As a young child..oh how I loved my birthday. My mom always made the day seem like the most wonderful and happy day. House parties with all my cousins, aunts and uncles followed one earlier with all my neighborhood and school friends. Parties with polite little girls dressed in our Sunday best in the early 1960’s progressed into sleep overs, with girls talking all night and Motown and rock playing on the turntable. Through it all my mom was there. Planning, baking, making sure the day went smoothly.
As I grew into adolescence the day of my birth remained a happy day. Traditionally I began my countdown as soon as June 1st rolled around. Lingering deep within was an empty spot I dare not share for fear I would hurt my mom’s feelings. On my 16th birthday I had a wonderful party with two special gifts..the trip to the DMV office to get my driver’s permit and my adoption papers. To see my name in print..paper in my hand was unbelievable. I had know my “real” name but never had I seen it in print. That birthday gift was the beginning of a journey which spanned several years, much heartbreak and a strong development of self.
I became different that day. I was 16 and unsure. 16 and focused. A bundle of emotion, questions, sadness, and determination. I did what I could trying to search for who I was.
As the years passed I continued to search and continued to look forward to my birthday. After all, it was a special day as my mom always told me. But what about the feelings of feeling unwanted, less than normal, different? These were difficult to work through and I was able to work through and accepted it all because my mom was there. I lost my mom just short of my 40th birthday and have missed her more than words can say.
On this day I have another mother I think about..one who gave life to me 53 years ago today. I have thought of her every year on this day for decades and wondered if she thought of me too. I still find myself thinking of her the same way I had for many years. Did she even see me the day I was born? Did she wonder what I would look like and become as I grew? DId she hope the best for me? I had always thought the answer to all those question were yes. I mean, that is what mothers do. They think about their child, wish them a happy life surrounded with love, care and joy. I am not sure if my birthmother did any of that. My one and only conversation with her left me with doubt. I go on faith in the human spirit and in a mother’s soul that she did. Maybe I do that as a survival technique and am simply fooling myself. I doubt I will ever really know.
My birthmother reminded me that she could have ended her pregnancy..and for the choice she made I thanked her with all my heart. She was the only person to really make me feel I was unwanted…..my mom never made me feel unwanted, she raised me to feel special. She wished me all the best that life has to offer. Though my mother is no longer with me I carry all the love she raised me with. Her strength is in me. I feel her love everyday. I learned from my mom, I was loved by my mom. My mom loved this day because I was born…it was a special day for the both of us. The sun is shining. I feel her smile…I love you mom.
Your story is remarkable.
It resonates, we never know what someone us going through. I was a year behind you in school, My son was your student. I am a facebook friend who saw your trips to Hungary…I never knew. I am a nurse, and worked at a local maternity ward where we had young girls who gave their babies up for adoption, and I have an adopted brother since he was 6 months old.
As I read your story, I had many questions. And you answered everyone of them. As I read with tears in my eyes, you represent strength, hope, and a bond much stronger that blood. And you had a remarkable mom who raised you. You are remarkable.
I hope you have peace. Peace in knowing your beginnings, finding your family, and bringing hope to so many.