As many people can probably relate to, my hairdresser is the one person who knows everything about me. In a short amount of time, I have spilled my secrets to her. So, naturally, when I started on this journey of finding my birth mom and her family, my hairdresser was given a front row seat on the roller coaster.
I remember telling her when I found out who my birth mom was. She got so excited an hugged me tight. I was taken aback, I think because I hadn’t thought it all the way through, I was still in shock mode. I was still going to that photo of her every 5 minutes and staring at it, amazed that finally I had a reflection staring back at me, and it looked so much like me, but this time, it wasn’t me! I remember telling her that my birth mom had passed away. My hairdresser’s smile disapeared, and she got so quiet, and so sad. I continued to tell her I was OK with it because at least I knew why I was having such trouble connecting with her.
Then I started wondering if maybe my emotions were all wrong, and then I started feeling bad inside. I felt like maybe I should feel more emotion towards my birth mom’s death. About a month later, I returned to my hairdresser, and I continued telling her my saga. I told her I had gotten my birth mom’s ashes. She died in 1999, and nobody had ever claimed them. She didn’t know what to say. I started laughing and told her I finally had my wish come true…in a sense. I finally met my birth mom, only now she was in a metal container in my cedar closet in the basement. My hairdresser, being the experienced counselor she was, just smiled. I told her it was a little freaky, having her ashes, and I think she finally sighed a breath of relief, because I had finally made some emotional sense.
The last time I went to the hairdresser, I told her about my biological brother out there among the stars somewhere. I told her how the lady who told me about him had grown up with my birth mom and how my birth mom was like a big sister to her.II had been told by another lady that knew my birth mom that she treated her kids like her own. I indulged my hairdresser with this information as well. Her response surprised me. “I would be so angry at your mom! She took on other people’s children as her own and couldn’t keep her own.”
I thought about her statement. I didn’t become angry, though. My birth mom treated children the way children should be treated: with respect and care. She was able to handle children for short periods of time when she was able to give them back for the long term. Watching a child for a day and raising a child are not the same.
Looking back, my emotions during this journey have been different than I and others have expected. I expected to cry hysterically when I found out my birth mom was dead. I expected to faint when I found out I had a brother. I expected to hug my birth family for minutes and cry. None of these things happened. I guess I am experiencing the emotions one would with something brand new, something one is not attached to and still learning about. I am OK with my emotions, and in the end, that is all that matters.