To summarize, I found a profile on facebook where the name matched that of my daughters birth mother. I freaked out a little, wondering all sorts of things, including "what if I contact her and she wants Genea back" as well as my startling reaction. I heavily considered the statement of an adoption professional that adoptive parents should never participate in any search activities when it comes to the birth parents.
I will add, the lecturer who stated parents should never get involved is an "adoptee" herself, and works with adult adoptee's. In the comments of the post on Casa Bicicleta was the point that 100% of grown, international adoptees at another seminar reportedly said that adoptive parents should always keep their hands off the search.
Regardless of that opinion, I decided I had to do something. Genea may resent my intrusion some day in the future. However, I believe if she found out I could have searched and didn't, and the information changed and was gone forever, it could harm our relationship permanently. The adoptee's referenced above were from Korea. I don't know about the reliability of records there, or resident mobility, but I think there is decent documentation. In a country like China for example, entire villages are mowed down for progress. Children are abandoned anonymously and if there is any link, I think you have to race to preserve it. In Haiti, there are often not even records of birth. Haiti additionally had the earthquake which killed so many and dislocated so many others. If an adoptive parent has a trace of information they'd really ought to hustle to keep it for their adopted child. In my opinion.
Anyway, I did it. After deciding I was thinking too much and needed to just do something already, I sent a private message to the woman on facebook. All it said was "are you in Ukraine?"
I checked my private message box every few.... seconds, for a long time. Despite the fact that facebook plops a bright red circle on the box if there is a message, I clicked and checked anyway just in case there were errors. Nothing. Several weeks went by and nothing. I had no way to know if the woman had seen the message. The profile remained unchanged.
At one point, I was on my phone using the facebook app and clicked in to see if anything had happened. Come to discover, on the app it notes if the message recipient has seen the message and date stamps it. She had seen it. No response.
Of course, it takes me awhile sometimes to pull all my brain cells together to work towards a single goal and I realized- she may very well not speak English. Argh. Like Russia, Ukraine uses the Cyrillic alphabet. Have you seen this? It is extremely difficult! The government of Ukraine uses Ukrainian as their language, however large portions of the country use primarily Russian.
*Insert tons of mind numbing research including an effort to translate information with no exact sound- to- sound equivalent here.*
Using a translation program, I sent another message. I know Ukrainian pride is very important, especially concerning independence from Russia. I desperately did not want to be culturally offensive by using the wrong language. I'd sought out advice from a Ukrainian immigrant (thanks to a connection with Lindsay) and discovered the subject of language was even more complex than I thought. I finally decided if the government uses Ukrainian, it probably has the best chance of being understood.
This is my message:
Hello. I am searching for a woman with your name from Abcxyz, Ukraine. The woman would be ## years old. If that fits you, please reply. Thank you.
So, as of now, nothing. No response no matter how I click into facebook. I don't know if I'm being ignored, which is fine, or unseen, which would be something else.