I love my parents. I owe them more than I could ever possibly pay back in a hundred lifetimes. The reason for this is easy: out of all the kids they could have taken home, they took me. Out of every child that was up for adoption, my number was picked and they took me home.

For the last several decades they’ve looked out for me. They’ve raised me, kept me safe, and done the very best they could to insure that every day I learned something.  They also let me know early on the very reason why I was so lucky. They told me without reservation that I was adopted, and where I had been born.

There’s only one thing they couldn’t tell me. They couldn’t reveal who my birth mother was, because the adoption was kept closed. I wasn’t allowed to know who gave  birth to me, because she didn’t want it known. There was obviously a reason for this, and one that I can’t possibly understand. But if you’ve ever experienced a moment in your life that has no set explanation, then you’ll understand the hole this leaves, and why.

I have the chance to look my birth mother up. I could easily go and find the information that might lead me to her, but I haven’t done it yet. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but only a few I’ve never really admitted to. The biggest one is that which bothers me the most.

I’m afraid.

What if I find her and she wants nothing to do with me, won’t even talk to me?  What if I was something she was ashamed of and simply wanted to get rid of? What if, what if, what if? It’s a crazy game of hypothetical questions I don’t like to consider, and yet at the core of it is that goddamned hole that I can’t bring myself to peer into, as I think what’s on the other side might be something I don’t want to consider.

I love my parents. Life would have been vastly different without them, and I’m not at all sure that it would have been half as interesting as it’s been, or as loving. They know my trepidation and try to understand, but don’t seem to get the point.  I honor and respect them with every breath I take. Never once have I thought to find my birth parents in an attempt to harm them.

But not knowing is tough. Unfortunately, wanting to know is terrifying for the number of what-ifs that might occur. I am not afraid of the unknown, but I am terrified of what might lie on the other side of that particular question.  The day is coming soon that I will face the other side of that question. I will not allow my fear of what might come to keep me away from the answer I so desperately need. This is no one’s problem but my own, but it feels better to write it out, and to at least admit that there is one thing in this world I am truly afraid of.

It is not knowing.

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