Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Three hour lunches = catching up with an old friend

Today I had a wonderful , long, yet much too quick lunch with an old friend.  This is a friend I used to speak to on a once (or more!) daily basis.  We have been through many things in our lives together.  We have shared elementary school, middle school, high school, my teen pregnancy, our marriages, the births of my other three boys and her two children.   Its been much too long, yet the time we spent was as easy as if I saw her yesterday.

My son Nicholas asked me how I could be such good friends with someone and not talk to them in such a long time.  It is a poignant question.  I'm not sure what happened.  We both went back to school and with families and work commitments it became harder to keep in touch.  I thought of her often and would always put calling her on the "to do list" , yet most days I just didn't make it a priority.  Nick's question to me really confirmed that no matter what answer I gave him it was the incorrect one, as there is no excuse for not finding time for true friends.

So today was a happy day! She looks exactly the same to me as years before. I enjoyed every minute of our time together. I look forward to seeing her more often and can't wait for the next long lunch!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reliving the joy

I've been doing a lot of reading lately.  Not just leisure reading, but reading as more of self improvement.  I've been devouring the book by Joel Osteen "Becoming a Better You".  Of course this book is religious based, but honestly the message in the book is inspiring.  You should check it out and see what I mean.

I've also been doing some other reading.  I've been following an old friend's search for his birthmother through emails, facebook, and his blog. His search started a while ago, fizzled out , and began again in earnest a few days ago.  I can not begin to express to you the emotions that I felt throughout his journey!  It is like reliving finding my own birthmother and father. He is the one person who is me .  In that I mean, I have not had another adoptee to share all I've been through before.  We are both fortunate in that our spouses are supportive and encouraging.  But to be able to share the same fears, anxieties and then joys with another in the same situation is such an emotional feeling!

I had been hoping and praying since last year that his first futile search would not make him give up hope.  As an adoptee, it is your right to decide when the time is right for you.  I think he just needed to find the right time in his head and his heart.  When you get the correct mindset all good things will happen.  He found her quickly and now they communicate all the time.  I am so happy for him my heart is about to burst.  I know the journey he is on and I'm excited for the both of them.  What he doesn't yet know is that there are many more roads ahead of him with so many more pots of gold waiting.   Once he speaks to extended family and finally his siblings his life will surely be as interesting as mine!

In my old friend's elation it transports me back to 1997 and searching for my mother.  There was no internet for me (at least I don't think I had internet??) I paid a popular search company to find her address for me.  I wrote her a heart wrenching letter, splilling my heart out to her.  I prayed she would call me.  I waited.  I waited. I waited even more.  No response.  No phone call.  I was absolutely devestated. 

I remember one Saturday when my husband was working I went to bed. I literally went into my bed and laid there with Nicholas (he was just a few months old), Tony 3, and Tommy 7 laying with me watching TV.  I laid there for a long time until my husband called and made me feel better about the situation.  He said perhaps she hadn't even received the letter and not to be so pessimistic.  Soon after believing  that Tony could be right there was a crack in the case.  A month later I met my mother who was living in New Jersey at the time.  My letter was originally sent to an address in Maine that was really outdated.  She never received it. 

I thought of this story when my friend said he did not get a response to his message sent to her via facebook messages.  I urged him to send an email to her true email address.  Thank God he did, as she hadn't seen the first one.  I felt all along his reunion would go well, maybe because my two had.  I just wanted for him what I had for myself and now he has it!

I can't wait until after they meet.  We've talked of going out with our spouses and sharing more stories of new families.  I can't wait to get to know his wife, and for him to get to know Tony.  If it weren't for the two of them being so supportive who knows if we would have ever gone through with our searches.

I love writing my blog.  I truly enjoy the documentating of all that comes out of my learning about my family. With his new blog , now I am an adopton blog reader too! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The wait to see my mother is on, please let the Maine weather cooperate!

I'm always looking for my next adventure -something I can look forward to.  Especially in  this time of year when the weather is cold, the days are short, and i'm feeling a bit of cabin fever.  My next trek will be to the southern part of Maine where I will meet some family for my birthday.  Please Maine winter storms, cooperate with me at the end of March!

It struck me the other day that neither my mother or I have spent a birthday together since we have known one another.  We both have winter birthdays and it can be difficult to travel.  I take that back, the last birthday we had was the day I was born.  I want more than anything to give her a memory of my birthday that does not relate to sadness. I'm hoping March will change that all together.

I've spoke about my mother often in my writings.  As many of the people that read this are mothers and fathers I feel particularly that you all understand the great love and admiration that I have for her. A large portion of this is due to the fact that I was fortunate enough to have had adoptive parents who had been given small details about my mother and who were kind of enough to pass them on to me.

Age 10, all smiles and freckles
I remember being about 10 years old and asking my parents more specific questions about my birth parents.  Although they had no information regarding my father, my mother spoke of my mother (Pat) with tears in her eyes.  She told me all that she knew, that she was not in a position to keep me and that she had desperately tried to find a way to do just that.   I was told of her young age and that her mother, my maternal grandmother, had passed away and so no motherly figure was there to help her with me.   They gave me the real perspective of my mothers situation. My parents made me understand at an early age that this mother I hadn't met was the first great love in my life.  What I realized as I got  older  is that my parents gave a gift to me that was priceless.

Many adoptees grow up with questions and uncertainties.  Of course I was inquisitive about my situation but I was lucky enough to have these basic details about my mother.  I grew up having a mother and father in my everyday life and also this sort of dream mother too.  I thought of her all the time and she was kind of like a living angel to me.  Many days I would think of her and wonder what her life was like.  My parents gave me such a wonderful sense of her that I loved her for as long I can remember.

My only regrets about my particular adoption are that I wish in 1973 there would have been some provision for my mother to learn about me.  Open adoptions can be tricky and controversial but I believe a mother should at least be given some information regarding their child.  Perhaps through a third party or agency.  All those years I knew I was fine, but even as I child I loved her enough to worry about her.  It's funny how a child can think.  

You will here me use the words hero, brave, amazing, and selfless when I speak about my mother.  She was all of those things and more.  These are not fluffy words and phrases I speak to dramatize the situation.  These words do not even due justice to how I feel about her.  Her love and sacrifices and my parent's love and devotion provided a wonderful childhood for me.  For all of my parents I am grateful.

So, I am hoping the weather will cooperate with us this year.  I pray to see her on my birthday, take some happy photo's and add to my memories.  My sisters may be coming too.  What joy I would have to see any of them!  

This may be my last birthday to celebrate too, since I plan on staying 39 for the rest of my life!

mom and I about the same age

 My beautiful mother today
so pretty - high school picture