Monday, January 4, 2010
The year of the search
It happened again, right before the holidays I was at a doctor’s appointment and had to fill out one of those “new patient” forms. You know the one – the seventeen page document asking questions about you, your health history and your family’s health history. This time it was at the dermatologist and the questions were based around my family history of skin cancer. As usual, with a vague sense of uneasiness, I wrote “I don’t know” on the forms.
I was adopted. In general, this isn’t something that preys on my mind. I have always known I was adopted – I don’t even remember being told – I just knew. My older sister was also adopted while my younger brother and sister were not. I have never felt like an outside in my family, or that the other kids were more loved, we were just a family. However, I have always wondered… what do my biological relatives look like? At almost 5’11, I’m the tallest person in my family and the only physical characteristic I have in common with them is eye color – all the females in my family have blue eyes. Then again, so does a LARGE chunk of the population!
Now that I have a son of my own, I would also love to have family health history. My biological mother was 16 when she had me and I was told that she was “healthy”. Well no fricking kidding!!! She was 16! After my teens, it was determined that I have a faulty heart valve, and an underactive thyroid. I certainly didn’t have that information when I was 16. Two of my girlfriends were diagnosed with breast cancer before they were 40. Then again, they have a family history of breast cancer so they knew to be vigilant.
I’ve decided that 2010 is going to be the year of “the search”. I have gotten a lot of conflicting information on my biological mother. She lied a lot. She and her boyfriend were living in IL when she got pregnant. They packed up and ran away to CA – they were young and in love, and thought that they would get jobs and raise me. That pipe dream lasted all of about 2 weeks before they ran out of money, she moved into a maternity home and he moved into his car. When they got to CA they lied about their ages, where they were from, and even their names. Imagine the elation I felt when I found out her name and then the unbelievable frustration I felt when I found out that I had spent 3 years searching for someone who doesn’t exist. I do have some new leads and will follow them up, knowing that I’ll most likely hit a lot of dead ends in the process.
I’m very nervous about this search. I don’t know what I’ll find and honestly, I don’t know what I want to find. I could spend a lot of time searching and not find anything, or this could turn into a Pandora’s box of drama. With the possibility of disappointment, rejection, or worse – finding someone who overwhelms me – I am not sure why I’m doing this. I would be MORE than happy with a stack of photos and and up-to-date health history but I’m not sure that is possible. Either way, I’m going to try.
The funny thing is, I do have one biological relative – The Kid – and he looks NOTHING like me! He is a clone of his father. I wonder – if he looked like me, would I still want to proceed with this search or would I let bygones be bygones?