real family it's just comfortable. They have known me my whole life and there is no explaining. It just is.

So even though it is weird, it's good. And even though it takes work, it's worth it. Now I have answers to my questions and I've had the opportunity to have a relationship with all the people that care about me. So it's worked out and it's evolving and I'm enjoying the ride.

Jessie

1 comment:

Acire said...

That's great that you met your birth family!