Reconnecting with my birth family has been one of the most amazing, incredible experiences of my entire life. With it, I definitely had to take a step back and look at my own life. Who was I? Why am I the person that I am today? Am I this way because I was raised this way? If I was raised by a different family, would I still be the same person I turned out to be? Would I believe the same things? Would I have the same job? Would I marry the same person? Would I have the same type of friends, like the same music, wear the same clothes? In general, I had to ask myself, “Was I the person I was meant to be?” and “Am I happy with who I am?” Tough questions if you really think about them and really examine your own life.
In reconnecting with an entire set of family, I had to figure out how I fit in, and how I still kept my individuality. I saw so many similarities, and yet I wasn’t an exact replica of any one person or group of people–even within my bio family. In the months that followed my birth family reunion, my head was spinning with all of these questions. I felt like I was a teenager trying to figure out who I was all over again.
I really took a magnifying glass and examined every area of my life. Through a lot of soul-searching and a lot of time exploring things, I did realize a couple of things. Some things I already knew. Other things I knew but forgot. Others were new entirely. Regardless, I’ve listed a few things that I have discovered about myself at this time in my life. And I am choosing to embrace them all, regardless of who is surrounding me or what others may think of me. This soul searching wasn’t easy, but I know it helped me create more of the life I was meant to live at this moment in time. It jump-started a re-design of my life to help me live life more “on-purpose” rather than to just allow life to happen to me. I do feel like I know so much more about myself and about what I like/dislike– which has been invaluable.
This is Me:
1. I like Pop music.
2. I like to dance.
3. I like red nail polish and red lipstick.
4. I love Marisa Web’s redesign for Banana Republic. Stylish sophisticated with a touch of edge.
5. I like being creative. I like creating things and expressing myself. I like admiring other creative people’s work.
6. I like being innovative– at my job and in my personal life. I like trying new things and being the first one to do something.
7. I love that in my job as a speech pathologist, I get to give people back their lives through two things that are unique to the human experience: eating and speaking.
8. I like having my photo taken (when it looks nice!)
9. I like being autonomous.
10. I am a little bit of a feminist.
11. I like being surrounded by people.
12. I like city life.
13. I love my husband, and still think he is the most wonderful person I know.
14. I am who I am, and that’s okay.
15. I LOVE Guardians of the Galaxy. (It is my new favorite movie!)
16. I am a Baltimore native. I forgot how much this city contributed to my childhood.
17. I know how to make sauerkraut and kielbasa, probably better than any other Korean girl I know.
18. I like dance music, yoga, and aerial dancing
19. I love to travel.
20. I love to try new restaurants with friends.
21. I like to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. (And usually that’s as soon as possible!)
22. I don’t like to be owned, controlled, or manipulated.
And I am still learning…
I think this is great. For myself, as a child I wondered if I was more like my birth parents because I didn’t feel as though I was like my adopted parents. So you spend time and energy thinking of things, because you have no facts. Now that I have found my bio mom – and I’m not really like her either it leaves you with a bit of who am I? I appreciate this post and have thought the past few days after reading it – I need to think more about this. I am who I am.
Tonya, thanks so much for sharing your experiences and for reading about mine :) Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been working through some tough emotions these past few months, so I’ve been a little MIA. I’m so glad to connect with you! I’ve connected with other adoptees on facebook, and a few of them shared that it took them years to process all of the information and emotions associated with meeting their bio families. That knowledge was extremely validating for me, and I hope it is for you too. I never imagined the whirlwind of emotions that I would experience in reuniting with my birth family, but it definitely was a whirlwind! I definitely had a bit of an identity crisis directly following our reunion. But, after time and a lot of personal work, I feel like I’m finally starting to make sense of things more and more. One thing is for sure that I am who I am. And I think the lifelong quest that all of us are on is figuring out who exactly that is :)
I wish you all the best in your journey.