Unsurprisingly, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the ideas of families and secrets. I have decided that there is little to be gained by making an issue to my adoptive family that I have learned the truth – whether they knew it already or not. If they knew the truth and kept it from me, I can’t imagine that any of them would have been motivated by anything but love for me and loyalty to my adoptive parents. To confront them with it now would only make them feel bad, especially if I communicated that I am glad to know and disappointed that I wasn’t told earlier. If they didn’t know the truth, it doesn’t seem of any particular consequence to bring it up.

I wonder if my birth mother has kept me a secret from some or all of her family. If she has, I wonder if she will choose to keep it that way. I have decided that I will take advantage of Illinois’ Confidential Intermediary service, so that a professional who is trained to handle these situations can manage the initial outreach. That seems the most fair to both of us. I had a moment of trying to put myself in her shoes (or the shoes of any birth family I manage to uncover) and imagine someone showing up on my doorstep like that, or an email out of the blue, or a letter. It feels like an invasion of privacy – almost stalkerish – that I’m hoping a CI will be skilled at navigating in a much more safe-feeling way. And from my own standpoint, I would just die a thousand deaths after I hit ‘send’ or put the envelope in the mail, if I did not receive a response almost immediately.

I can see my mailbox from my office window. I know it will be weeks before I can even hope to receive my OBC or the Adoption Registry confirmation and potential matches, yet every day when the postman drives up I get a little thrill in my belly. And I know there are lots of people who have been searching for years so I feel like I don’t have any right to complain, but the waiting really IS the hardest part.


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