Monday, February 3, 2014

The Path to THEM



I'm usually a private person. I don't share the intimate happenings of my life online. But this is a story so important that it needs to be documented.


So as I said in my last post...

Things have been CRAZY in these past few months.

Yes, I'm finishing up school and doing..

All. Those. Case Studies. (for my degree in Holistic Nutrition)

Yes, we are also preparing to leave Korea- our home for the past five years- and planning a 2.5 week road trip across the US.

Yes, we are preparing to pack up again and move to Ecuador in April...


But the true whirlwind of crazy started on my birthday in November.

My birthday sort of unexpectedly threw me on this path that I knew I'd be traveling down one day. A path that is wrought with emotion, joy, fear and anxiety.  The path that virtually every adopted child thinks about going down--

Finding their biological parents.


For my birthday present, Dave got together all the documents to find all the "Non-Identifying Information" from my adoption file. It turns out that due to a law change in Georgia a few years ago, it's super easy to find out information on your otherwise "closed adoption". More info on that down below.

So, I waited and waited and waited to hear back from the case worker.
She basically gets an adoption file from the state and weeds through all the information. She then types up a document in which she summarizes everything that she can tell me that does not in any way give the identities of my birth family. This could be family health history, physical appearances, details about my birth, details on foster homes (if there are any), basically you could get any information that was given up to the point of your adoption being finalized.


The four weeks I waited, I truly felt like I went through a "dark night of the soul" so to speak during that time. I was a mess. This was affecting me... it had some strange power over me. I never thought being adopted affected me until I started digging. Turns out.. it does. I dealt with a lot during those few weeks.

Then, one night as I was getting ready to sleep I checked my email one last time with heavy eyelids. And BAM! There was the summary in my inbox! My heart raced and my hands were shaking. Was I ready to read what this email contained? Was I ready to face my reality? I had always made up crazy scenarios about how my life came to be, and who my parents were. But once I read this, there was no going back. I'd finally know.  Dave was asleep, I had to go at this alone. So I opened it!

As I read through the THREE page summary of the circumstances that lead to me, it was surreal. I learned SO MUCH! I learned about my biological parents' physical characteristics, their relationship, their parents, their siblings, their hobbies... so much more than I ever dreamed of learning!!! I even learned my ancestry.. something I've longed to know for as long as I can remember!

Are you ready for this?
I learned that my grandmother was from Colombia! My friends growing up always said I didn't have "white girl hair" (Click HERE for pics) and boy were they right!

I'm 1/4 Colombian! WOW! I have always loved the Spanish language and latin music. We've also been planning to move to Ecuador for over a year.... Ecuador is.... BESIDE COLOMBIA!!!


A HUGE piece that I didn't know was even missing has been replaced. Since learning what I know I have felt so different inside.  I know where I came from! I know the blood that runs through these veins, I feel it's pulsing culture and tradition. This is something children who aren't adopted take for granted. I know there are people out there that share a part of me. To me, this blows my mind.

When the summary talked about my birth parents hobbies, personalities, and physical characteristics I couldn't believe it! I am truly a mix of them both!

I have never been anything like my adoptive family. PERIOD. If you know them, you know what I mean!

But now, I "make sense" so to speak! There is just so much joy in knowing the details. I've always felt like nature won over nurture in my life- and this just confirmed it!

What's next?

Well- now that I have the non-identifying information, I am beginning the process to FIND THEM! Families First in Atlanta, Georgia partnered with the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry offers a super easy process to locate your biological parents, siblings, etc. There are a couple easy forms to fill out and you have to write a letter to the person you are searching for. They will contact the person on your behalf and read your letter to them. Then, if the person is willing, they will arrange a contact information exchange and you will be on your way to that first meeting.


The documents ready to be sent out!

So, I've completed and mailed in all the paperwork. That means....

I had to write a letter to my birthmother

It was certainly surreal as I sat there on the first day of the new year writing to a person I didn't technically know, but a person that I thought about so often- the person that made me- the person that I grew inside of for all those months!

I wrote through blurry eyes and I composed my letter. What should I say? How could I put down into words what I felt? When it was all said and done, I had a page and a half. This could be my only shot at communicating with the person that carried me and brought me into this world, so I had to be very intentional in my writing.

I had a few objectives that I wanted to accomplish in writing:
  • I wanted to tell her about me, and let her know what a beautiful life's journey I'm on.
  • I wanted to let her know the purpose of my wanting contact.
  • I REALLY wanted to encourage her to agree to contact, without scaring her off.
  • I wanted to let her know that I have always felt her love for me and I've never felt "unwanted".
  • I wanted to thank her for giving me life.
  • I wanted to help bring healing to her. It must be so hard to do what she did.
  • I wanted her to know that she will always be in my heart regardless of her response to my request for contact.
So with my page and a half, I hope I have accomplished this. 

This process is supposed to take anywhere from one to six months! Today marks the one month mark. I just called in and they said they have not found her updated contact information yet! UGH!

Families First and The Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry have a 90-95% success rate in finding people they search for, and of that group about 90-95% agree to contact. But, I'm trying not to get my hopes up. There are so many scenarios that could come out of this, I need to protect myself and be ready. I'm so happy I have my husband and some of the best friends a girl could have to help me during this time. 

So many unknowns coming up in my very near future! But this is going to be such a transformative year for me in so many ways. 

The Year of the Horse on the Chinese calendar has just begun. Is it a coincidence that both of my biological parents cited their love for horses in my adoption records? I personally, think not. I think it's a good sign of things to come.


Won't you send some positive energy, thoughts and prayers my way? If it's for the better good, I really hope to find her before we leave for Ecuador in April.


I'm healing.
I'm journeying.
I'm opening painful scars in attempt to heal them.

This is why I have created this blog. Things are hard to deal with. But our actions can bring us healing if we will it to be. Healing gives us true freedom.

I see no other way to live.

Everyday, I try to live.....

The Empowered Way!

Stay tuned for good news!

Oh and you can get my blog updates sent to your email by typing your email address in the side bar to the right! You're not going to want to miss the coming months!!


Meg

Any adoptees out there reading this? Have you found, or do you want to find your biological parents? We need to talk!

UPDATE HERE!


ADOPTION INFO:



If you were adopted from Georgia and are interested in finding your biological family, please contact The Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry HERE. They offer services to adopted children, birth parents,  siblings separated by adoption, and adoptive parents.
The fee for non-identifying information is $35.
The fee for a search is $300 per person.
There is free in-depth consultation available as well.
If you need financial help, they offer that too!  It really is such a great organization! I can't speak highly enough of them.

If you are thinking of starting this process and have questions, send me a message: Megan(DOT)Rushbrook(AT)gmail(DOT)com

16 comments:

  1. You go Meg. I have been praying for you to find the information you are looking for with a good outcome. We love you very much and are so proud of you, and support you on this new pathway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you so much, I really appreciate that! Love you <3

      Delete
  2. Megan! This is so wonderful.. I am at a loss as to what to say to express my happiness for you! I pray that you find the answers that you need :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Adrianne, thank you for sharing my happiness and for the prayers!! Sending love to you my friend! :)

      Delete
  3. I'm rooting for you all the way, Meg. As a fellow adoptee, finding my birth family has, overall, been a true blessing! In addition to being connected with siblings, I've learned about my rich Slovakian heritage and even connected with some cousins living near the tiny village where my family has lived for generations. I understand the pain and hope that accompany your journey. It is a blessing to spread love far and wide!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! How AMAZING!! Not only did you gain more family... you gained a whole culture to share! How totally special! How long has it been since you found your family? This crazy mix of feelings (99% positive) are so strange- I know you probably understand me very well. <3

      Delete
  4. Good luck to you! I will be watching your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Meg,
    Thank you for sharing all your sweet words of kindness and love for your birth mother. I too am a birth mother. I am 24 years old and have an open adoption with my 3year old ddaughter. Placing for adoption has been the hardest bitter sweet unselfish decision ever made. I think of her each day. I long to hold her each day. I dream of how she is right now. I search my memories praying she will somehow hold on to moments we shared while she was an infant. I love her. Meg.. your mother loves you.. deeply. She loves you so much she placed you with a family. She longsto know how you are doing. She thinks of you and sends you her love. There is not a day going by that she doesn't miss or love you. I have yet to meet a birth mother that never cried over the adoption. Or never regreted it at one moment or two. You see we as birth mothers have reasons for doing what we did. Each situation is different. However it is all done out of a sense of love. Simple. Just love. I want to just hug you right now. You have shed light on my heart in reguards to my situation. Thank you for sharing. You are a beautiful woman. When you meet your birth mother... just love her in each way possible. We are only wanting love to be received and felt. Keep writing and searching.. do not ever stop searching or giving up hope. When it is time to meet her it will happen. It always will. Everything happens for a reason when it needa to happen. Its just how the universe works. I love you. If there are any birth mothers out there please post all your love.

    I also have a blog. "Life of a birth mother" that I write. It is for my peace, a guide for adoptive parents, other birth mothers, and people like you... adopted :)

    Www.againstallodds21.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beautiful Chavon,
      Your words have me in tears. I can feel her love for me. I always have... even if I didn't recognize it. I guess I'm just worried she won't want to make contact... not because she doesn't love me... but for other reasons. I think to myself "why hasn't she tried finding me?" I just want to see her again and know her- even if that is over Facebook or the internet.

      I have really been enjoying reading your blog... wow! What a great thing to do for fellow birth mothers (of course) but for us adoptees as well! You always hear stories of people adopting babies, or of people being adopted but yours is the first birth mother story (and blog) I have heard. It is so great that you are shedding light on it!

      You and your daughter are so fortunate to have an open adoption. I feel it is so much better for the child and the birth mother! My adoption was closed. If I would have just been able to see a picture growing of my parents growing up, it would have meant so so very much to me.

      Keep writing your journey. It will be such a gift to your daughter one day. I can feel your love emanating from your writing.

      Sending love to you!
      Meg

      Delete
  6. So happy for you hunny. I can't wait to meet our parents and shake their hand for a job well done! I'm so thankful to have you in my life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Dave!!! You're such a wonderful man. I'm lucky that I get to spend my life with you :)

      Delete
  7. Meg, this was so awesome to read! I wish you all the best in finding them. I didn't even know you were adopted until my mom mentioned something to me a few weeks ago about it! Not only did I enjoy reading this, I really liked learning the history of your hair as well^^

    Zach W

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Zach! Thank you so much!!! I unfortunately know THREE Zach W's. Which one are you?? hehehe

      Delete
  8. Haha, Korea Zach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought so! The ^^ eyes and the comment about my hair gave it away. But I was confused about the part with your mom. She is such a wonderful lady to have remembered me when we last met a few years ago. I enjoyed talking with her. :)

      Delete