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.