To continue, having unexpectedly found a name matching that of Genea's birth mother on facebook, I was frozen in place as to what to do next.
About a year ago I read a fascinating post on the blog Casa Bicecleta. The blog author had attended a seminar presented by a well known adoption expert (who she never names). Muddling through emotional incendiary explosives as one does at these things, she listened closely as the subject of birth parent searches came up.
The lecturer was asked "Is it okay for the adoptive parents to search for the birth parents?". The blogger (CB) had spent a long time considering the many facets of taking on the search for a young child adopted internationally. Whether it was the right thing to do, whether it would do more harm than good.
I expected CB would go on to explain the speakers answer in terms of "if/then" and geared up to skim the section.
IF the child remembers their birth parents, THEN you should make contact.
IF the child's birth parents do not want contact, THEN you should respect that.
IF the child has medical needs, THEN search.
I was one hundred percent surprised to read on and find the presenter gave an answer in absolute terms.
No, she said. Never.
Searching out birth parents is something I thought of as my responsibility! To get what information we could get and hold it for Genea until she was of an age to either handle it or when she became an adult.
I was highly tempted to dismiss the opinion. CB goes on to reiterate the status of the lecturer. Well known, highly respected, with great insights and loads of personal experience (still no name).
However, something I have discovered many times on this 'adoption journey' is, I may not always understand. I might just have to accept certain ideas as facts which I will never comprehend.
At any rate, CB proceeds to analyze her own beliefs in reaction to the lecturers statement. Here is an excerpt:
And when I think about searching....I'm trying to think if she would want me to do that FOR her. And I'm not sure she would want me to do that. I want to give her information. Because I want to help her. I think that having information will make her feel better, having answers to her questions will give her a narrative that she can latch on to--she's a very concrete person. I think a story will help. I. I. I. I think. I want. I suppose. Mostly because I know for myself I would want information, I would want to have that, I would need it, it would make me feel better. I, me, my needs, my wants, what I think, I feel.
And then, if I try to think of myself and my Mother......if I try to put myself in Bicicleta Girl's place.....
If I think of my Mother trying to do something like doing a search for me.... I have a feeling it would piss me off. I don't know. I was, am, continue to be, fiercely independent. And if my Mother tried to hone in on my story and make herself part of it or tried to decide what I wanted, something so personal, something so excruciatingly personal as my Birth story....yeah....I would hate that.
I never thought of it that way before. I always thought of it as me, the Mom, giving something to my daughter. Something to help her. Something to arm her with. I wanted to give my girl some information to help her. I wanted to be the one to GIVE her what she needed to be strong. And you know what? Maybe she doesn't want what I have to give her. Maybe she wants to get it all by herself.
Mmm, yes, the "I"'s have summed up my opinion perfectly.
Part 4 to come (surely you didn't think I could keep it simple?)
What is your perspective?