I first found out I was adopted around Kindergarten. I remember it fairly clearly, I was at home one day with my mom and she brought out a chest from the closet and inside there were a bunch of papers. The papers had a distinctive official look to them; more than half of the papers were blacked out. I was confused. I didn’t quite know what was going on, I hadn’t done anything wrong as far as I could think. That was when my mom explained to me that I was adopted. All of the paperwork was what she knew about my birth parents, not much but it was something.
The one thing that stuck in my mind the most for years, and still does, is the fact that my birth mom had a baby girl only months before I was born who died of SIDS. Since then I have written a couple of poems about her. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to get her out of my head. She is the biggest reason that I was put up for adoption. It could have been that I have always wanted a sister or brother around my age.
Around January or February 2010 I seriously thought about trying to find my birthparents. I ran several checks using what information I had. I am not a novice at using the internet and came up with several hits. I didn’t find anything that was 100% concrete. This was when I had to make the decision to talk to my adoptive parents; I didn’t want them to feel hurt that I wanted to seek out my birth parents.
With my mom out of state I talked with her over the phone. I sat down with my dad at his house. Both of my adoptive parents were very supporting so we contacted the adoption agency. The adoption agency had a person on staff just for helping people in this kind of situation.
After several phone calls, emails, and signing some forms, Deb from the adoption agency began her search. One day I got a call from her saying that she believed she had found them and she could reach out to my birth family. I told her yes, despite the fact that I was very nervous.
I started exchanging emails via the adoption agency with my birth mother. My first letter from her was emotional. She told me about herself, about the family a little and she even complimented me. It was a hard decision to not include the letter in this article, the reason I decided not to was the fact that it was not short. I will share the first couple of sentences with you:
As I write this letter to you I am wondering where to start. This is the first thing I want to say is that I have always loved for you since the day I held you, I made sure that you had clothes and other things I didnt want you to be left in hospital stuff, it was a heartrendering moment when I had to leave you there, but I could not financially or emotionally support you at the time.
Going back and reading this letter brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Even the start of the letter is emotional to me, as I feel like it would be to anyone who was adopted and wanted to know about their birth family. My birth mom sent me pictures of my two younger brothers. It was fun to know that I had more family out there.
We exchanged many emails via the adoption agency. On June 1st 2010 at 8:31 I got a message on Facebook from Pam, a close family friend.
I am a close friend of Kelly. Please contact Denny (my birth dad) at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
The first thing I did was email this to the adoption agency’s agent. The response I got was that this was exactly what she didn’t want to happen. She did some calling and confirmed that that was my birth father’s phone number and that I should call him. I remember being confused that she wanted me to call him directly.
It turns out that my birth mother Kelly, had died that day after being in the hospital for several days. At this point I didn’t know what to think or do. I called both my parents multiple times, Deb from the adoption agency, and thought hard about it. My final decision was to fly down to Florida from Washington to go to the service. My adoptive dad got tickets, we went to the clothing store, got a suit tailored and left for Florida.
Upon arriving, we got in our rental car and drove to the service. We arrived a little late but it was nice. The one thing I remember about it was that I was not listed as one of the kids in the obituary. After the service I went to my birth father’s boss’s house and meet family and friends. It was a shocking experience, not quite what I thought it would be. My two brothers were shy. Overall the experience was a great one. I am glad I met them, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
I encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more about their adoptive parents to talk to their adoption agency. Having a representative to help you find them and help you emotionally makes it a lot easier. It gives you time to adapt. Just keep in mind not everyone is going to have as good of an experience as I did. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.