You know, sometimes I think that I obsess too much over this adoption thing. Yet, there’s still so much I want to know. And, rather than accept the fact that some things will never be known on this earth, I still strive.
I recently wrote about an epiphany I had regarding my biological father and his death. That realization has helped immensely in my healing process. Probably the biggest issue, though, has been my biological mother, Gwen.
When I think of Gwen, I truly feel like a superstar. I think of everything she did for me and how classy she was in the way she handled my adoption. I think of how her focus was on me and only me and the hoops she jumped through for the child she carried. This person she didn’t know, yet she was starting to bond with.
When she went to Oregon, what did she think when she crossed the USA-Canada border? Was she excited? Nervous? Anticipatory? When she drove up in front of the home of the people who would become my parents, what did she think when she first saw them?
And as she unpacked in her room and lay on her bed, was her mind swirling? Did she wonder what she had gotten herself into? As the weeks and months passed and she met the rest of the relatives, did she start to relax?
And as her pregnancy progressed, what did she think when she felt the rumblings? As I moved within her womb, did she wonder if I’d be a boy or a girl? As she gained weight, retained water and experienced back problems, did she bond with me?
And the night she went into labor, was she excited? Was she nervous? Was she anxious to see if she gave birth to a daughter or a son? As she held me for the first time, was there a twinge in her heart that I wasn’t going to be hers? Were there second thoughts?
And when she handed me over to my mom, was there a sense of trepidation? A sense of reluctance? As she watched Mom hold me with tears of gratitude to God for providing a baby, was Gwen thankful? Was she remorseful? Relieved? Or were her feelings all over the map?
And as she nursed me during the weeks leading up to my adoption, did she feel anything for me? Was it odd to nurse this baby that would belong to the woman standing in front of her? Was it surreal to suckle the child that soon would no longer be hers?
And when she stood in front of the judge and said with finality, “Yes, Your Honor, I am certain I want to give my baby up,” was there a part of her heart that wanted to scream “NO!”?
And when all the i’s were dotted and all the t’s were crossed and it came time to leave, did she want to stay a bit longer? As she drove away and looked out her rear view mirror at the little family she had helped complete, did comfort crowd out the sorrow? WAS there sorrow?
And when she returned to British Columbia to resume her life, when she married my father and produced another son, did she wonder if this was God’s way of blessing her for the one she had to give away? Did she remember my birthday? Did she wonder what I looked like? Did she wonder how I turned out?
And years later as she lay dying in her bed, did she think over those weeks and months when she was closest to me? Did she think of me at all? Did she regret that she would never see me, never see her two sons together? Did she wonder if I knew about her? Did she wish she could have at least lived long enough to see her firstborn son?
They say a mother never forgets her child. Especially the first one. I have to believe that. However, that awesome gulf of never knowing my biological mother is sometimes hard to navigate. Sometimes I truly feel that having never known her, only knowing the type of woman she was, is more than enough. Knowing that someone, a stranger yet not a stranger, went through so much for me, makes me feel like a superstar.