09 May 2012

On Being Adopted...

A lot of you who know me will know that I am adopted. Maybe there's a lot of you who don't? It's such a normal-to-me part of my life that I forget who I've told and who doesn't know.

I'm currently in the process of finding my birth mother, with the intention of making contact and, Lord willing, maybe even meeting her one day. This is a time fraught with emotions I am struggling to make sense of, and yet I want to document the process. I hope you will bear with me as I take a machete to my intellectual thicket (thank you Captain Jack Sparrow for that particular turn of phrase!) while also attempting to respect my birth mother and her family by not sharing too much.

Mum feeding me while I was still at the hospital, before her and Dad took me home.

I was adopted at birth, and my Mum, Dad and big sister Sarah took me home from the hospital. Growing up, Mum and Dad always made sure we knew that we grew inside someone else's tummy so the fact that I'm adopted is very normal to me. I don't have one of those stories to tell about how things always seemed strange until one day someone tells you you're adopted. Nope, boring story here. I haven't asked how Mum and Dad first told us (I must do that...). Having small children of my own now, I wonder when I would say something and what I would say?

First cuddles with my new big sister.

I never felt a sense of abandonment or rejection because for as long as I can remember I knew that my birth mother decided to place me up for adoption because she wanted better for me. She was young - still finishing high school - and knew that she couldn't give me all that I deserved. I have a letter that she wrote to Mum and Dad in the time between when she selected them as my adoptive parents and when I was born. It is a letter I will always keep very private, but I will tell you that it is beautiful and filled with love. A small snippet I will share is this, "I want the best for my daughter... It is because of my love towards her that I have done this..." You can understand why I never felt anything negative towards her.

8 years old.

My adoption was/is a closed adoption, which is why there has never been any contact between my birth mother and me. Once I turned 20, I was allowed by law to receive all the information CYFS had on my adoption file. In March this year, I applied to receive my original birth certificate - with my birth mother's name and her own date of birth on it - and began the process of tracking her down.

* * *

I plan to make my next post about the process of finding my birth mother and her family and how strange it feels. And also about how family-reaffirming this process has been. To any of my family reading this - Weeda's, Jones's and assorted related others - know that no matter what I find, you are the family of my heart. You have loved me and raised me and grown up with me - and that is family. No matter what I find, I will remain within your ranks. Thank you for always loving me the same as if we did share genetics.

Until next time,


Next post in this series:
On Searching and Finding My Birthmother...


  1. Beautiful words, Jess. Made me cry. It is clear how much you love your family, and the amount of care you are taking with your search. Best of luck. xox

  2. Praying God will bless your search Jess, and the outcome. Love you!! xox

  3. What an amazing journey you are embarking on Jess... I hope it only brings you more love xxx

  4. Love that you are sharing this journey xxx

  5. What a brave journey to go on, you seem very screwed on and wise, I'm sure that no matter the outcome you will do well.

    Thank you for sharing this with us :)

    All the best xxx

  6. Can't wait to follow the rest of the journey with you.
    How special that you got to have a letter from your birth mum!


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