Mother’s Day was always a time of year I would wonder about my biological mother. When I was younger I knew I was adopted but didn’t know details, like my parents’ names or birthdays, so Hallmark Holidays such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day usually were what would trigger reflection for me. Growing up, when I would think about my mother (biological) I would wonder many things. What did she look like? What did her voice sound like? Did she think about me too? Did she remember my birthday? Did she still love me? Did she regret the choice she made?
There was a point in my life that I even went as far as writing a fictional story about her life and what I imagined she went through carrying me inside her, bringing me home as a baby, and ultimately letting me go. I imagined what her life was like after that defining moment and created a story that had happy endings for both of us. My biggest worry when I would reflect on my mother was that she thought I would hate her or be mad at her or that I wasn’t ok. My biggest wish became to be able to find her with the single goal of telling her I am ok, I had a good life, and I never blamed her for anything. My adoption was unique in the fact that I had been adopted by my foster parents and in the 1970’s, foster parents were given a plethora of information about the biological parents including full name, date of birth, and a brief medical and social history. These were details I didn’t always have access to.
My Mom (adoptive) always told me about my biological parents, as she had met them both when they came to visit me. She told me I looked a lot like my mother and smiled and had curly hair like my father. She said that both of my parents were very intelligent and that my mother was musically inclined and I took after both of them in those respects. My Mom did a good job of giving me as much of a connection to my biological beginnings as she could but it still left a lot of holes for me to fill in on my own. By the time I reached adulthood my Mom had given me the file she had stored for so many years with the foster care intake form and newspaper clippings from coverage of the abuse I had suffered at the hands of a stepfather which ultimately led to my removal from my “first home”.
This type of detail and the emergence of the Internet gave me a huge leg up in being able to search on my own. As I learned more details about the story behind my adoption, I found out that my mother and I had lived in a home with a very abusive man. I started to fear for her safety and fate in 20 years that had lapsed and had more empathy for the situation she had been in and the choice she had to face in giving me away. The journey to finding and meeting my mother and telling her the one thing I always wanted to say turned out to be more difficult and cross a bigger stretch of time that I had originally anticipated. Perseverance and additional advances in Internet connectivity and ultimately the advent of social networks, specifically Facebook, eventually allowed me to connect with her.
It turned out that she was living a short four hour drive from where I had spent most of the last 32 years of my life. I finally got my wish. I saw her face, heard her voice, and told her what I had waited so long to say – I am ok and I love you. My mother brought me into this world biologically. She didn’t abort her pregnancy and took me home with the intent to raise me. She gave me life the second time when she chose to give me up for adoption, sacrificing her own safety for mine and giving me a chance to have a better life. Meeting her and hearing her story told me that she made many more tough decisions throughout her life and had a lot of ups and downs. She was very honest and revealed all of her flaws because she wanted me to know the real her and understand the life she had lived.
Many would criticize things that she has done and choices that she has made but I have chose instead to accept her for the person she is and love her, all of her flaws included, and respect her survival and coping skills. Without her, I would not exist. Without her choices, I would have had a very different life. I hope she reads this and finds peace and feels the love I have for her. I hope other adoptees and biological parents read this and find ability to overcome fear of unknowns and what ifs and find that closure or connection you seek. I have no regrets and hold no resentment and I’m thankful for every part of my life that made me who I am today.