This is my submission for the birth mother category. I know your instructions say a picture says a thousand words, but I wouldn't feel good about attaching something that portrays heartache, so because you recommend a photo, this is me attached, and this is my strait forward story.
My name is Marcia, and I am stepping over the wall I created almost twenty years ago to tell you my story. In the mid sixties at age 16, I gave birth to a perfect darling baby girl after spending two months in a Methodist home for unwed mothers. I was a virgin with raging hormones, desperate for love. My boyfriend and I did use birth control, but it failed. I was so scared and knew I was going straight to hell. My parents would have raised her as their own, but I wanted more for my girl. I didn't want her to live the life I had lived with a raging father who lashed out with physical violence and in a home where I never heard the words I love you. I chose to be sent away as recommended by my minister in order to avoid the scandal my family and I would have faced. The wall came later.
When I gave my baby up for adoption, I viewed adoption as doing my daughter a great favor, giving her a chance at a good life without abuse or poverty. In those days, adoptive parents were viewed as well to do, scrupulously screened, and maybe they were. Anyway, that's what I believed. I was doing the best for my girl. And so I handed over my precious baby, kissed her and whispered my hopes to her knowing I had given up all rights to ever see her again. A few weeks after I returned home, a letter came from the "Home". It said my baby's first name was Linda..later proven to be misinformation..she had an adopted older brother and lived in a far away community with loving Christian parents. From time to time I would reread the letter looking for some clue to where she could be found..Linda, my Linda. I love you Linda.
So secretly I couldn't believe I would never ever see my baby, my girl...always wondering...is she happy, does she look like me, does she feel different from her new mother, do they understand her, maybe she's a little rebel like me but smart and clever and witty...who are her friends, does she like to sing, does she believe in God, does she love animals like I do ..of course she does... does she wonder about me..of course she does..Oh I knew she must wonder..what became of her real mother... surely my real mom would understand me, be like me. Does she cry for me..I worried so. I hoped so. I cried so.
As the years passed I never lost hope that one day she would find me. She would be so happy to meet her "real mom", and we would go on to have a special bond not replacing the parents who raised her, the people who were her family but somehow embracing each other as special friends.
And so the day came when i found my girl...Enter the information age..the internet and Hallelujah. Y:-) es I found her, and I couldn't wait to call her. That was the day I began the wall. It wasn't a wall I ever thought I would need to build, but build it I did and strong. She did not want to know me. The loving family who adopted my girl were a Christian minister and his wife, yet when I asked her if she hadn't ever wondered about the circumstances under which she had been conceived, she replied, "no, but I know it was bad.".
Bad I thought...what can that mean. It was so hard to hold back and not cry, not beg. How could this be..how can this be my girl. My girl has been waiting for me, wishing for me to find her and tell her how hard it was to give her up. My girl loves me, and my girl has dreamed of this day and has been holding a special place in her heart for me.
I tried to communicate without disrespecting her parents that I had been a young teen in love, that I had wanted her to have a good life, that I had done what I thought was best for her , that I had always loved her and had been searching for her , thinking about her,yearning, crying,wondering ....everything. She had her own wall , and she wrote me one letter saying she had prayed about it , and God had told her that she should not remain in contact with me. She said her parents wouldn't understand, that she had never wondered about me or wanted to know anything about me. She asked me to honor her wish to be left alone. She didn't care to hear about her birth father. She granted my request for a photograph of her but sent none of her child, a boy named Eli.
And so I sent a final note saying I would honor her request and thanked her for the photo. I told her my door would always be open. I wanted to say that I too had prayed and that my God had given me hope and permission to build a bond of friendship and love with the baby I had given up to people I trusted. I know they must have loved her because she had such a loyal bond to them. But how could these Christian people lead my baby to think the way she did. Were they so insecure about her ever meeting me ...I imagined them telling her..she didn't want you...we did. I was told at the "Home" that the adoptive parents knew everything about me except for my identity...the same as they supplied me with unidentifying facts about the adoptive family. Surely they would have let her know that her birth parents were teens in high school, and so on...but that was the last I heard from my girl,my Linda who was not named Linda, my baby who never knew how she came to be the daughter of those nice Christian parents...not the real story.
So many days have passed since then..so many years now. I search for clues. Because her father is a minister, I can see the church news, and there she is..a choir leader..but no pictures, no Facebook, not even for her son, my only grandchild. I check regularly, just inspecting the parameters of the wall..no tears please.
I went to see the movie Philomena yesterday because my husband wanted to see it. I knew the wall would weaken, but i would just peek around and reinforce it later. It was hard not to cry. Her baby died. Will I die without seeing my girl. Sometimes I think I will just go to the town where she lives, attend a church service, lay eyes on my only grandchild and see the woman,the girl,the baby who wants to be left alone, who never thinks of me. I keep hoping that will change.
My husband says, someday we will crash that party..someday I will get my dream. I didn't get an abortion, I didn't force her to live in poverty with no hope of a normal upbringing. I placed her in the care of people who I was told were a fine God loving financially solvent community leaders. All I want is a chance to meet her, a few pictures now and then. I don't want to replace her family, but why can't she see that there are people here who love her too...so I had to build the stupid wall, and anger was the glue that has held it in place.. To wall in the pain. I can't think of that pain every day,every morning,every night,every time I see a grandmother ,a grandchild, every time I think will I die before I see her. Anger and pain.
But if she ever contacted me again, there would be no mention of it..just to smile at her,to listen to her, to know her, it would be like my wall never existed.
Thank you for listening.