It has been 6 months since I started the search process and in those 6 months, more questions have arisen, and nothing has been answered. These developments (or lack thereof) are not surprising to me, however, the emotional toll has taken me by surprise. It probably shouldn’t have given how invested I am with this search, but I am used to having a higher level of detachment to protect myself from feeling anything.
During my previous search, it was much easier for me to keep my emotions and expectations at bay. There was a span of a year where there was no communication with how the search was going, and I think that it allowed for a more detached experience. While I wouldn’t say things this time around have been expedient, there has also been direct contact with individuals on a weekly basis. Having a 14 hour time difference with Seoul, has meant me waking during the middle of the night, sometimes answering emails, and often hoping an email has been sent to me. Being detached this time hasn’t been an option.
Being type A has served me well for most things. As it relates to the search, it has meant acknowledging that this is something that I cannot control. That in and of itself has been incredibly difficult. Combined with my cynical nature, I can admit that the stress of searching is one that has weighed heavily. Day in and day out, at work, at home, it is always in the back of my mind. Wanting answers, wanting them now, and knowing I have no control over any of it has been frustrating. Just when it feels like there could be some information that helps, it turns into a dead end. The pendulum swings both ways and it doesn’t matter which way it swings, it still ends up hitting me in the end.
An Uncomfortable Truth
I was asked to write a letter to my
I know how pessimistic that sounds, however, it is also very realistic. It makes people incredibly uncomfortable when I speak about the search in those terms, with many only wanting me to “stay positive” or “think positively because anything is possible.” The reality of no reunion is one no one wants to acknowledge. It’s too harsh, too negative, too real for many non-adoptees. Everyone loves a good reunion story, but they don’t want to hear about the difficulties after. They certainly don’t want to hear about searches that don’t even end in a reunion. Yet, for many, this is a reality. I can’t just stick my head in the sand and pretend this isn’t a real possibility for me, nor can I put on a happy face and pretend like a positive frame of mind is the only thing standing in my way.
As cynical as I may be, there’s a reason for it. All of the hope and love in the world cannot shield me from the painful outcomes of this search. That is a truth that cannot be denied. A truth that is a part of my reality.