Monday, July 17, 2006

The Letter

The following is a letter that I have written to my biological mother. A physical copy of this letter exists in the hands of a confidential intermediary, who waits for the opportunity to share it with the woman that gave me up thirty six years ago.


“I have no desire to meet my biological parents.”

That was the standard disclaimer that I used each time someone would quiz me about how I could live without knowing my birth parents. There was never a question of finding my biological parents. It was just something I was certain I would never do.

That all changed with a single decision.

The desire to search for my biological mother started in earnest when I received the non-identifying information that by law was available to me as an adoptee. I had requested this information in the hopes that I could learn something about my family medical history. My wife and I have four young children – we both felt it made sense to find out as much information as we could about the possible health issues that might exist within my genealogy. The non-identifying information, as could be expected, was not current enough to provide the comprehensive medical background I had hoped for. It did, however, provide me with plenty of other information to digest.

As an adopted child, I learned to take certain things for granted. I implicitly understood that I would never know who I got my eyes from; or why my nose crooked ever slightly to the left. I accepted that ‘God’ must have blessed me with the ability to play sports at a high level as opposed to genetic predisposition. The question of Nature versus Nurture had no semantic meaning to me. I had no roots.

Receiving the non-identifying information changed this. It was the metaphorical opening of Pandora’s Box. With the simple arrival of a letter, the ground had given way and my roots had – ever so slightly – been exposed. My biological mother was 5’2”! She was the oldest of five children and had been twenty-seven at the time I was born (and sixty-two-ish today). All of this information was fascinating to me, and yet it was the paragraph at the end that contained the biggest surprise.

I had a full-biological brother.

A seismic shift had occurred within me. I did desire to find out about my past. I would like to meet both my mother and my brother. I have no idea – no preconceived notion – of what that meeting would be like. I simply know I would like it to occur.

I’ve had a great life. My adoptive family has given me all the love that a son could ever want. My wife and our children provide a rich and fulfilling environment that I am blessed with each day. It would be nice to share the experiences of my life with the person that carried me in her womb for nine months. It’s only fitting that I thank her for having had the courage to give me up so that I could experience this life.

3 Comments:

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Jim Cota said...

Wow, Mike. Times like these, I find myself wishing I knew exactly what to say. I don't.

I can clearly imagine how those few words touched you so deeply and quickly, enduringly, changed your heart and your mind. I can also imagine how this news has released a flood of new questions that need (demand?) answers. In the end, though, I love your attitude: not regret, but gratitude; not remorse, but thanks for the courage to give you life; not anger, but hope.

I wish you luck, I wish you well. I'll keep you in my prayers.

 
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