Looking for my birthmother
I'm adopted. I've looked up info on my birth mother over the years. I got bits of info, like...
...finding out that my name is supposed to be Ginger and that I inherited my mom’s allergy to dust but not her allergy to strawberries. She was a music major and lived in a dorm when she had me. I have a birth aunt and birth uncle who are performers, or were, at least at the time of my birth. All I know about my birth father is that he had brown eyes and wanted me aborted. Ouch. Pro-choice is all fun and games until you’re the abortee candidate.
This information came from a de-identified file. When you look for a birthparent, there are options. A file costs this, joining the Adoption Registry costs that, etc. It’s like a “who am I?” menu.
A couple of years ago, I ordered the big item off the menu. "Who's My mom?"
I filled out forms and paid and signed up for the adoption Registry of Texas. I wrote a letter, and had counseling sessions—all required to have a formal birth mother search.
I didn't hear from the agency for a while, so I checked in.
I was told, “We found her…but she hasn’t responded, not positively or negatively. It happens only a few times a year, but we have to give up." I was silent. Taking it in. Processing that I can't know my birth mother. That it was said to me so casually.
Wanting something for four decades and that door closes with just a few words. Hey, lady at the adoption agency, you do this all day, no big deal to you maybe to tell a person no birth mother. But for me, THIS IS A PRETTY BIG DEAL!!!
Then she added, "But we will refund half of your search fee!”
Oh, great, thanks. Kewl, kewl, kewl. So I didn’t get my birth mother, but I did get $125 back. Um...
Then I realized THIS WOMAN IS SITTING THERE WITH MY BIRTH MOTHER'S ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER. That's how close I was. I was on the phone with a person looking directly at it. My ear was connected to her & her eyes were connected to the info.
I was like-WHAT’S THE ADDRESS??!!! How about a hint? Can we 20 Questions it? Maybe I can give a knock, ring the bell, drive by her house a few hundred times. BUT she didn’t give consent to meet me so they can’t tell me anything because blah, blah, the law.
Forty years of wanting to meet my mother. Finally getting the courage or nerve to pursue it. And told no. Just like that.
And GINGER-- what would I be like as a ginger?