When I read the message from the lady who told me I have a brother, let’s call her Judy, she also included memories she had of my birth mom. She wrote that my birth mom enjoyed swimming with her, and she loved horses. My mind reeled back to my birth mom’s non-identifying information and a sense that my adoptive parents were given by the adoption agency. “Hobbies: swimming and horseback riding.”

When I first discovered who my birth mom was, and talked with the bar owner’s daughter who owned the last bar my birth mom worked at, I asked her about swimming and horseback riding. She said she had never heard about her doing those things. So, after that, I thought my birth mom had put down things she wished she could have done or maybe things she had hoped I would take an interest in.

Turns out my birth mom found a special bond with Judy. I know this because my birth mom chose to write down the two activities she did with Judy on a form she had to fill out to give away her daughter. Before talking to Judy about my birth mother and brother, I was very sad because I thought my birth mother had led an extremely dark, sad life. Based on the stories told to me by the bar owner’s daughter, my birth mother could not do anything on her own except take care of a bar. She couldn’t even take care of herself.

Judy was astonished to hear the description the bar owner and her daughter gave my birth mother and proceeded to paint another picture– a picture that proves my birth mother had days filled with joy and laughter as well. I have learned my birth mom played the role of a big sister, and a fun one at times. Judy remembers my birth mom went with her to her first movie in a movie theater, Mary Poppins. Judy remembers painting horse pictures with my birth mom and going swimming with her. She remembers my birth mom loved buying and wearing nice jewelry, a trait that I inherited. My birth mom made an impression in Judy’s life and a positive one at that.

It seems Judy and I were both searchings for my birth mom throughout the years, and although my birth mom has passed on, Judy and I have connected. Through our connection, I can learn more about my birth mom in her 20s and 30s, and Judy can reminisce about a girl she once knew and cared for. It is a win-win for both of us.