Heather Matarazzo on the Childhood Search for Her Biological Parents

Heather Matarazzo, who made her film breakthrough in 1995’s Welcome to the Dollhouse and has appeared on shows including Grey’s Anatomy, is now blogging about her life and her experiences in Hollywood. Her latest piece is a deeply personal one, about the curiosity and fear that came with secretly searching for her biological parents:

I’m 9 or 10 years old. I’ve snuck into my parents’ bedroom and am quietly walking across their carpet, praying that I don’t make a sound. I open their closet and find the brown metal box. My heart is pounding, hands shaking. I crouch down, balancing on the balls of my feet, ready to jump up and escape at the potential first creak of the stairs. Silence. So far so good. I lift the top up slowly. It doesn’t betray me by squeaking. I’m grateful. My little fingers search through the vanilla colored tabs labeled BILLS, LICENSES, etc., until I finally find the one I’m looking for: “FOSTER.”

I cock my head to one side, straining to hear any sign that I might be caught. Reassuring myself that I am safe to proceed, I gently lift the folder out, and look inside. Shamefully, I can’t remember the exact contents inside of the folder, except for the one thing that was most important to me: my true name.

“HEATHER CORLEY”

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