The Sum of All Parts: Finding Myself Through Search and Reunion

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I am Robert, but I once had another name. As an infant, I was held and loved by two women, one who would give me up and another who raised me and loved me more than life itself. I suppose I should consider myself blessed to have been loved by two mothers when most of us get only one, and some get none. My mother wanted her parents to adopt me and raise me in secret as her brother. When they refused, my adoption was arranged before I was born. When that day arrived, my mother refused to give me up and I was placed in foster care. Six months later, my closed adoption was completed by the Children’s Home Society of New Jersey and all my records sealed. My adoptive father was a physician and my adoptive mother a Holocaust survivor. I learned the value of healing from my father and unyielding strength from my mother. They loved me unconditionally.

Fifty-two years later, I searched for my birth mother. I found her grave in Bellaire, TX. She died at the young age of 43. The search gave me the story of my birth and adoption. Eighteen years later, through a DNA test, I found my birth father who had also passed away. This led me to discover a brother that I never knew; however, he died 14 months before I found him. His family tells me I could be his twin in resemblance, avocations, and character. Finding a grave at the end of a search is painful, but it inspired the discovery of my authentic self. At 67, I am the sum of them all and my own life experiences. The greatest gift they gave me was the meaning of my life. After receiving my master’s degree in psychology, I developed therapeutic interventions specifically designed for adoptees and developed a trauma-informed parenting method. I have found many birth parents for other adoptees and mediated their reunions. My destiny is to give what I can never receive, and that’s alright with me.

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