As you may have read, I will be flying in August to Korea, my first trip back since my adoption at 13 months. Obviously, this topic has graced our dinner table talk, and now it looms heavily in the air.
I am both excited and anxious. But I try to hide this from my children. Apparently, I suck at hiding these feelings from them. They get me. They are biologically connected to me. They are me.
I will miss their first day of school this year as I explore this biological side of myself. In some ways, I feel selfish in pursuing this, but in others, I feel a sense of urgency for me and my children. This search isn’t just about me or them.
My husband and I watched Philomena together this week. That film gave me the realization that adoption isn’t just about the adoptee; the original family is affected too. Philomena Lee has said she thought of her son every day, and his birthdays were incredibly hard. As a mother, I know how important those days are. I still remember the day I lost my second child, just two days after my 35th birthday. I think on it and will never forget it.
Knowing all this, I cannot imagine any mother forgetting the birth of her child. She might quietly and privately mourn, and no one may notice. She may not share this secret that torments her. And yet, somewhere, there is a child that wonders if she wonders.
My daughter wonders but stops herself. Today, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she asked me when I would stop focussing on adoption. I told her the truth … that adoption is the very fabric of my being. It is the loose thread that I have repeatedly clipped when it began to show. I am tired of clipping it and throwing it away only to have it pop back out. (Medical history or family tree, anyone?) I am acknowledging it and exploring it.
I asked my daughter what she felt. Her answer? She is afraid of losing me. She fears that I will return to Korea and decide I don’t want to return to her, to her brother or to my husband. “Mom, please don’t leave us,” she pleaded.
“I would never leave you. I love you, your brother, your father, and your Papito,” I replied. “You all are my everything.”
I sense her feelings of loss. I know them. I experienced them long ago, and then again when my adoptive mother died. The sorrow stays, but it is eased with the grasp of my children’s hands.
Hello you Mothermade
Thank you for your beautiful story. I hope for you the very best and that you will find your birthmother. I have also seen Philomena, and I can recognize very much from my self, I am a birthmother too. I got my first child, when i was only 15 years old, and had no other choice than give him away for adoption, Now I have three other children – all of them are grown up now – and i can tell you that I have always loved my first child as much as the others and I have thought about him every day since. It has been very, very hard to live without him – and i have used many many years to search for him – now i have him back in my life again – and that is the best thing that happened in my life – we are all very happy now. I am a writer and have written the first book in Denmark about adoption from the birth-mothers side.
I send you my best wishes.
Thank you for sharing and reading. When I started reading your comment, all those emotions rush back. It is so helpful to understand that we weren’t forgotten. That comforts me. It’s also inspiring to hear of reunions. Thanks!
Rosita, thank you for sharing this very lovely piece as well as your other essays. I would like to talk with you a bit more about your writing. A mutual friend, Cameron, referred me to your blog. I would be grateful if you could email me at email@example.com.
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