No matter what stage of the search for biological family you find yourself, finding someone who is where you are or a little ahead of where you are in the process is a game changer. This whole search/reunion thing is unlike any other event/relationship that “normal” folks experience. It’s difficult to even compare it to anything else because it’s so NOT like anything else. Although I’m blessed to have many in my life who care about me, pray for me and listen to me ramble at a moment’s notice, they will never truly understand the road I walk. But they do try and I’ll never in a million years be able to repay them for it.
Thankfully, during my search I found a facebook group of others searching like me. They held my hand, lit my path and were my biggest cheerleaders. Their insight and experience proved to be invaluable and a sanity saver. Locally, I found a group of reunited birth family members through an adoption placement service. They meet monthly to share challenges and successes post-reunion. Mostly, we simply listen to each other – they have truly been my lifeline.
These sojourners “get” me. They’ve walked my road of crazy – they’ve made it through the swamp or are at least a little further upstream. They warn me about things below the surface of the mirky water that I can’t see, encouraging me to keep walking, trudging, crawling. They validate my crazy feelings that come out of nowhere and help me anticipate typical feelings/emotions that are common when reuniting with biological family.
It’s not “normal” for a 50-yr. old daughter to meet her Daddy for the first time. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around what our “normal” should even look like. From my view, there’s been nothing normal about any of it – believing another dude was my biological dad for 20 yrs. and then “accidentally” finding out differently after DNA. What?!? To make it even crazier, my biological dad had no clue I even existed. Zippo. Nada. And even more shocking to me, he was happy to be found. But for me to think that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and be “normal” like everyone else who’ve had their Daddies in their lives since their first breath of air is simply not gonna happen. My relationship with my Dad will never look like theirs. We started at Day 1 fifty years late. We’ll never make up for lost time but I don’t intend to miss one opportunity to spend time with him and love him.
Being able to share experiences and stories with others walking the same road has been invaluable to me. They remind me that it’s ok to not look, feel or even act “normal” on this journey. But, mostly they remind me that in spite of how I feel or what crazy just slithered out of the swamp, everything will be okay.
I will be okay.
And that’s definitely a game changer.