Finding the Words

For a majority of my life I’ve been one who has relied heavily on my emotions to guide me.  They have informed my decisions in life and the friends I make.  This whole birth mother thing has just created a deluge of emotions for me.  The ups and downs take me back to when I first started thinking and talking about my identity as an adoptee and as an Asian American.  It was a time of uncertainty for me, and so too is this trip to Korea.  I’ve always been able to find the words to describe how I feel.  But this time has been different for me.  I don’t really feel like I know how I’m feeling about all of this.

People congratulate me when they hear I’m meeting my mom.  But of course, congratulations doesn’t necessarily cover the complex emotions that I’m feeling.  There’s comfort in knowing that I’ll meet her soon, but there is discomfort in knowing that I may never know my birthmother the way I want to know her.

I can’t really find the words anymore.  Maybe it’s because there are too many words that describe how I’m feeling.  Too many mixed emotions that don’t make much sense when i say them aloud.   Or maybe I’m just tired of talking about it all.

At first, all I wanted to do was lay them out on the table and be as prepared as I could be.  But I now know that nothing REALLY prepares you for a moment like this.  And perhaps that’s why I’m feeling so detached or removed from this whole experience.  I have no control over what will happen when I walk in that room.  Is that a bad thing?  Not necessarily, but it’s still hard to accept.  I made the decision on my own to find her, but now it’s no longer really in my hands to decide how things will unfold.

Am I really ready to hear all of this?  Can I handle it, lumps and all?  I can, but it’s going to be hard.  I’m thankful to know that I’m not alone in this.  I’ve heard from countless adoptees about their experiences meeting their parents, each unique in their own way.  I know mine will be just as unique, and that’s maybe why I’m so nervous-because despite my attempts to prepare by hearing so many different stories, in the end I still don’t necessarily know what to expect.

Thanks for all your support through all of this, and your sensitivity.  -GS

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2 Comments on “Finding the Words

  1. I know what you mean when you say you’re driven by emotion. I feel like that about much of my life – all my decisions have been made based on how I feel about things.

    Since I’m not even really close to even beginning a search for my birth mother, I can only wish you luck and say that I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I truly hope everything goes well for you.

  2. Well-said…i’ve done much of the same–trying to garner different insight and counsel from the experiences of other adoptees who are “in reunion.” But as you wrote,

    “I’ve heard from countless adoptees about their experiences meeting their parents, each unique in their own way. I know mine will be just as unique, and that’s maybe why I’m so nervous-because despite my attempts to prepare by hearing so many different stories, in the end I still don’t necessarily know what to expect.”

    I keep trying to prepare for a thousand possible scenarios, but I realize that you can’t ever truly “be ready” for something this momentous…

    Wishing you all the best!

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