Finding Mom Y for KC was eye opening. I didn't realize how many adoptive families (not to mention the non adoptive friends and my extended family) would feel threatened by the search for a first mother. I am amazed. I am also glad that my child decided to do this now because I was the one who got the wonky questions, not him. I do understand that all the people who asked the questions and made comments like "but he needs to understand she decided not to raise him" love him. I get that they feel threatened by this search. I wish they could understand that love is not parcelled out from a small finite dish. Giving love to Mom Y does not mean less love to give to them, if you can follow my babbling here.
I picture a child at an older age, doing a search on their own, and hearing those comments. And feeling even more lost and confused. Not good. So for the record, I think all adoptive famiilies should go into this family structure with a plan for finding first family members. A real plan. And I didn't have one. All I had was my pack rat and scrapbooking tendencies that had made me keep every scrap of paper for everything related to my kids homecoming. Be honest with yourself and your own family. Accept the fact that your child may want to search. Embrace the fact that this will be a likely outcome and resolve to help him. I think saying "if they should decide to search as an adult, I will not mind" is a huge cop out. And I feel that I can make that judgement because those very words came out of my own mouth at at least one of our home study meetings.
The sad thing is that those words satisfy most social workers. That isn't enough, folks. Not nearly. Because if we distance ourselves from the process-- If we say we must "wait' till adulthood or some other arbitrary age, we make our children feel that this very natural desire is wrong and counter to what they should really feel. I look at it that those actions are requiring them to emotionally choose who to bond with and love, and that is wrong.
Adoption agencies need to re-think their stance too. There must be a way that they can be more supportive of adoptive children in the search. I guess it is unreasonable to accept actual help from them but in an ideal world there would be an arm of the agency that did just that. At the very least, they could have an informational brochure on how to start a search and agencies such as the one I wound up using, that can facilitate a search for a fee.
I have to say that our home study agency (which is not the agency we adopted through as it was an out of state adoption for KC and Lissa both) was very supportive. They gave me a few ideas early on when I wrote to them asking for help (and I'll be honest, for validation that I was doing the right thing). They also volunteered to facilitate the contact somehow if I was not comfortable doing this myself. I am not quite sure what that would have looked like, but didn't need it. I did appreciate the offer, though. I wrote to both agencies right after we heard from Mom Y. I immediately heard back from the wonderful home study agency. They were supportive, and they reminded me that I should ask her for a picture as well. In the flurry of excitement, I had forgotten that and I am glad for the reminder! Somewhat tellingly, I have heard nothing from the adoption agency itself.