I haven’t written a single blog post in almost a year. I went through and deleted most of them because they annoyed me- I see how my vision has evolved. It’s clearer now; I know what I need to say.
There’s very little peace in the middle of a search and any extra energy goes toward keeping a balance in everyday life. It consumes. Through DNA testing and Ancestry.com I was able to locate my biological family. Both mother and father. Both still living. I’ve received a warm welcome from my mother, the opposite from my father, which is fine. She was the one.
I found my mother on Easter Sunday. I woke feeling weary from the toll this search had taken on me and my family. I had a new match (still quite distant at a 3.9) on GEDmatch and I wanted to take a closer look at her extensive tree. I said to the kids, “I’m going to find my mother today. Just give me a little time.” Four hours later, after combing through every descendant of my great, great, great grandfather and using adoption agency clues, I found her. This I knew: there was a conception in Syracuse in 1969. I knew she was English. I knew she was the middle of three daughters. I knew she had been a secretary. When I came to her mothers (my grandmothers) obituary and saw the three daughters listed, with their names, I knew I had found her… I stopped breathing. Of course, I turned to Facebook to search her name. When I found her, the school she had listed was a secretarial school in Syracuse. Bam. I immediately called my searchers and asked them to run a background on her age and to get me her cell phone number. They did both in less than a minute. I made the call. She told me later that she knew it was me as soon as she heard my voice. She said she had been waiting for my call. She said she never forgot about me. She said she loved me.
10 days later I flew out to meet my mother and the rest of my family. It was hard; draining and painful, and beautiful, and healing, and overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. No words -when people ask, I have none. I can only imagine how she must feel, because, quite the opposite of me, I only get tiny glimpses into those deeply hidden memories. She hid me and our story for 46 years. After my birth it was never spoken of again.
This process will heal us both.
Reunion doesn’t happen overnight. Never again will you ever hear me say I’m thankful I’m also a mother of loss, but the fact that I am has helped me understand her better. If I had walked into her life as only an adoptee there would’ve been much more confusion. It has given us a common ground and many conversations of shared loss.
Something I notice with friends and family that have been on this journey with me is that they love the reunion story, the joyful, happy and romanticized version. But the suffering by mother and child is ugly and wretched. No one wants to hear that part; the broken hearts you can’t see in the photos. I don’t expect them to get it, only those that live it do.