My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Posts tagged ‘biological parents’

Mom, Momma, Mommy…

I have been blessed with four Mothers in my life. Most people get one but any of you who know me well know that I am “special” and seem to always be different from everyone else. So, I get four of them. The good thing of it is they have all four meant different things to me and played different roles in my life. This is a little late for Mother’s Day but here it goes, in the order that I met them:

Ruth

Ruth

1. Ruth ~ Ruth was my very first mother. She was the one who gave me life. I’ve known Ruth pretty much since I was conceived. Being as I was put up for adoption right after birth, I didn’t know Ruth again until I was an adult…around 30 years old. That was the point in my life that I decided to find my birth mother and get to know her again. I have really enjoyed getting to know her and am so grateful that she decided to have me and that she decided to let me go. It was the most sacrificial thing anyone has done for me.  I also get my LOVE for books from Ruth and she and I have fun discussing them.

My family in 1965

My family in 1965

2. Fran ~ Fran was my second mother. She was the one who adopted me. I knew my mom from the time I was adopted at about two months old until she died when I was nineteen. It was way too short of a time. She was the one who slept in my bed with me when I got my wisdom teeth out and got dry socket. She was the one who woke up every few hours to give me pain medicine or hold my hair back when I got sick. She changed my diapers and explained to me all about that “time of the month” stuff. We laughed together a lot and cried some too. She is also the one mother of the four that I never got to know as an adult and I regret that tremendously. She is also the one that I still miss every day of my life. She definitely had the kind and gentle spirit that I keep trying to locate within me.

Mike and Buddy-2007

Mike and Buddy-2007

3. Margaret “Mike” ~ Mike is my third mother. She is also my mother-in-law. I have known Mike since I was 15 years old. We had a rough time right after Bud and I got married, but we got along much better once the grandchildren came. Mike is hilarious and at 78 can still tell dirty jokes that make me blush. We laugh a lot when we are together. Mike and I have had some fun adventures together. Especially when she had quintuple bypass in 2007…but I won’t divulge those stories at this time. Mike has three daughters already but she has always counted me as her fourth daughter. No matter what, I’m one of hers.

Louava with my Dad and Grandmother

Louava with my Dad and Grandmother

4. Louava ~ Louava is my fourth mother. She is also my step-mother, although I don’t really like that term. Step-mothers get a really bad rap most of the time but mine is fantastic. My dad and Louava have been married for 24 years (they got married a year after my mom died). Louava is one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever met. We get along great and she has always been wonderful to me. My dad was just pining away after my mom died and when he and Louava started dating, he just seemed to start living again. Louava is one of those rare people that treats everyone in her family alike. Her biological children and her step-children are the same, as are all her grandchildren. She is also one of those rare people I know that no matter how long between seeing each other or talking to each other, it’s like we just talked the day before. I am truly blessed to know her.

My Adoption, Part IV…

bella-and-debey1

Bella and I around the time of my search

Finally Betty called me. She had found one of my biological parents. I was in for a shock. The first one she found was my biological father. In all the years and years of thinking about doing a search, I never, ever thought about finding my biological father. I don’t know why but it had never even crossed my mind. Betty told me about her conversation with him.

His name was Jurgen. He was 16 years old when I was born. The thing was, when Betty called him and asked him if he had a child that had been adopted out, he asked which year. Apparently, he had had several children that were adopted. He was an ex-convict that had been convicted for armed robbery of a bank several years back. (Bud promptly said, “That explains a whole lot about you honey.”—not funny…) Jurgen was more than happy to talk to me but now I wasn’t so sure.

One thing that I was learning about doing a search for my biological parents was that it was totally a rollercoaster ride.

So I thought and thought about it and talked to Bud and my dad and finally decided to talk to Jurgen. We decided to start by writing letters to each other. It really was much better than I thought it was going to be. But it was just getting information, not much more than that. There wasn’t any emotional connection at all.

After some time, I got another call from Betty. She had now located my biological mother.

She had talked with her but there was a problem. My biological mother, Ruth, now had a 16-year-old daughter and she didn’t know I existed. Ruth decided that she was going to think about it and call Betty back when she made a decision on whether or not she wanted any contact.

After about a week or so, I heard from Betty. Ruth didn’t want any contact! I was saddened by her decision but accepted it. When I had started this process, I had determined that whatever happened I would not be upset or hurt by it. I would be glad that I had gone ahead with the search and that my biological parents would know that I had tried. They could always contact me later if they changed their mind. But I would be lying if I said that it didn’t hurt…because it did.

A few weeks later, Betty called again and Ruth had changed her mind. She did want some contact but in a very limited way. I was thrilled just to be able to ask her a few questions. The way our contact worked was that Ruth would write a letter and send it to Betty. Betty would take it out of the envelope and put it into a new envelope with her own return address instead of Ruth’s and then send it on to me. I would answer it in the same manner. We would only use first names and no identifying information would be exchanged.

It really was a good way to begin. I was able to ask tons of questions and get all the answers I wanted but not worry about the awkward “we should have a relationship but we don’t” feeling I got during my contact with Jurgen. Ruth told me a lot about her life before, during, and after my birth. I questions and she answered them. She told me about her family and I told her about my family. She wanted to know about the two grandchildren she never knew that she had.

After about a month of correspondence, Ruth decided that she wanted to have more contact between us. We started writing letters with no intermediary between us. She also decided to tell her other daughter, Shannon that I existed. The funny thing was that Shannon’s father had told her that Ruth had a daughter that she put up for adoption several years before.

So, we finally got to talk on the phone. I would love to say that it was wonderful but in reality it was more just strange. I realized that in all those years of wondering about searching for and finding my biological parents I had never even thought about anything after the actual first moment. We both were very perplexed as to how to go about this new relationship in our lives. I kept thinking that here was this person who gave me life and I should know her almost as well as I know myself but she is this complete stranger to me.

Another thing that I realized was that we are two totally different people. Whereas I might get my nose and my poor eyesight from Ruth, and my prematurely gray hair from Jurgen, it seems that my personality was pretty much my own (just as it had always been with my family). Apparently, God just made my unique.

There were a couple of funny things however. When I was writing letters back and forth with Jurgen I realized (and so did my intermediary Betty), that our handwriting was eerily similar. Also, as I was growing up I also seemed to name my baby dolls Marie. I just loved that name for some odd reason. When I met Ruth I found out that she had named me Marie Ruth – and that is what my foster parents called me for the first two months of my life. It could be a coincidence but I’m not convinced.

My Adoption, Part III…

When I was 30, I finally decided that I was going to go ahead and search for my biological parents. I had no idea even how to begin. I knew the first thing that I would need to do was talk to my dad. I needed to make sure that my search was not going to hurt him and to get his blessing. This was very important to me. At this time, I lived in Alabama and my dad lived in California, so I decided to write him a letter.

It took me several days to write the letter. I wanted to say just the write things. I wanted to assure my dad that I was NOT going to find “new parents.” I explained why I needed to find where I came from. I sent the letter off and spent several days extremely nervous as to my dad’s reaction. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be upset or mad or what. Finally, my dad got my letter and he immediately called me.

He was more than happy for me to do a search for my birth parents. He didn’t have any reservations or worries at all and was very encouraging to me. He also gave me some valuable information on where to start and who to talk to. He was able to tell me which agency I was adopted from and he also suggested that I contact my grandfather who still lived in Colorado. I called me grandfather who was able to tell me exactly who to contact and he also found out the procedure for me to begin a search.

Each state has different rules regarding a search for biological parents. In Colorado, the search had to go through the courts. I had to petition the court in the county in which my adoption occurred to open my case. After much waiting, and some money, my case finally came up. The judge ruled in my favor and appointed an intermediary to search my files and begin the search for my biological parents.

I had a wonderful intermediary named Betty. She was an adoptive parent herself so she had so much compassion for everyone in the process. She had helped many people to find their biological families, including her own child.

Everything seemed to move at a snail’s pace. I wanted to know right away and each step took time and money. Betty was wonderful at keeping me up-to-date and was working as fast as she could to get me some information.

So…the waiting game began.