Having already said that my only regret in all this was not being sufficiently prepared for rejection, I have a real desire to ensure that other people start their search with the benefit of my experience. This came true sooner than I had expected. I noticed a brief message on the family history site recently which had been posted by an adopted man asking for advice on how to trace his birth family. For some reason, I just felt that contacting him was the right thing to do and we struck up an immediate friendship. I sent him an excerpt from this story and was very touched by his reply. Derek said that he had been incredibly moved by what I had written, because right up until now – at 40 years of age – he thought nobody else had the same thoughts, feelings and behaviours as him. As he read my story, he felt that I could actually have been writing about him. He was so relieved to discover that he was a ‘typical’ adoptee with a ‘typical’ adoptee attitude, and this reiterates my earlier statement that only an adoptee truly knows how another adoptee thinks and feels.
Derek was, like me, fortunate in having a supportive family and I was happy to be his ‘search mate’ for want of a better term! I did the actual research and then discussed my findings with him on each step of the way. Sadly, I discovered that his birth mother had already passed away – another scenario for which adoptees are never fully prepared – but through a developing relationship with other members of his birth family, he is now able to learn about his birth mother from them.