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Adoption

In search of confirmation, validation … and myself

Here I am, 20 months old. Thankfully, the photographer had the wherewithal to pose me so my Dumbo ears were not noticeable, because heaven knows my hair was taking its sweet time to grow.

Here I am, 20 months old. Thankfully, the photographer had the wherewithal to pose me so my Dumbo ears were not noticeable, because heaven knows my hair was taking its sweet time to grow.

Life doesn’t turn out how you plan — if you can plan at all.

I’m reminded of this today, because I’ve reached a tremendous milestone and it doesn’t feel a thing like I expected.

Yesterday in the mail came the penultimate (don’t you love that word?) piece of information I needed to be 99% sure that I have finally found my first mother, Patricia Clark. It is my presumed grandfather’s obituary, which describes him as a painting contractor, just as the information in the report of non-identifying information from Westchester Family Services does.

I have her phone number. All the other details I can find seem to match up. I am at once thrilled, light-headed and in awe of the help I have received from several search angels. (Thank you, Pris and Joanne, among so many others who have offered help and support along the way.)

It seems to be her — there are too many matching details for them to all be coincidences.

Just 90 minutes way in Long Island. There all this time.

When I stop to think about it, I can’t quite breathe right.

Of course my next step is to attempt contact, which I am in the process of doing. I had no luck yesterday.

Cue the balloons and Champagne. Start the happy dance.

Except that hasn’t happened.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled — enough so that I called my Mom last night to tell her the news.

I’ve been worrying since I hung up the phone, though, that I have upset her, even though she and Dad have always said they support me in my search. I’ve been trying to use my own parental experience to put myself in their shoes, but I can’t guess how they are taking this news. I don’t want it to hurt them. I am not looking to replace them or their influence on my life.

And at the same time, I need to know who I am.

For the moment, I am in shock, bewildered and more than a little afraid about what lies ahead.

What will happen next?

The answers to my lifetime of questions might lie at the end of my phone line.

Or there I might find a final rejection.

Wish me luck.

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

Discussion

19 thoughts on “In search of confirmation, validation … and myself

  1. That is exciting news! Your anxiety is normal. I hope you can get a hold of her and everything goes smoothly. Who knows you may be on your way to meet her the first week of 2013!

    Posted by Sandi Ormsby | December 31, 2012, 8:37 pm
  2. Best of Luck Terri!!!. I pray that you’ll find all that you have been looking for.

    Posted by Mike Colaluca | December 3, 2012, 12:25 pm
  3. Good luck Terri, I know these things can be tricky but I do hope you find some answers. Sending you good vibes from across the Pacific ocean. x

    Posted by rhythm & method | December 3, 2012, 3:58 am
  4. Oh, Terri, that is so exciting!!! I’m feeling the butterflies, too, on your behalf! No advice from me. Your heart knows what it needs to do. I hope you find the answers to your most important questions. Congratulations and Best wishes!

    Posted by Jackie | December 2, 2012, 11:57 pm
  5. Whatever happens, I truly hope you will have the peace of mind that comes with actually *knowing* rather than forever wondering.

    Posted by Laura Schwartz | December 2, 2012, 8:37 pm
  6. Oh Terri, how wonderful! Whatever this brings, it is beyond your control. Of course, i pray for the best of outcomes, but even if it isn’t meant to be you have the knowledge that you have done all you could have. Best of luck in this phase
    of your quest! Fingers crossed…

    Posted by Abbie Carroll Wilson | December 2, 2012, 5:48 pm
  7. Thanks, Susan. Closure — at least — would be nice. More than nice, really.

    Posted by Terri S. Vanech | December 2, 2012, 5:16 pm
  8. Thanks, Fran.

    Posted by Terri S. Vanech | December 2, 2012, 5:15 pm
  9. Best of luck to you, Terri. I reached out first to my original mother with a certified letter. Later, she called me when I was out, and I was very afraid when I returned the call, as I had been told by my agency that she didn’t wish to have any contact. She did not want to have continuing contact, but we had a very sweet and helpful conversation that provided some closure for me. I hope that you get at least that much — actually I hope that you get more. Opening yourself up for possible rejection is very, very scary.

    Posted by Susan Perry | December 2, 2012, 5:08 pm
    • I do not know any mothers that have rejected their children. Most search and search and when they find they are consumed with love, guilty and self hatred for signing papers. I have two friends whose mothers did slam the door in their face. I think this is hnappening less and less since reunion is so common and there is not as much shame attached. Of course, it can happen but lets hope it doesn’t.

      Posted by steffi | December 2, 2012, 10:52 pm
  10. Beautiful, Terri. I hope you find what you’re looking for, and if not, I hope you come to much wisdom through the process of seeking.

    Posted by Fran Dorf | December 2, 2012, 2:43 pm

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