It dawned on me earlier today that this year makes ten years since I met my birth mother for the first time. She left me in my dad’s care at eleven months old. I guess she forgot to read her owners manual since she never looked back. At age twenty a friend of mine hired a detective and located her by finding her mom. That conversation was an interesting encounter and that is saying the least. I see why her mother and my father are not fans of one another.
She advised me that my mom stops by her house after work around five-ish every day. She said that she would let her know that I called. Advised me that she may or may not let me speak to her. Talk about a red flag. The anticipation waiting for that call. Drove me to a river of tears.
One part excited and the other part of me scared as hell. Hoping that she would not reject me. Something that was a real struggle for me growing up. It showed up in my friendships. That is a whole other story that will need popcorn, juice, and a lot of therapy sessions. Which I went to. Also, the Ricki Lake and Oprah reunion level expectations did not help at all.
The phone rang and she was on the other end and I was overwhelmed. This was apart of my history that I knew nothing about. My dad and I spoke of her growing up but vaguely. She asked me a series of questions to confirm my identify and confirm she wasn’t catfished. She had a warm and inviting tone. One that made me sad that I never got to go to her for wisdom and perspective. And have the healthy mother-daughter relationship that I longed for. Someone to show me how to navigate girl/womanhood. Keeper of my secrets. And the seer of my wrong but still show up with an abundance of unconditional mama love.
For those of you have the blessing of having a present caring mom. You have no idea how blessed you are. Fast forward to our first face to face. Her mom came to pick me up from my city three hours away. Our first stop was to see my brothers who were at my their father’s house. I had no idea that I had twin brothers and they had no knowledge of me. Their father says that she never told him about me. Her aunt volunteered that information when they were anticipating my brother’s arrival.
Once we arrived at my mother’s house she walked out on her porch with her greyhound named “Daisy Girl”. Petting the dog as she walked out and hugged her mom, then me. She invited me in and her mother said goodbye. She was a strict older lady with some boundary about not entering into the homes of others. It’s weird I know. We took a tour of her house and she told me that she likes to read. I told her that I love reading and she said that she read to me when she was pregnant. We discussed favorite shows, food, and other general things.
We soon wrapped things up as she drove me back to my city. She asked me if my dad knew that we were in contact and I told her yes. One of her friends rode with us during this trip. Which I am almost certain was a defense mechanism. She conveyed her version of what happened between her and my father.
She advised me that I was kidnapped by my father and his family was in on it. I don’t know what the truth is. Sounds like they were too young when they had me and couldn’t find middle ground. She was asked to appear in custody court a few years after she left and never showed up. The letter was mandatory to sign when received. And it was confirmed she signed it. So if even if her story sticks the math didn’t add up.
Over the years we haven’t made much progress. She doesn’t want to talk about why she left or address anything for that matter. It was too much to hold on I had to let the grudge go. Because I was carrying a big one that was manifesting in my life in ways I am not proud of. It didn’t make me feel any better or burn any calories carrying those bags around. I am sure that your heart grows back bigger when you’re beaten down by situations. God lets us expand to hold space for our blessings.
I may never know the why but I am grateful. Grateful that she nurtured me to birth me and trust that I would flourish despite her absence. There is a soft-spot in my heart for women who have lost their mothers. And the kids out there in search of theirs. Believe it or not, estrangement from parents feels a lot like a death. Declaring peace although you long for someone you may never see, know or hear from. Each day that passes I hope that we can someday be friends before its too late. There is no harm in this hope according to my therapist.
Forgiveness and making peace with situations is essential. It is like pouring water on a parched desert. I hope you’ll give yourself this gift if you stand in need. Who knows what makes us rise and go on. I have no clue but we do it. Here’s to my dad for holding it down. And to the fathers who catch more flak than appreciation. My heart holds genuine love and Joy for mothers. I am so happy to break the cycle with my daughter. Motherhood is a tall task but it is so dope.