Genie in a bottle. When I was a little girl, I would bury some of my mom’s glass bottles hoping that a Genie would appear inside one. I would gather a few friends and we would search for buried Genie bottles with scarves that we fastened to our hair to look more like Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie. Years later a thought that I had startled me. Was I searching for my birth mother even as a little girl? Was the missing Genie the birth mother that I had known of my whole life and yet could not materialize in my mind? I sometimes describe what it is like to never have seen the face of your birth mother or father. A ghost in our minds …. grey matter. A dream, a yearning. And then the guilt. Why do I need to find my birth family? It feels like treason. I mean I loved my adoptive family, why this need to know? I was on the phone with a client who said ” I waited to do my search until my parents passed away. I could never hurt them like this” So often I am told by clients that their loyalty to their adoptive parents outweighs their need to search but yet it was their desire for as long as they could remember. WHY do we need to choose? Our love for our adoptive parents does not dim because we need to know where we come from. To be able to find our birth mother and say “thank you? I am ok! ” GUILT – we carry so much of it. Guilt for being born to a woman who could not keep us, guilt for wanting to know her, guilt and greed for wanting to know our birth parents even when we had the best parents in the world. We cannot deny a part of ourselves, and we should not have to. I implore those who are riddled with guilt to allow yourself this incredible chance in life to find your birth family and to give yourself the gift of closure and hopefully be able to speak with your birth mother if only once in your lifetime. My birthmother passed a year and a half ago and even though we had a rocky relationship for a very long time, I so cherish the short time that I had with her. My Genie (birth mom) was not magical, but I saw my eyes in hers, we shared my love of animals, flowers and decorating but mostly I was able to tell her that I carried her in my heart my whole life (even during the bad times) and I will never forget her. I hope you can find your Genie, too!