Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slow down, you move too fast

What a whirlwind this is turning out to be! So much has happened, and so quickly, that I hardly know where to start. I want to tell you all what's going on, even though I can hardly believe it myself.

There are people who are associated with the group (OBC for ME) who volunteer their time to help people separated by adoption find their biological family members. They call them Search Angels. These people have access to a myriad of databases - old phone directories, social security, driver's license databases, marriage and death records, as well as a bunch of databases that I didn't even know existed until now.

Over the weekend, I decided to put my information out to the search angels. My thought was that it probably took months; after all, there are hundreds of people with any given name, and dozens of people here in Maine who all just got their original birth certificate. How quick could it possibly be?

It turns out, it might not be that long. Within 24 hours, I was starting to get emails from one of the searchers, then from two. They were working together, searching for my birth mother in every database they had. The first thing we found out was that it appeared that she got married, in Maine, almost exactly one year after I was born.

They also tracked her through census info and something called the Polk Directory and found the names of others living in the same household as the address she gave on my birth certificate. We almost certainly found relatives of hers who lived at her address in 1959, one year before my birth.

The information was coming fast and furious at this point. New last name. A second marriage. Another last name. Two daughters. Parents and grandparents. Driver's license with a physical description that matches. Evidence that she had a certain job, which matches my non-identifying info. Of course, none of this is confirmed - it's only certain that someone with her name existed at various points. It's kind of like following a trail of bread crumbs during a wind storm.

But, the final consensus of the search angels was that she's alive. And we've found her.

Oh my God. She may be alive and living only 40 minutes away. I have an address and a telephone number. The telephone number of my biological mother.

What the hell am I going to do now?

What I am not going to do is grab the phone and make a call. Not yet. I am planning to spend today attempting to confirm some of the info that I have. I'm headed to Portland to the library, where I can verify certain facts through phone directories and obituaries. I need time to process and need to feel a little more confident that I have the right person, although I may not be completely sure until she says, "it's me."

I know I'm not ready yet. I need some time to process all of this. I had no idea it could happen this fast. I know what you're all thinking - she's been waiting for 48 years already; why isn't she already on the phone? It's a good question. Anybody got a good answer?

34 comments:

kim-d said...

OMG. Because it's scary, that's why! OMG. OMG.

If it was me, I would be scared to death of rejection. That's maybe stupid, but I still know that would be a biggie for me. The old "what if she doesn't like me" thing. I could go on and on and on about all of the ways this could be so scary and why you need to take things slow. But I will not be a comment page hog. What makes sense to me is this. This is YOUR history and now this is YOUR time, and you MUST do it the way that is best for YOU. There is no right and wrong here, only what is right for you. Even if you would decide to hold off indefinitely on contacting her, it would be okay. Whatever is right, and in your own time. **curtsies and steps delicately down off large soap box.** :)

OMG. EEEK!!!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Cuz you're a wimp? No...that can't be the correct answer. Cuz you're lazy? No...that doesn't seem to be the correct answer either.

Cuz you're acting exaclty like someone in your situation would? Now THAT sounds more like it!! :)

Hallie

AirmanMom said...

ME...WHOA! that is what I would be saying. This is your chapter of life, write it as you wish it to be. I would imagine the moment of meeting this woman, will change your life forever.
I agree with Kim-d...rejection would scare the daylights out of me! Especially rejection of your own child... even though it appears she has put herself in a position to be rejected by you, nobody knows her story, except for her.
Stay Strong!
Pray Hard!!!!!!!!!!!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Corrine said...

WOW!!
Cuz, it's a whole lotta s*^t to process. You have to "be with it" for a while.
A week ago you had no idea that she was alive....
Bless the search angels!

Andrew Scott Turner said...

Because you're scared shitless, as would anyone in your shoes.

Just remember, it's never as bad as your mind makes it out to be, and knowing you, your mind is probably making it wicked bad for you right about now.

Liz said...

Deep breath, woman!

That is a lot of info coming at you in a very short amount of time. From a new name to all of that in a matter of days? Eek!

I sought out my birth father when I was 19. I was traveling with my college show choir and we had stopped for a performance and overnight stay in the city I had last known him to reportedly live. On a complete whim, I grabbed the phone book and looked him up. And his name and number were there, in front of me. On another whim, I called him. And told him who I was and who I thought he was. I didn't meet him face to face for another year or so. But it started the process I needed. But I did it my way on my time. Even if it was on a whim and super fast, it was my choice, my control.

This is very exciting!!!

claudia said...

A definite whirlwind. You need to land and find your bearings before stepping off into what could be another whirlwind.
I think it is wonderful that you are getting all this information even though it's a lot all at once. I think better like this, so you can soak it all in and make a very informed decision.
You have time, take it...as slow or as fast as YOU want!
Enjoy the process, as scary as it is. This is a great start!

Under the Influence said...

You're right, this is all happening fast! But it sounds like you are thinking it through clearly and logically and at a speed that you are comfortable with. Keep doing that and I am sure you will come up with all the answers you need/want.

kimmy said...

I am so happy for you Mary Ellen! What a wonderful way to start the new year!

YEAH for you!

Kimmy

Merrily Down the Stream said...

I know that I felt like I didn't have the right to do it. I thought it was totally up to my son. And your birth mom had you 20 years before me. Who is to sat what she is thinking - only her I think. I wish you strength and love during this time. It is scary because it is such a HUGE unknown and there is nothing else in the whole world to compare it to or gauge it against.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

PS Please feel free to contact me by email if you'd like. Lots of love, Merrily

Abby Reed said...

I had the contact info of my bio dad for nearly 3 years before I contacted him. It was like, I was terrified of his reaction, and my reaction... and it was just something I wanted to keep to myself, before I moved forward.

I can totally relate to you!

Becca said...

terrifying! holy crap.

the possibility of rejection and disappointment would stall me. (and you know we'll be here for you if that happens and praying it won't).

take your time, do it when you are ready, or as ready as you can be

Mel Fraase said...

Wow. I just visited here for first time, from another's blog. It seems I have found you at a really exciting, terrifying time! I am nervous, excited, and scared for you, too!! I hope that when you are ready that it all goes well and you find what you are looking for. I pray that she will be what you are looking for as well. I suppose that's why I would be freaked out. All the what if's - will she like me, does she want contact with me, what if she doesn't want a relationship?? Of course you're not ready...who would be. My good friend was found by her 21 year old daughter about 5 years ago. It was a good meeting and they continue to be in touch, even being involved in her wedding! I pray that your heart will become prepared (and hers, too)!! Good luck!

Midwest Mommy said...

I totally get it I think...to me it would be like waiting to find out if I have cancer (now wait hear me out). It is scary as hell at first, it could go either way but in the end you will be happy you know. Am I on the right track? I would be a little freaked out too.

Alice said...

Wow. I can't imagine what you must feel like knowing after all this time. And if you need time to digest that and deal with the news - I think that makes you only human.

But, wow. What a wonderful discovery. To act upon in your own time, in your own way.

Sending extra prayers for guidance for you today.

Alice said...

Wow. I can't imagine what you must feel like knowing after all this time. And if you need time to digest that and deal with the news - I think that makes you only human.

But, wow. What a wonderful discovery. To act upon in your own time, in your own way.

Sending extra prayers for guidance for you today.

katy said...

That has to be scary and exciting at the same time. Take a deep breath and think things through. You will do it when the time is right.

Odette said...

This is so exciting! It's never easy to accept that something you've wanted your whole life is actually there! Plus there's so much pressure to make sure that you day the right thing! In the end though no matter what you say it will be the right thing. You will know when it's the right time. :) Congratulations!

Cheerio! said...

From what I've been reading the past few years is that there are a LOT of unexpected emotions on both sides.

Find someone you can totally lean on through this who will support you.

Here is an article you may want to read ... http://www.exiledmothers.com/adoption_facts/why_wont_my_mother.html

As a firstmom, I personally hope and pray for the day I get to see my son f2f, to look into his eyes for myself, to hug him, to hear his voice for the very first time.

Sometimes people just exchange e-mail addresses and get to know a little about each other before a f2f.

I wish you the best, the absolute best... consider a search & reunion type group. Again, I'm not in reunion yet, but could give you a link to a group or two if you want. You can e-mail me anytime.

hugs
cheerio!

Lynn said...

WOW !
Totally normal reaction...LOL !

Did you every see, "Secrets and Lies" ? I saw it on TV (cleaned up from the R-rating it got originally) It was so funny,real and good...it is quite a story and whenever it comes on, I watch it !

My advice: pray about what you should do next and when...

Robin said...

i'm on pins and needles here.

this is so exciting and overwhelming and EVERYTHING and of course you should do this as you feel is right and when you feel is right.

but if i've learned anything recently it's this: don't waste another minute. "some day" sometimes never comes.

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

stupid blogger. duplicating comments.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

it was a whirlwind for me too... papers filed in the end of march...name number letters and photos in my hands in april met face to face may3rd. will you call her yourself or have a mediator call her? The social worker at the childrens home called mine and let them know i was looking for them and got their information... we then exchanged photos and letters through the socila worker before talking on the phone... but still its all a whirlwind of emotions.
Love n hugs email or call me if you want.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

it was a whirlwind for me too... papers filed in the end of march...name number letters and photos in my hands in april met face to face may3rd. will you call her yourself or have a mediator call her? The social worker at the childrens home called mine and let them know i was looking for them and got their information... we then exchanged photos and letters through the socila worker before talking on the phone... but still its all a whirlwind of emotions.
Love n hugs email or call me if you want.

Joanie said...

ME, I found your blog via Liz at Eternallizdom and read it beginning to end. It's a fascinating, exciting, scary journey you're taking! I'm glad to know you're finding some of the answers you need. Good luck with whatever path this journey takes. And thanks for telling us your story!

Sue said...

OH! I am so excited for you Mary Ellen! I just read everyone's comments and we are all in for this ride with you!

Do you think I could call the search engine to find me a builder that works as fast as the search engine people? Honestly, why would you ever have thought you would get immediate information!

And she may only live 40 miles away or so??????
I will continue to hang on your every word!

justlori2day said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I so totally didn't think we would hear any of this for a while. And now you may have that information - WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!

From scary to exciting to scary all in one breath.

I cant wait to hear that she is indeed alive, and well, and waiting for you dear lady - I cant wait!

Kellan said...

WOW - I am so happy for you!! I think it is not a bad thing to wait until the moment feels exactly right. I speak from experience - I waited 7 years. I am not suggesting you wait another 7 years - don't do that - but, if it takes a couple of days to gather your emotions and all, it's a good thing. I wish you luck and love in this new time of your life. I hope it all works out as well for you as it did for me. Take care - Kellan

~*amber*~ said...

Holy freaking cow, that was quick. I need those search angels working on my side. :) That is a lot of 'in your face' info all at one time. For some odd reason, like someone above mentioned, I too would be afraid of rejection, though that sounds kind of dumb seeing as how she gave birth to you and cared to give you a name.

I wouldn't have called yet either. I would want to confirm as well.

The next big question...I wonder if she ever searched for you like you are for her?

jojo said...

deep breath...it's a scary situation and the unknowns are immeasurable. Take time, slow down...we're all here..;)

American in Norway said...

OMG... I got chills reading your post... I can't imagine what you are going through right now.

Me... I am a stalker by nature..(did I say that out loud?) I would probably try to get a look at her first...try to process everything....

GOOD LUCK.. can't wait to hear everything!

Vegas Princess said...

Wow! I am off the Interent for a few days and look what happens. I seriously got all goose-pimply reading this. I can not believe the amount of information you got so fast. It must be so overwhelming. I don't blame you for waiting. You need time to process, confirm, regroup. But you will eventually make that call.