One of the lesser know realities of my life is that I was adopted, basically at birth. I know next to nothing about my birth parents except my birth-mother was the legal secretary for an older, prominent attorney in the Grand Rapids, MI area in the fall of 1962. He had 4 grown children and a bunch of grand-kids....The story being she got pregnant and agreed to put the child (ME) up for adoption. Other then the fact that she was 20 years old or so, that is the extant of my knowledge of them and the situation.
Though I have never had the desire to initiate contact with her (My birth-father obviously would be long dead since word at the time of my birth is that he was 65 years old) I often think of her and how she is doing. Somehow I sense that she is still alive and suspect that I will know when she passes on to the after-life.
It does feel odd knowing the person who gave birth to me is out there some where and I haven't a clue where. I could have already run into her for all I know.
I have mixed feelings about my birth mother in particular but they are not what people would normally expect under such circumstances. I have NO DESIRE to seek her out...NONE. But I would welcome her with open arms if she was searching for me. Why.....I have not a single solitary clue!
I am super sympathetic to her situation. In 1962 having a child out of wedlock simply was not done in certain circles...including in the middle class as well as the lower and upper classes. Only the super wealthy could "hide" an unexpected child at home with nannies, distant relatives and tales of adopting from long lost relatives.
I assume she made the only true choice available to her at the time and have never harbored any negative feelings toward her in any way, shape or form. I often envision my birth father coercing her to give up the child or have a dangerous, back-alley abortion. I have always supported having children and giving them up for adoption vs abortion because of my situation. Had I been born a mere decade later, I may have never left the womb alive....I'm not trying to be sensational....just realistic.
No I am not standing on any soap-box for anti-abortion...mainly because I am very uncomfortable telling a person what they can do with there bodies. Ultimately they have to live with the decisions they make. But in addition to being adopted, I am also a rape victim. I just happen to be unable to get pregnant because I am male but I know for a fact that if I was a girl when that happened instead of a naive, 12 year old boy and I became pregnant as a result of what happened to me....I would NOT WANT that thing growing in me that represented what happened. Abortion would have been an easy choice for me then...and now under those circumstances.
But my daughter Chelsea was an unexpected arrival yet her mother and I never so much as discussed or considered having an abortion. I just don't think it is the right thing to do under most circumstances. So I have a major amount of respect for this young woman, who in 1962 made a commitment to carry me full term and then deliver me into what she must have believed to be better hands (at that time) and simply trust enough to walk away. It must have been a bruising....and a crushing kind of hurt.
I so love her for that. I believe in my heart that she senses that too.
My birth father on the other hand evokes a completely different set of thoughts & feelings from me. At first blush....I resent and blame him in a way for all of this though I realize that may indeed be very unfair. For all I know he may have wanted to raise me and my mother chose to continue with the adoption. The bottom line is by putting me up for adoption...I was adopted by loving parents who showered me with love and affection as well as providing me with all the material advantages a young person would need to grow up healthy and well in early 1960's America and beyond. The truth about my birth parents...positive and negative is that unless I meet my Mother or relatives of hers or his....I will never know the truth and I must learn to accept that.
Any way....this past Mothers Day provoked enough thought and emotion to drive this post from inception to it's completion. I sincerely hope and pray that she is alive and well and I wish her, her family and his family the very, very best in all things.
Painting "APRIL'S BEAUTY" by Cathy Frick http://www.cathyfrickfineart.com