Today is My Birthday

Today is my birthday. Fifty years ago today, in a hospital in Ottawa, my mother gave birth to me.  She was all alone, miles away from her mother and her family.  She had been sent away. She had been told that she had to place me for adoption or her family would disown her.  What kind of choice is that for a seventeen-year-old girl, to have a baby or to have a family.

I was taken at birth and placed in a foster home. 

Many years have gone by…50 in fact, but I always think of my mother on my birthday. What is she thinking today?  How is she doing?  Was she able to get the help and support she needed to deal with that very difficult decision that she was forced to make?

And what about my father, does he even know that I exist?  Did my mother tell him about me?  If he does know about me, does he know today is my birthday?

Today I have many friends and family calling to wish me a happy birthday.  I am blessed to have so much love in my life. But they have no idea how I feel. They have no idea the sadness that I have, the loneliness. So sad and lonely I wonder if it will swallow me whole. Will these feelings ever fade?

Does anyone understand?  I am so thankful for the network of people that I have met through the ACO. They understand. 

So many questions and not enough answers.  At least not yet.  The questions are feel very strong this year.  Might be my age.  Might be the work I have been doing. I am sure the questions have always been there but now I am not forcing them down.  I am not pretending that they don’t exist. I am honouring the questions.  I am shedding a tear … for my mother, for that baby who had no choice, for a father that I know nothing about, for all of the adopted children who have lived some version of my experience and for all of the birth parents that for one reason or another turned to adoption. 

I will continue this journey searching for answers, answers that I may never find. For now it is enough to know that I am not alone.

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