A Letter to My Adoptive Parents
by Tina M. Musso

1998
Note that this was written AFTER I found my birth mother. It was my wish to share some of the things I shared with my mom when I told her about my search, in the hopes that it might help other adoptees face the task of speaking with their parents.

Tina M. Musso

Dear Mom and Dad
I love you. Thank you for everything you have done for me since you brought me into your home. I need your help and understanding today. After a lot of thought and soul searching, I have decided to search for my biological past. I debated long and hard about this decision. The desire to search is not meant to hurt or reject you. This is not spiteful. You have been there for me since I was a small child. YOU are my parents. No one could ever take that away.

However, there is a need to find out where I came from, to hear what name I was given at birth, to see someone who looks like me. If we do not turn our backs to one another, there is a chance that we can become closer. At the least, do not deny me my right to search for my past.

It is difficult to explain why an adoptee suddenly has a need to search. Each person and each circumstance is different. For some, it might be due to a health condition, while for others, it might be the specter of having children of their own without knowing what they might be facing. For me, it comes down to finding that missing piece that I left in a hospital 30 years ago.

A search is draining, with a lot of time and energy devoted to chasing phantasms. The two things that I really need from my parents are support and understanding. I am not asking for money or time, just a continuation of the love that helped me turn into the great person I am today.

The two of you have been there for me almost from the start. When my search is complete, I doubt that all my questions will be answered or the gaps in my soul will be totally filled. There is a strong possibility that the search may take a long time, it may end badly, either due to death or another rejection.

You were there for me when I had the chicken pox and when I had poison ivy. Please let me know that you will be there this time, no matter what the outcome.

You wiped my tears when I did not get asked to the seventh grade dance. Please say that you are alright with my search.

You walked me down the aisle when I got married. Walk with me now, into my past. Tell me what you know and how it happened.

You chose to bring me into your home with love and compassion. Please stand with me when I seek where I came from to better understand who I am today.

I am scared and need my mom and dad. The people I am looking for are my ancestors, but not my parents. They are total strangers who happen to share the same genetic makeup. Unfortunately, like any other family member, I cannot choose who brought me into this world. They may not want me, but you always have. Please want me now, as well.

This is the toughest decision I have ever made. I love you and do not wish to harm you. I need you now more than ever. Please, do not turn your back on me. You probably do not understand why I am doing this. Neither do I, but I must. My quest would be lonelier if I had to walk this road by myself.

With all my Love,
Your Daughter Tina
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1998 Tina M. Musso

This letter is dedicated to all the adoptees who are unsure of whether they should tell their adoptive parents about the search. This letter is a bit late for me. I have been fortunate enough to have found my birth family with the support of my mom. I never had a chance to let my dad know about this, but his passing was the final deciding factor for me to search. (Read The Baker to find out more about my Dad.) If you would like to share this letter with a loved one, please feel free to do so.

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