Adoption isn’t simple. It’s the most complicated thing I know. Answers are not easy and not firm and don’t answer the questions you’re really asking—or, as the case may be, not asking. Adoptees may wonder about their real birthday, or what it was like where they grew up, or even why they were abandoned (getting closer), but what they are really asking is much more complex than that. I have asked those questions both out loud and in my head my entire life. And underneath those questions are further questions—like how has adoption made me who I am, and who is that, and how would I be different if I knew my birth family?—and underneath those questions are questions I don’t even know how to ask, or know to ask, since the part of me that would know what to look for is a part of me I can’t recover. I am searching for answers, but I am searching for questions. And answers always lead to more questions, at least in my experience. It is complicated. Adoptees need their adoptive parents to know that it is complicated, and to tell them so.
–Matthew Salesses, “What I Would Like to Tell Adoptive Parents (About Answers): A Letter from an Adoptee.”