This photo showed up today on facebook… and I shared it on my wall, like 29,368 other people did. Being an adoptive mama, I have mixed feelings about this on several levels.
For this beautiful 22-year-old woman I pray that she gets a glimpse of her birth-parents for no other reason than looking in the face of someone she is related to by blood. That connection cannot be replaced, other than by having her own children. It would also be a treasure for her to learn of family history, possible siblings and birth grandparents, aunts and uncles. In a peaches-and-cream-everything-always-turns-up-roses life this could be the start of a beautiful family expanding experience. But I don’t know one single family where life has turned up roses and there aren’t real life sad situations to deal with.
However, there are the birthparents and their current lives to consider. What if they never told ANYONE about the daughter they had when they were in the middle of high school? What if the birth-father doesn’t even know!? There are many reasons for choosing an adoptive plan for a child and many more reasons for requesting it be a closed adoption. I understand closure is desired by some who are adopted, but through this possible re-connecting are two separate lives who have moved on from the 22-year-old monumental decision they made to give life, love her to pieces, and make a better plan for her life than they could provide. If found, they have the choice to embrace their long-lost daughter, or protect those around them and hurt their “secret” daughter again.
Because of our Colombian princess’s situation in her homeland, we do have quite a bit of information about her birth-parents. Most likely, we could find them with a bit of sleuthing, thanks to the healthcare system in Colombia. However, Colombian law holds all adoption records as confidential for 30 years. THIRTY YEARS! Good grief! So it is unlikely that our girl will have anyone looking for her. It will be up to us. Colombian law states that “every adopted person has the right to know about his/her origin and the character of its family links. The parents (of an adopted minor) will decide on the moment and conditions in which it will not cause the minor harm to know such information.” THAT is the conundrum. No matter the circumstances of an adoption plan being made, there is the possibility of a real sense of abandonment for the child, and when has abandonment ever not caused harm?
I still believe in, support and love adoption with my whole being. Yet someday we will face the heartfelt question, “Can we try to find my birth-parents?” One day at a time. One day at a time.