Shepherd Frankel is adopted. Raised with other adopted siblings he looked nothing like, he insisted his parents look for his biological parents. As that didn’t happen for young Shepherd, his thirst to find his roots continued to grow and when he was 22 he told his parents he wanted to find his biological parents. They reached out to W.A.R.M., Washington’s Adoptee Rights Movement. Within months, he was put in touch with his biological mother Linda. Sixteen year old high school sweethearts: birth father an athlete and heading to college and birth mother with an uncertain future, Linda was informed she would be relinquishing the child. The young lovers were separated. The trauma of the birth with out consideration to the sensitivity of the event, Linda felt forced to give up her new born child.
Shepherd met Linda and two half sisters. Meeting Linda filled a ton of bottomless and unexplainable holes for him and it was incredibly powerful. Seeing pictures of his birth father was also fulfilling. Seeing the genetic relationship was a comfort he never knew existed. He felt he belonged.
Years later when he spoke to his birth father the need to connect was almost nonexistent. Perhaps because his relationship with his Dad was solid and fulfilling. When Shepherd looked in his sons eyes and thought about his own Dad, his birth father and the children his son may have, he thought he wanted to close any open loops in his life story. He felt an obligation and approached it in the spirit of service to something bigger than himself…his family’s history. For the rest of his life, Shepherd will never be able to change the experience of what it feels like to be born under traumatic conditions. To be “ripped” from his biological mothers hold. Today when he feels he doesn’t belong he leans into his younger self, holds young Shepherd and reminds him that he understands how scary it is to feel unloved and unlovable. The abyss and hole which nothing can fill, he has learned that it shrinks some, the more he acknowledges that it is real and not made up.
He wouldn’t trade the gift of immersing in those feelings for anything. #adoptee @ultimateshepherd #adopteestories #innocentpeople