Sunday, 24 June 2012
Perhaps at the urging of my therapist, or perhaps not, I examine my motivations for initiating a search for my birth mother. I seem to recall her (the therapist) asking, "What do you hope to get out of this?"
There is the wholly rational and acceptable answer: I want information on my medical background. If I am honest, this was always just a a darn good excuse for seeking out birth relatives and a 'nice-to'have'. Knowing whether my biological female relations suffer(ed) from breast cancer is useful, and, who knows ... may someday save my life. For the moment, however, access to medical background hasn't been a burning need, and in fact had very little to do with the start of my search, which was much more emotionally driven.
Neither am I looking to replace or augment my current family. I am happy with my mom and dad and two brothers. Sometimes I am annoyed with them. I buy into the theory that increased family size is directly proportional to familial related annoyance. I don't need more annoyance or drama or Christmas presents (to buy or to receive). My current family serves its purpose exceptionally, and I am not compelled by any sort of need to grout up any cracks in my nuclear family's foundation.
I suppose I was partially motivated by a desire to sate my curiosity. What does my biological mum look like? Do I look like her? Have I got half sisters or brothers? Do I look like them? How will I age? Like access to medical history, a sated curiosity is also a nice to have. For as great as it would be to get answers to even just some of my questions, none of those questions unanswered would have caused me to lose sleep. They are more like the questions that are accompanied by an absent-minded stroking of your chin as you objectively mull over objective what-if type scenarios.
Hmm. What would happen if I stuck my finger in this socket and drank a glass of water at the same time?
The truth (as I know it, as I know myself) risks making me sound like a self-promoting do-gooder. More than any other impulse, I was driven to satisfy what I imagined to be my birthmother's curiosity, which (again I imagined) would be a curiosity of such an extreme that it would cease to be curiosity. It would be a constant and burning desire to know if she had done the right thing or not. It would be something that she would think about on her deathbed. It would be something that, not knowing whether to regret or not, she would regret her inability to find the answers.
BioMom (coined by my Spanish friends and pronounced 'bee-o mom') never saw me, held me, touched me (other than with her uterus and vaginal cavity). For five years she didn't even know if I was a boy or a girl (and only found out through the vagaries of coincidence -- Biomom's sister went to the same obgyn when she was pregnant, and the doctor inadvertently spilled the beans on my gender.)
My birthmother did an incredible thing for me 43 years ago when she let me go. I wanted to do something for her. I wanted her to know that I was more than just fine; and that she had done a good thing.