This is the second part of my adoption story. It stands alone. But, if you would like to read part 1 first, go to My Adoption Story – Part 1
After the initial shock of finding out I was adopted as related in part one of this set of posts, being adopted wasn’t a big deal. And never felt like my parents treated me any differently. I never had any emotional pain or longing regarding my birth mother giving me up for adoption.
But as I got older, one thing began to bother me. I started wondering what it was like to give up your child for adoption. I wondered what might birth mother was feeling now. I wondered if she wondered how things turned out for me. I wondered if she wondered how I felt about her. What laid most strongly on my heart was that I wanted her to know that she did the right thing, and everything turned out well.
But for the longest time, I never did anything about it. When I say, “for the longest time,” I mean like 35 years.
Maybe it was because I was approaching 50. Maybe it was because my grandparents and my father had passed away. Whenever the reason, contacting my birth mother began to take on more urgency.
I imagined her not knowing what happened to a child she gave birth to. I imagine her wandering whether things turned out better for her child then if she had kept her child. I imagined her wondering if her child was upset or hurt about being given up for adoption. So, I finally decided it was time to act.
The natural starting point was to ask my mom if she knew anything about my birth mother. It was supposed to be a closed adoption, but it turns out that somehow my mom had my birth mother’s name.
It was an unusual name. I’m not going to give it to you because I want to protect by birth mother’s privacy. But, I google the name and immediately got some interesting results.
I found a letter to the editor she had written to the paper in the town where she lives. I also found a legal name change back to her maiden name. If she hadn’t changed her name back to her birth name, I might never have found her. I searched for her contact information in that town and found her address and phone number.
Then I waited.
I wasn’t sure how to go about contacting her. Should I send her a letter? Should I call her? Should I have a neutral friend call her and say he’s calling on behalf of her adopted child, in case there is some reason she never wants contact with me? What is the proper way for an adopted child from a closed adoption to go about establishing contact if he finds his birth mother?
After quite a bit of hemming and hawing, I made a decision. I had talked to a friend who had agreed to call her for me. But one day after few weeks, I decided to pick up the phone and call her. I remember that I was out walking, thinking through everything. I said to myself, “I just need to do it.” So, I turned around, walked home, and mad the call.
After a couple of rings, she answered the phone.
Her voice was a little feebler than I expected it to sound. I could hear people talking in the background. “She’s not alone,” I thought. “That’s not ideal. Now, what do I do? What if I identify myself and she starts crying or something in front of her guests?”
“Hi. My name is John. I think I might be the son you gave up for adoption in 1966.”
She answered without hesitation.
“That may be true.”
“It sounds like you have people with you. May I call you at a more convenient time.”
“Yes. That would be good.”
So, we set up a time in the next day or two. I remember being quite nervous as the appointed time for the phone call approached because I knew we would have time to talk.
To be continued…
I hate to string you along, but I also hate long blog posts when I expect short ones. So, I will tell you how our first contact went in my next post. Now that I’m started, I think this story will take four or more posts to tell.
You are God’s gift to the world. Believe it. Own it. Live it!