meI almost killed my husband a few nights ago. Venom spewed from my lips as I hissed that I hated him. Jason stared at me in complete disbelief. Seething, I stared right back.

So much has happened in just a couple of weeks. I am an emotional mess who should apologize to my family and friends. But unless you’re adopted, and searching, there is no way to completely understand what crazy thoughts and emotions can come with such a search.

I found a 4th or 5th cousin through a DNA match. We had been chatting through Facebook finding similar personality traits, interests and health anomalies, when Molly mentioned that she wore size 11 shoes.

I almost spit out my drink.

For decades I had made the joke that my feet were so big that I’d know my birth family by the size of their shoes. It’s a joke that has become a security blanket of sorts when it comes to keeping my sense of humor through my search.

And there it was. She had said it. In a single moment she had unknowingly validated a personal joke, years in the making, and finally become a living, breathing person at the other end of the giggle.

At dinner I babbled on and on to my family about how much Molly and I seemed to have in common. When I mentioned her shoe size Jason innocently looked over at me and said, “Lots of people wear a size 11 shoe.”

“This is why sometimes I hate you.” I hissed.

They weren’t words for Jason. They were words for anyone, everyone, who couldn’t possibly understand how I was feeling. I shouldn’t have said it but I’ve never been one to think before I spew.

I was never truly proud of myself.

I knew I was adopted. I knew I wanted to know ANYTHING. But I was always afraid that the people I found wouldn’t think I’d done enough with my life, a ‘get out of jail free card’ kind of life – the kind of life you should make ten times better because it was a miraculous, ‘close to never happening’, ‘most likely was on the verge of being terminated before you could begin’ kinda life.

I found my place at 40ish. I became a mom, wife, photographer, filmmaker and friend, true friend. I found a peace within myself and was finally convinced that I was reaching the potential I had expected from myself my whole life. But deep down inside that same little girl was scared to death that her birth family still might think she simply wasn’t enough.

With my adopted family I always felt like the black sheep. I might have exaggerated my role simply because I thought I had an excuse to be different. They are good, kind, hard working people. I always pictured my birth family, my tribe, as creative, artsy, unconventional, revolutionary, open-minded, opinionated, reactionary… like me.

I wanted to BE someone when I found them.

Last night I walked over to my husband’s desk, barely able to speak. Tears rolled down my face as I took breath after breath, trying to spit out a few small words, “She said I was a lovely young lady.” I managed to whisper. I couldn’t muster much more.

I had found a 3rd cousin, my closest DNA match, just a few days before. She accepted my Facebook friend request after an agonizing 24 hours. I sat, impatiently staring at the little person icon on the upper right hand corner of my Facebook page, hoping that she’d ‘accept me’. To my extreme delight, she did!

A few days later she commented on my profile pic, “You’re a lovely young lady.” My heart beat an extra beat in that moment and maybe even grew a bit too.

My cousin Dan has given me access to his family tree. My cousin Christine has a family full of exceptionally talented musicians. I got to see them play on Facebook today. I watched it twice.

I love ALL of my family, adopted, extended or otherwise. It’s just so hard to describe what ‘otherwise’ means to me.

My husband told me later that he didn’t mean anything by what he had said but that he just didn’t want me to be hurt if I didn’t find what I was looking for.

I told him not worry, I already had.