My Birth Son Probably Doesn't Know He's Adopted

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I'd also want him to know I was never ashamed of being pregnant with him, never tried to hide my pregnancy from anyone, never hid the fact that I gave him to a family who could do right by him when his birth father and I couldn't. I fervently believed he deserved only the best. And it sounds like, through his loving adoptive father and extended adoptive family (and doting adoptive mother, though she died so young), that's what he got.

He already has a full life, and all the family a person could ever want, but if he ever wants to get to know me, know his half-siblings, I want him to know that we're here. We're a lot of fun. We're glorious dorks. We don't share his adoptive family's racial or cultural background, but we do get what it's like to be from his quirky region of the state, because I was raised there, too. We've got a lot of culture of our own to share, and would love to learn about his. And if he wanted to find his birth father, I'd help him.

But I have to consider another possibility: He may very well know he's adopted, and his identity essay may be his way of reaffirming his unbreakable connection to his adoptive family. If this is the case, that's actually a good thing. It's healthy for him to be aware of his complicated biological background regardless of how he feels about reconnecting with his birth parents. And if he's not interested in connecting now, his attitude might change -- I've heard from many adoptees who initially had no desire to contact their birth parents, but who changed their minds as they got older.

For now, I am taking solace in musician Suzanne Vega's story: She had a late discovery that her racial identity was not what she had always believed it was, tracked down her birth father, and in doing so made her own happy ending. This is how she felt when she finally met her birth father when she was 28 years old:

"I looked at his eyes and hands, and recognized my own. There was this spiritual connection, too. It was as if I suddenly understood myself better."

Hey, it could happen to my birth son and me, too. In my innermost heart of hearts, I have to believe it could happen.


Shannon Des Roches Rosa writes at,, and


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