“Destiny is not always preordained. Life is about making choices. Our lives are the sum of all the choices we make, the bridges we cross, and the ones we burn. Our souls cast long shadows over many people, even after we are gone. Fate, luck, and providence are the consequence of our freedom of choice, not the determinants. When justice is served by following our principles, making good decisions brings us inner peace.” —Judith Land
After many years of searching for my ancestral roots I learned that destiny is not always preordained—life is about making choices; an adventure of our own making; the product of our own choosing. When I began searching for my birth mother, I had no idea the journey would evolve into such a grand and glorious voyage of the heart and mind and soul affecting the lives of so many individuals. Ancestral recovery was a peak emotional experience, an extraordinary adventure that took my breath away, liberated my spirit, and gave me the confidence to soar like an eagle. At this point in my life I have much to be thankful for and many reasons to celebrate. Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Adoption is a familiar theme among all people that encourages group reminiscing about romantic fairy tales, fables, mysteries, historic legends, shaggy-dog stories, and tragic folk tales. The worldwide popularity of stories such as Little Orphan Annie, Anne of Green Gables, Oliver Twist and Heidi transcend all ages, cultures and languages. Each personal story is unique but the theme is universal. Children are separated from their parents due to war, pestilence, accidents, and natural disasters, but, most often, they are willfully abandoned due to inconvenience. When I was a child, I was unstable and lonely but after I found my true self-identity, I felt whole, steady and confident. My youth had been quietly spent wondering and longing for something intangible that I had perceived was missing in my life. My senses were greatly heightened during my adoption search. What had started as a simple investigation to learn something about my ancestry slowly evolved into a complex trilogy. Immediately after the discovery of my birth parents, I initiated a second search to uncover the secret identity of my foster parents, which eventually lead to an investigation to determine why my adopted father had mysteriously gone missing. I had three separate mysteries to solve. The solution to one riddle was followed by another conundrum concealed inside a labyrinth. Eventually, I imagined myself as an adoption detective caught up in a mystery novel whose mission never ended. My life’s trajectory had been radically altered and my youth was perpetually unsettled. My life was characterized as a series of significant events, discovered through my incessant ambition, followed by major breakthroughs during the long tedious process of detection, deduction and exposure. My destiny became a continuing work in progress over a period of many years as my mission to uncover the truth evolved into a never-ending state of fluctuation. When everything finally came together in the end the final chapter of my adoption journey was reminiscent of a rousing classical orchestral ending with the round percussion cymbals making three satisfying crash-bang-wallops in succession.
Most things of value in life take time and commitment to complete. Every great story on the planet happens when someone decides not to give up, but to keep going no matter what. We must learn to do what is right, not what is acceptable, because life is very good when we make the right choices. Happiness does not depend on material wealth or world traveling. It comes from following our own free will, finding the beauty of the environment and building positive relationships with significant others. Perhaps, fewer relinquishments would take place if more individuals understood the consequences and ramifications of their actions.
Judith Land, adoptee & author
Adoption Search | Adoption Reunion | Adoption Story | Parenting | Relationships | Life
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