|Arriving in Canada on February 23rd, 1987|
After much thought and a few unexpected events, I have decided to search. Searching has always seemed next to impossible to me, given the lack of information I have about my birth family.
I was born in late 1985 in the northern part of Ethiopia, an area heavily affected by famine and civil war. I don’t have a birth record and what I know about my birth family is only through word of mouth. In fact, my official documents were produced a few months after my birth with the sole purpose of legalizing my adoption. I understand that it might not have been possible to fully document all relevant information about my birth and birth family given the chaotic circumstances and lack of resources, but I have many questions as to why so much information was unavailable.
Growing up without such information has been “normal” but at the same time, very disconcerting. As I’ve written in Gazillion Voices, I think the lack of information I have about my background contributed to me ignoring my adoption for most of my life. I rarely thought about my birth family, perhaps because I had what I needed—a happy childhood, a loving family and friends. I only realized that I had identity issues when
I was in my late teens. Deep down, I knew that the only way to have some peace of mind would be to search for my birth family, but I wondered how I could embark on a search without proper documentation.