When Sally File died, her husband asked me to explain “this…” at her funeral.

How do I begin. Yes, we are adoptees, birth mothers, siblings. Yes, we have data bases. Yes, we have years of experience. Yes, we know the law, work with the courts… We are searchers. But what does that mean? How is that done?

Sally and I discussed it at length and a lot over the years. She was firmly Baptist. I am Catholic. But both of us…in those late night conversations as we wove together the strands of people’s lives…began to believe in a more mystic piece. An intuitive piece. The unexplainable about how we do what we do.

It is human nature to communicate with words and words sometimes seem woefully inadequate. We began to talk of searching in terms of feelings and visions. We described our searching as first knowing that we are all attached to our biological beings with a thin silver thread.  We did not think  in terms of family, because families come in all shapes, sizes, and biology.  We think in terms of connections.

In the case of adoption, that connective thread is severed, but sits out there…in the universe if you will…sending off weak vibrations, seeking to match to another making the same vibrations.  It is our job to join those two ends, hope they catch, match,  reunite, and thrive.  And then we step back…

It is a puzzle to put together, it is records to read, information to match. It is knowing that every human being leaves some sort of a paper trail, and it’s knowing how to keep the emotion out and the focus on the trail. It is finding both ends of the silver threads…placing one in each hand…and slowing moving them together to create a spark of reunion.

Does it always work this way? Of course not. Is every reunion successful? Probably not…sometimes we don’t know the outcome. Part of what we do is deliver the good news. Sometimes we deliver the bad. It is always about human nature and what connects us.

I finished one of Sally’s files yesterday…from 1999. She left me a trail I could follow and threads to connect. Explain “that…”


Ann House