“Innocuous chance encounters with biological family members fed my curiosity and strengthened my desire to know something about my genealogy. Over time, I became increasingly introspective about these incidents and wondered why our souls had collided somewhere along life’s trajectory like the actors Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour in the romantic science fiction film Somewhere in Time. A heartbeat away, I had sensed a chemistry, a beautiful and powerful emotion that connects people emotionally, intellectually and romantically. If you have ever had this feeling, you will know what I am talking about.” —Judith Land, author & adoptee
I wonder how many chance encounters the average adoptee has with biological relatives in their lifetime? Knowing that I was adopted increased my curiosity about my self-identity and triggered the life-long habit of staring at strangers to discern our similarities. I was constantly on the alert for the possibility of a chance encounter with a birth parent, an aunt, a cousin, a sibling or other relative. My focus greatly intensified whenever I was in the presence of a stranger who looked like me, and I naturally gravitated toward adults who were similar in appearance to the birth parents I had never known. If I was told that I looked like another person, I became effusive. “Does she play the violin?” I would ask impulsively, knowing that was the only bit of information I had ever been told about my birth mother.
When we finally reunited later in life, my birth family and I identified at least four occasions when we had unknowingly crossed paths. Remarkably, my beautiful younger sister was the waitress who had served the wedding cake at my wedding reception at North Hills Country Club in Milwaukee. When I was fourteen I worked in a bakery. I wore a little black nylon dress with a white lacy hat and apron. My favorite customer was a friendly Italian lady (my aunt) with a big smile. She often remarked that I looked like her niece (my sister). Another aunt lived in our neighborhood and was friends with my adopted mother. My brother played in a band with my adopted cousin. My birth father owned an Italian restaurant. He was the pleasant gentleman with the big smile who sold my adopted mother and I a pizza one day. I said hello to a mysterious stranger (my birth sister) in the grocery store after my adopted mother remarked that we looked related.
Without knowing why, for a fleeting glance, the blink of an eye, whether by coincidence, destiny, fate or kismet, I had connected with my family in lucky, fortunate, fortuitous ways that produced positive serendipitous outcomes. Was I influenced by the halo effect based on a cognitive bias toward idealized visions of my ancestors that influenced my judgement because I found them attractive? I will never know if these events happened by coincidence, happenstance or significance. I wondered if chance encounters are like the radiant emission of particles guided along a magnetic line of force like the aurora borealis, or if these events were astrologic convergences where two bodies pass near each other in the same Zodiac. Or, did they simply occur purely by chance as remarkable occurrences of events without causal connection. Deeply religious individuals may have their own interpretations to share about the reasons and purpose of chance encounters.
Later in life, I wondered what the consequences were of an adoptee accidentally dating a sibling or cousin—a problem that was recently solved in Iceland with the release of the new smartphone app that allows individuals to compare DNA to determine if they are too closely related.
Annahme Geschichte | მიღების ამბავი | elfogadása történet | poveste adoptare
cerita adopsi | sprejetje zgodba | Історія прийняття | гісторыя прыняцця