I wasn’t thrown away.
It has taken me awhile to digest the results of my searching for my birth family. So much has happened so fast that it feels like I am living in a revolving room. The meeting with my sister was great and to connect with someone who shares my DNA has given me a peace and a joy I can’t explain. There are moments through out each day that I think about connecting with this tiny woman with the great laugh and I can actually feel my heart smile.
This was only the beginning. Two weeks ago, I sat down at a restaurant in Plymouth Michigan with my biological brother, my birth mother’s best friend, and my niece and her family. Meeting my brother was again an anxious moment but it was less stressful than meeting my sister. I prepared myself differently this time. My expectations were low. My thought was that my brother was showing up because his sister made him. I expected to meet someone who was more interested with what was on the TV screens in the restaurant than me. If I got more, great; but if I got ignored than I got what I expected.
When I shook his hand, my expectations were exceeded. I could tell by his hand shake that he was there because he wanted to be and not because he had to be. He came because he was interested in meeting the brother he didn’t know about until a week before our meeting. He showed interest in me and I sat in the restaurant next to him and my heart laughed and sang inside my chest.
My brother sat to my left and my birth mother’s best friend, Joanne, sat to my right. She told me stories about my birth mother and showed me pictures of her and my birth mother fishing. I found out my birth mother did beautiful needle point and she loved the Detroit Red Wings.
Joanne, who was more like a sister, filled my ear with priceless nuggets of who my mother was. Then Joanne told me about the time her and I first met. Forty two years ago, I rode in her arms from the hospital to my foster home. Joanne sat in the back seat of my mother’s car holding me while my mother sat in the front seat sobbing uncontrollably. Joanne tilted me forward so my mother could look in the rear view mirror and see my tiny face. When we arrived at the foster home, Joanne kissed me and I was handed over to my foster mother who stood outside the car waiting. Joanne kissed me once for her and once for my mother. My mother sat in the front seat unable to do much. She was too overcome by the emotions of the moment.
A week later, my mother and Joanne returned to the foster home to drop off some undershirts and diapers. Joanne stayed in the car while my mother went in to make the delivery.
Joanne would never again bring up the events of those few weeks. She saw how crushed my mother was and didn’t want to bring up such a painful subject again. Over the years, Joanne explained she could tell that giving me up for adoption changed my mother. Joanne could tell it also weighed on her mind. When you know someone for so long it is easy to tell what they are thinking without them saying a word. Joanne knew my mother for over 50 years. My mother didn’t need to express her sadness to Joanne, Joanne could feel it.
By now my heart just sat and listened to Joanne. My heart curled up in front of the warm glow coming from Joanne and sat still, quiet and peaceful.
Later on, I got to hear stories from my brother and sister about growing up with my mother. While I sat listening to their stories a small bit of me was jealous. I listened to them tell stories feeling a little cheated because they spoke about what I will never know. I will never know what it was like to have a conversation with my mother or learn her likes and dislikes. The momentary flare of jealousy took me off guard and took me away from the conversation for a few moments. It quickly passed and I rejoined the conversation.
After our meeting, I was put in touch with an aunt and uncle; My mother’s sister and brother in law. This sister held me at the hospital right after I was born. In our phone conversation she told me her and her husband tried to adopt me a few months after I was taken away. By that time I was adopted by my family. My aunt and uncle both told me they tried to look for me since then many times but just didn’t have enough information to go on. We are now trying to arrange a time so I can meet them.
The influx of new family members continues. I have been sending e-mails back and forth to my brother’s daughter, my niece. She is a great young lady and the fact that she has interest in knowing me stuns me.
This has all been overwhelming and so healing at the same time. There are times when I just have to take a break. I get so emotionally drained I can’t do much but just sit. Then there are moments when my heart does cartwheels because I wasn’t just thrown away. There have people, about 50 miles away, who thought about me and searched for me. There have been people who didn’t want me to leave and are so happy I am back.
I wasn’t just thrown away and forgotten about like I thought for so many years. The peace that rushes in with that realization is calming.
Now I have to rest. There is a man that may still be alive that is my birth father. This week one of my new nieces found my mothers old address book. In it we think we found my birth father’s last name. Soon there may another family I will get to meet. I will need to rest up for that.