Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reunited after 21 almost 22 years

A birth mother puts the needs of her child above the wants of her heart.
-Skye Hardwick

So in my last post I said I'd post about meeting my birth mother and let me tell you it was exciting as all heck. I was adopted when I was two weeks old after spending time in the NICU and a foster home while paper work was finalized. Generally the paperwork would have been signed after I was born, but my birth mother refused to sign it until I was out of the NICU and all better as she didn't want me to spend the first few days alone which has got to be one of the most selfless things ever because she knew at the time there was no way she was going to be able to keep me. That week was the first and last time we saw each other face to face for many years.

Fast forward to last summer. I had applied for an internship at a summer Shakespeare Festival and had made it to the final round of decisions where it was me and one other girl and I didn't get it. sure I was really bummed at the time, but a few weeks later I went home for summer and was getting ready to finish typing up a letter for the adoption agency to send to my birth mother. I say finished because I had started it about a year and a half before and the file disappeared from my computer. Seriously, it didn't exist, even my computer savvy friends couldn't locate it and it was so dang hard to start that after trying a few dozen times to restart it, I gave up for a while. Well, the file reappeared last summer and I was determined to finish it and had it open to work on, but something was telling me to check my emails. The agency had emailed me earlier in the day saying that my birthmother wanted to know if I wanted to start the reunification process and if I would be ok receiving letters from her through the agency. Um, YEAH. The timing was rather weird, but I called the agency the next day and got the ball rolling. Before we could contact each other without having to go through the agency we had to go through reunification counseling. Spiffy sound, right? Pretty much you meet with a therapist certified in reunification counseling and talk about the best case, worst case and every other case under the sun scenarios and make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. Fun stuff and we both managed to get it done. 

First day of computer class my senior year of college we were learning how to use our school emails. Have I mentioned that we were all (save two freshman) upper class men who hadn't been able to fit the silly class in our schedules prior to junior/senior year? We were going through the oh so complicated process of learning how to log on (did you know you have to enter a password to access you email? I had no idea *eye roll*) and after logging on I had noticed a new email from an unknown email with the subject "So was reunification counseling as silly for you as it was for me". Our first contact!!!! It was so exciting and my table partner asked what was up so I told her and she told me it was the most exciting thing she had ever heard. Didn't pay attention at all to the rest of class because I was replying to the email. It was more of the basic questions that we hadn't been able to cover through the agency because of 'identifying factor' censors. And it turned out that the place where she could get into the reunification counseling without having to wait for months was in the same city where I went to school and she mentioned walking around our campus before I even told her where I went. Seriously, she was within feet of where I was sitting in class and where I had spent the last three years. How fricking cool is that? 

After a few weeks of emailing we set up a phone date. The entire week leading up to it was one huge countdown for me and my entire theatre family. I actually was supposed to work in the costume shop until about an hour before the phone call, but my countdown and everyone else's was driving my boss nuts and she let me leave early for the day and still paid me. It was probably a good thing because I wasn't paying much attention to what I was supposed to be doing. Would anyone in my situation really be able to? So I went to my dorm and watched a movie until it was time. The first few (5ish) minutes after saying hello we were both in tears, but after calming down we talked for over two hours and the time went by way too fast. We planned another phone call the next week and for three or four months we talked once a week for an hour or two and after that we talked every other week. During all of this my birth mother and adoptive mother (mom) talked once or twice and we finally decided on a time to meet face to face that worked for everyone. Graduation.

Funny thing about my graduation is that it was on a Saturday and my little half sister's was the Friday night before and her school does an all night event for 8th grade graduation which my birth mother and her hubby were chaperoning. They went straight from that to the airport to fly to my graduation. My little sis couldn't come because she had try outs for high school dance team on Sunday so she was left at a friend's. I spent most of Friday packing so I could spend as much time as I could with them. Not only was Saturday graduation, but Sunday was Mother's Day and I was maid of honor in my friend's wedding that night (to which my first response was, you are kidding right? No she wasn't.) Saturday morning my mom, dad, brother and I got in the car and drove to the airport we had though we were running late so we weren't able to stop and get flowers for my birth mom, but that's why they have the flower things in airports right? So I got a decent bunch and my family hung back while I waited at the bottom of the escalator bouncing up and down on my toes. More tears ensued as we hugged for the first time over 21 years. And let me tell you it was a great beginning to an amazing weekend.

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