love not label.

I have talked about my continuously unfolding story to strangers on the street, people on the internet, friends over the phone, and new relatives face to face. I talk about this story the way I have been used my whole and more specifically since I entered the adoption world as a waiting parent. seeing birth mama situations, using “the baby”, “her baby”…

and after 34 years, I get to change the verbiage. I get to change the titles, the labels, the pronouns.

GET, not have to.

“the baby” is me!

I am a big sister.

I have living grandparents.

I get motherly phone calls.

their mom… my grandma

his brother… my uncle

his daughters… my sisters

her sisters …. my aunts

but lets stop right there. I get asked a lot by many if and/or when I will change my language.

I am in no rush to use or claim these adjectives.

I have no pressure to label these new relatives let alone label all these feelings and relationships.

There is [hopefully] no pressure for them to title me.

when I do use them, it’s because I want to.

it may be tomorrow, yesterday, today. it may be the first time or maybe the last time.

when I use them, I consider and acknowledge all parties who also use them and have been using them for their whole lives.

when I do use them, I feel honored.

I am not replacing anyone or forgetting about anyone.

I am a stranger walking in and I do not want to walk over them. labels can take people to places of hurt but also healing.

I am blood.

I am dna.

I am home.

“God opens millions of flowers without forcing the buds, it reminds us not to force anything for things happen in the right time.”

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may fourth two thousand and eighteen.

thirty four years of not knowing who he was, what he looked like, what he loved, what he hated, if i’d ever speak to him or know his name, I sit here in front of him after knowing him for only the past 17 days. almost starring into a mirror physically yet learning about the man behind it.

we talked faith.

we talked adoption.

we talked family.

we talked childhood.

we talked similarities.

we put pieces of the past together.

we talked about the hard emotions.

we talked about the happy emotions.

we talked about honesty.

each of us in our own unique positions of the triad.

each of us processing. allowing one another to process together + on our own.

he is kind.

he is open.

he is silly.

he is honest.

he is confident.

I have known for 34 years that I was placed for adoption.

my birth mother has known about me for 34 years.

he just found out that he has another daughter. one he never ever knew about…. his first born…

that’s a lot…

and for that he is brave.

a few nights after talking to him on the phone for the first time, I dreamt that my newly found uncle dropped off his youngest daughter to me for the weekend. when I looked down at her in my dream, the baby in my arms was me.

I was reassured that an Angel was delivering His message to me that night.

the message: I found myself.

the man who reassured me of this beautiful message is my birth father; the man in front of me.

“welcome home.”

be brave.

we even squint the same 🙂

may first two thousand and eighteen.

I know WHAT was just said but it hasn’t sunk in WHO it was with…

I spent a lifetime dreaming, three weeks in suspense and here we are.

investigating. connecting dots. searching. asking questions. playing detective. a lot of this I had set out for yet it also fell into my lap.

i have written many blog posts “to her”… and as I write this one I can’t believe I know she will read it. on purpose. most importantly, I can tell her. I can call her. I can text her. I can update her.

she revealed our story to my ears. mother to daughter, daughter to mother… she opened her heart. she gave me answers. she asked her questions. I heard sadness and relief. I felt grateful and thanked her.

she loves me. she thinks about me. she misses me. she is proud of me. all of this I officially know and is no longer a segway to find peace or distraction to make sense of what I never knew.

we laughed the same laugh. we shared our strengths and weaknesses. she updated me on current life and explained her past. we both loved dolly’s and playing teacher. we both struggled with our academics. we both have wavy hair. all in 2 hours. I didn’t want to stop talking and I didn’t want to stop listening.

to know her biggest struggle was my biggest blessing. I told her, yet I can’t reiterate enough, that she changed my life. she may not believe me yet but I will help her to find the confidence to truly believe that. her decision to place set me up for success, love, strength, hope. sometimes it can be hard to see that but I am proof that that is the case.

so much i want to divulge about our conversation but i’m guarding it with my whole heart. so many hearts involved. so many eyes reading. so many emotions unfolding. reality starting to sink in.

we are both open. open to see what’s next. open to navigate this new beginning with each other.

I found her. I found my birth mother.

be brave.

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“not a product of love.”

Not a product of love was recently spoken to me. although this was likely due to a generational gap, it literally caught me off guard. you know that awkward chuckle like you can’t believe what you just heard but you know you heard it but did you hear it correctly?! this conversation was over the phone with a 96 year old lawyer.

here is the context:

as I decided to start the process I knew I didn’t have much to start with. my adoption is closed and was not through an agency. I did some digging/asking around and got the name of the law firm who potentially finalized my adoption. after days of back and forth, emails, messages and waiting, I finally got a call back. the conversation was rushed, unproductive. I asked him if/how I could go about finding information. not looking for a reunion but looking for any non-identifying information. he asked if “the lady” (eyeball #1) aka my bio mom had reached out in the last 33 years and of course I replied no. he then proceeds to tell me I should just “let it be” (eye roll #2) since she hasn’t set out to look for me. I decide to ask him for direction instead of information bc I was not wishing for this conversation to continue any further. that’s when eye roll #3 happens… without really giving me any answers, he proceeds to ramble that she likely doesn’t want to be found because “let’s face it you obviously weren’t a product of love.” my jaw literally hit the floor. I know for sure I shook my head back and forth too as if I just got hit with a 2×4. I did that awkward chuckle-stumble on my words- choked-coughed reaction… excuse me. say what? i quickly tried to give him the benefit of the doubt in my head but the shock overtook. I had to end the call right there. I simply thanked him for his time and he wished me “luck with my rare disease” (eye roll #4).

buh bye.

In the adoption world a lot of phrases and verbiage get thrown around. some that make us want to smack our palms to our faces. some that make you actually think about the other perspective. most terms/phrases unintentionally mind-nubbing, some intentionally hurtful and some just due to lack of education or experience. this one was just…… ignorant. in my opinion.

yes.

I was a product of love because my mom chose life.

she reached out for help.

she chose adoption.

she chose my mom and dad to raise me.

she had a choice.

she made a choice.

that IS a product of love.

I AM a product of love.

be brave.