Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reconnecting after Connecting..a little about my mom

Birth mother, biological mother, Pat- whatever label you want to put upon her for me she is just my mother. When I found her in 1997 I was ecstatic. At the time she lived in NJ, just a short ride from my house here in CT. It was fairly easy for us to keep in touch. We were able to hop in the car and travel to and from each of our homes. When she and her husband (and subsequently my sister Jesika) left NJ and moved back to northern Maine it became a problem logistically.

See, whenever I say my family lives in Maine I think people picture a 4 or 5 hour car ride and the Maine most of them travel to. Coastal Maine towns of Oqunquit, Portland or even Bar Harbor. My Maine is in the northern reaches of the state. Many of the towns just miles from the Canadian border. This is where my family is from. This is where Brent and Pat grew up , and where my father Relland lived until his move to CT in the late 1960's. This equals a 10 hour drive. Not easy to do in a long weekend, which poses the problem of how often I can visit.

If you haven't been to this area of Maine then you are missing out on some of the most beautiful countryside. There are rolling hills with fields of potatoes, broccoli and even mustard. There are views for miles and miles. The many small towns that make up Aroostook County are full of some of the nicest people I've come across. If you like winter activities than this is a great spot for you!

I haven't seen my mother in 3 years. I went to visit my sisters in November of 2008 when my sister Jesika (2 years younger than me) had her fourth child. I stayed for 4 days and travelled with my friend Kelly. We stayed with my youngest sister (from Pat) Heather. At the time my mother was living in Arkansas and I missed visiting with her by a few months (she returned in early 2009 to northern Maine). I had also not been vigilant about keeping in touch with her by phone. I would always think of her and my sisters but did not make enough time to call them. We started to lose track of one another and months went by. Heather and I have been good about keeping in touch, we are both online and use Facebook so that helps tremendously.

After I decided to find Brent and had contacted him I called my mother to tell her the news. I was nervous about how she would react. I did not expect her to be angry, but I anticipated that bringing up the past could be difficult for her. It must have been a tough place to be in to be a pregnant teen about to deliver and have to give your child up for adoption. I know, I was that pregnant teen too. And, although I did not choose adoption, I know first hand the fear you feel when you are in that situation.

When I told her the news that I spoke to Brent and had met him she asked me if he had been nice to me. I reveled in the fact that I broke the news that I met my birthfather, someone she had once cared for enough to have a child with, someone she hadn't spoke to since before my birth, and the first thought was how he had treated me. It amazes me still that I was her first concern. It is the true sign of being a mother, to think of your child first. Although she did not get the opportunity to raise me, she had my best welfare in mind then and now. As a mother myself I found this so touching.

Here's some background- Brent did not know she was having me. Those who knew she was pregnant (most - even her sister) did not know who my father was. Why? You'd have to ask my mother those questions. Protection maybe? Selflessness - definitely. I think of her often, having a baby at just 17 (I was 2 weeks before my 17th birthday having Tom), knowing she couldn't keep me, not telling my father, knowing it would be years if ever if she would meet me. I have never felt anger towards her as I believe she once feared I would. I have always felt she was brave, strong, and exhibited the most purest form of love for me. That she exchanged her own sadness for my happiness is something she should be commended for.

And so, in finding Brent and getting to know him as my father I find that I am reconnecting once again with my mother. Secrets are not something to hold, instead they seem to take a hold of the people protecting them. Now, there is no more to hold anyone back.

My mother is now on Facebook and we have been keeping in touch through the computer. It makes it so much easier to know what is happening in a person's life when you can easily shoot off an email, post on facebook, or send an instant message.

Facebook helped me find my father and now its leading me back to my mom too

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