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So do I go searching for my GM or leave her alone? I'm pretty sure I can go to my grave not knowing, but I can't shake the feeling that she might want to know. Perhaps that is merely ego on my part; I have enough of that. I try to put myself in her place, knowing the little that I do know, and I can't decide if I'd want to know or not. I could see it going both ways.

Here's my perspective from both sides of the issue:

The Findee

About six years ago, I was contacted by a woman who told me that she was looking for me on behalf of my birthmother. I called my birthmother later that day and flew out to meet her a month or so later.

It was difficult in a lot of ways. I had a highly acrimonious relationship with my adopted mother. There was also the added complication of having to explain that I was an abused child. In addition, my birthmother and I have fairly incompatible personalities. We see things very differently in life, and this is acerbated by her insistence that there is her way and "the wrong way" of seeing and doing things coupled with her being one of the most self-unaware people I have ever met.

In general, I am not quick to form relationships, and I resented the pressure to form one. This wasn't based on any kind of overt pressure from my birthmother, but I knew she had expended money and effort to find me, so I did feel it. My birthmother still hopes and hints that we will spend a week or two or twelve together somewhere, but I have homicidal thoughts after an hour in her company. She is not a bad person, just someone who winds me up and drains me of energy in short order.

The good side is I got a very interesting insight to what is genetic and what is environmental in my life, which isn't always what would seem obvious. I got to meet my extended family, all of whom have treated me well. I found out I was named after a Beatles' song and a best friend, and that I'm not the only person in the world who sings or hums constantly.

I found out that the genetic info I had been given was highly edited by my adopted parents. (The same appears to be true for my adopted brother.) They told me the ones that I suspect correlated closely enough with their nationalities (German, French, English), but left off Scottish, Irish, Canadian, and American Indian.

I think it is worth it overall, but I don't know that she would agree. I'm pretty sure I am not what she was hoping to find, and I know she is jealous of my relationship with my birthfather. From my point of view, I still can't seem to make it all gel in my head, despite six years of trying to see how it should fit.

The Finder

I decided to look for my birthfather because it felt weird to know one birthparent and not the other. The search was complicated by the fact that all I knew about him was his full name and country of origin. (They met while they were both traveling.) After about a year, I finally found someone in the UK to do the search, and she found him right before he was about to leave the country for a while. (I showed up in his life at the point where lots of things were falling apart.)

I told her to tell him that I wasn't interested in disturbing his life and that I didn't want to make a scene if he had a family, but that I would like to talk with him and maybe meet him. We had a very difficult time communicating right away due to a glitchy email system and his odd writing style. He came to visit about six months later and now visits for a couple of weeks a year. I went to the UK to see him about four years ago and will be going back this autumn.

I think he is happy to have been found, since he spends much of his savings coming to see me. He loves kids, and I think regrets not being around me when I was growing up. I value his opinions on things, and he makes me laugh. It's been very interesting for me (having lost my adopted father at eight) to think of someone as a parental figure in my life.

I'm less interested in finding out about my genetic father, because I suspect he was basically a sperm donor -- the evidence shows that my GM was young and unmarried when I was born -- but even there, knowledge of a genetic history would be useful to me.

I wouldn't make this assumption. You may be right, but just because they weren't married doesn't mean he ran off or didn't give a damn. Even if he didn't care then, he might be interested now.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me why I was bothering to look for my birthfather when I already knew my birthmother, I'd be rich. I'm also mad that the UK won't grant me dual-citizenship (thus allowing me to work in Europe) because he's my father and not my mother.

Conclusion (finally!)

I don't know if telling you my story helps you make up your mind or not. My adopted brother is considering doing what you are doing, and he goes back and forth changing his mind. I guess what all this distills down to for me is that this isn't really something to be done on a whim. It's a little bit like having a kid. You don't have the financial obligations, but you will be rolling the dice without any control over the outcome.

Your GM may be a really nice person who is delighted to see you and with whom you form a terrific friendship. She may be embarrassed that you are reminder of a past indiscretion or blame you for ruining her life. She may be well off and give you a million dollars. She could have been a victim of rape. She may be the mother of your half-siblings. She may be dead. There is no way to know, and you need to be sure you can handle any outcome.

How much of your interest is related to you missing your mother and your father's Alzheimer's? (I don't know that it's good or bad thing either way - just food for thought.) How will your father feel if you find your GM?

If I had the ability to back up in time and change my being found, I think I'd let things happen as they have. I do think my life would have been different, and if you do find your GM, it will have an influence on your life.

I know you know all about meditation and logic and all kinds of ways to make a good decision, so I won't bore you with advice on that. Although, if you are still reading this far, you probably aren't capable of boredom. :-)

If you need help finding a person to look, I have info on the woman who found me, and she can probably recommend someone in your area. Since you have your GM's name, you may be able to do most of the work yourself.

Good luck with whatever you decide,

who didn't realize that she was capable of writing "War and Peace" on a message board.
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