Recently I was reviewing the materials I kept from the long search I conducted to find my birth mother (more to come on that), and I looked up the organization that allows adoptees born in Colorado (like me) and their birth parents to use a confidential intermediary service to find one another.
Back in 1996 when I was searching, this website didn't exist, so it was interesting to see how the program was described on its website. One of the terms used on the website particularly intrigued me: it described the person being searched for as "the sought-after." The air of mystery and the inclusivenes of this phrase piqued my imagination. In a sense, the sought-after could be anyone; obviously in this case, it refers to someone touched by adoption: a birth parent, a child who was adopted, or any member of their families.
However, for me this term also conjures up the sense of longing for connection and belonging that I and many other adopted people feel as a result of the way that closed adoption obscures our origins. In the end, The Sought-After becomes more than a euphemism for the birth parent or birth child we seek; The Sought-After is also the elusive self we are trying to find and trying to become as we grow into ourselves as people touched by adoption.