The motivations for what I’m now not-so-creatively referring to as “The Search” stem from a few reasons, most of which you can probably list off in about thirty seconds.
I want to learn about my culture and heritage. I want to learn about the people– their history, traditions and ideology. I want to familiarize myself with the language through which their interactions are mediated. I want to taste the richness of their foods and experience the beautiful country that I would have known as home– carefully taking in the smells, the feel of the air on my face, and the sounds that make up the melody of life. I want to know what day-to-day life would have been like there.
As you can imagine, the aforementioned reasons are only secondary to the primary reasons, one of which is locating my biological parents and asking them those ‘big questions’ that have been tormenting me for quite some time. Being able to ask those questions, regardless of if they choose to remain anonymous and regardless of if I ever get to meet them face-to-face, would feel so liberating, like the ring would finally be able to be cast into the fire.
However, the mere prospect of meeting them face-to-face is by far the largest drive for “The Search,” because it’s essential for what I’m really searching for. I’m searching for a feeling…actually, I’m searching for a set of feelings.
I’ve gone most of my life with the notion that finding my biological parents was an impossible, never-going-to-happen task. When I toyed with the idea, I quickly fell back on the strong belief that it was something that would have to wait until much later in life, for a variety of reasons. Mostly however, I just repressed the fact that I even had biological parents enough that I never thought about it. (Yes, it’s possible.) The realization that I could repress that much is pretty disheartening, as it leads to the realization (and understanding) that my birth parents could have easily done the same thing. As such, I’ve always put off the idea of searching for them and learning about my culture and heritage until the “right time.”
Well, now is that “right time.”
…or at least it feels like it is.
In the past couple of months I’ve disappointed enough people to last a lifetime and failed in a really big way. I refer to this experience as my “life fail,” as it has taken the notion I held of my self and relentlessly shook it up. Trying to answer the torturous questions ‘what happened?’and ‘why?’ have left me questioning everything (worldview, self, intentions, etc.), confused, and a bit paralyzed due to the fear of what moving forward could mean. It was through the arduous process of deconstructing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that I kept stumbling upon events from the past, events that have the capability to rip me apart at vulnerable moments. I know what they’re capable of because they were the main contributors to my all-time lowest point, which occurred many years ago. After putting band-aids on those wounds and truly believing that I had dealt with things, I moved forward, continuing to block out any unwanted memory that would sneak in. Whereas my pre-life-fail self could effectively manage the moments where everything came flooding back, post-life-fail self can’t seem to even get a grip on them; all attempts have been futile.
So logically, in an effort to nudge myself along, numb the pain, move-on, and get over things, I find myself amidst rushed decisions regarding how to get and stay busy. A couple of days ago I realized that those were my intentions. It was pretty hard to swallow because on the one hand, I knew I was wanting to jump into something to make it easier to numb/block/repress, yet on the other hand, not jumping into something meant staying a prisoner to my thoughts (which might be worse than jumping, as the mere act of waking up serves as a reminder of everything).
After a lot of thinking (and consequently, a lot of headaches), I have decided to slow down, (attempt to) deal with things, and hope that everything turns out okay in the end. During this waiting period, I hope to confront the things from my past which keep tightening their grip.
That is why this search is so significant to me at this time. Finding my biological parents is both urgent and crucial for what I’m able to resolve and how I move forward. As mentioned earlier, I want to have those ‘big questions’ answered, but more importantly, I want to find a feeling. The former will resolve the original abandonment (which remember has been kept at bay for years), and the latter will resolve the issues from the past, however indirect.
I want to be able to feel and experience that innate love and acceptance that a mother has for her child; love that doesn’t have to be earned and that you feel will always be there; love that gives you a reason to live and never leaves you questioning whether you belong here. I want to feel right, okay, and whole…like maybe I have a sense of place after all. Words can’t describe how desperately I’m longing to feel these things.
A year or so ago I was searching for videos related to adoption on YouTube and I stumbled upon this video.
It completely tore me apart (and still does to this day), not only because it raises a lot of questions, but because I find myself at conflict with the main line of the song: “…when you gave me up you gave everything to me.” It’s not that I’m ungrateful because I realize how lucky I am, but the reality is is that I would give up everything, in an instant, to be able to feel the sentiments depicted in the video.
I can’t help but think that there’s something in my biological parents that feel the same way.
I know that this vision is highly idealistic and that I’m only setting myself up for disappointment, but it gives me something that I need right now.
It gives me hope.