Friday, February 04, 2005

How I met my birth mother..........

Some background first: the adoption was arranged by my Adoptive Mom's (hereinafter known as AM) doctor, and I was taken home within an hour of my birth. That would never happen today, of course. My AM told me when I was age 6 that I was adopted - she called itbeing a chosen child - and later on, when I was about 10-12, she told me the circumstances of my conception. I was told that my BM and BD (birth mom and dad) got married 3 days after my birth, but since she had already signed the papers, they could not get me back. BM was age 17 and BD was about 20, and in college. When I was about 33, my BD's obit was in the hometown newspaper, and AM gave it to me. That was the first time I knew their names or anything else about them. They had 2 children.

I was curious about them, as all adopted kids are, but I knew that if I ever expressed any interest in them, my AM would go nuts. She used to ask me if I had any interest in finding them, and I sort of did, but I always told her no, as I knew that was what she wanted me to say.

Years later, AM died and 10 years later, AD died. AD had married about 6 years after AM passed away. My family and I went back home for the funeral, and on the trip back to our home, I mentioned that I had the feeling during the funeral that my BM might have been there. Dad's new wife and I did not get along very well and so I had never had any interest in talking to her. But 2-3 days after I got back home, I had a very strong urge (and I mean VERY strong) to call her. I had never expected to speak with her ever again - so you realize how odd this was to me. She told me that she had something to tell me: the day that my AD's obit was in the paper, she answered the phone and a woman identified herself as my BM. She wanted to know where I was, and if it was okay for her to come to the wake and/or the funeral. Dad's wife said the only smart thing I had ever heard her say, and she told BM that she could come, but please not to speak to me or my family, since I had enough to get through with AD's death. I am so happy she said that as it was very true.

I told Dad's wife to get her phone number and address for me - and to tell BM that I would contact her when I was ready. Now here comes the really eerie part: Dad's wife told me that BM had 2 children - who had been living in the same town I live in for 10 years! It is not in the same state, either. I had not contacted BM yet, and a few days before my birthday the following year, I got a letter from her telling me that she was coming to my town and she wanted to see me. I have to say that I felt just like a deer in the headlights! There was not enough time to get used to the idea - but I called her and told her I would meet her in a local restaurant. That way, if I did not like the experience, I could leave at any time.

We did meet; my husband went with me and her daughter brought her to the restaurant. I found out that her children were adopted; after she had me, she was never able to conceive again. I felt sad about that (for her) but I was almost glad to know that I had no blood siblings. Even though I have always wanted a brother or sister, I didn't want to find or have them this way! She brought photos of herself and BD, and told me a history that bore little relationship to what my AM had told me. When BM told BD about being pregnant, he panicked and ran away and joined the Navy. He was not in college, as I had thought, but was working and saving money for college. BM's Dad and step-mom made her give me away. Supposedly, she wanted to keep me, but they said no, and she had no other choice. Then when I was 2 years old, my BD contacted BM for the first time since she told him about me, and he said "I want you to make an honest man of me". He came home on leave at Christmas, and they married. When he died, they had been together 30 years. He did eventually go to college, and she became an LPN.

I met her in 1998, and since then have visited with her 3-4 times. Her children eventually moved back to our hometown, so she has no reason to come here anymore. She started trying to put a guilt trip on me about not coming to visit her more often (it is 350 miles away) and I haven't said anything about it to her, but I hardly think she has that right, since she waited a hell of a long time to find me. Of course, she did say that she promised AM when I was born, that she would not try to contact me until both AM and AD were dead. She kept that promise, so I guess she has integrity, but it is small consolation for an adopted child to learn many years too late that she was really wanted.

The photos she brought were very interesting. She says I resemble my BD's side of the family, and that I am the spitting image of one of his sisters. That is another eerie thing, I almost went to college in Ohio where one of them lives and I lived for 5 years in Norfolk, where another brother lives. Of course, I knew nothing about it then. My son is almost identical to the photo I have of BD, even though the photo has dark contrast, you can see the resemblance. One of my daughters looks a lot like BM did when she had me. It is nice to know where those traits come from and it ws great to find out about the medical history. The only other synchronicity I can remember to say is that she and I have one trait in common:
we both do crossword puzzles in ink - and we do them everyday. How's that for genetics?

Any questions? Just ask Judy....................

5 comments:

brendalove@gmail.com said...

That is a wonderful story Judy! I know it was hard to type it all out but you did it! I am thankful that you have had the opportunity to find out about your BM and BD and actually meet your BM....so many never get that chance! You know a lot more about yourself just from meeting her.

I can understand an adoptive parent not wanting to deal with birth parents when the child is small...it would be so confusing for the child....but I never have understood wanting to prevent contact when the child is older...an adult, even. I hope you can forgive any resentments you have towards your BM...it sounds like everyone was just trying to do the best they could under the circumstances.

Do you ever talk to her much now or have anything to do with her adopted kids?

Thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

My wife's father and mother were both adopted. When they died, my wife kept a bunch of old framed family paintings and photos. (Our home is decorated with antiques.) Neither of her brothers wanted them since most of the people in the photos were not blood related. A large oval photo of her fathers adoptive grandfather is the splitting image of our son. It is really uncanny.

raehan said...

I really enjoyed reading this, Judy. I liked your frankness and honetly. Very compelling, but I'm sure a lot for a birth and adoptive daughter to deal with.

Reflekshins said...

inspirational

Mountain Mama said...

I found you at Merle's blog and wanted to come for a visit. I must say you have a very difficult situation to deal with. I don't think it's something that anyone can advise you about. I think you will just have to reach deep inside yourself for direction.
I hope and pray it all works out for the best.