I was born in Brazil. As an infant, I was moved from the city of my birth to a children’s home where I was adopted. The beginning of my life was abrupt and unknown and although I was only a few weeks old when I was adopted, I believe it has affected and influenced me in many ways.
Six years ago, my adoptive mother and I visited Brazil to meet friends and reunite with my birth family. We were so very fortunate to have these opportunities and treasure them forever. The reunion was the best day of my life. A few months ago, I decided to work on writing my adoption story. I would include all of the events that happened around the reunion. Then one night, as I browsed the Internet, a life-changing event occurred that altered my story and many of my feelings as an adoptee.
As I began writing a new section of my story, I had a strong and persistent feeling that I should Google my birth father’s name to see if I could find any new or updated information about him. As a public official, it is very likely that his name would appear in an Internet search. Shockingly, only a minute or two into searching for him, I found out that he had died almost a month prior. He was an old man, and I knew he couldn’t live forever, but the onslaught of emotions I felt was overwhelming. My initial feelings were those of vulnerability. This could really happen to ME. I was not safe from experiencing this kind of loss, even on another continent, far away from it all. I felt like a spotlight was shining down on me, asking, “How does this make you feel?” After that, my feelings turned to sadness, confusion, wishing I had known sooner, excitement over opportunities to find new information, and the desire to turn this event into a positive situation. I had no idea how to deal initially because I had never been through this experience and I had no clue how to even begin to approach it. I started with simply telling some people in my life. First, my mom, next, the people who helped me find my birth parents.