“I want my mommy!” Once the words of a cry baby are now a sincere plea, as I reflect on the memories. She’s been gone for nearly seven years, and I think of her often, a remarkable woman with the kind of heart it takes to adopt someone that the heartless might consider to have been a “mistake.” I’m reading American Baby: A Mother, A Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption by Gabrielle Glaser. It was recommended by a thoughtful friend and certainly appropriate for Mother’s Day, although I’m only through the first few chapters. It sets the stage for the all too common story of a young girl who falls in love but is accused by her parents of being “a bad girl and whore.” “How could you do this to your selfless parents who gave you everything, while throwing away your life and reputation, bringing nothing but shame to your loving family?”

Let me first say that I would not even exist without a young girl like this. I do not yet know the rest of this story nor do I really know my own. What I do know is that there was another young woman and her husband that saved my life and raised me as their own. Thankfully, abortion was not legal and birth control often ineffective or unavailable, while adoption was the only safe option, although not necessarily honorable. I realize that not everyone in my position has a story that ends happily, but mine does, so every Mother’s Day I think about my good fortune. 

My birth mother is still alive at 88-years old. I’ve never met her and probably never will. Many sources in this book claim that a woman never forgets the birth of a child, regardless of the circumstances. It’s a nine-month long bond that never ends, even though my bio-mom claims that it never happened. I fully understand that she was told to forget and to never admit her sinful indiscretion. Sadly, many women have been buried with their “dirty little secrets” while their offspring never know the truth, but with DNA testing and open records there is no longer a way to hide it. I know the truth. I just don’t know the circumstances – only she does. 

At this point in life, I don’t really even care. I’m glad it happened and grateful for my life. I want Edna to  know that she made the right choice, raising four more children who gave her the joy of great grandchildren. More importantly, she gave my mother a gift (hard to think of myself as this) that she wanted more than anything but couldn’t naturally produce.  I only wish that I had given her more in return for the pain and trouble I caused in my teenage years. I was an ungrateful pig, taking advantage of their love and kindness, but somehow she stuck by my side through thick and thin. I express my undying love for my adopted parents today, known exclusively as my mom and dad. No one else qualifies. With tears in my eyes today, I just want to say with endless thanks, “I miss you Mom.”