I was adopted and much like many other adoptees, the curiosity of where I came from and who I looked like became something I yearned to have the answers to.
I was officially adopted at four-years-old, before that, living with my biological grandparents from my birth mom’s side. Because of this, I was able to get pictures, letters and various other tidbits as to who my birth mom was.
My birth dad, however, remained a mystery. His name was scribbled in my baby book and I knew only a few things about him through conversations with my grandma, but not much to go on as far as finding out who he was.
The search was harder than I imagined…
When I entered my early 20’s, I started to entertain the idea of searching for him. I had so many questions that had gone unanswered for years. Did I look like him? Did he know about me? What was he like? Would he want to meet me?
I looked up his name by search engine and social media and paged through phone books looking for a lead, but came up empty handed every time.
Every now and then I would search. I turned 21…22…25. Still nothing.
Then I turned 26.
I was at a friend’s house, her and I chatting about adoption and the many topics surrounding it. We started talking about birth parents and she asked if I had ever found my birth dad. I gave her my well rehearsed answer, something along the lines of yes, his name is too common, I don’t know enough info to get anywhere, blah, blah, blah.
But, she insisted we take another pass at it, as if this time, the search might happen to pull up someone different, even though I knew otherwise.
“Is this him?”
Expecting to see the same pictures as I had before, I glanced at the computer with little hope, waiting for the feeling of disappointment to be displayed on the screen.
But this was a new one; a picture and profile I had not seen before. His name was the same as my birth dad, his age fit into the same range, and his location was where I had figured he may be.
Was this my dad?
We did some more digging, looking at his friends and photos, trying to get more information. And there it was: a photo album with pictures from his childhood. Scrolling through, I could have mistaken a few of them for mine; we had the same eyes and eyebrows, similar smiles and demeanor.
“I think this is my dad.”
My heart racing and my fingers shaking, I opened the messages tab and started to type:
“Hey, so this may be totally wrong, but I’ll give it a shot. I was born in … and my birth mom told me my biological father’s name was … . I ran across your profile and from what my mom tells me, your information matches quite a bit. I know this it totally out of the blue, but I thought it was worth a shot. If I’m wrong, hey, it’s a good laugh.”
I waited. And waited; wishing for a response but losing hope that it would actually happen. But then, a few weeks later, I heard the ping of the messenger, notifying me of a new arrival in my inbox.
It was from him:
“I am sorry I didn’t see your message until yesterday. Maybe we could start out slow and exchange a few messages and if you would like to meet I would be open to that also. I don’t have any other kids so this is really new to me. Do you have anything you would like to know?”
I had found him. It was real.
We exchanged messages back and forth for a while, asking and answering questions we both had kept stowed away for years. We agreed to meet each other in person and set up a time and place, both anxiously waiting for the day we would meet the other person that shared the same genetics.
The day approached quickly. I ordered my drink and found a seat at the coffee shop, unable to take my eyes off the entrance to the store, watching intently for him and his wife to walk in. My adrenaline was pumping, a moment I had waited 26 years for was finally coming into fruition.
And there he was, walking in the door, radiating just as much nervous energy as myself.
We exchanged equally excited and anxious glances and hugged each other; our bodies so full of nerves, the shaking was permeable. Letting the excitement subside a bit, we sat down and talked, the reality of the situation slowly sinking in. Time went in slow motion and in fast forward simultaneously, those few hours permanently etched in my memory.
I’ve seen him since then and we continue to learn, grow, and develop a relationship today. I was lucky enough to find him, lucky enough to have a good relationship with him and lucky enough to be accepted.
To those who are searching, don’t give up. Keep pursuing avenues to find the answers you’ve been looking for. You may receive closure, or you may not, but if the curiosity is there, pay attention to it, you never know where it may lead you!
To read more about Brooke and her incredible unicorn life journey, please check out her blog stepintobravery.com