“My hands and feet were numb. My heart was racing. I felt panicky. I was considering backing out of my adoption reunion altogether and running away. What if my birth parents didn’t like me?” —Judith Land
The opportunity to meet my birth parents was an once-in-a-lifetime event. The genealogical bewilderment I had experienced all my life was about to conclude with a dramatic crescendo of epic proportions. I was high strung and nervous, but eager to follow through to completion. My emotions were teetering between a jittery state of intense anxiety and excitability and high spirits and exuberance. My wildly erratic mood swings and heart palpitations were outside the natural range of variability for healthy living. My life had become an emotional roller coaster alternating between euphoric emotional highs and melancholic lows, dominated by fear, angst and trepidation. Images of an entirely new self-identity flashed before me.
First impressions were vitally important. I wanted everything to be choreographed perfectly, without a single flaw in my appearance, clothing, posture, or the words I chose to speak. To feign emotional tranquility and perform naturally, my husband had coached me on what to say, and how to project a positive image. I was aware that my birth family would be watching and judging me from every angle and perspective. Using psycho-cybernetics techniques to polish my performance, and ensure a positive outcome, I visualized myself as an actress and rehearsed my lines in front of a mirror over and over again. I evaluated my body language, voice inflections, facial expressions, and choice of words.
When I was finally ready, I accepted an invitation to meet my birth family in person. The adoption reunion I had been seeking with them in my dreams was becoming reality. The big day was finally here. I was about to enter a completely new world that would radically alter my self-identity. I felt like a canary about to fly from its cage for the first time.
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