Wednesday, September 28, 2011

may into months~

After Kathy the Social Worker contacted me saying that she found my birthmom in Louisiana, she spent the entire summer just trying to get a hold of her. I thought for sure she was pulling the old bait&switch because things just kept going on and on and on. First, Kathy sends a cryptic letter to the birthparent in order to protect their right to anonymity after the adoption. It basically appears to be a letter from a random friend in Pittsburgh, but upon opening it says "I'm writing regarding an event that occurred on [adoptee's birth date]."
Kathy never heard from her.
So she sent a 2nd letter; this time certified mail to be sure she had the correct address.
The whole time Kathy and I were communicating via email, so every time my birthmom didn't reply, I found myself getting filled with more anxiety and frankly, a bit of anger. I thought she was being a coward. I thought, "if you don't want to talk with me, just say so!" I've handled my share of family rejection in my life, I didn't need a double and triple dose at this point. I figured it was time to move on. But Kathy told me not to lose hope. She's been searching for birthparents for a long time, this was par for the course.
But I was starting to get a little nervous too. The only non-identifying information she could pull from my birthmom's file (we'll call her MW after this) and share with me involved a brother's suicide, a parole officer, and being completely ostracized by her family upon getting pregnant. Great news, just great. What exactly had I gotten myself into? I never imagined her as being, well, let's say, deserving of the Mom of the Year Award, but geez. Was I really ready to enter somebody else's messy past and subsequent emotional meltdown after finally just getting to a place in my life where I'd learned how to keep certain types of people at arm's length?
Then she called Kathy. But she only heard the first part of the phone number because the answering machine cut it off. She had said, "I don't know what this letter's about".
At this point I thought I was seriously going to go over the edge.
All I could do is wait and wait, hoping she got the second letter, hoping she'd call Kathy back because all she'd heard was the area code. All I could think of was, What if she doesn't call back? over and over in my mind. I had to let it go because I was obsessing over it in my mind; the stupid thought crossing and recrossing: after all this, I can't find her because all Kathy has is a flipping area code. And I'm not even allowed to have that.
Then one day, she called Kathy back. It'd been nearly a month since the answering machine mess-up.
But they continued to play phone tag all summer long. Every once in a while I'd receive an email from Kathy saying how my birthmom said when the best time to get a hold of her was, only to have her attempt a phone call at that time and not be able to reach her. Nice.
Kathy told me she thought my birthmom might be repressing memories; something I hadn't considered a possibility. I mean, really? You can forget having a baby? Let me tell you this:
I could never forget pushing my baby out!
But I am not my birthmother and my birthmother is not me.
Maybe I was being hard on her. Maybe all those years of being so easy on her-- nay, nearly apathetic, had suddenly transformed into anger. But my anger is the slow-growing kind; a seam being ripped stitch by stitch after all those years of holding on by a thread---one I didn't even realize I was holding so tight.

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