missing link

The day of my mother’s funeral just over three years ago was a day that changed my life. It was a day of saying good-bye, but ironically it was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. On that day, I recovered an important link to my past. For 41 years of my life, I had no idea that my original adoption contract lay buried in a box in my parent’s attic. After our mother’s funeral, I opened the box, as my sister had cleaned out the attic and brought down a bunch of boxes. I don’t know why she never gave me such an important link to my history. My guess is she feared I’d try to find my birthfamily or be curious about them. And I did just that. After finding my adoption contract, I set out on a journey to find any living members of my birthfamily in Taiwan.

My mom hid these documents carefully from the time she and my dad brought me home from an orphanage in Taiwan. It moved with us each time we moved due to my dad’s military career in the Air Force, unbeknownst to me. Sometimes I wonder if she ever wanted to give me my adoption contract and all the other things she saved. She never spoke of them. Around 1999, mom started to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a terrible, terrible disease. I’m sure that she didn’t even remember that the adoption papers existed upstairs in that dank, dusty old attic. I find it surreptitious that while she was living, she didn’t tell me about those papers. However, the day of her funeral when we went back to the house and I opened up that box, it was as though she were saying, “Here, I want you to have these things now. They belong to you. I want you to know about your past, about your birth family.” Really, I imagined her saying those very things to me and believe she willed me to find that box from somewhere beyond. 

When I thought that I’d lost my adoption contract last week, I was heartbroken. We moved at the beginning of the year, and in all the frenzy, I guess I lost track of that box. I had no idea it was missing. After waiting 41 years to find something so important, was I to lose it now? I looked through the boxes in our garage to no avail. I looked through the boxes in my husband’s closet, but didn’t find anything. Luckily, my husband went through the boxes in his office one more time, and sure enough, the box was there! I couldn’t believe that I’d overlooked it, but was ecstatic.

You see, two weeks ago, I received an email from an old contact, Tien, who has been helping me search for my birthfamily in Taiwan for almost a year now. Her message came out of the blue, as I’ve tried contacting her for several months with no response. I had almost given up on ever hearing from her again. I was surprised, yet so happy to hear from her. She told me that she hadn’t forgotten about me and that she’d found one of my biological sisters in Taiwan through the Registration Office in Taipei while on visit there. She also informed me that my birth parents had passed away long ago. The officials would not give Tien the name or address of the woman who could be my sister because Tien was not related. Tien therefore sent me a link to an agency in Taipei, Child and Juvenile Adoption Information Center, that provides reunion services for Taiwanese adoptees and their birthfamilies. I completed the reunion service request form and sent them a copy of my adoption contract, but apparently there was a page missing, the most important one. It became necessary for me to find the original contract because the missing document, the “household document” was most needed to begin the search. Thankfully, having found the original papers, I was able to scan and email what I believed to be the correct page. I’ve never been so grateful for advanced technology!

So now, it’s time once again to wait. Wait and see if the person Tien discovered is really one of my biological sisters. I wish that I could fly to Taiwan and do all of this in person. It would just be so much easier. If it is my biological sister, I hope she’ll want to meet me, too. In that case, I’ll be on a flight to Taiwan somehow, someway. I know that if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. I just have to wait, the hardest part of all.

11 thoughts on “missing link

  1. Wendy

    Reading this reminded me of our GIM level one training and your amazing experience with one of your sessions. It’s so cool to read this now and see how far this has come from that time. Have a great trip!

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Wendy, I think about that day often now, especially in light of all that I’ve learned about my birth family! Hope we can get together when I return! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Pingback: A Taiwanese American Adoptee’s Journey and Search for Identity

  3. Angela

    – Your blog is so thoughtful, articulate, well-written, and touching. I have truly enjoyed learning about your life and journey. I found you through an online search. I am writing because my husband went through the same adoption process/agency in Taiwan, through the same contact, around the same time. He was adopted into a wonderful family, but has very little knowledge of his birth situation. I have shared this blog with him. I was wondering if it would be possible to put you in touch by email or whether you could email me offline? I want to be respectful. Thank you and best of luck to you. I hope that someday you consider writing a book about your experiences. All my best.

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Dear Angela,
      Thank you so much for your comments and encouragement! I would be more than happy to get in touch and would really like to share stories. It’s wonderful to connect with others who have or are going through similar experiences. I’m so happy that you stopped by!

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  4. Bethany

    I’ve just found your blog. How exciting that you have a lead in your search for your Taiwanese family! I’m a subscriber now and look forward to digging into the content already here and reading about how your journey unfolds. My daughter was adopted from Taiwan and we are planning a return trip next year. Would you mind sharing the contact info of the agency that facilitates reunions? I would so very much appreciate it!

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Hi Bethany,

      Thanks so much for your comments and visiting my blog! I hope to travel to Taiwan in the future, especially if I’m able to connect with my biological sister. We’ll see!

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  5. Beth

    You write so well! I could see you frantically hunting for your very precious box! I’m sorry to hear that your birth parents are no longer living and you will not be able to meet them. But I loved your dream and your interpretation of it. I pray that you get good news that the person Tien discovered IS your sister and is as anxious to meet you as you are to meet her! We all wait with you, you are not waiting alone!

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