My Birthday As An Adoptee

Dealing with and accepting the death of my biological mother.

dreamer119955 August 14, 2014
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I found the death record of my biological mother four years ago. I could not find the reason for her death–just that she died January 24th, 2007. I felt an overwhelming slough of emotions at the time, for I had prepared myself for every other option but her death. As my birthday approaches in a couple of weeks, I feel stricken with grief that I will not be able to thank the woman who gave me life. There are so many things that I have stored in the back of my mind that I would say to her if I ever got the chance to meet her, and accepting the fact that I will never get to share those with her breaks my heart. I believe I will spend the rest of my life trying to fix my broken heart and the unbearable ache that I feel when I think about the fact that I searched too late.

Because I was adopted at four days old and always knew that I was adopted, my birthday has always been a somewhat difficult day for me. On my birthday, I always wondered who my biological mother was and whether or not she had any other children. There were so many questions that I did not have answers too. Mostly, I wondered if my biological mother remembered my birthday, and I dreamed she was out there somewhere thinking about me while I was thinking about her.

In a couple weeks, I will fly from Boston, Massachusetts to Atlanta, Georgia and spend my 25th birthday with my biological half sister, Jenny, who is two years younger than I. I got in touch with Jenny last year, who informed me that my biological mother died of breast cancer. Years ago, when I found the death record, in the back of my mind, I somehow convinced myself that maybe what I had found was not correct, that maybe it was not really her and I had the wrong person. After getting confirmation from Jenny, I have had the unfortunate experience of accepting her death. Although she kept my birth and placing me for adoption a secret from her family, she told Jenny about me when Jenny was 9 and told her maybe, one day, they would get the chance to meet me.

Tears form in my eyes as I think about how my biological mother will not be there on my birthday. I have to accept the fact that I will never get an answer as to whether she remembered my birthday, and I will never get a chance to thank her. Her choice to place me for adoption was for reasons that I know and can understand. I will never get the chance to let her know that I was a happy child and that the family I grew up with was very caring and loving. This year as my birthday approaches, I feel as if my heart is a little bit more healed as I feel grateful to be able to spend the day with Jenny and that I do have some answers to the questions that have haunted me throughout my life.

If you want guidance in your search to find birth parents, visit the new adoption search and reunion website for adoption training.

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Hannah was eighteen years old (six years before she started writing for when she started her search for her biological family. She searched on her own and was successful at finding two of her biological half-siblings. As she continues her emotional journey in the reunion stage, she hopes that sharing her experience as an adoptee through search and reunion will have a positive and helpful impact on others.

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