I found my biological father about two years ago - and, while this gave me the sense of family I previously felt that I lacked, it affected my adoptive family in ways I hadn't anticipated.
In 2009, I decided to spend Christmas last year with my biological father. It was our first Christmas together - and it never occurred to me that my adoptive family might feel left out. While they did not voice this directly, I got the feeling that there was some hostility towards my father who had just re-entered my life.
It's important to me to get to know my father, to learn about the parts of me I never understood, and to get through some of my negative emotions from my past. But, it is just as important to not forget the family that has been there for me, the family I grew up with.
My realization for 2010 is this: I need to balance my time between my adoptive family and my biological father. Even as I move forward in my relationship with my biological father, I cannot forget the adoptive family who has been so much a part of my past. I cannot forget the people who helped shape me into the person I am today.
As I seek to discover both who I am, and who I want to be, I cannot help but realize that putting these pieces together is a process that takes time.