author: Marcy Payne
She was five days old when we got the call that she had been born. After a brief run-down of her medical history we were asked if we would be Belle’s parents. Her Birth Mother had chosen us as the ones she wanted as her baby’s parents but, because she had given birth before she could tell the Social Worker, we weren’t notified until our daughter had been born and in the hospital for the subsequent days.
Birth Mom had left the hospital when Belle was just a day old. I am fairly certain this was not an easy thing for her to do, but I have always wondered how she could just leave her baby all alone with only the busy nurses to hold her every once in a while.
We have never met her, but we have met her parents. We call them Grandma and Grandpa C. Her parents are dear people who love our Belle and are eager to hear from us and get the pictures we send. For nine years, I have always sent the pictures and letters to their home and know that they will get to the right place. Often, I have stated that we would love to hear from Birth Mom but have never gotten anything from her. Grandma C does tell us every year that her daughter appreciates seeing Belle grow up through pictures.
A couple of years ago, Grandma C asked if it would be ok if Birth Mom could email us. I told her that it would be fine but that she would have to communicate with me instead of Belle for now. I wanted to filter anything that could be troubling for Belle. We never heard from her. I admit I was nervous about how it would go, but I was willing to take a chance.
This year, I was very late in sending pictures and a letter. Grandma called me and asked how we were. She mentioned that she would love some pictures if we could send some. I told her how sorry I was that I had not done that yet. This was an indicator to me how important it was for me to get pictures and letters to all of our birth families. I asked her if Birth Mom would like to email at all, since it had been mentioned previously. She told me that it was probably not a good time in her life to be in contact. I sensed sadness and acceptance in her voice. I told her that I trusted that she would know when the time was right and let me know if anything changed. Unfortunately, a history instability and substance use was still an issue.
Belle is getting more curious about her origins, especially knowing that there is a full biological sibling still with Birth Mom. What a complicated thing for a child to process! I am so very thankful that we have an open relationship with the Grandparents though. We couldn’t have asked for nicer people to be in contact with. I answer the questions that I can and tell her that we can ask Grandma C if she would like to have more answers. This year, Belle sent a picture that she had drawn, to her Birth Mom.
Someday, I am sure we will wade through reunion and contact and I am fairly certain that it will be a bumpy road. With contact already established with Grandma and Grandpa C, it will not be as awkward as I know some reunions can be. I just pray that I will “let go” when I need to and know when that time is right to establish a connection that could be tumultuous.
Marcia is a stay-at-home mom and pastor’s wife, who rarely stays home and doesn’t act at all like a pastor’s wife. She and her husband, Richard, are blessed to parent four children, all of whom came through the miracle of adoption. Two were adopted through private domestic adoption and two through the Foster-to-Adopt program with the Alberta Government. Marcia likes to blog about their life adventures at Love my Life and The Irreverent Reverend’s Wife. She is an aspiring writer and speaker. Marcia is a regular contributor to Adoption Magazine.