Friday, January 16, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words

I again want to thank you for the amazing comments you made to me over the last couple of days. I've been in a pretty dark hole since Tuesday night, and it's been hard to even try to think about climbing out. I am bitterly disappointed - even though I knew that so many things could go wrong, I guess I hoped in my heart of hearts that my birth mother would want to know me.

I thought I had considered just about every possibility, but this is one I hadn't covered - that she would be the one, and would deny it. I thought about her saying, "yes, it's me, but I don't want to have anything to do with you," but somehow, this is worse. I think it's worse because it leaves every one of my questions unanswered. She is the only one who knows the truth. She holds all my medical information. She is the only one who could tell me who my birth father was.

I thought I was a wee bit obsessed before (although I think we all established that I am NOT a stalker!) but now I'm positively crazed. I've devised about a dozen plans-for-action, and then discarded them. I think I will probably write her a letter, in a non-threatening way, and let her know what exactly I'm looking for. I want to reassure her that I am not planning to disrupt her life and that I only want some information. I don't need to have a relationship with her (although to be honest, it's what I've been dreaming about for such a long time).

Today I went down to the Portland library again to do some more research. It turns out the grumpy people I talked to last time I visited the library were not the whole story. I found a wonderful guy there (Hey, Abraham!) who helped me find yearbooks for Portland High School. I figured out approximately what year my birth mother would have graduated from high school, and I looked her up. It turned out to actually be just that simple. I found her photo in her senior yearbook. Abraham, who, as it happens, is a kick-ass Canon camera expert, helped me set up the yearbook on a stand, and got me a tripod for my new digital camera, and messed with the settings to get me the best possible shot of her photo.

I couldn't stop staring at it. I must have turned the camera on a hundred times just to look at the picture again. Do I look like her? I think I do, a little - especially the eyes. I am SO tempted to post the picture, but I don't think I can. This woman obviously wants to forget I ever happened, and although I doubt she'd ever find out, I think I shouldn't invade her privacy that way.

I guess I just have to wait. Wait for this horrible feeling I'm experiencing to pass. Wait for the courage to write the letter. Wait for her reply. God, I hate waiting. In the meantime, I'll try to be grateful for all I have - because I do have so much more information than I had such a short time ago. It's quite amazing, really. Two weeks ago, I didn't even know her name. Now I know her name, and that she named me. I know a little bit about her family. I think I know that she's alive and where she lives.

And I have her picture.

26 comments:

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Still here for you every step of the way. And still so proud of you for continuing to do what you need to do throughout this whole process.

I bet, for the moment, having that pic is priceless. Let's hope that in the not too distant future, you have AT LEAST a current mental image of her.

I'm totally available to go and hang out near a certain house. You just say the word. I figure if two of us are just "hanging out in a car staring at a house" it totally does NOT constitue stalking.


H :)

Laura ~Peach~ said...

HUMMMMM hallie and you hanging out in a car... near a certian house... MIGHT be considered stalking I am not sure... I guess it would depend on how close to that house you actually got...

Pictures do tell a million words... The first photos I got OMG what a SHOCK to me to find I look absolutely NOTHING like my mother, all my life I had been searching faces when in the st louis area that looked remotely like mine... brown eyes like me brown hair like me... I would have NEVER found her because I dont look like her at all... except that one day that Mike said I had her same expression (last fall)

now my father and siblings.... there is no possible way to deny where we came from. my son looks so much like my brother except he has the red hair from my mothers side...I LOOK LIKE my ADOPTIVE PARENTS :) trust me on this... I think I will post some photos just for you M.E. come to my blog later today after I get these photos hunted down...

Midwest Mommy said...

I am so sorry. I am still hoping for the best for you. I am trying to put myself in your birthmother's shoes and figure out why she wouldn't want contact with you. I am wondering so much, as are you probably, what the circumstances were when you were conceived, what is she trying to forget. My heart is broken for you.
I will be honest I so want to see the photo. Maybe you could post it for a day and then take it down.

Liz said...

When my dad adopted me and we went through our home study, I remember the case worker commenting that I look like my dad... it was a casual comment, meant as a compliment, that stuck with me for a long time. A decade later, when I'd reconnected with my birth father, I saw a picture of my father (prior to meeting him).

He looked exactly like my dad. But totally opposite. My dad is clean cut and a dress pants and button up shirt kind of guy. My father is a hippie. Long hair, long beard, shaded glasses, wearing a hat and eclectic clothing.

Very weird.

I was wondering... when you called this woman, when Hallie called... did you refer to the name she gave you on your birth certificate?

Andrew Scott Turner said...

How could she refuse a letter? If she had a heart she could, at the very least, tell you about pertinent medical histories and such.

I would write it. I would write a thousand until I got my answers.

What she did was rude and inconsiderate, and I don't care to hear the apologists exclaiming her rights to privacy and not wanting to be bothered.

You're a human being too, for crying out loud. You deserve something

But that's me. I was told by a day care kid this week that I was a big fat meanie. I told him he had no idea..

Hang in there, MET!!

My Metabolic Rate is Stuck said...

WRITE the letter... SHe has to have a conscience! Whatever her reasons...I pray she will contact you after that!
HANG in there! You have a lot of people hoping for the BEST!

claudia said...

I think the letter is an excellent idea. Go for it!

Joanie said...

Yup, write the letter and make sure you include your birth name.

1960 was a very different time if you were single and pregnant. If you were pregnant you were hidden away and everything was kept a big secret. AND your birth father was married, so there was the shame of that (he might have even been her boss!) There's a very good chance none of her chidlren know of your birth or her husband (if she ever married and had other children)
If this woman is indeed your birth mother, trust me, you are all she's been thinking about since she got that first phone call. Give her some time to wrap her ehad around this.... maybe she'll come around, or atleast write you back and give you the medical info you need.
In the meantime, hang in there, kiddo! You have a great family and friend network to love you. :)

AirmanMom said...

ME...you are brave and you are strong! My suggestion is that you write 2 letters. Allow yourself to go crazy in the first letter. All of your ugliest feelings in writing.
Then, write the letter you wish to mail. Make a copy of it, so you can read it again the same time she may be reading it. Just a thought....
My prayers continue for you!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Sue said...

So frustrating for you M.E. I am sure this cold weather is not helping. It's hard to spy on someone, even with Hallie sitting close by, in the cold.
Hopefully this is eating your birth mom up more than you. She's got to break at some point. Right?
Good idea on writing a letter. Maybe you can hand deliver it.

MaBunny said...

Heres to hoping everything will eventually come full circle and you get what you need...
/hugz

justlori2day said...

I agree with Airman Mom - two letters - one let it all out, the second tame it back.

BUT, that being said, don't do what Robby did in Atonement and send the wrong letter.

That would really be a bad idea.

GOOD LUCK! I am glad you have friends close that can be there with you - I hope we do a little distracting as well.

Hang tight lady!

justlori2day said...

Oh, and no, we won't let anyone call you a stalker - we have your back!

Lynn said...

The best advice:

Airman Mom has it right...follow her advice...very wise !

Stay strong...we're all with you in spirit and prayers LOL

Becca said...

i think your current plan seems wise (although I am sure some of the other plans you developed at 2 am were undoubtedly more interesting...). She is probably freaking out and terrified that you will give away her little secret. A letter may set her mind at ease.
as for yours, probably a cheeseburger and wine is all that might work

Mrs4444 said...

Joanie is right; she might be dealing with this all on her own. In your letter, maybe you can offer a support resource for her (no matter what she chooses to do). She probably needs time and is terrified. Hang in there!

Odette said...

I'm not going to lie, I am still angry that she treated you the way that she did. But I also agree with everyone else that writing the letter is the best way to go about this. You will get the answers that you are looking for I am sure of it.

Alice said...

I'm just now catching up. OMG!! I can't believe what you've been through in the past couple of days. I wish I had words of wisdom....but it looks like others (who probably know better than I) have already shared some great advice. Just know that this is not the end. She probably needs time to digest, think, pray. I hope that she does the right thing. But no matter what - you have to remember if she continues to deny you - it speaks of her character; not yours.

Keeping you close in my thoughts and prayers right now. And please do keep blogging (as long as you feel like sharing). I have found it to be very cathartic. And one day you'll be glad you wrote all this down.

xoxoxo

Reddirt Woman said...

I've been off in Texas and am now catching up with everyone. I'm just so sorry that you had to go through this, but like you said you've been working up to this for a long time. Hopefully she just needs time to get her shit together. Back in the 60's it was so bad to get preggers and have the baby. Then to have to give up the child... she didn't outright cut you down, she said she couldn't do this right now. I like Airman Mom's suggestion about the 2 letters. You could start one off on your blog... just a line or two then all your readers could add a line or two to blow off some steam and perhaps allow you a moment of levity, and then you could write your angry, crazy letter and then write one you would send. I bet all of us could come up with angry, crazy and funny letter enough to give you a giggle or two.

Seat belt buckled... let 'er rip!

Helen

jojo said...

All I keep thinking is that she must have cared if she named you. I can't imagine the kind of place you are in right now but I am thinking of you. I wish we weren't so far away so we could talk...I just feel like we could do that quite easily ;)

American in Norway said...

Tell ya what, I will post the pic on MY blog... so there will be no connection to your blog...... ( I really want to see it...)

I know you are bummed... but it could be she never told anyone.. & know she needs to figure out what to do, how to break the news etc. I think the letter is a good idea. Hang in there!

Tonjia said...

You know, as a mom of a daughter, I dont know how anyone could deny their child. I am sure she has her reasons, but it is hard to understand.

On the other hand, I am happy that you have at least located her and you know a little bit about her, like where she went to school and what she looked like in high school.

I hope she realizes that her life will only be better by knowing you and learning what an awesome person you are. ((((((((((Mary Ellen)))))))))

Shauna said...

Hope you have a beautiful weekend! ♥ Hugs :)

Vegas Princess said...

You are so brave. I am so proud of you! And writing a letter is a great idea. This way you have time to draft, rewrite and really get it pefect. On the phone, impulse takes over. With writing you can figure out what to say and the best way to say it. A brilliant move.

I am glad you got a picture. It is another step forward.

You and Hallie in a car watching a house? Totally not stalking...just two people parkd in a street having a conversation, right? :)

Just Joni said...

I just stumbled across your blog and your story is very similar to my own. I was able to talk with my birthmother, but it had to be private because her husband knew nothing of the adoption...a skeleton in the closet you might say...maybe she will meet with you if you reassure her everything can be handled privately. Good luck to you, medical history is important to know...among other things. Just give her a little time...

Eve said...

Oh my. This story of yours is very intense. I'm so happy for you that you've found out who your original family was, but so sad that your birth mother is not as enthusiastic about a reunion.
Good luck in the continuation of your search. I'm sure that great things will come of it.