Saturday, May 29, 2010

Be careful what you wish for...

'cause you just might get it. You know how I said "If I only had some closure, it would make it easier to move on?". That's what I wished for...and I definitely got it.

After I heard my birthmom say that she had a secret, I was drawn into the conversation. I wanted to hang up, but I couldn't. What I was hearing was tearing me apart, but I still would not hang up. I continued to stay on the phone and listen to her describe our relationship to her friend.

She first explained her secret. She had placed a baby for adoption when she was 17 years old. She had wondered my whole life how I was and where I was. She explained that she had 'found' me when I was 24 and was good with that. That is all she wanted. She didn't want a relationship with me, she just wanted to make sure I was ok. Once she found out I was ok, she was ready to move on. However, I made that difficult for her. I would call her all the time and keep her on the phone really late. She said that was really hard on her because she had to get up and go to work early, and I didn't understand that. She talked about how she would come see me often and I didn't return the 'favor' near as much. She talked about how I wanted her family to know all about me, but I didn't want my family (meaning my adoptive parents) to know about her. She also said that I only wanted it to be her and me, no one else, and that was hard because she had a child at home still to take care of. She said I blamed her for all of my abandonment issues and I made her feel so guilty. She also mentioned how it totally pissed her off that I didn't tell her when I had my son and how she found out that I had him. One thing that sticks out the most is when she said that if she knew it was me, she would not have answered. Ouch. I couldn't stand to hear anymore, so I hung up the phone.

There was more than that said and it was all explained in much more detail. It still breaks my heart to think about it. As I listened, I couldn't believe she was saying all those things. We had some issues, no doubt. There was a huge adjustment period after the honeymoon phase was over, but I NEVER, EVER, EVER thought that I was that much of a burden on her. I could literally feel a physical pain in my chest as I listened to how big of an inconvenience I was to her.

After I hung up, I sat in my husband's recliner. I felt completely numb. I felt like crying, but I was still processing everything I heard. Was that really true? Is that really how she felt about me? In the four years that we were in contact, I never felt that she couldn't stand me. It was a very, very low moment, but even lost in the trenches of that moment I had a little hope that she would call me the next day like she said she would.

I continued to sit there, trying to process everything that she said. I was devising a plan. When she called the next day, I was going to talk to her about what I overheard and explain why I was the way that I was. I was going to tell her the truth about my afamily and the abuse and loneliness that I had experienced growing up. I was going to tell her that I didn't have the fairytale life growing up and I had always longed for her. I would explain that once I had her in my life I tried maybe a little too hard for fear that I would lose her. I had it all figured out. Now that I knew why she had turned her back on me, I was going to talk to her and win her back. I now knew what I needed to do and not do to have the relationship with her that I desired.

I waited the next day for her phone call. I waited, and waited, and you probably imagined, she did not call back. BUT, I still had hope. I figured maybe she got in later then she planned, so she would call back the next day. I waited again, and again, day after day, OH MY WORD!!!! I am beyond pathetic! I wanted closure, and Lord knows, I had it. I had all the information I needed to know that she did not want me. It hurt, but I needed to move on. I didn't need that in my life. I had my own babies to focus my time and attention on. Let her go!

But, the truth is, I honestly (and still to this day) did not believe she meant any of the horrible things that she said. There is no way. I refused to believe it, because I knew her. I knew how she hurt. I knew how she tried to get me back shortly after I was born and already placed with my adoptive family. I knew how she searched for me. She found me, not the other way around. I had listened to her tell me, on a number of occasions, how much her decision to give me up changed her life and she wished more than anything that she could go back and do it differently. I KNEW that she cared and I KNEW that she loved me. There was no way that she had been lying to me before. I didn't know what was going on with her, but I knew that those things she said were not coming from her. So, I clung to the past and I focused on only the good things that she had said about me and our relationship. Call it naive, but I would not accept what I heard as truth. I continued to hold on to that hope that she would come back to me.

So, back to "be careful what you wish for.."...Was I really looking for closure? No, I was not. I was looking for my mom and I was not going to give up until I found her.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Two more years had passed since I saw my bdad. It had also been two more years since I had heard from my birth mom. As much as I liked to pretend that I was OK and had moved on, that was really not the case. Absolutely no one understood why I wanted to pursue a relationship with her. My husband got upset every time I talked about her. He didn't get why "I let her bother me so much". My two closest friends got irritated pretty much at the mention of her name. They all knew that she hurt me, and they were done with her. I realized that she hurt me, but I just wanted more. I kept thinking, if I only knew what happened to cause her to stop talking to me I would be able to move on. Sitting in the dark, so to speak, alone with my thoughts was driving me nuts. I needed some closure. At that time, I didn't care what she said to me. She could tell me how awful, needy, and suffocating I was...I didn't care. At least I would know what was wrong. Not knowing was very difficult for me.

It had been a year or more since I had tried to contact her. It wasn't really by choice, however, after writing several letters and calling multiple times, you kind of start to feel like a freak. So, I let it go. Outwardly, at least. One evening, I was driving home from my friends house. I had been thinking about her a lot. A lot of personal things were going on in my life and it's usually at those moments when I wanted to reach out to her more. It was also right around her 50th birthday. I had told my friends earlier that if I only had some closure, maybe I could move forward. I knew it was crazy. Who was I kididng? I figured I didn't have anything to lose. More then likely, she wouldn't even answer. So, I decided to take the plunge. I took a deep breath, scrolled down to her number in my phone, took another deep breath, and then pushed send. One ring...two rings...three rings..."Hello?"

I almost dropped the phone. It took me a minute to collect myself. It had been almost four years since I had heard her voice. When I said her name and told her it was me, I was afraid that she would hang up, but she didn't. She didn't sound thrilled to be talking to me, but she was civil. She shared a few things that had been going on with her. All of them were major, so I hated not knowing about them or not being there for her. She asked what I had been doing. Since we had talked last, I had another baby, so we talked about that. After about ten minutes, she said she needed to go. She said she was with a friend out of town celebrating her birthday, but would be back home the next day and would call me then.

I DID NOT want to hang up the phone. I had a feeling if I did, it would be the last time I would talk to her. She said good-bye, I said good-bye, and I sat on the phone waiting to hear her hang up. (I don't know why, but that's what I always do. Rarely do I hang up first. I always wait for the other person to hang up before I do. I guess I really do not like good-bye's!!) Anyway...I heard a beep, like she had pushed a button on her phone, but it didn't hang up. I guess she had pushed the wrong button and thought she had hung up. I don't know. Next thing I knew, she was talking to her friend about me. I heard her tell her friend that she had a secret. I should have hung up, but I was so curious as to what that 'secret' was and what she would say. I know I should have hung up, but I didn't. I sat on the phone for way longer then I should have and listened. What I was hearing would give me all the closure I ever wanted...and then some.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A fairytale ending... was not. :( I didn't finish the post yesterday because I felt like they have all been so drab and depressing. I thought maybe a little fantasy world would be a nice change. Anyway...back to the story.

As I made eye contact with my bdad and he smiled and nodded, my first thought was 'I have to go tell him who I am.' My birth mom did not have very encouraging things to say about him when we were talking. I knew she had told him about me and that we were talking. He told her that he did not want to have anything to do with me because his wife would not be ok with it. I also knew that he had 2 other children that he did not have any kind of a relationship with either. So what made me so special? I definitely was not in the mood for rejection. However, the fact that my birth mom wasn't talking to me made me want to reach out to him that much more, but something kept holding me back. I am sure it was fear..the unknown. I didn't know if I even wanted to go there. Needless to say, the moment came and went and I didn't do anything about it.

His boys were there for a week. They were in 6th. 7th, and 8th grade. Much too young to be drug into the situation, I thought. Since my husband works there, I usually go there several times throughout the week with the kids to hang out and visit. That week, I did not go one time. I didn't know what to do. If he happened to be there again, what would I say? Would I leave him alone and pretend to not know that he is my dad or do I throw caution in the wind and belt out the news to him that would surely cause him to panic. I couldn't think anymore. I was so sad and confused. Once again, I hated myself, my life, my adoption. WHY did it have to happen? More then anything, I missed my birth mom. I would have given anything to talk to her at that moment. Ask her if she would come down and approach him with me or see if she would call and tell him the story of how I saw him. I really missed her.

I was given the very same opportunity the following summer. Same camp, same scenario...he leaning against the wall talking to everyone who passed. When he caught me looking his way, this time he smiled and said, 'How are you doing?'. There were soooo many ways I could have answered that question. I chose the easy route and said, "Fine, thank you."

That was the last encounter I had with him. I know his name and where he lives. I am sure I could easily find his address. I could write him a letter and explain everything. But the truth is, I am scared. I don't know if I'm ready for the risk. I am so afraid it's not going to work out. No matter what I tell myself going into it, if it doesn't work out I will be devastated...again. I'm just tired and fearful for the unknown. I put it all out on the line for my birth mom, and I think because of that I have become a little more guarded. I may later regret not having a conversation with him, but for now it's something I am willing to live with until I feel like I have the strength to pursue another relationship with my natural family.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A chance encounter

Life goes on because it has to, NOT that I wanted it to. I thought about her all of the time. I had my days where I was so angry at her I couldn't see straight. She only lived an hour and a half away, so I contemplated driving to her house. I wanted her to look me in the eyes and tell me what I did wrong, why she was mad, and why she's completely turning her back on me again. I don't know what kept me from doing just that. Some of it was probably fear. I was afraid what I would find if I did that. I finally learned that this was my life now. I was grateful for the time we had together. I decided it was time to move on. It had to.

Over a year had passed since I had last talked to my birth mom. I still thought about her often and wondered where she was and how she was doing, but I moved on the best I could. I stayed busy with my kids, hanging out with my friends, teaching, gardening, and in the summers I helped at a camp that my husband helped direct. Busying myself was, and still is, how I cope with things. Basically, I don't cope, I just stay as busy as I possibly can so I don't have to think. Good plan, right?

Anyway, I was working registration at camp one afternoon with another girl. I overheard the girl I was working with talking to some campers' mom about the same hometown where I was born. Anytime I heard talk about my birthplace, my ears perked up a little. For one, it is in fact where i was born so that sparks some interest. It also is a very small town and if they grew up there, chances are they could very well know about me and my family. I look at them and wonder if somehow I am related to them or if they knew my biological family.

As the mother of the campers was writing a check to pay their camp balance, I asked the girl I was working with what their last name was. She showed me their registration card. I gasped as I read the name on the card. Would you believe me if I told you that they had the SAME last name as my biological dad? Turns out, it was the wife of my biological father and she was registering their three half brothers. Crazy!!!!

My heart skipped a beat as I was processing all of this. I quickly scoured over the small crowd that was there looking to see if I saw my biological dad. And I did. He was standing about twenty feet away from me, leaning against the wall and talking to a group of people. He caught me looking his way, tilted his hat and smiled at me. (Just being friendly. He didn't have a clue who I was. ) OMG...I could not get over it. What are the odds that this would happen? There in front of me was my DAD! I could not get over it. A million things raced through my mind (of course, my first thought was "I have to call my birth mom! She will not believe this!" I did later that evening. She did not answer or return my call though.)

So, what do you think I did? I'm interested to hear how you all would write the rest of this story. We need to have a little fun in all of this. The last few posts have been pretty depressing! Let me know how you think this encounter ended and I will tell the rest of the story tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Had I of known that our last conversation was indeed that, our last conversation, I maybe would have chosen my words a little more carefully. I maybe would have asked for her forgiveness for being so stubborn and not understanding her side of things. I would have given just about anything to have that moment back, but it was too late. The moment had come, and she was gone.

A couple of weeks had gone by and we had not talked. Anymore, that was not unusual to go a while without talking. So, I decided to call her. I wanted to make amends. I missed her and wanted her in my life. I was tired of playing games and being stubborn. I decided to take that first step towards reconciliation and call. So, I called and since there wasn't an answer I left a message. A few days went by, no answer, left another message, no response. I called again, no answer, left a sobbing message, waited a few more days, still no response. Called again, and again, and again....left message after message after response. It had now been close to two months and I had not heard from her at all. I was worried. Worried about her safety, worried that this was the end of us. Just worried.

I then decided to write a letter. I do not know exactly what it said, as I sent several letters after that one. Some were sad and desperate sounding, I'm sure. Some were probably angry, full of questions and blame. She did not return any of my letters either. What was going on with her? We had been in our share of disagreements, but she always called me back or wrote eventually. It may be a few eeeks in between, but I always heard from her eventually. It was nearing my birthday, about 6 months since I had last talked to her. That was going to be my test. Ever since we were reunited, she had NEVER missed calling me and sending a card in the mail on my birthday. I was anxiously awaiting this birthday, for sure. Well, my birthday came...and left...nothing. No phone call, no card, absolutely nothing. I was worried.

I called her mom to make sure she was ok. I was starting to get really angry and I knew if something had happened to her and I wasn't told, I would never forgive myslef for being angry at her. Her mom said she was fine, she just had a lot of 'thinking' to do. I didn't ask what that meant, but figured it wasn't a good thing. I told her that I had wrote letters, made many phone calls, left a number of messages, all with no response. She assured me she would tell her I called and she would call me back soon. Again, weeks went by without a response. Now, I was angry! WHY IS SHE ABANDONING ME AGAIN!! I just wanted to yell, scream, shout, hit something...anything,I was hurt!

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I tried to call or write her. Each phone call, message and letter were BEGGING her to call me or write me. Tell me how horrible I am, tell me that you don;t want anything to do with me. Just tell me something...anything! Nothing, for me, was worse then being ignored. Anything she could have said at that moment could not have hurt worse then I was already feeling. Alone, betrayed, lost...I was absolutely pathetic.

I started to get really irritated at myself for being so ridiculous. Why could I not just get a clue? Move on? You lived 24 years without her, why do you think you need her now? She didn't want me. She was gone. Literally, in a flash, she was completely gone from my life. Even in my anger, I mourned the loss of my birth mom. I never knew how wonderful life could be with her in it until she was there. I never knew that a piece of me was missing and how I had always longed for her until she was there. Now that she was gone, I felt it. I really cannot describe the intense feelings that I had. I cried so many tears over her. I missed her so much, and now she was gone. Now what? Where in the world do I go from here?

Not the greatest idea I've ever had

My newborn son was about 2 weeks old when my birth mom found out I had him. How did she find out? Well, I had changed our voice mail recording on our phone introducing our new little one. When she called, I wasn't home and she heard the recording. That is how she found out. I DID NOT at all plan for it to go that way. It had been several weeks since I had talked to her, so I figured when I got around to it I would call. I admit, I was being very stubborn and definitely should have called her. My mom even asked me in the hospital if I had called my birth mom to tell her. That was shocking, because it had been a year or more since she had mentioned her name at all. Anyway, I was planning on calling to tell her, but she beat me to it.

When I called her back, she answered right away. She asked a lot of questions about my delivery and if he was healthy. She actually sounded pretty good. A little annoyed, but overall it was a good conversation. She apologized for not checking in on my sooner and said she had been so busy. She talked about having birthday gifts for my daughter (her birthday was 8 months prior to this conversation, that's how long it had been since I had seen her). She said she would call and make plans to come see me. The conversation went well, or so I thought. Once again, I was not at all prepared for what was ahead.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rejection continued....

After 4 years of being in contact with my birth mom, my relationship with her was beginning to go in the opposite direction of where I wanted. Her calls were not as frequent. When we did talk, our conversations were short and very impersonal. Fearing that she was going to end contact with me, I stopped talking to her about things that were bothering me. I pretended like I was fine, we were fine, everything was fine. I continued going through the motions of life, outwardly doing what was expected of me, but completely torn up on the inside.

I was constantly questioning myself and replaying conversations over in my mind thinking of all the things I should have said differently. I didn't understand why she was rejecting me. I told myself over and over that this had to be so difficult for her. I was probably pushing her too hard or bringing up too much of the past at once. I made so many excuses for her, ultimately blaming myself for everything that was wrong in our relationship.

I continued the facade that my life was great and all was well for months. We didn't see each other near as often, but I busied myself with other things. A friend of mine taught a class at a local university called "Issues in Adoption" . Most of the students in that class would become social workers or work for independent adoption agencies upon graduating. I was one of her guest speakers. I would go in and talk about my experience as an adopted child and about my reunion. I got to the point where it was hard for me to talk about adoption period. If anything, I wanted to tell the students to talk people OUT of adoption. I wanted them to teach parents how to take care of their baby instead of giving them away and how screwed up that innocent child would be one day growing up separated from their biological family. The last time I went, I hit a wall. I just couldn't do it anymore. I was tired of pretending I was happy. Frustrated, pissed, depressed, shocked, hurt, abandoned...that's all I had to talk about, and since that's not what anyone wanted to hear, I apologized to my friend and walked out of the class.I cried in the parking lot for almost two hours. I was on the verge of just completing losing myself. I didn't know what to do.

I started writing to my birth mom since it was hard for me to confront her over the phone...those conversations never ended well. So, in my letters, I shared how I was feeling and how torn up I was about the wedge that was driven in between us. When she responded to my letters, they upset me even more. They said everything I had if she took my letters and entered my name in place of where hers had been.

Around this time, I had found out that we were expecting our second child. I thought maybe allowing her to be a part of this would just maybe restrengthen our relationship. I wanted to invite her to come along to ultrasounds (my pregnancies were all high risk after I had the twins, so I had an ultrasound every 4 weeks), but when I talked about my pregnancy in general I felt like she didn't care. I was tired of being hurt and feeling like I was nothing to her. I was tired of feeling like I was putting forth so much effort, just to be rejected over and over again. I decided that I just didn't care anymore...self-preservation was all it was, but who was I kidding? I realized that she was pulling away and it hurt me to the core.

I went through the majority of my pregnancy with very little contact with her. I would call her periodically and rarely did she answer. She would eventually call back, but it could be a week or two in between. We definitely shared the stubborn gene. I would sometimes purposely not answer when she did call because I thought that was what she did with me. Whenever my son was born, I didn't even call her. I was so hurt and felt she didn't care about me so, I didn't want her to share in our joy. Not such a great move on my part, I know. I remember sitting on my hospital bed the day after I had my son and I could not stop crying. My mother in law thought something was wrong with the baby and I wasn't telling them -- that's how bad I was. I am sure a lot of it was post pregnancy hormones, but what triggered it all was the fact that my birth mom was not present. I wanted her, but I could not understand why she did not want me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


As time wore on, reality started setting in. The honeymoon was way over. Don't get me wrong, we still enjoyed any time that was spent together and talked almost everyday. It's just all the little things that I had been sweeping under the rug and excusing her from, started to get to me. We had been talking for several months and she still had not told her son about me. By this time, I had even seen him and met him on a couple different occasions and she introduced me as her friend. I was crushed. I thought I was more than a friend to her. I was her daughter. I wanted her to acknowledge that and treat me as such. Was that too much to ask?

I became a lot more verbal about my feelings towards her. I loved her, and I definitely told her that, but I also shared things with her that really bothered me. I asked her why she had not told her son. She explained again that she didn't know how he would handle it. He was 14 at the time, and she thought that was a difficult age to understand something like that. She went on and on giving me excuse after excuse. I told her that it bothered me because it made me feel like she was ashamed of me or I wasn't important to her. I began to feel that all the things she had been telling me for months about loving me and wanting me, etc were not true, but only what I wanted to hear.

She was taking a trip to see one of her best friends and was taking her son with her. She had told me that since it was a several hour drive, she would talk to him about me while they were on the road. Sounded like the perfect plan to me. I was nervous for her and wondered the whole time she was gone if it had happened yet, when it happened, how did he react, what was said, etc. When I talked to her after the trip, I was waiting for her to share with me what went on when she told him. She didn't bring it up, so I finally did. She told me that she didn't talk to him about me. It didn't 'come up' so she felt like it wasn't the right time. She shared that she felt like I was pushing her/pressuring her to do something she wasn't comfortable with. It was not a real positive conversation. I was so upset and frustrated with her.

I began to feel that this was more then I could handle. I wanted so bad to have her in my life. I would do just about anything for her acknowledgement. I was in such an emotional rut that I was having a very hard time getting myself out of it. My other relationships were starting to be affected. I knew I needed help. I needed a professional!This was the first time I had been to see a therapist. To admit that I had a problem was very difficult for me, but I knew I couldn't do this on my own.

My therapist was very helpful. After going to him for several sessions, I felt like a different person. I was HEALED!!, or so I thought. It was, more or less, a temporary fix. The roller coaster ride that I talk about so frequently on this journey had finally reached the top of another peak. What I didn't realize was that it was about to go plummeting down the other side and crash at the bottom. My world was about to be turned inside out.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moving Forward

After our initial meeting, the honeymoon continued. Life was great...the best it had ever been. I was so happy. I knew my parents, especially my mom, were not thrilled with the situation, but it was what it was and they knew they had no control. We dealt with it by not talking about it. Not good,I know, but at that time I was just trying to figure out how to deal with everything and keep my head above water. They never brought it up, so neither did I. We were all just ready to move forward.

A couple months after our initial meeting, my birth mom wanted me to meet her parents. I was apprehensive because I didn't know how I felt about them. After all, if her parents would have supported her decision to keep me I would never have been placed for adoption. I could have grown up with my birth mom instead of meeting her for the first time at 25. They were very close...something else that I felt I missed out on...but I knew it was very important to her that I meet them, so I went through with it. More for her then me, but I was glad that I did.

It was like a mini family reunion. I took my daughter with me. Her parents were there, one of her sisters, two of her aunts, and her niece. They were all so warm and loving. Her mom greeted me with open arms and a few tears. She didn't say much, at first, but she didn't have to. I could see it in her eyes. I looked at photo albums, answered questions about my life, listened to their stories...I enjoyed every minute of it.

I was living a dream. I could not have been happier. Not realizing at the time, I was still enjoying the honeymoon. I had no idea how things were about to change.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Meeting

We continued talking on the phone and writing letters for about 8 months. During that time, conversation was very easy. We could talk about anything...serious or the mundane. I loved that about her. We had talked about meeting on several different occasions. I wanted to, but I was also scared. I was scared that we would be moving, yet again, to that next level. I loved her and wanted her in my life, but I also was unsure of what the future would hold for us from that point on.

After our initial phone conversation, the next pivotal moment for me was receiving the first letter from her and pictures. I had always had my thoughts on what she looked like, and of course reality was not what I had imagined. I don't mean that in a bad way either. I thought she was beautiful. I absolutely LOVED having pictures of my biological family. Her friend had copied some pictures of my biological father that she found in a yearbook. Those were nice to have too. I don't know why, but I had always been more curious about my birth mom. I mean, it's nice and all to know about your dad and what he looked like and such, but my birth mom was who I really was curious about.

I stared at the pictures over and over again. Pieces of the puzzle were slowly put together as I looked at them. I had wondered my whole life where my dimples came from. Not one person in my adoptive family had dimples. When I saw her picture, that was the first thing I noticed...I got my dimples from her! I CRIED big time as I looked at the pictures and especially when I read her letter.

We continued to stay in touch. I talked to her on the phone about once a week for the first month. After that it progressed to about a couple of times a week, and at times about every other night. Sometimes I would talk to her each day for several days in a row. It was like an addiction of sorts -- weird sounding, I know, but that's the only way I can think to describe it. I WANTED to talk to her all the time. There was so much that we had to catch up on. I craved her attention and affection. The more we talked, the more I wanted to know her and have her in my life. I knew it was time and I was ready to meet face to face.

We had talked often about when/where we were going to meet. Neither of us wanted it to be a big, all family thing. We thought it would be best if it was just her and I for that first time. Her son still did not know about me. She told me all the time that she wanted to tell him, but was waiting for the right time. I kept telling her I understood and, at the time, I thought I did. As long as she reassured me she loved me and had always loved me, I was pacified enough to take whatever she was willing to give me. We finally decided on a date.

I will never forget that day (I find myself saying that a lot when talking about this). My friends had my daughter for the day. My husband, a coach, had a basketball game that evening so he was out for the day. I was alone. I was ready for a couple of hours before she got there. I wanted everything to be perfect. I examined my outfit several times. I STILL remember to this day what I was wearing. I was so worried about what she would think of me. Would she think that I was pretty? Would she like me? Probably the usual questions when meeting someone for the first time. However, when you're meeting your mom face to face for the first time at the age of 25...the emotions are crazy! I wanted SO bad to be accepted by her and have her approval. I was so nervous.

As I was waiting for her to get to my house, reality was setting in. I wondered what it was going to be like to actually see her. By now, her voice was very familiar and comforting to me. After all, we had talked to each other hundreds of times over the phone. I wondered if talking in person would be any different or less comfortable. I wondered if it was going to be one of those emotional, made for TV kind of reunions. I had lots of thoughts. That day, that time before she arrived is still so vivid. I remember looking out the window 500 times. I remember fixing the wreath on the door and sweeping off the stray leaves that had made their way onto the front porch again. I even walked out to the driveway and looked at my house, trying to get a 'picture' in my mind of what she would see when she drove up. Tired of pacing, I finally just sat on the couch and thought about how life could have been so different.

I finally heard her pull into my driveway. Peeking out the window, my eyes filled with tears as I saw her step out of her car and look around. There she birth mom. My very own flesh and blood. Again, there are no words to fully describe the emotions of that moment. I quickly got myself together and opened the door to greet her. As she stepped through the doorway and embraced me, it was the best feeling. I am a very 'huggy' kind of person anyway, but I literally could feel how much she loved me in that one hug. I can't adequately describe the moment, but I can still feel it today.

There were not too many tears. Some teary moments, but nothing uncontrollable. She brought some photo albums of herself growing up and her family. I really enjoyed looking at them and hearing about and seeing everyone. We ate lunch together and discovered our favorite entree was the same. We discovered that we both had the same habit of pulling on the bottom of our shirt when we're talking or nervous. Silly things, but those silly little similarities meant a lot to me. We went and picked up my daughter from my friends' house. She was so great with her. We went and got ice cream and then went to my husband's game. I was so glad she got to meet the people in my life that meant the most to me. It was one of the best days of my life. I didn't want the day to end.

After she got home that night, she called me to tell me how wonderful the day was for her. She told me that she thought I was beautiful and I was a great wife and mom. She talked for a couple of hours. We both cried. I mainly listened as she shared her regrets with me and played her own 'what if' game. She said she wondered if she could have done it, if she could have just kept me. What would have happened to us? Would I have been as well adjusted. I felt for her. I think, more than anything, she was regretting the fact that she missed 25 years of my life. I understood probably more than she thought I did. I understood because I missed that with her too.

The Phone Call

The fact that I was only a phone call away from talking to my birth mom for the very first time was beginning to drive me nuts. I was so scared to make the call. For weeks the biggest thought on my mind was "What in the world do I say? How do I start the conversation? Who do I tell her I am?" I also knew once I called her, there was no turning around. The fantasy of my birth mom would no longer exist. Instead, there would be a new reality.

I was hanging out with my two very best friends. They are my family. We are very close and they are always so supportive of me. Anyway, we were talking about the 'phone call' for the millionth time. They knew I wanted to, but they also knew I was scared. After much talk, coaxing, and even bribing (I know, how pathetic am I?), I went into the bedroom and made the phone call that would forever change me.

She answered after a couple of rings. I was taken aback just upon hearing her voice. How I knew it was her, I don't know. It could have been anyone -- a daughter, mother, sister -- but I just knew. I stumbled around at the beginning, pausing for a few seconds after each sentence waiting for her to say something. I guess I was expecting an "OMG!!" kind of thing, but she was very quiet. I could tell she was emotional, but holding it together. She said she had been waiting for me to call for a few weeks. The social worker had told her I had her number and would be calling. I felt guilty that I had kept her waiting.[I have to add this side note...As my story unfolds on this blog, I am driving myself nuts at how many times I say I feel guilty about something. Is it just as annoying to read?!]

Anyway...we talked for about 20 minutes. She wanted to know how I was and if I was happy. It felt good to know that she cared. The social worker had told her I was a teacher and that I was married and had a baby. She asked about my adoptive parents and family. I, of course, told her how wonderful everyone was and I had a great life. After all, isn't that how it was supposed to be? She told me that she had a son. He was 10 years younger than me. He did not know about me. For some reason, I wasn't surprised by that and at the time it didn't bother me. She was married and had two step children as well. We talked about my biological father. She still saw him from time to time. He was married and had three boys. For some reason, I always had in my fairy tale that they ended up married and lived happily ever after. However, if that had truly happened, I am sure I would have been totally pissed that I was not a part of that family. Needless to say, it was probably best that my fairy tale had not played out.

Her voice was so calm and quiet the whole time I talked to her. Towards the end of the conversation, I gave her my phone number and address. I told her I would send her pictures of me. She said she would do the same. It was so surreal. I will never forget how I felt. I can't tell you every word of the conversation, but I remember feeling like I was dreaming...just waiting to jolt up from bed realizing it was all just a really great dream. I NEVER, EVER, EVER, imagined that this would be happening to me. I held it together very well while I was talking to her. I remember taking several deep breaths, but made it through the conversation just fine. However, when I hung up the phone I just lost it. I was releasing all the anxiety that had been building over the weeks prior. It all hit me at once...she had found me. We had found each other. What now?

Monday, May 17, 2010


When I arrived at my parents house my mom was not there. Immediately, I felt somewhat relieved because my dad was easier to talk to about BIG, SHOCKING news then my mom. I knew he would take whatever I said and mull over it before he reacted. My mom, on the other hand, wore her feelings on her sleeve. She could not hide what she was thinking or feeling. So, like I said, I was relieved that I could talk to my dad first.

I am not a very blunt person. I take FOREVER to tell a story because I am very detailed oriented (hence this blog taking 500 posts to tell my story....) and hate to leave something out! Well, on this particular day, I was totally out of sorts. I walked in my parents' house and my dad was sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch. I didn't even ask where my mom was. I just blurted out, "My birth mom is wanting to have contact with me." My dad looked at me with a genuinely surprised expression, and said "Really?! That's great." I immediately relaxed. Maybe this will not be so bad after all, I thought. We talked for a little bit and I told him how I knew and the social worker that had called me, etc. After that, we started talking about my mom. He wanted to make sure that I understood that she probably would not take this news very well. He told me that he felt she would probably feel threatened that she was going to be replaced by a new mom. Of course, I felt guilty and reassured him that I would never do that. After about 30minutes or so of talking my mom came home.

Initially, she was concerned because it was noon and I was at their house and not at work. I told her everything was fine. Then my dad cut in and told my mom I had some big news. I could tell by my mom's face that she thought I was going to share that she was going to be a grandma again or some exciting piece of news of that sort. Again, I just blurted it out. There was no sugar coating it. I will never forget the look of horror on her face. It was as if I told her I had a terminal illness or something catastrophic had happened. She started shaking her head no and telling me that I couldn't talk to her. She said so many terrible things about my birth she didn't love me, she probably wanted something from me....I mean so many awful things that I can't even bring myself to type. I just sat on the couch and cried. I was so confused. I hated that this was happening. I hated that I was even born. I hated this situation. I hated adoption. I hated that I was feeling worse and worse by the second as I was listening to my mom rant.

After about 20 minutes or so, she calmed down. She wanted to know details about how I knew she was trying to contact me. She was really mad at the state because she felt they should have been contacted first. Even though I was well over the legal age of adulthood, my mom was angry that they were not contacted. She and my dad said, "What if we hadn't told you you were adopted and this was how you found out?" They immediately hired an attorney with the mindset that they were going to work to have laws changed to protect families of adopted children.

At this point, over the next few days, I started to really think about my life. I thought about my childhood and growing up. I thought of my siblings. I thought about my husband and my 9 month old baby. I slowly started to realize that life as I knew it, was changed forever. That in itself made me very angry. The blissful memories of childhood that I had clung to, were now overshadowed by the reality of this situation. Was I ever as happy as I thought I was? I always remeber feeling like I owed my parents my life. I could have ended up anywhere, but they took me in, fed me, clothed me, took me to church..all the things parents are supposed to do. I felt like I owed them the world and I spent a large part of my life 'paying them back'. Oh, the thoughts. They wouldn't go away.

I was raised thinking that my birth mom really loved me. My mom had always told me that she had to love me because she carried me to term instead of having an abortion. My mom would always tell me how brave my birth mom was. How difficult it had to be to know you had a child out there somewhere. How sad she must have felt at every birthday realizing that another year had passed without knowing who I was and if I was OK. The person who was now cursing the moment my birth mom was born, had told me all those things my entire life. I then became angry at my mom. I felt like she believed all those things as long as my birth mom was not in the picture. All I remember about those first couple of weeks was crying a lot. I would go from angry to incredibly sad, to excited, to scared, to sad, to angry, to you see the roller coaster here?

Over the next couple of weeks, every time I talked to my parents they were talking about the lawyer, the state, laws, etc. They never once asked how I was holding up, if I had decided to call her, etc. I knew that they were trying to deal with the news the best they could, but once again, I felt forgotten. I wondered if anyone cared about me. Does anyone understand or care to understand how I'm feeling?

My mom did tell me a couple days later that she was wrong for saying bad things about my birth mom. She admitted being upset and overreacting. However, as guilt ridden as I was, I knew my mom would feel betrayed if I ever did talk to my birth mom. Oh, how I wished I could get off the guilt train!! It literally was killing me!

We got to the point where we really didn't talk much about the subject at all. They were ready to move on, and to an extent, I was as well. However, the wedge between us was being driven a little further, pushing us farther apart. I would still be the same loving daughter. I would still be there to help with the family business. I would still be the glue that held my siblings together and keep the family as close as possible. I would still be who what they wanted me to be, but I had no idea who I wanted to be.

I carried my birth mom's name and phone number around in my wallet for several weeks. Based on my mom's reaction, I didn't know if I wanted to talk to my birth mom. I didn't know what she wanted and I was scared to continue putting myself and my family through all of the emotions if she wasn't in it for the right reasons. I have no idea what those 'un'right reasons would be, but I couldn't help but be curious. I never knew that I wanted to know my birth mom until that time came. I was so scared. I was so worried about my future from that point on. I knew as soon as I decided to pursue it, nothing would ever be the same. However, at this point, I felt like it was already too late. I was already changed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Learning about my birth mom

"Just breathe", was all that I could say to myself. I COULD NOT believe that my birth mom was looking for me. I had a million questions. How did she find me? Did she know who I was? Had I known her my whole life, but didn't know it? Question after question raced through my mind. I was in complete shock. Since I was in the middle of teaching, I told her that I would have to call her back after school.

Needless to say, the rest of my day was drowned in a sea of thoughts. I was really excited. I could not believe that God had answered my prayers in such an amazing way. When I called the lady from the state back, we talked for quite a while. She told me that we were matched in the reunion registry that they have. I thought back to what had happened before I got married, and realized that my mom had mistakenly signed me up. I had the paperwork at my house still in a drawer. I couldn't do it, but at that moment in time, I was SO thankful that my mom had.

After I went home that night, I talked to my husband about it. He was excited for me. Initially, I was thrilled about the idea of getting to know my birth mom. However, as the reality of it all set in and I talked to my two best friends about it, the emotions hit me hard. I cried and cried and could not stop. I never imagined in a million years that this would happen. I was so confused. The roller coaster ride had begun.

The lady from the state needed to know what information she could disclose to my birth mom about me. I told her I needed to think about it. After all, this is a complete stranger. I still didn't know why she wanted to contact me. I felt like I should approach the situation cautiously. My birth mom had given her permission to give me any information that I wanted. The lady from the state asked me if I wanted to know her name. I grabbed a pen and paper. I remember feeling frozen in time as I was about to hear my birth mom's name for the very first time. It seemed like it took her 5 minutes to tell me. She preceded to tell me where she worked, what she looked like (based on a driver's license picture), where she lived, and then she gave me her address and phone number. Wow! Words alone can not begin to describe how I felt. Now I had to decide what to do next.

The fact that my parents did not know was what bothered me the most. I had to tell them. I remember feeling so overwhelmed at school I couldn't focus on my job. My thoughts were consumed with my birth mom. I was so overcome with emotions. I had to ask my principal if I could leave early. I didn't go into detail why I needed to leave, but she understood. I left school after lunch and went straight to my parents house. I had to tell them. They needed to know what was going on. I couldn't move forward until they knew what was happening to me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The answer to your prayers....

is often not at all what you thought you were asking for. I guess God knew that I would never be able to do it on my own. I needed guidance. What he gave me was a big shove in the back.

I came home one Friday evening to a message on my voice mail. It was a lady from the state needing to talk to me. Of course this would happen on a Friday when offices are closed for the weekend. I wondered what she could possibly want. I had not turned in any paperwork. I hadn't talked to anyone. Why was she calling? Monday could not come soon enough!

First thing Monday morning I called. Of course, she was not in her office and would have to call me back. I left my school number where I could be reached. At the time I was teaching kindergarten. When she called back, I remember my students were noisy. I was trying to hone in on the words I was hearing on the other end of the phone. Was she saying what I thought she was saying? Yes, even among the noise and chaos there was no mistaking it. She said, "Hi. Your birth mom would like to have contact with you."


Growing up, for the most part, was probably like anyone else. Some good experiences and some bad. I had my share of trials, but I was able to get through them okay. I was loving and forgiving. Patient with my siblings and got along with just about everyone. Overall, I was happy.

My adoption was never a secret. I don't even remember my parents ever telling me about it. It's just like I always knew. I looked like I belonged with my family, so it wasn't like I stuck out. Everyone knew, and I was fine with it. I told my friends, teachers, whoever would listen. I guess I thought that made me interesting.My parents were always open about it. I would ask questions on occasion, but not often. Right before I got married, I had some lab work done. The results came back questionable and it upset my mom. She went down to the state's office and demanded as much medical history as possible about my biological family. She thought maybe there was something in my file that was not disclosed to them. She filled out some paperwork there that would change my life forever...but more on that later!

I remember friends, and even my dad on one occasion, asking if I ever wanted to find my 'real' parents. I always answered "No.". Thinking back, it wasn't that I did not want to meet them. It was more that I felt so guilty about it. I was afraid that I would be betraying my parents if I even thought about finding my birth parents. There were a few times I remember looking things up online about genealogy and such, but not knowing anything about where I came from made that a useless effort. The truth was, I did want to know. I did want to see if I looked like them, if they were still together, WHY did they do it, did they love me, did they think about me...I definitely was curious. I wanted to know them, but I could not admit it because of guilt. I loved my parents so much, I did not want to hurt them.

I went to college on a basketball scholarship and met my husband to be. I was happy. Life was great. We got married. I got pregnant...with twins! Since neither of us had twins in our immediate families, I instantly thought about my history. I wondered if my birth mom was a twin or if there were twins in the family. She, especially, was always on my mind. Never outwardly, I would not admit that to anyone because of guilt, of course. To make a long story short, my pregnancy was going great and suddenly at 26 weeks I found myself in labor and in the hospital. I was in the hospital for three days before our baby girls arrived...stillborn. To say that I was devastated would be an understatement. Having biological children was very important to me. I feared, since that was my first pregnancy, that dream would never happen. I had experienced my first major trial in adulthood. It made me evaluate myself and my life. It was at this time that I decided I HAD to know where I came from. I HAD to know about my medical history. I didn't think it was possible to find my birth parents, but I really wanted as much medical history that I could get from my adoption records. So, the search began.

Now I use the term 'search' loosely. I went to the state to see what I needed to do to open my file and get any records available. They gave me paperwork about an adoption reunion registry. Basically, you sign up, if a biological family member signs up as well it links you together and the contact can go from there. I filled it out, and eventually threw it away. I couldn't do it. I could not betray my parents.

Almost 11 months after losing the twins, we had our first baby. She was healthy and perfect in every way! I was in love. However, having her now made me even more curious about my history and, for the first time I admitted to myself that I felt a longing to know more about birth mom. Losing the twins and then having my own child made me realize that she made a decision I hoped to never have to make. I looked at giving a baby up for adoption as a death. I felt so bad for her. Leaving the hospital empty handed when you went in pregnant was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I can't imagine the pain and emptiness she felt the day she left the hospital without me. I knew she had to love me. I also had a desire to share my history with my own child now. Not knowing it made that impossible. Since guilt overtook me every time I thought about searching, I decided to step back and pray about it. I asked God to give me guidance and to help me find peace in whatever decision I made. I had NO idea what plan God had for me.

The beginning

Now, my parents are not your average couple of the 70's. My mom was a nurse, and at the time they met, my dad worked for the state at a correctional facility. My dad's aunt, a little elderly Christian woman, was in the hospital and my mom was her nurse. She adored my mom and wanted her to meet my dad. Through my dad coming up to the hospital to visit his aunt, he got to know my mom. They didn't hit it off at first, but over time they fell for each other.

Now, have I mentioned that my parents are not the average couple of the 70's? They eloped in June of 1975 and had a small ceremony with a preacher and their best friends. They eloped because they knew their families would not be supportive of their decision to marry. Why not?, you wonder. My mom is black and my dad is white. Of course, their families had a very difficult time adjusting to this reality at first but over time they learned to accept it.

My parents were a little older when they got married, so they decided to start having children right away. Due to ovarian cysts, my mom lost a baby and was told she would never be able to carry a baby to term. After learning they could not have their own biological children, my parents chose to adopt. They went through the state, filling out applications, home studies, etc. Needing a break for a while, they decided to go on a vacation. Little did they know, after just a few short months, their case worker had already found them a child. The case worker called them to tell them that they had a baby girl, but could not reach them. The case worker eventually called my grandparents to get in touch with my parents. When my parents found out, they were ecstatic. My mom said that when they got home, they went straight to Sears and bought every baby thing imaginable. They could not wait to meet me.

A few months, even back then, was a very short amount of time to wait for a baby. In a small town, not far from my parents, my life was playing out. Two high school sweethearts were expecting a baby together. Their situation was similar to my parents in that they too were a biracial couple. My birth mom was white and my biological father was black. My birth mom had planned on keeping me through most of her pregnancy. She unfortunately did not have the support that she needed for herself or me. The situation went from bad to worse. She was told she would be on her own to raise me if she chose to keep me. She had to make a decision. She chose to give me a life she knew would not be possible for her to give me on her own. She made a choice that changed her life, my life, my parents, and everyone else that would be a part of our lives from that point on. She made the decision to relinquish her parental rights and have me placed for adoption. Since my parents were a biracial couple, my caseworker knew that they would be the perfect parents for me.

I was 3 weeks old when my parents met me for the first time. My mom said I had colic, thrush, and a bad diaper rash. I had been placed in two different foster homes for the three weeks before my parents got me. My mom didn't think I had been cared for real well. She wasn't very happy about it. She said that there was a waiting period where my birth mom could get me back if she wanted. I can't remember the exact time frame. My mom said she was very nervous during that time because they had instantly fell in love with me. When the time frame had passed, they finally relaxed and were so happy to have their baby.

My parents were contacted by the state when I was a few months old about another child. They had a little boy (2 years older then me) ready for adoption, but did not have a family for him. My parents started the process to adopt a big brother for me. Meanwhile, unbeknown to them, my mom was pregnant. She was able to carry my little sister to term. In a matter of 15 months, my parents had 3 children...ages 3, 1, and newborn, 2 adopted, and one biological. 5 years later, my parents were 'surprised' with my little brother, another biological child my mom was able to carry to term. My parents had their family.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Everyone needs an outlet...

I am hoping this blog becomes mine. The place that I can come to share my innermost thoughts, dreams, and fears. I am living a life that I sometimes do not know how to survive. On the outside, I have it college sweetheart, picture-perfect children, a successful career, loving friends and family, a comfortable get the picture. However, on the inside, I feel weak, helpless, and oftentimes, unlovable.

Over the years, I have discovered that being adopted has left me with many emotional scars. Scars that I never knew existed. I grew up knowing I was adopted, but I was pretty sure that I knew I was loved. I didn't realize how, deep inside, I longed for my birthmom. I longed for the woman who carried me for 9 months...fought for me, cried for me, wanted me to have more then she knew she could give me. I had no idea how much I longed for her, until she became a part of my life. At the age of 24, you figure out pretty quick that this is not a journey for the weak. This journey comes without an instruction book. Just faith and prayer that you will figure it out.

My faith got me through many dark hours, but I guess you get to a point where it feels like you do not have anymore left in you. Nothing to sustain you. However, by the grace of God, I will get through this valley and come out a better person on the other side.

Over the course of the next few days, weeks, maybe even months, I will share my story piece by piece. No one can understand the feelings associated with this kind of love unless they have been there. Thank you for following along and walking this road with me.