I was born in Ffm. in April 1957. Because my birth was illegitimate, I acquired German citizenship through my mother. Immediately after my birth, I was placed in the Kinderheim Köppern, located on the grounds of the Waldkrankenhaus, in the Taunus mountains north of Frankfurt, where I spent the first 17 months of my life before being adopted by an American couple. During the course of my life, I wondered whether or not I had ever lost my German citizenship and made an official inquiry of the German government, who determined that I had NOT been involuntarily expatriated under the terms of the German law in effect at the time of my birth. I received a certificate of citizenship, which I then used to apply for a German passport. (For those wondering, yes, I did search for my birth family. I discovered I had three German half-siblings--an older brother and sister and a younger sister. My birth mother was already deceased by the time I had begun searching, my older brother has also since passed away, and I have become estranged from my older sister; I never found my younger sister and have no information concerning her fate or present whereabouts.)
Even as a child, I often imagined returning to Germany to live. Establishing my citizenship status under German law was the first step in the process of determining whether or not such a thing could ever be possible. If I had, in fact, lost my German citizenship, it would not have been feasible. Once I had found my birth mother and asserted my right to German citizenship, I continued to imagine an eventual relocation; but it wasn't until October 2016, when my adoptive father passed away, that all necessary and sufficient conditions precedent had become fulfilled.
Between the death of my adoptive father and the end of 2017, I began to look into permanent relocation in earnest. I also took some concrete steps in furtherance of that goal. In July of 2017, I opened a German bank account, a key preliminary step. Additionally, I opened an account with an online international money transfer service, testing it successfully by moving a modest sum from my U.S. checking account to my new German "Girokonto." But the ultimate hurdle -- coverage under government health insurance, the obtainment of which was absolutely critical -- was only surpassed in December 2017 when I obtained it via application to an insurer recommended to me by another member of this forum. (Had I been unable to obtain such coverage, I might have had to abandon my dream altogether!)
In 2018, I effected my relocation. I spent the month of April looking for an apartment in Frankfurt. Ideally, it would have been a place where I could live permanently, but I took the first apartment that was offered -- a one-room, "dormitory-style" apartment near the easternmost edge of the city where I could live while looking for something more suitable for long-term residency. In May, I arranged to sell my house. The estate sale occurred in early June, as I packed up my car and cat and headed for the east coast and my jumping-off point for the final leg of my journey to my final destination. (I wanted a non-stop flight to Frankfurt, and the shortest possible flight to make it easier of my poor Rusty.) I landed in Frankfurt on June 23rd and was fortunate enough to find the perfect apartment within two months of my arrival. I moved in in late December, almost exactly one year after the relocation process began.