finding birth family

This is a much-debated topic in our home. When we received Micah's referral, we were fortunate to receive a good amount of biographical info. When we were in Ethiopia we did not meet Micah's birth family -- however, we did have a surprise opportunity to do so the day we departed for the US...but long-story-short, a meeting did not take place.

Since then, I have thought often about Micah's birth family. But, my thoughts are often more burdened by the questions Micah may have one day about his adoption. It's a little easier for Vince to be naive about future conversations that Micah might need to have, but, not so easy for me. My mom and dad (birth) divorced when I was very young. I stayed in contact with him until I was about 12, but we fell-off each other's map (so to speak) soon after. And, to make another long-story-short, I had questions. But, there wasn't really anyone to help me process or answer those questions.

My heart aches to think Micah may face a similar journey.

But, then again, he might not. Vince and I know several adoptees who sincerely could care less about their birth family.

Regardless, I feel a deep conviction to at be able (if need presents itself) to walk that journey with Micah. And to be able to provide as much grace and information as possible.

So, that conviction takes me back to the topic of finding birth family. I recently stumbled across an Ethiopian company that will do a birth family update, via photos & video, for adoptive families. I think we may have enough info to find someone from Micah's Ethiopian family, but I'm not sure. But I feel like the clock is ticking. By the time Micah is old enough to do his own research, his birth family could very well be dead or missing.

Vince is becoming a little more open to doing some research now, but he's very adamant that we do it ethically - not violating any inter-country adoption laws.

So, I'd be very interested to know if families have located birth-family once returning to the states. How did you find them? Who did you use? How much did it cost? Do you have any regrets?


Cameron and Megan said...

We have thought about it (we met Sam's birthmother, but thought about looking for a extended family, and find a way to have better communication)...but haven't yet. What company were you thinking of using?
There is a yahoo group that focuses on finding Ethiopian birthfamilies, someone on there might be able to answer you questions.

Zack, Rebecca and Caleb Caldwell said...

Hi Alisa,
We had no history to go on with Caleb, so that really wasn't an option for us. But, I will tell you as an adopted child, I really had no interest or "need" to meet my birthparents. I was curious, however, and when I was about 21, I decided I would like to try and meet my birthmom, but it was purely out of wondering what she might look like, be like, etc. The meeting went fine, but I think very emotional for her, but of course, not for me, because I really had no emotional connection to her. I say all that to say that I know that you guys will provide all of Micah's needs, and if anything, I think curiousity (not sure if I spelled that right :) may be the biggest factor. Just one persons opinion :)

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