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 mom...how 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 sad...do 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.