Adoption~ A Birthday Gift 38 Years Later

I grew up in a loving home with my fair share of mistakes, growth and joy.  I knew I was adopted and that my birth mother had a 6 year old boy at that time.  I always felt wanted and that I was extra special because I was chosen by my parents. The way I was raised never left me feeling as an outsider or abandoned.  

I never felt the impulse to look for my birth mother, I mean really… I have enough kids of my own,  concerns and worries to deal with. Did I really want to take on more?   I always thought that I would feel that urge to find them, such as when I got married, or when I had my first child, but those moments happened and the feelings never came up.

Until recently.

I have had some recent very profound changes in my life, and I set a possibility to thank the woman who put me up for adoption.  I didn’t know if she was alive, a drug addict, or a lawyer.  I didn’t know if she went on to have a large family where no one knew of me, if it were a secret, or if she was an open book much like myself.  Setting my intention of THANKS would make a difference in my world, and I only hope hers too.  I could say it, and if she heard me, great. If she didn't hear me that was ok too. So I sent off my request to the government on October 19th.   My parents were by my side when I received the envelope back on Thursday November 19th.  We opened it up, looked at the names, imagined who these names belonged to and started searching on the first place I knew where to go.  Facebook.  

I looked at the unique last name while staring at faces and pictures wondering if these people looked like me.  I knew the key to finding my birth mother was my older brother.  So I messaged 2 people with local roots asking if they knew the woman I was searching for. I had also phoned 2 people in the phone book and both didn’t know who I was talking about.  On Saturday, I received a call from the first person I sent a message to. (Less than 36 hours later) I asked him if he knew her , and before I could finish my sentence he said ‘I know who you are, I know who you are, I know who you are”  He said “I am your brother and I can tell who you are from your picture." 

We talked, we inquired, we laughed and he was so excited to share this news.  

Later that evening My birth mother called, we were both so nervous, and I wanted her to hear my intention of gratitude.  “I wanted to say thank you for changing my life” When my life seemed as though it was going to follow one route, she literally altered it to a new direction. I commend her because she had a 6 year old boy and knew how hard it could be raising another child, but she also knew the joys, laughter, and proud moments she would be giving up. As we talked and cried, I could hear the weight come off her shoulders, her voice opened and her laughter was pure. (and its much like mine!) 

I understood more deeply the reasoning for placing me under adoption.  I learned of details surrounding my birth, and how she didn't even have a chance to see me after I was born.  I acknowledge her commitment to the circumstances and how it also has changed her life.

We talked many times over the next few days to realize that she and I  live close. A week after my first inquiry, we arranged to have her over for dinner. I was more nervous that day than I had been all week!  I wanted it to go well and I arranged for Greek food to be delivered.  What do you know,  the food and My birth mother showed up at the door at the same time!  As the delivery guy was trying to hand me bread, I said ‘you need to move,  I am need to give this woman a hug!’ He had no idea what was going on, but it broke the ice and we could move on with our evening.  All the nerves and worry was pushed aside and we realized something… Turns out that we are both human! Who woulda thunk it!?  We both had the same fears and when we could get over that we could open up to hear each other stories and journeys that have brought us to today.  Learning about her, and the 38 years that she had lived holding this close to her heart allowed me to feel compassion and truly hear what has happened in her life.  

We continue to talk often and I have heard her come more alive each time.  I have realized the power that I am able to share and allowing her the space to let go of questions and potentially guilt.  I speak with my 'new' brother often and I also feel that this has allowed him and her to open up in their communication with each other. I am so grateful that they are both able to contribute to my life positively and openly.  The journey has just begun and there are no regrets on my part.  The past is what it is, and we are lucky enough to start from nothing and create a powerful future.    

I can say honestly that I am happy in all areas of my life.  I claim my present moments and expect only what I make of the future. It includes not only 2 new people but those that are close to them.  It includes my parents, my younger brother, my husband and kids.  It includes those that are friends, extended family and community.  It includes open communication, love, compassion, and heart.  It includes fun, laughter and a sense of ease.  

Most of all it contains gratitude.  For what I have, and what I can create.

 

I want to send out a wonderful thank you to my friend and Doula, Minette.  She was wonderful and kind enough to take these photos of us and I am so glad that she did.  I had never hired a photographer for any of my births, but this event is a birth of possibilities, and Minette captured it for us. Behind the camera is a caring, generous and smiling woman! Please visit her on her Birth Of Hope website and say hello.