I don’t now how to start this, and maybe just saying that is the easiest way. I think of you a lot, not just on birthdays, and holidays, but frequently in my daily life. We have family in common you and I. Two very special men who changed us because of adoption. I regret you have never met either of them, and I have never met you, but you mean so much to me.
Your story started before I was born. In 1976 you gave birth to a healthy 7.5 pound son. He was born at 5:30 pm. At the time you were 15-16 years old, you had blue/greenish eyes, and blondish/light brown hair. I don’t recall much else written on the one sheet of info given, except the info about the birth father who was 16, had dark curly hair, and may have had native ancestry. The adoption took place through the ministry of social services, and it was, as common in those days, a closed adoption.
I wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you last night on your son’s birthday. I can’t answer for your son on why he hasn’t searched, but I have over the years encouraged him to. I even have in my possession, the papers all filled out for the adoption reunion registry, that he had me help him fill out. All that was needed was his signature, but he got cold feet, and so I have held onto them for him, for whenever, if ever, he is ready.
I am your greatest supporter and ally. I feel very strongly that knowing who you are would bring him that “something” he doesn’t realize he’s been searching for all his life. You and I, we are family. If adoption had not come into our lives, you would know me as your grandsons mother. Adoption did enter our lives though, and I’m deeply sorry to tell you that I am a mother of adoption loss too. Your grandson was adopted. I am so sorry. I was told it was for the best. I was told it was the right thing. I was told the only way he could have a good life was to be in a family where he could be raised by two parents and not a single mother. All these years later, and armed with the knowledge I didn’t have at the time, I deeply regret signing those papers.
Your son came to see our son in the hospital when he was born. That was the only time he saw him in person. I want you to know that I was in an open adoption, and I regularly visited him when he was younger, and I took lots of pictures of him growing up. Your son came to see pictures of our son for the first time, when he was about 6 months old. I’ll never forget that night. I handed him a picture of our son and I watched him. He stared at it for the longest time. I showed him another. This man who usually talks a mile a minute was stone silent, and then he blurts out, “Hey! he has my ears! I have such cute little ears, he has my chin!, he has my nose! I had a cute nose before it was broken. He looks like me!” and he looked at me amazed. “Of course he looks like you he’s your son!” ….and then the intense realization hit me….he has never seen anyone else who looks like him. I felt so very sad for him at that moment, for the loss of his first family, and then years later to lose his only child, also to adoption. This beautiful complicated man who I unconditionally loved, at my own peril, had no roots on his family tree that he was aware of..and because of me, had no branches either. Because of this twist, him and I have had a very complicated past together.
He pushed and pushed telling me that his child deserved a family with two parents like he had gotten. Now that I more familiar with the adoption community, I am aware of several people who become “dual hat” wearers. The adoptee who becomes the parent of adoption loss. I am not a dual hat wearer, but my mother is also a mother of adoption loss. She lost her firstborn daughter to adoption loss. She kept me, and you would think that growing up and seeing my mother in that pain all those years would stop me from signing those papers… but it didn’t. Because of mine and his shared history of adoption we have always had a push/pull relationship. When we see each other for brief periods it’s really intense the whole time, and then I won’t see him for years. This has been the longest stretch, I haven’t seen him now in 13 yrs, but I know where he is, roughly, and I do have leads on how to contact him if I need to.
He was the first person I called when I found my older sister who was lost to adoption. I called him bawling, barely able to speak “I found my sister! I found my sister!” He teared up with me. I knew at the time, he would be the only person who would understand just what a huge, beautiful and raw thing that was. I loved him so much in that moment for helping get my bearings when I was so overcome and overwhelmed with the joy of finding my sister.
We share these kind of events between us, even when we have been separated and not spoken for years. Like when his adoptive mom passed away, he was too much in grief to visit her grave. Two years later, when we reconnected again, he told me of his adoptive moms passing. She was a really sweet and wonderful woman. I let him know, if he ever needed anything, that I was here for him, even if it was two years too late. I got a call at 2am one night, and he said he was coming to get me. “Will you come with me to my mother’s grave? I don’t want to go alone.” I got up and got dressed. We went to the cemetery together and laid down a bunch of warm blankets by her grave and I listened while he talked. Your son, for all his rough edges, is a mama’s boy through and through, who wears his heart on his sleeve. I know how very hard it is for him to reach out and ask for something, so I was deeply touched he asked me to go with him. He laid his head in my lap and I stoked his hair while he told me stories of his adoptive mom. Then I left him on his own to have his own private goodbye. The sun started to come up just as we were leaving. Losing his adoptive mom as he did gutted him and he’s never been the same since. I wish so deeply he could know you.
He has your eyes, your hair, and your skin tone. You must be beautiful. I have some pictures of him from his younger days. I don’t know what he looks like now, but I did send him a message last night to say happy birthday like I do every year, and to let him know that I’m thinking of you too. This is your day too. The day you became a mother for the first time.
I very much want to know you. I’ve thought about you so much over all these years. We have so much in common you and I. You don’t know me, but I love you. You are my sons grandmother, and will always be my family.