How to find peace...

As adoptees, it is hard for many to find peace. Peace with unanswered questions about our beginnings--our adoption stories, birth family histories, medical information, our birthland. Who we are and where we come from. For some, on a daily basis, these unanswered questions are constantly with us, while for others, they occur from time-to-time. Perhaps when a stranger asks you, "You speak English real good!" or, when at the doctor's office and they give you a form to fill out asking for family medical history and you have to write, "Unknown--adopted."

Even if an adoptee finds their birth family, old questions may be answered, but may soon be replaced with new questions. Some of these questions may be answered, or never be answered by your newly found birth family. They may be purposely avoided, or perhaps information given to you may constantly change. It is hard for some adoptees to never know what truly is their story. Through all of this, how can we heal? How can we heal when we can never find answers to our questions? 

I recently came across a podcast by Adoptees On who hosted Katie Jae Naftzger, LICSW. The podcast discussed how to find peace when answers never come--especially at the end of a birth search process. The following steps were recommended:

  1. Find the words for what you’re going through (without trying to fix it, change it or help)
  2. Have someone to be a witness to your story (a therapist or friend)
  3. Document your story in a tangible way (book, blog, podcast, etc.)
  4. Help others along the same journey

Listen to the full podcast here.

Adoptees On has a series of podcasts and is an excellent resource for adoptees who are searching for support resources. 

Other places to help with the healing journey is to read from other adoptees' experiences. Jenna Simpson eloquently writes about her journey and reflections at, "A Memoir by Jenna." She writes:

My trip to Korea was not the answer to all my questions.  In truth, it actually dredged up more questions.  Nevertheless, I understand that my story, like everyone else’s, is comprised of unfinished pieces.  I may never know my complete birth history.  Or have the chance to meet my birth siblings.  But I can appreciate the fact that my story is an evolving work in process. 

As adoptees, our journeys and stories are constantly evolving whether it be through finding community with other adoptees, documenting your story/history, or supporting others who are experiencing the journey to discover their birth and adoption history.  

DNA Testing & Finding Your Origins

At AdopteeBridge, we acknowledge and understand not all adoptees want to search or meet birth family relatives. At the same time, we recognize there is a large portion of adoptees who yearn to search and meet a member of their biological family. Several adoptees also yearn to learn more about their background, heritage, ethnicity, etc. With the advancements in DNA testing and technology, it has provided not only the general public, but also adoptees and birth families another way to search for one another, but also to learn more about their heritage. 

The following is an excellent article of an adoptee, Christina Bottley, reflecting why she did a DNA test. 

With the boom of DNA testing, I have been back and forth for 2 years about wanting to do a test. Part of me really wanted to find out my ancestry origins, while another part of me didn’t want to because of where it might lead with being connected to long lost relatives or even my birth parents. However, as I have been researching and interacting with other Korean adoptees, I have felt the curiosity inside stir within. So, a month ago I ordered my DNA kit. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous and scared. I wasn’t nervous about the ancestry origins, but mostly about if I would be matched to any relatives and what that would then lead to. But, I decided that I would handle whatever came my way at that moment, and do my test....

I started to cry. I shared with my husband that I finally feel that a lifelong weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The mystery has been solved, and I finally have a clear picture of my origins. I’m not closing the door on the possibility of finding my birth parents, but I do know one thing. Even if I never find them, I am okay with it because knowing my ancestry origin has finally given me the identity that I have been searching for...

Click on the link to read the full article.