For as long as I can remember, I've always had open ended questions about my adoption. Things my parents couldn't answer because the Ministry of Social Services never passed on the information. Off and on over the decades I've wondered if I should take the leap and find my birth family.
In Feb 1998, I had a counselor help me in applying for all my records from the ministry and as a result was handed a monster of a file. The file provided me with some answers of course, but also created more questions. Over the years I've gone back and forth on whether to pursue the research or not. Occasionally I would do a google search or re-read my file looking for something that I missed. I never pulled the trigger on actually making contact.
That changed on Dec 31, 2023.
It's funny how clarity can cause you to do things you never thought you would. This past year I've really been digging deep and doing some inner work. You know....the tough stuff. With the help of my therapist I've been able to get crystal clear on some past things, but also the path forward. The big one is "why?"
Why now? Why this? What is it all for? My answer to any decision is now two sided.
One: For my family. My 3 children and my grandson, but also for my immediate family. My siblings and my parents. When I heal, we all heal. Our relationships get better. My parents get relief in knowing that I'm healing the holes in my heart that I came with that perhaps they feel they couldn't. Everyone around me benefits.
Two: Someone out there needs me to go first. We all had someone that inspired us to do something hard. Whether someone sees me as a former foster kid that has battled through to become a film producer, maybe they see my personal story with my kids and can see that it can work out even though it's not perfect, perhaps there's something I say in a book, or a blog post, or an interview, that gives them the courage to do the tough thing they think they can't. I want someone to be able to see it doesn't matter who you are or where you are, you are capable. If I can, you can.
One of my many motto's is "If I fear it, I face it."
I was terrified to reach out to my birth family. It could mean rejection. It could mean I meet them, and I decide to not pursue for any myriad of reasons. What if it only goes well for a while and falls apart? Or the flip side, what if it just goes well? This is a door that once opened, will forever change me, good or bad. It can never be fully closed again. I can never come back to this place of not knowing. If I am to lead by example though, this is where I turn to my "why's", and I remember my motto, so down the rabbit hole I go.
On the last day of 2023 I clicked into ancestry, plugged in my birth mother's name, and wrote to the one person on there that had a family tree attached to the same family name. Now I wait. Now I wonder, is this where the story ends? Perhaps that's an answer in itself. I've handed it over because the only thing worse than fear is regret.
What fear are you facing this year?
See you tomorrow.