An Adoptee’s Review of ABCs Find My Family – Episode 103

There is quite the storm brewing all over the Internet regarding the new ABC show Find My Family. It actually seems as each episode airs, there is a greater divide between people who hate it and people who love it. And apparently, you can’t do both – it’s one or the other. I feel blessed that my children are very receptive to the show. My two biological children did not realize all the details that went into my search, and are learning some of the steps and how difficult it was because we talk about it now. They are openly asking questions and seeking information about how I feel, how I felt and how I did it. My step-children are learning the other part of who I am, a world they didn’t know until more recently, and the path I took to who I am today. It’s been an awesome experience and I am excited that they are happy when a new episode airs.

I have spent the past two months writing a book about my experience searching, reuniting and life after the find. It’s in its editing stages. I know with confidence, that it will be received by the adoption community, much the same way that Find My Family was received. You’ll either love it or hate it, but for me it was a journey to my identity which I had struggled with my entire life. Maybe it’s different for some adoptee’s, I do realize that, but for me – it was so much like the show portrays that I find myself deeply involved in each episode. I truly do hope the show makes it.

This episode (103) was a great episode. As usual, the emotions were genuine and real, and the stories were heart wrenching. I didn’t feel that Find My Family glossed over the adopted families role in the adoptee’s life, as others seem to think. I think the reason that the adoptive families don’t have a more active role in some of the episodes, is because they choose not to. My adoptive mother would have absolutely nothing to do with my search and reunion, even though I longed for her to be a part of it. She has closed off that area of my life, and so I live two lives, unfortunately.

The first half of the show, made me sad for Kari, as she discovered papers that said she had been abandoned. I felt her pain as she let those words sink in and while I am sure that on the papers they didn’t actually mean the same thing we as adoptee’s read them as, it’s what it said, and it’s how she felt. I loved how supportive her husband was, and Tim as usual tugged at my heartstrings with his tears and emotion as he gave her a picture of her mother. Tim truly gets me teared up every time – such a sensitive man. But back on the other end was the normally non emotional Lisa, and was of course the same this episode. I felt terrible for the biological mother as she conveyed the story of holding her infant daughter for 4 hours and then letting her go and sending a letter with her. How painful that must have been. Her tears were so real and so sad to watch. Why does Lisa just sit there and stare. Her only words of comfort are “It will be okay.” For crying out loud, show some emotion, woman!

Jennifer and Angela. Wow. The two sister’s reuniting in the second part of the show was absolutely beautiful. The team had difficulty locating the birth mother, but did find something else. After thinking she had a biological brother, and Tim telling her that she didn’t, Jennifer’s face crumpled and she looked devastated. It broke my heart and I wanted to scream at Tim to just tell her what they had found. I know it was done for the dramatic effect, but at that point in the game there is so much sensitivity, you just can’t mess with emotions like that. The two sister’s reuniting was so special. I loved watching them look at each other, and I couldn’t believe how much they looked like each other either. I could see that the bond was strong between them from the very start. And then when Tim showed back up at the top before he ever spoke a word, I knew what he was going to tell them – they had located their birth mother. That reunion was brief, so there wasn’t much air time of that, which I was disappointed in, but I think having each other to lean on for that emotional reunion was really special for Jennifer and Angela.

All together, I really like this episode (surprise, I know) – but I still have my same complaints about Lisa Joyner and her stand-off attitude. Sure, she hugs the people, and she looks sincere when she is speaking, but there is so little emotion if any, it’s infuriating.
I’d still like to see a shorter walk between the bottom of the field and the damn family tree… that walk has to be excruciating, but whatever, right?

Oh, and as I know that my opinion about Find My Family is unpopular, I would also really like to see reactions from the adoptee’s family (I mean their husband and children) to all the news. I think that they should make it be one case per show, and go into more details about the search, how it was done and what everyone involved has to say about it. I know that many don’t think this stuff should be aired, but you know – there are a lot of reality shows now, and why is this one any different than any of the rest. If you don’t agree with it, don’t go on the show and don’t watch it. It is the show I have been dreaming about for 15 long years, and I am so thankful it has finally come to fruition.

I can say with certainty, that Find My Family ranks in the top 5 of my favorite shows. Maybe even the top 3. And that my friends, is simply the opinion of one adoptee, who has searched and found and didn’t do it publicly, but would scream it from a mountaintop if the men in white coats wouldn’t cart her away when she reached the bottom. :D

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