The life of an adoptee is sometimes like that of an ancient voyager who searches for the unknown. The explorers, however, used navigational tools and the stars to guide their destiny. They had their sights on the wonders that lay ahead of them. An adoptee, on the other hand, travels in the opposite direction.
The adoptee searches for the past. Therefore, he or she cannot rely on sophisticated equipment or the constellations, but rather on hope and perseverance. The map of the past is many times derived from faint clues that one has heard or seen.
I am a prehistoric time traveler — an astronaut of the past. I am adopted….
I was born February 25, 1958. The name on my original birth certificate simply said “infant”, but was changed three days later to the name I have owned ever since. All the traces of my ancestry were stripped away. I had no bloodroots and the branches of my family tree ascended into nothingness. Life before I exited a womb never existed. There was nothing genetically connected to me or a face that resembled me.
My past had been deleted.
In essence, my identity died on February 28, 1958, when an invisible hand switched the blueprint for my life. My adoptive parents, on the other hand, were given life, for I brought an immeasurable joy that was no different from the elation demonstrated by any biological parents.
In changing only a couple of letters, adoptee becomes amputee. The definitions are amazingly similar, for each implies that a piece of an individual that was once inherent has been wholly dismembered. For many adoptees, it is the limbs of history that have been severed.
In reality, by the laws of the court, I was re-born. Some adoptees have the sensation of a second birth. Others despair from being denied any birth. My original birth certificate and adoption proceedings became forever sealed in a tightly guarded file.
The documentation of my life began on February 28, 1958. My proud adoptive mother can show you photos of me on that date. From that moment on I would travel through time at the same speed as anyone else.
But there would be no road behind me.
As an adoptee, it is difficult to comprehend the feelings of an adoptive parent. Likewise, one cannot pretend to experience the feelings of a birthparent who has relinquished a child. I do hope to enrich the reader by unveiling the emotions that possess many adoptees like me who have lived or continue to live in the world of ancestral bewilderment.
Some may say that they know an adoptee who has no desire to uncover his or her biological roots. I can’t help thinking that there is an underlying hunger in every adoptee to know his or her origin in the cosmos. Some adoptees take many years before they are ready to search. Others never attempt. But I believe the yearning is still there, however dormant. One adoptee said, “Adoption is like walking into a movie theatre and the movie has already started. You enjoy the movie very much and applaud at the end, but you still want to see the beginning.”…
I am one author who agrees that one’s birthright should be an unconditional human gift. After learning the truth of their births, no matter what the circumstances, most adoptees have experienced an emotional release. The pages of the past reveal where one has been and are stepping-stones to the present…
It would be intriguing to find out how an individual would be different if history could be changed; if one were given different surroundings, if one were raised by biological instead of adoptive parents, and vice versa. Although heredity is the main determinant of one’s physical traits, I am quite certain that my adoptive parents and everyone I have interacted with on my journey have shaped the person I am today. I am who I am because of who you are. My wonder and curiosity, along with my understanding of love and life’s purpose, is the result of my journey.