If you are just joining me…this is the 3rd part in a series about my adoption….Speaking to My Birth Mother for the First Time. If you haven't read My Adoption Story or The Search for My Birth Parents Begins….you can get up to speed by reading those HERE and HERE.
Speaking to My Birth Mother for the First Time
It seemed like I had mailed the letter to my birth mother ages ago…in reality it had been about 2 weeks. One evening my husband and I are sitting around watching TV and the phone rings. This was before caller ID…so we didn't know who it was, LOL! He answered and got a funny look on his face. He covered the phone and told me that he thought it was my birth mother.
Now…this is just an ironic little tidbit…my mother's name is Linda. My birth mother's name is also Linda…weird huh? 🙂 I am going to refer to my birth mother as Linda…it is just easier than saying birth mother all the time!
I got on the phone and Linda told me who she was…it was AWKWARD to say the least. In my mind I thought it would be all roses and hugs…but in reality I was talking to a complete stranger who happened to have given birth to me 22 years before.
Once we got past the really awkward part..we started talking. I talked about my life….she shared some things about her life. She had 3 other children…my half-siblings…2 boys and a girl. The 2 boys were close to me in age…the girl was only about 14 years old at that time. We talked for a long time and decided that we would like to meet. She lived in the next state over and so we would try to meet in the middle somewhere for lunch.
I was very clear on the phone that I was not looking for a replacement mother…that I had the best mom ever! Linda seemed completely fine with a no-strings-attached meeting.
Linda also told me that she was still in occasional contact with some of my birth father's relatives and she would locate his address for me. She thought he lived in Colorado at that time. She told me she would call me the next week to set up a time to get together.
Life Isn't Always Rainbows and Unicorns
I NEVER HEARD FROM HER AGAIN.
Yes, you read it right…she never called me back. EVER.
I think that was the first time in my entire life that I truly felt rejected. I had never felt rejected because I was adopted before…but now that this woman who gave birth to me had actually spoken to me…now she never calls back. It was clear she didn't want to meet me. I can honestly say that it hurt….even writing this 18 years later gives me a stab of pain.
Part of me wondered why….just WHY? Was it something I had said? I had mailed a picture of myself in the original letter…..did she not like what she saw? The mind can play pretty dirty tricks on you if you let it!
I just went on with my life. Becoming a mother made it even harder for me to understand the situation with my birth mother. I could honestly not fathom how she could have not responded to me in a more positive way. As I would look at my son I think about how it would have felt if I had been in a situation where I had to put him up for adoption.
The sad part was that she had not told me my birth father's name during that phone call. I still wanted to locate him and was at a total dead-end.
A year or two later I decided to write her a letter and ask for my birth father's name. There were a few specific questions that I hadn't asked on the phone. I requested a picture of her…to satisfy that deep-seated curiosity that I couldn't seem to kick despite the rejection. I assured her that she never had to meet me or interact with me again…if she would only answer my questions by mail!
Our Final Contact
I received a pretty quick response from Linda by mail. She gave me the information she had about my birth father and answered my questions. There were pictures of herself and her other children in the envelope too. She tried to give me a little insight into why she had never called me back.
Linda told me that when she talked to her 14-year-old daughter about me that it hadn't gone well. She also hadn't heard back from my birth father. She knew it was getting close to the end of my pregnancy and she didn't want to bother me at that time.
I don't know that any of those reasons were the actual reason she didn't call me back. Perhaps it was just too hard. Maybe she wasn't ready. I don't think I will ever really know what her thought process was in not wanting to meet me. In the end, it was her choice and I had to accept it.
Linda sent me her senior picture…when I lay it next to my senior picture…the resemblance seems pretty strong. I look at her photograph and imagine her at that age expecting me. She told me in her letter that she worked really hard during the pregnancy to not get attached to me.
A Few Questions Answered
Her letter did help answer some of my “why” questions! Linda told me that she never got to see me after I was born. She was not told what the sex of the baby was either. She did find out that I was a girl when she was signing some of the adoption paperwork.
Linda wrote, “Your birthday has been a special day for me. Some years I would be melancholy and realize late in the day that it was your birthday.”
She explained that she had dated my birth father for about a year and they had broken up shortly after she got pregnant. She was 17 years old and knew her relationship with my birth father wasn't going to work out. His parents asked her if she wanted to marry him, but she knew it wasn't a good idea. Abortion wasn't an option she was willing to choose either. She said she waited until it was too late for an abortion before telling her mom and stepdad about the pregnancy. I will be forever grateful that she worked so hard to keep the pregnancy from ending in abortion.
A Chapter Closed
I never contacted Linda again………I do not even know if she is still living. She has never contacted me again. At the time I am writing this her children have not tried to contact me either to my knowledge.
The search for my birth mother did not turn out at all like I expected it would. My mom had worried that I would end up disappointed….and as usual, my mom is always right!! 😀 I went into the search knowing in my head that things may not work out as I hoped….but I think deep down everyone believes in a fairy tale ending.
I don't regret my decision to locate my birth mother despite the disappointment it brought me. Speaking to my birth mother did give me answers to many of my questions. It helped give me closure to know a little more about where I came from. I remain thankful every day for the parents that the Lord saw fit to give me!
Next up is my search for my birth father! I hope you will come back by to read the end of my story! Are you adopted? I would love to hear about your story!!
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Sometimes knowing ‘where you could have been’ gives you a much greater appreciation for where you are. I have always been thankful to my biological for giving me the gift of the perfect set of parents.
Mel…that is so very true! I often wonder what my life would have turned out like if she had kept me! God knew best!! 🙂 I was just thinking about your dad recently and his laugh…it was so contagious!! I am surprised I have hair on the top of my head considering how many times he rubbed his knuckles on top of my head when I was a kid!! Thanks for reading!