Nine Months and Forty Four Years
I waited nine months to meet my daughter for the first time, and forty four years and nine months to see her again.
This is a story of healing, remembering that we are wholitstic beings and you can not affect one part of the being without affecting the others.
Imagine the toll on your body that years of guilt or stress can cause, or the effect of hopelessness on your very spirit.
On February 19, 1970, in the state of confusion, er, New Jersey, I gave birth to a girl. Though unmarried and unable to care for her, I actually wasn’t confused at all. I knew from the beginning that the only option for me was to give her to others to raise in a way I couldn’t at the time.
Had I said ‘state of depression’, well, that would have been closer to the mark. Although I did what I felt I had to do, I lived with the consequences, day after year after decade.
My heart was with her every day. I wished her happy birthday every year – I prayed she be happy and healthy.
When she turned 18, I stopped thinking of her literally every day. I registered with the state and every organization I could find so that in the event she wanted to find me, the means were there.
In 2004 I found and registered with Adoption.com, a website offering a host of services, including a forum for adoptees and birth families to reach out and connect.
Every year that passed brought a decreasing sense of conviction that I would hold my daughter once more before my final breath.
Then on July 4th, 2014, I received an email from another member of the forum who said, “Your birth daughter is looking for you but she is having trouble with her post. Please contact her . . . ” I logged onto Adoption.com right away, found her post and replied. She wrote back, “I think I’m your daughter – if you’re my other mother, please contact me. If not, just wish me luck . . .”
She left an email address along with her phone numbers. As much as I wanted to grab the phone and call, I didn’t want to do so at a bad time so I emailed her first.
Then came the phone call. We connected, and shared, and over four hours later, we ended the call.
To paraphrase Kahlil Gibran, the gates of my heart were flung open and my heart flew. I even asked Rick if it was really happening. He said it was. But I thought, it feels so surreal. So unreal. Dreamlike. Like it’s happening to someone else. Like I’m not even in my body anymore. But it was real.
We will meet, face-to-face, for the first time in forty four years and nine months, on Thanksgiving Day at my sister Laurie’s in St. Louis.
Wish us well, and may the healing continue.
(To be updated in December . . .)