April 7, 2008
In 1985, I was pregnant with my daughter, Sarah. I was very excited, as all parents are, but I was especially excited about having someone in my life that actually LOOKED like me. All of us that are adopted know what I’m talking about. I kept thinking about my baby and what sort of traits she would have and, of course, I really started to think more and more about my birth parents. As she was growing inside me and I was experiencing motherhood, I wondered what my birth mother must have been thinking while she was going through this with me.
Sarah was born with a severe birth defect called microcephaly. After her delivery, many doctors were in my room asking me a million questions about my medical and family history. I couldn’t answer them. I didn’t care what one of them had to say…. I just wanted to bond with my daughter and I did. It was both the happiest and saddest day of my life, and all I could think about was my mother who gave birth to me. She was helping me through one of the most difficult times of my life, and she didn’t even know it. I kept thinking that even though the circumstances were different, that she understood the pain I was going through right now.
A few days later, a very lovely man came to my room and said he knew this was a difficult time for me, but that only one in eight hundred thousand children were born with this disability and he wanted to know my family history. I knew nothing. So I called my father and I asked him if he could shed any light on this.
My father was devastated for me and knew this was an important piece of medical information . He said he would make a few phone calls and would call me back. Well, he called me back in 15 minutes, telling me there was nothing in my family history that could be linked to Sarah’s disability. Fifteen minutes! I knew right then and there that he knew much more about my birth parents than he was willing to admit. I knew it, and I was heartbroken, but I understood it. What could I say? You knew it all these years and didn’t tell me??? It was clear that it was something he and my mother always knew but had decided they would never share with me. But I was pissed. I don’t know how else to describe it. I was pissed. I loved him and I could accept it, but I was pissed.
April 7, 2008
In 1975, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My father told us that she couldn’t possibly live more than six months. The possibility that we would lose her was just simply out of the question. But it soon became apparent that this was going to happen no matter what we said or felt. She fought very hard, but she lost her battle a week before my 17th birthday
There wasn’t even standing room at my mother’s funeral. Everyone loved my mother. I was truly blessed by having this woman in my life. I will remember that each and every day of my life.
Here I was away at college. My father fell into a deep depression over the loss of my mother. My sister was only 13 and was left to pretty much fend for herself. She fell to the way of rebellion and misconduct and my father couldn’t take it. He was helpless and she was helpless. There was only one thing to do. I came home. Not that I could really help. I was only 17. Just a child myself. I was home for a few months, and I don’t know how much I actually helped but I thought to myself “I’m going to drown here. There is far too much sadness here and I won’t survive it”. I stayed long enough to see that my sister could get on track, and then I left.
Little by little we all got back to the business of life, as we all must. But with my mother now gone, I started to wonder about my birth mother. I didn’t even want to, but all these thoughts of her kept coming no matter what. I wanted to feel motherly love again. I kept thinking about her and I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t want to betray my mother that raised me, but she was gone and there was nothing I could do about it. Each and every day that went by I wondered more and more about her. Finally, I decided to ask my father about her. He told me that he didn’t know anything about her. He only knew that she was young and couldn’t take care of me, hence my adoption. That was it.
Eventually, I came to accept this. That was it. There was nothing else I could do. I had looked into opening my adoption records and I was told flat out “They are sealed and there is nothing you can do to ever open them.” New York State has about the strictest laws on adoption that there are. They are iron-clad. And that was way back when in the late 70s or early 80s.
In the early 80s, the computer age came into being for the average person. I didn’t have a computer, but I knew a few that did. My first search on the computer was into adoption. There were a few sites that were dedicated to finding a birth parent or an adoptee. I delved into those, but that came up with nothing. I once again made contact with the state. Now, there was a registry that you could sign on to, but it could only help you if your parent was trying to make contact with you as well. Down hearted, I signed up anyway. It was a long shot, but I had to try. Unfortunately, she wasn’t looking for me.
February 12, 2008
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