For as long as I can remember I have always known I was adopted. You choose your friends, not your family but in this case, my parents chose me, well, sort of. As a child I would imagine a room filled with babies and cribs, my parents walking towards me and picking me as if I was a piece of perfectly ripened fruit “we’ll have this one.” The other story that played out in my head was a fantasy about a princess from a faraway kingdom leaving me with my parents, she would eventually return for me, and I would live out my life as a princess in some foreign land. Lol, the mind of a child! TBH, I do have a little princess in me…
My adoption has never been a secret, nor did I ever feel I was any different from anyone else, it’s part of who I am.
It wasn’t until my teens that I seriously started to think about my birth parents, I mean, who wouldn’t be curious? What was their story? Who did I resemble the most, my mother or father? Where did I get my wavy hair from? Which, btw, I hate and straighten every day. What little weird habits do we share? I also wondered if there was a day that went by that they didn’t both think about me. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to give up a child, incredibly selfless. So many questions.
There were many momentous occasions in my life at which my birth parents would pop into my mind, actually, a feeling of sadness for them, the choice they made in their past not to be included in my future. My adoptive parents are the only parents I know, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And yes, just like everyone else’s parents’ mine would drive me crazy at times but I’m pretty sure that’s normal, lol. For the most part, I have always felt their love and support, so I never felt the need nor did I ever obsess about trying to locate my birth parents. My mother, however, perhaps because I’m an only child and the fact she’s always been curious, often asking me, “wouldn’t you like to find them?” This led us on a journey to nowhere, with strict confidentiality rules for adoption, there were constant roadblocks, making it futile in the end.
It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I became aware of this unexplainable connection. My children are my “first” blood relatives, I really didn’t have an appreciation for this bond in the past. You can’t imagine what it was like for me, observing my children, doing similar things that I would do myself. No, seriously, it’s bizarre, I had no context of this what so ever. And they look like me too! What?! I was placed with my family during the ’60s, adoption agencies were cautious to match you with similar ethnic and religious backgrounds, my birth mother requesting I be placed in a Russian home or similar. So yes, I grew up in a Russian home, I can pronounce Vodka with a Russian accent, lol!
Fast forward to this Christmas, my sons gave me an “Ancestry DNA” test kit, something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Ha! No surprise, I’m 91% Russian/Eastern European 9% Balkans…I know that my birth father was from Bosnia. I had 122 DNA matches from around the world, quickly connecting with a first cousin, thinking, this is crazy! Within 48 hours I had the name, address and phone number of my birth mother. This stopped me in my tracks, DNA being the back door to discovering your past. I know I’ve imagined this for a very long time, but there is something to be said about opening up pandora’s box. My mission is not to turn peoples lives upside down, in fact, I would rather observe from afar. You know, ring the doorbell and pretend to be selling something? At this point, its a bit deflating, I have all the information to contact my birth mother but what will it give me that I don’t already have? My family is my family, I’m not missing anything except a bloodline, and I have that with my children, taking it in a new direction and not focusing on the past. I have everyone I need and love in front of me. Whatever will be, will be, a connection with my past family would be a bonus, but I’m not forcing something that’s maybe not meant to be.
In the end, I come by my Russian “spy” name honestly, and I have more than enough DNA to love without opening up pandora’s box.