One of the adoption agencies that worked with my parents to help them identify a child was called Illien Adoption International. I’ll admit I have not done a lot of research about the organization and thus have not really formulated an opinion about whether or not I feel they are helping or hurting the cause, or both. Given my short amount of research I have decided to write the director of the agency who also just so happens to be the case worker at the time who worked with my parents to locate me.
The abbreviated story as I have had it told to me is that my mother and father were moving around a bit and first enlisted Illien to help them in their searching for a small Indian child to adopt (this began before I was even born). At one point Illien found me or hear of me through one of their social workers in India. At that time my parents moved again and switched to Lutheran Social Services who connected my parents with the orphanage where I was eventually adopted from. The link between the two being that it is thought that I was born in New Delhi where Illien had their social worker and I was then sent down to Trichy to stay in their orphanage and was subsequently adopted there. Doesn’t quite make add up does it? Well, the crucial piece of information is that the baby who Illien identified in New Delhi reportedly had the same birth date as me so the thinking is that I was that same baby! Crazy huh? Well, it might be but its all rumors as far as I can tell, which I have already explained I think most of my life in India is pretty much made up of second and third hand rumors. Additionally, these rumors don’t match up with my reported birth place which is a very small town in southern India, but again we have to remember we don’t know if any of this information is accurate or was just created at some point out of necessity.
Why the hell am I reciting this awfully boring and inconclusive portion of my origin story? Well because it matters! As I painstakingly make clear in my post Step 1 there does not seem to be an immediately obvious step 1 in this searching business, but I have come up with a common sense way to cut through the confusion, ambiguity and lack of facts. I am just going to try and reach out to the people who I know were involved at some level in my life in India and see if I can at least dispel one or two of the narratives I’ve become accustomed to hearing.
First, I shall write a nice letter to Anna Bell Illien, the Found and Executive Director of Illien Adoptions International, Inc. I am currently drafting this letter and will post it before I send it over just in case any of you smart cookies have any words of wisdom for me.