I am thankful for my husband in many ways. But, I am specifically thankful for how respectful he has been of my obsessive quest to find my roots.

I am so thankful that my husband can understand my profoundly concentrated desire to find my family as a rite of passage.

My search for my birth family has been at the forefront of our marriage since we began dating. There was never a time that finding my birth family didn’t matter to me. There has never been a time where I’ve put my desire to find my genes on the back burner. Not a week has gone by where at least one of our deep conversations hasn’t somehow revolved around my birth family. Some may see this as an obsession…Bryan didn’t.

I think back to the days in college, when Bryan came over to my dorm, where we scattered tons of paper throughout the floor, and proceeded to call random people in Tennessee, mostly getting hung up on, or wrong numbers  (It’s amazing to think of how far we’ve come since then!). I remember when I paid money to the State of Tennessee, in order to receive my original birth certificate. Bryan was right beside me with anticipation, checking my mailbox every day, with the hopes that this document would be the key to my identity. I couldn’t wait to find out what my birth mother and birth father’s last names were, that way I’d be able to search for them! When the letter finally came with the State of Tennessee logo embossed in the corner, Bryan was there. I ripped open the letter, only to find that my official birth certificate lists, my [adoptive] parent’s names as my birth mother and birth father. This was a let down, and tears flowed freely, and Bryan’s shoulder was there for me to cry on.

I imagine that it’s hard for some people to imagine why I would spend so much time on this “project.” No one seemed to understand what I felt when people would exclaim, “you look just like your mom!” or “You totally have your dad’s eyes, but your moms nose…” etc., etc. I couldn’t have felt more isolated and alone during those conversations with my peers. I have always wondered what it felt like to have your family history always at your disposal, or to know your genes and be able to trace back your ancestry.  School assignments often added to the pressure, I was repeatedly required to complete a family tree in class, I would routinely use my [adoptive] family, but problems arose when I was asked to trace physical characteristics. Even though Bryan was not adopted he has an unbelievable ability to not only understand what I must be feeling, but he doesn’t stop there…he cherishes my desire to find my roots, and has always valued my curiosity.  Bryan has never viewed my intense longing and desire to find my roots as an obsession, but rather a very important step towards confidence in adulthood.


My shirt reads: "I look like my Mommy (crossed out), Daddy (crossed out), ME!"

I am also extremely thankful for my family. My mom has been right by my side the entire time I’ve been searching as well. I am so thankful that she does not feel any hints of jealousy towards my journey towards meeting my birth family. She knows that she is and will always be my mom. Even though my mom and I do not look like each other, I definitely “take after” my mom in many ways. It feels wonderful to be able to confidently acknowledge that genes aren’t the only factor in determining identity.

My mom and I



5 thoughts on “Obsessed?

  1. I’m a prospective adoptive parent and I am reading your blog in detail and can’t help and get a strange feeling in my stomach as I keep reading through the lines. What are you expecting to obtain from finding your birth parents? This is a subject I have been thinking a lot of as my husband and I are going through this process. I do not know how to better handle it, but we will try our best.


  2. Thanks for sharing, Angela. God formed you and has been with you every step of the way. Surely He brought Bryan along side of you, for two are stronger than one. I rejoice with you for what God has done in your life.


  3. Paty ~ Thank you so much for reading my blog, and for your comment. One of the most exciting things I am excited about in finding my birth parents is simply to look at them. I met my birth father last summer, and didn’t have a lot of words to say (and neither did he, because he never knew I existed), but we both just stared at each other for a long time. I think we all have an innate desire to know our genes. My {adoptive} family is the best in the World. I love my parents to death. They adopted 6 children – all of different races/special needs/abilities etc…and we all feel and know that we are family. Nothing will ever change that. My mom is the woman who raise me, not the woman who birthed me. However, there has been a nagging curiosity for me since I can’t even remember when, to simply look at my birth mother. I really want to say “Hi,” and say “Thank you.”

    I am excited for you and your husband in your adoption journey, and I will be following your blog. I don’t want you to take my blog in isolation though, as just looking in my family, for example, my brother – who is adopted, has ZERO interest in knowing who his birth family is. He is black, and my parents are white, yet he simply feels that he knows who his parents are, and is completely content with that.

    Please email me/write me back if you want to talk more. I love talking about this subject and the interesting dynamics of being adopted.

    Thanks Paty.


  4. I loved your response, as my husband and I are going through this process we have a lot of questions and I will like to keep the adoption as open as possible, but I don’t know what will happen.


  5. I am Angela’s birth aunt, there are plenty of things she needs to know about her biological family, its things in her genes that she should be aware of. surely, we as her bio, family don’t have a place in her life unless she chooses. Not trying to force anything on Angela, who by the way felt the void I would assume any person that has been adopted would. Thank God she is a very smart young lady, and that God again for her quest to find he bio., family, this is unique in its on way, a lot more than a blog will explaine, she not only has birth parents, but a whole birth family, both paternal and maternal, so she has been deprived of knowin her heritage, hopefully this will help her move on and know some of the family histor, at least for health reasons. Ms. Belind J Johnson (maternal aunt)


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