Some families have recently had success with a search agency in Ethiopia -- they've received photographs and detailed information about their children's lives before coming to the care center. In some cases that information has conflicted with referral information (referral information is only as good as the information given by the person who relinquishes the child), but the families believe the new information to be accurate. They now have to come to terms with what is in some cases a drastically different story than they believed their child's story to be. Miss I.'s story as we've been given it is much more complete than the stories many children have. We have many names, several places, and much sadness.
But I'm saddened for her by the possibility (likelihood) of not knowing any more than we know now; I've lamented the fact that we cannot have an open adoption. Yet are we ready just yet to find out that what we know now might not be quite true? Or, more importantly, can we disrupt her first family's lives like this without their permission?
But how could I tell her we didn't do everything we could have? Someday she will want to search, and before she can, the trail will have gone cold. Maybe it already has.