Anticipating My Birthmother’s Visit

Tomorrow my birthmother will be in town. Last night I watched Rain Man. Today I clearly see the correlation between these two happenings.

This poem used to served as my desperate plea:

“I wish I could turn away and move on with my life

but my heart won’t allow it when I try

That sounds so weak coming from me

a woman who overcame extreme adversities

If you don’t want me to find you

whatever the reason may be

do me a favor and sign up to the registry

Send me a few pictures, a reason, and my medical history

give me some closure and set me free.”

I used to wish that I could turn away from this search and reunion madness and move on with my life. I used to wish that I didn’t need to fulfill this selfish curiosity of learning more about my roots. I waited for the magical moment when her name would match up with mine on the registry. I thought – if only I could see what she looks like, if only! Now I no longer need to fantasize, or try to wish away intrinsic desires. Now, I can simply ask her all of the 26 years of pent up questions.

While watching Rain Man last night, Charlie (Tom Cruise) attempted to convince his brother Raymond’s court appointed psychiatrist that he should have legal custody of his brother so they could be together, as a family. Charlie said “I just don’t understand. Why didn’t dad tell me I had a brother? Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that I had a brother? Because it’d have been nice to know him for more than just the past six days.”  This statement cut to my core as Charlie no longer cared about the lure of a multi-million dollar inheritance, or his limited understanding his brother’s autism or the extraordinary differences between his own self-centered living in Los Angeles and his brother’s confined reality within the walls of the mental institution. He simply wanted to be with his brother. I’d imagine many adoptees can understand the beauty in seeing this seemingly incompatible duo spend these six days together.

I echo these thoughts of the convoluted and difficult to understand relationship. I find it to be superbly beautiful, uniquely refreshing and a clear definition of family. With all the differences between myself and my birth mother I nervously/contentedly await her arrival tomorrow, and look forward to allowing her to spend a few days with my family and I, AKA, her new family.

21 thoughts on “Anticipating My Birthmother’s Visit

  1. I was going to skip this post as I knew it would be emotional for me. BUT I remember what “the day before” was like and I didn’t want you to think you were alone. There’s so much to be said that I hardly know where to start but I get it. I’ll be with you in spirit. I’m happy to chat about our shared experiences any time. – Lisa

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  2. Lovely, insightful post. I will be thinking of you–you and all of your family, as it expands and converges. So happy for you, Angela. Aselefech, Zariyah, and I will soon be spending time with her Ethiopian family, and I’m guessing many of your emotions and thoughts here will also be part of our trip. So many questions, and so much time forever gone, and now the astonishing blessing of being able to ask, talk, listen, and laugh. Enjoy!

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  3. Blessings to you as you embark on this part of your journey. Some parts will be amazing, other parts frustrating. But it will all help you as you explore who you are – past, present, and future. From one who has been in reunion for 2 1/2 years, Becky

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  4. Angela the wary little kid in me says be careful nothing can kill a joyful fantasy like a dose of reality. Then I remember that nothing is as satisfying as knowing. Be gleeful in this time and embrace all of it for it is truly yours like nothing else in this world.
    Nothing “bad” will happen here. You have so much love in your life that to not want to share it would be impossible. Enjoy this momentous opportunity and remember to have fun.

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  5. I met my dad at 46…with him came a SISTER…and aunt and uncle…girl cousins and a boy…little second cousins who wanted to hold my hand from the beginning. Nothing hurt so much as knowing all I had missed with them. I loved them all from the start and they loved me. I had to grieve that loss…for a long time and very intensely…I still grieve it but it gets better. I am a part of them…I wonder why this is so hard for people to understand.

    Have a wonderful visit, Angela…I am glad you did not have to wait til 46…

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  6. Nearly 48, I met my Colombian birth mother a little over a month ago. What surprised me the most has been my own lack of tender emotions coupled with wariness each time we talk and she tells me she loves me. I think: “how can she truly feel that? She doesn’t even know me.” I used to think she was everything I needed to know; now I realize she’s a door to so much that had been missing. Good luck! Keep writing. Keep reaching out. You’re not alone.

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  7. Angela! Thank you so much! You have put the secret longings of my heart into words! I pray that the visit will lead to more healing and reconciliation for you and especially for your mom!

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  8. Thanks Susan! Were you in the lounge when a few of us were discussing Beasts of the Southern Wild? There was a similar feeling of deep understanding in that film as well.

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  9. Thank you, Becky. As with most relationships I know this one will also have it’s ups and downs. It’s always good to have that reminder though, especially from someone whose been through it.

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  10. Gosh, Lisa. So many triggers for adoptees and birthparents all over the place. Thanks for bravely going forth and reading, and for also sharing your voice in an encouraging way. I so appreciate it.

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  11. Angela- I waited too long to find my birthmother and I still regret that. Enjoy all the time you have with your ever increasing family. You truly are an inspiration to others, much love and happiness.

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  12. Angela, You have such a beautiful ability to communicate the dual realities of living in this broken world. I am enriched by glimpses into your story, and I am grateful for your willingness to be vulnerable in order that those of us who read can share both your joys and sorrows along the journey.

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  13. …”As with most relationships I know this one will also have it’s ups and downs”. As a Birthmother thru Open adoption over 30 yrs. ago & little to no contact now – due to her busy life – the pain is raw at times. Now, as adopted parents – in what is considered ‘closed’ until 18 ~ we continue to be as open as possible & though letters have been written with no return, I believe they will someday reunite in someway. Life is hard, easy, sad, happy and changes. Letting go hurts – though life is too fleeting to hold on. My prayers are with you & I love your hair!

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