Whether we know it or not, we are all touched by adoption in one way or another. You may be the child of a woman who experienced the guilt and shame of being an unwed mother, forced to surrender a child long before you were even a spark in someone’s eye. This is about to happen to some adult children of a birth mother as one day soon they will hear her story. There is little doubt it can be told without tears; she has no idea how they will respond to her but she must tell them now that she has been found by her son and she would love to have a relationship with him.
For years she has wondered, even worried about him, hoping he had a good life and was loved by his adoptive parents. Every “first” she experienced with any of her other children caused her to think about the first steps, the first Christmas, the first day of school, the first puppy-love crush, the first award, the first time he drove the family car, graduation, college, marriage, and perhaps even the first child (her first grandchild) of the son she gave up and never told anyone about.
We only hope all her children will respond with love because she has suffered alone — a silent suffering her children never knew about or if they did, never understood. If they saw her suffering they may have thought it was a result of something they did. She was sworn to keeping her past a secret, carrying the shame put upon her by society and the guilt she felt inside and she was told never to search. For forty plus years she did her job well, just as she was told.
Soon she can retire this burden; put it down and take a weight off her shoulders that has caused stress, illness and sleepless nights. She can do this because her first born son, who was never told not to search, who had an understanding of what she went through, and who had a primal need to know where he came from, spent countless hours looking for her. One day, giving her all the respect and honor she deserves, he initiated contact that resulted in his mother making her first phone call to him — a call neither of them will ever forget. We know it has led to her getting her first peaceful night’s sleep in years; we hope it will lead to the reunion of the entire family and the healing both mother and son have needed for many years.
You may be the young man who has lived his life, well into his forties, thinking he was the child of those who raised him only to be told, after he was married with children of his own, that someone else gave him life…coming in my next blog.
How’s that for being touched by adoption?
Peace to you and those you love,