I ALWAYS knew I was adopted. My mom told me she use to rock me as an infant and tell me I was adopted. She said she never wanted me to think being adopted was a bad thing; she told me being adopted made me special (and I believed her!).
One of my precious memories with my mom was of a discussion I had with her in her sewing room one day; I was in elementary school. It must have been close to September, because I asked my mom if she thought my birth mother ever thought about me on my birthday. My mom assured me she did. I told her I hated my birth mother because she didn’t love me (because she gave me away). My mom immediately responded by saying, “Oh honey, your mother LOVED you very much. She loved you so much she gave birth to you and gave you up for adoption. We (she and my dad) are so grateful she did or we wouldn’t have you.” Her response seemed completely logical to me (my parents weren’t able to have children, so if my birth mother hadn’t give me up (my sister’s birth mother too), they wouldn’t have ever had children), so I agreed and thought the same thing every day going forward.
After my parents passed away (I was 18 years old when they died), I considered looking for my birth mother. I must have been about 30 years old when I went to social services and got what’s called my “non-identifying papers.” I remember the paper having numerous holes, where all the information that could lead to my birth mother had been removed. I was told the papers were referred to as “swiss cheese papers.” I remember sitting in a little room, all by myself, reading the explanation my birth mother provided at the time of my birth and adoption; and I wept, almost uncontrollably. For the first time in my life, I was reading the actual words my birth mother spoke about me. It was more than just a thought or a speculation, they were HER REAL WORDS.
There happened to be an adoptee support group meeting that night and I made the decision to attend. To make a long story short, I left the meeting knowing I wouldn’t be pursuing her at that time in my life. I always felt, even if I paid a detective to locate her, it would be unfair to just SHOW UP in her life. I would need to ask her if she wanted to see me first; I knew there was a possibility she never told anyone about me and I would never do anything to hurt or embarrass her. I realized I was afraid my motivation to find her was due to an attempt to replace my parents; which would not only be unfair to her, but impossible to accomplish. Not to mention the rejection I would be forced to face if she didn’t want to see me. There was no way I could withstand that addtional pain.
Fast forward to January 2013 (while we were living in the rental home after the fire), I had heard about a movie entitled October Baby and knew it was about adoption. I realized it was on Netflix and decided to watch it one evening when I was home alone. After the movie ended, and I finished crying, I decided to jump online and see if the laws for adoptees rights had changed in the state of Virginia. I was completely surprised to see that I could simply complete a form, send it to social services, and they would attempt to locate my birth mother.
On April 2, 2014, I received a telephone call from an extremely kind woman at social services who had been working to locate and contact my birth mother. She told me she found her and spoke with her earlier in the day. As I suspected, my birth mother had never told anyone about my birth and needed some time to decide what to do. She asked the social worker what she knew about my adult life (for example, did I have children, if I worked, etc.), so she called yesterday to get the details, which she shared with my birth mother yesterday late afternoon. I couldn’t wait to share about my three precious children, my daughter-in-law and adorable granddaughter. I was told this morning my birth mother asked if she could make her decision over the weekend and let the social worker know on Monday. She was told OF COURSE!
The entire time the search has been in progress, my prayer has been for God’s Will to be done. I still feel that way. Although I’m hopeful to speak with her (mostly to thank her for giving me life and to put any concerns she may have had about my life to rest-which has already been done by the social worker) and possibly form a friendship with her, I KNOW God remains on His throne and in control! Please join me in prayer over the weekend….