I received the information packet and forms from the agency today. Wow, that was fast, wasn't it?! There is a lot more stuff in here than I expected. The coordinator included a number of articles written from different perspectives on the topic of adoption reunion. In each case, the search had a positive outcome. Nice, but I'm not so Polly Anna in my thinking that MY case will have the outcome I've often dreamed of. There is another document in the packet that contains the agency policy on "Informed Consent". They list the positives and negatives that may occur in any search. Thankfully, I've already given considerable thought to all the negatives. I think I'm pretty well prepared for that potential outcome.
Other items included a Waiver of Confidentiality (an optional form) in case I wanted to leave notation in my file with permission for certain or any biological family members to contact me. I can specify bio-mom, bio-dad, siblings...etc. Or I can elect not to send that form and my search will remain one sided. I'm going to send the form and give permission to any/all interested parties. Uncles, Aunts, Cousins...feel free to give me a ring. I mean that sincerely.
Then there is the medical disclosure form. From what I can tell, this form comes into play if I hire a search firm or detective to conduct my search for me. This allows the agency to release my information to a third party I may choose to designate. I'll be skipping that one for now.
Next is a form to request my original birth certificate from the state. Been there, done that; so moving right along...
The final form is also optional. It's a registration form for the International Soundex Reunion Registry. Apparently, this is a not for profit reunion registry that has been around since 1975. I feel a little sad that I've never heard of such a well established registry before. I'll be looking into it, via the net, as soon as I finish up this entry.
I've been pleased with the ease in communication with the agency, thus far. They've been really prompt and helpful. I dropped a quick note back to the coordinator and included the following paragraph:
Oh, and I very much enjoyed reading the history of the agency on your website. It's nice to know that my infant self passed through an institution with such a long history of great service to the community. Thanks for helping children find forever families. I, for one, am very grateful for mine.
As I reread that last sentence, I suddenly realized it's really true. Yes, my family has their shortcomings. Yes, I've spent many years being very angry with various members and nursing deep emotional hurts. But over all, I had a pretty privileged upbringing and lots of happy memories. I think the good stuff really does outweigh the bad.
It's taken me 40 years, but I think I've finally reached a place where I can appreciate my parents (and just overlook their failures - past, present and future.) That is quite a personal revelation. Can it be? I'm just not angry any more. In the immortal words of Joey Lawrence...Whoa!
The next chapter in the story of my search...when/how do I tell my parents that I am searching. My mother has indicated, pretty much all my life, that if my brother and I showed interest in searching she would be deeply hurt. Her anger and attitude about this used to irritate me to no end. After all the reading I've been doing lately, I now know where she is coming from and I understand. Knowing, however, will not help me much. I'll have to tread lightly. More on that adventure in future posts.
Meanwhile, I have some forms to fill out and another trip to make to the Notary. Whee! The ride continues.