“I had come a long way from the child who was afraid to ask where she came from! I felt empowered and inspired.”
I have always been curious about my ancestry. When I was a young child, I even have memories of asking my dad about his deceased twin brother. I found it fascinating that there could be another “copy” of my favorite person in the world. Even more interesting to me, was the idea that my dad was adopted. It fueled me to continue asking questions, and finding out more. Where we had me and my family come from?
When I asked, “What’s our nationality?”, he would simply reply by asking back “how do you feel today?”. When I said, “Jamaican”, he would reply, “Fine, then we are Jamaican.” I found it difficult to get answers about my grandparents, and eventually I was hesitant to ask. I felt guilty about bringing it up. Would my question be met with excitement or disappointment at the limited answers he could provide me?
This year, things shifted. I had a heart-to-heart discussion with a friend, during which I realized that I had every right to be curious about my heritage! Sure, they were my father’s parents, but they were also My grandparents. My lineage. Why shouldn’t I try to find them? I became inspired; I was on the hunt! I realized that it wasn’t my fault for asking these questions as a child. As someone who has been adopted, it is understandable that he had fears of rejection, and this had nothing to do with me! After some discussions, eventually I convinced that a search for his birth mother would be beneficial to us all, and he became just as excited as I was about finding her!
And so the search began. The last place he knew of my grandmother living happened to be the next town over from where I worked. My father and I searched through Ancestry.com. We tried government archives. We took to the yellowpages. We were on a mission. Eventually, it became more about “being on a mission” to discover more about our family’s past, and less about the end result of if we found her or not. I had come a long way from the child who was afraid to ask where she came from! I felt empowered and inspired.
After seemingly endless effort, it turns out that my grandma is a tough woman to find. I haven’t found her yet, but in a way, the gift she unknowingly gave me was the search for her itself. Knowing that I could search. I was finally allowing myself to seek illumination to the mystery of my heritage! By the end of the journey, this search had also created another dimension of the bond between me and my father that I will always cherish. Through the process of trying to find my grandmother, I learned about myself and my power to seek the answers I desire. And the rest, as they say, is history.