I read many adoption books over the past 2 1/2 years and everything I read told me it was important for the adoptee to have a connection to their past. Research indicates that referencing the birth family indicates to the child that you are comfortable with them and it helps the adoptee feel comfortable in talking about their thoughts and feelings with you. When we came home with Polina I knew I wanted to do a birth family search right away. I didn't want to wait and let the trail go cold. My thoughts were, even if they don't find the birth mother, at least I can show her that I tried and that alone was worth my money. So I contacted Tony Carruther (http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/
group/ postadoptbirthparentseek/) and ask him to begin the search. After about a month he said they were able to track down not only her mother but her father too. He sent me a full report with answers to almost all of my questions. We received a couple of photos of her mom and dad and a video of her mother being interviewed. I think this report will really help Polina understand why her mom didn't keep her. I did feel like the BM lied in response to a few of the questions but I don't blame her. I would be skeptical too of someone coming to interview me like that. In the video, the searcher filmed the mother when they gave her the photos that I sent her. She looked through them quickly which made me think she really didn't care but then shorty after that she was tearing up and sniffling. I realized that she couldn't look at the photos because she didn't want to start crying. What a treasure this video will be to Polina to know that she did mean something to them and it was a loss for them as well. I am more than happy that we went through with this. Polina's birth-mom indicated that she would like communication in the future and I fully intend to send something at least once a year.