"What if she doesn’t want to meet you?" "You may ruin her life." "What if her family doesn’t know?" "Not everyone wants to be found." These tapes played in my over and over again throughout my adult life when i considered searching for my First Mom. Most of these warnings came from my adoptive mom, as a warning from a birthmother she supposedly knew and who supposedly didn’t want to be found. A large part of me was strong enough not to believe her. Not want to be found? Not want to know that I am all right? That just seemed like "crazy talk." Shaking my head in disbelief, I carried on, dipping a big toe into search every ten years or so.
At age twenty, I had no idea how to conduct a search for my mother, as I had very little information to go on. At age thirty, while living in Oregon, I called Catholic Charities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania only to be told that I had to complete a massive laundry list of tasks, which included a meeting with the bleeping Bishop and hiring an attorney to petition the court. Well, meeting with the Bishop- pre Skype- seemed impossible as I lived across the country. Hiring an attorney was out since I lived on a meager teacher’s salary. I put search aside and carried on living.
Another decade and two children later, I moved to the east coast, had some spare time, and for once some spare pocket change. I knew attorneys who could help if needed and had the support of my sweet husband to embark on my search again. I was ready for whatever hoops Catholic Charities required me to jump through this go round. Surprisingly, in 2013 there were no hoops. Seriously. I was told that they only needed a copy of my driver’s license, a written request, and one hundred dollars to get started! No meeting the Bishop? No psyche evaluation? No attorney? Hey Ho, let’s go!