And So It Begins...

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
And So It Begins...

Not sure if I should keep this public or private, but for now, I'll just write and see where it goes.

I have known for my entire life that I was adopted. My parents are fantastic people, who have given me a privileged life - one I'm sure that is much better than what my biological mother could have given me. I don't recall ever having an issue with being adopted. I had a solidly happy childhood, but it's definitely something I've thought about often. Who wouldn't?

I've thrown around the idea of trying to find my birth mother for most of my adult life, but I've never actually done anything about it. Lucky for me (yes, that's sarcasm) DC is one of the hardest places in the country to open sealed adoption records. I know that a lawyer would be pricey and who knows how effective.

Years keep going by and yet, I do nothing. I'm 35 years old. Soon, I will run out of time. So, now is the time for action.

I am waiting for the paperwork, but I have started the ball rolling with a private investigative firm that specializes in finding birth parents. It's not cheap, but what kind of price can you put on something like this? The agency has a 98% success rate and 99% of the time, if they can't find an actual birth parent (because perhaps they are dead or in jail), they can put you in touch with a relative. I'd take that!

One of the things that pulls at me to do this is that I hate the idea that maybe she wonders how I feel about her. Do I resent her? Hate her? No, none of those things. I wonder if she's told her family about me or if they know nothing. I wouldn't want to intrude on her life in a bad way. I know a lot of what I want to say to her. I want her to know that I 100% respect the decision she made and I admire her for it. Having given birth myself, I can't imagine the anquish she felt at having to give up her baby. I want her to know that I'm not upset or hurt. I'm thankful. I'm appreciative.

I'm also very scared. But, I can't spend the rest of my life wondering 'what if?' I need to do this. I want to do this. I will remain cautious, but hopeful.

So now, I wait for the packet of information for me to sign, notarize, etc. I'll update when I know something!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I keep checking the mailbox. It's silly - I know it will take 2-3 weeks before I get the paperwork to start, I'm just anxious.

I feel very at peace right now. No matter what the outcome is.

I wonder if they will really find her?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I got back from my trip to Memphis to find the package waiting for me.

It's pretty straight forward - lots of forms and such to fill out. There's a form for a national adoption registry, which I already filled out. I have to get one of the forms notarized before I can send it back.

I got the copies of my IDs made today and need to get my birth certificate out of the safe deposit box.

I can't find my other adoption papers that I used to have, though Sad I had a copy of my initial pediatric exam at the hospital, the final adoption order (thank goodness I can remember the attorney's name, so I can provide them with that), and some other little notes. I wrote to the attorney friend of mine that I had given the paperwork to, but he can't find it! UGH!!!! I can't remember where I put the copies that I made. I'm trying not to let it upset me because there's really nothing magical there that would solve everything - but, I just want to provide the agency with EVERYTHING I have.

I won't be able to get the notary until Saturday. I hope to have everything all together by Monday so I can mail it all back.

According to the paperwork, it could be as long as 16 weeks before I get a first update. It makes sense - they have to write off to lots of places, people, and agencies. They need time to get that paperwork out and get a response. They have rules in regard to how often I can contact them for updates. That makes a lot of sense. Could you imagine how obnoxious it would be to have someone calling you every few days when you have nothing to tell them?

Of course, I could get word back from them a LOT sooner. That would be great, naturally - I'm glad they have a time line marked out, so I know what to expect.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

So I made a big post and now it's gone, thanks to the glitch. Sigh.

I have everything in place to send back to the agency except for my birth certificate. I asked DH to get it for me out of the safe deposit box, but he still hasn't. He kind of snapped at me earlier when I asked if he'd gotten it. He said he will get it tomorrow. I hope so, that's all I need.

The pessimist in me is starting to take over. I'm honestly thinking this will never happen. I guess I'm TOO cautious, too guarded, too level-headed. I'm so afraid of disappointment - I guess you can't be disappointed if you think something will never happen, right?

I have lived my entire life thinking I would never know who I looked like, sounded like, acted like. I'm a little scared to have that be a reality.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

So I got the birth certificate and I forgot to make a copy of it while I was at work today. Wow, I'm a dork.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Ok, it's all in the mail now. I marked my calendar for the 16 week check-in time and now I wait.

Hopefully, I can keep my mind off of it. I don't want to become completely obsessed with this.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I got an email today from the agency that they received my paperwork and it's "all in order". Whew, I'm glad I didn't screw anything up.

For the first time that I can remember, I thought of her on Mother's Day. I wonder if she thought about me? Does she think about me, or have I completely left her mind?

35 years is a long time.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I don't know what to say about all of this right now. No, I don't have any news. I think about it all a lot and I just can't wrap my brain around all of this.

I have a friend who met her birth-child for the first time a few weeks ago. Sounded like an amazing experience. I want that. I want to finally see her and know something about her.

I want her to look at my son and say "he looks so much like _____ ". I want to look like her.

I'm so terrified right now. My eyes are welling up. I'm trying so hard not to get my hopes up, I really am. I think I'm trying so hard NOT to that I'm getting that defeatist attitude of "this will never happen".

How am I going to make it through the summer for an update? Someone slap me Wink

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I had a dream the other night.

A package arrived on my doorstep. I read the letter and it basically said "This is everything you ever wanted to know from the Court." but it was frozen. It was really weird.

I defrosted it and opened the box. It had pictures in it. It had her name and everything. But, of course, I couldn't see any of it. It was all a big blur.

I woke up very sad.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

No update, but enough people ask me if I have an update, that I thought I would just post that I don't.

It's a waiting game. It sucks, but what can I do?

I haven't told my brother yet or my parents what I'm doing. I guess I just don't want more questions? I will probably tell my brother soon, but I won't tell my parents until I find something out. They will be happy for me, but I'd rather not stress them out in any way, if that makes sense. My parents are kind of strange people and they get upset over weird things when major things don't affect them. I don't honestly know how they would react.

When I told my mom I wanted to find my birth mother, about 10 years or so ago, she was very short with me and said something to the effect of "well, I'm not going to pay for anything",which I thought was weird. But, later, she gave me all the paperwork she'd ever had about my adoption, which was obviously to help me out. But what a silly reaction "I'm not paying for anything" - like I would ask for money?? Like I said, my parents are a little weird. They are wonderful people though Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I'm beginning to regret telling anyone about this. I'm tired of the "do you have any news?" questions from people (not so much online because most of you read this - I'm talking about IRL).

Do people not think that I won't go running to tell them when I hear something? My therapist was asking me about it yesterday and then my best friend asked me last night- the day before someone else brought it up.

Enough already - I'm stressed about it as it is. Seems like as soon as I get it out of my head for any period of time, someone brings it up.

I know they mean well and are here to support me - don't think I don't know and appreciate that, I just wish people would let me talk when I want to talk.

There, I feel better now.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

August 31st is the day that I can e-mail the company and ask for a status check. That's a Friday, so I might just wait until the day after Labor Day to make the inquiry. I don't know that I could deal with the stress of knowing I have at least 4 more days before I will hear something. I know that sounds weird since I've been waiting 16 weeks as it is, but that's how I feel about it all.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I e-mailed them today. I got an instant form-letter type response back, but it said I should hear something within 10 days.

Tick tock tick tock.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"Dear Cathy,

Thanks for checking in regarding your search. I can see from recent notes from then research department that they have been checking information out in the DC area and have not found a match as of yet and they are working on the naming information. Also please keep a lookout for information to come to you from the State as we are hoping that they will send you non-identifying information that will help in your search.

As I see it your search is moving along quite well and I look forward to speaking with you again upon your next update in 90 days and if you receive any information between now and then please let us know as we will do the same."

Why oh why did I have to be born in DC? The only other place that it's as hard to get records is Boston. Hmm, it's probably political. I'm a Kennedy love-child, I know it haha

I'm going to mark my calendar for 90 days and pay a little better attention to my mail!!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I have been feeling pretty down about this, lately. So, I decided to just contact them and ask a question because I still haven't received any type of info from DC. I asked if they had a phone number I could call to follow up. I got this in response:

"Cathy,

Thanks for checking in to let me know about your status. We had requested the non-identifying information from the state since your adoption didn’t take place in an agency. So by sending a request to the state we hope that they have some kind of information about your adoption or at least tell you where your records are.

The down side is that I do not have a phone number to follow up with as we only deal with forms and the majority of the time they do not contain phone numbers. As for a specific date of when it was sent. Well I’d like to be able to give you a date as I can only tell you that whatever information was necessary to send out would have gone as soon as we received your packet here in April.

I’ll be honest with you and let you know that things are moving along quite nicely with your search as I do not see any red flags from the research department. Please remember that when search it can take up to 1 year to gather all of the information. The researchers are in the process of working on your search as we speak. It is usually unlikely that you will hear from a researcher this early out unless they have a question or have located your family."

So, I'll check in some time in December and see if there have been any changes. This is agonizing.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Sent off another note this morning. Hopefully, I'll get a response tomorrow and not have to wait through the weekend.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I'm waiting for a 2nd response, but I did get one today. These kinds of cases are 'solved' in spurts, so there's really no update to get. Once they do get some good info, they usually have a result within days.

Just keeping my patience. Hopefully, I'll get a little detail soon Smile