We met our dear son, Matt, when he was one month old. I always felt bad that we missed the first month of his life, but acknowledge he received very tender, kind care for which I am truly grateful.
Matt was always a very happy, confident boy, and never at any time expressed curiosity about his birth family. We were careful to use the word adoption frequently until he was old enough to fully understand what it meant, and then we very rarely referred to it again. He seemed completely comfortable with that knowledge.
His father and I regularly expressed our support if at any time he would decide to seek out his birth parents. Because I volunteered in the unwed parent program of the agency we used at the time, and because of extended family members’ placement of children for adoption, the subject was freely and lovingly current in family discussions.
These experiences with several birth mothers—their deep love of their child, the incredibly difficult and heart-wrenching decision they had to make, and their great strength in doing so—led us to eagerly anticipate meeting our son’s birth mother and being able to express our love and gratitude. We anticipated the reunion without fear, but rather with great anticipation. Regardless, Matt didn’t express any desire to find his birth mother until he developed a friendship with a young woman who had placed her child some years previously, and with whom he visited local high schools to encourage adoption as an option.
Because of the young lady’s experience with placement was so positive, albeit heartrending, Matt apparently began to have a deeper feeling of appreciation for his birth mother, and a growing desire to meet her. His friend was instrumental in encouraging Matt’s enrollment in a national database, and in a very short time, discovered his birth mother and her information.
After a short time to prepare himself, Matt placed a call to his birth mother on his birthday. When she answered the phone, he gave her his name and announced that “Today is my birthday.” She was a little puzzled, thinking that perhaps he was a student from the college where she taught, but listened politely. Then Matt changed all our lives forever by telling her, “I think you are my birth mother.” To this day, and at this writing, it is impossible for me to recall these events without tears of deepest gratitude.
Shortly after that and many other tearful phone conversations, Matt traveled to her home and got to know his other family of four sisters and other family members, a completely rewarding experience for all.
When Matt married a couple of years later, his birth mother, two of the oldest sisters, and the oldest sister’s husband came to Idaho to share in the celebration. I met his beloved birth mother as she stood on my front porch and allowed me to embrace her and weep on her shoulder as I expressed my love and eternal gratitude. It was the experience of a lifetime, and she and her family are now part of our family. I fully believe that our friendship began many years before our earthly experience. We all love her eternally.
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