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Friday, July 29, 2016

Part Two: Finding My Birth Mom

Content Warning: self-harming behaviors

Part Two- Teenage Angst and The Burning Question “Where is my Real Mom?” Turns To
Your Birth Mom Wants to Meet You!

The social worker Kathy was right about the process of finding my birth mother not being easy. It brought on an avalanche of emotions that I didn’t think at the time I could live through. The burning questions I had about my mom increased tenfold and didn’t help my mental health at all. At the time I was going through full blown depression and anorexia. I kept at trying to find my mom because it was something that I just had to know. It had become an all-consuming project now.

There was invasive paperwork to fill out, and I put my name on the adoptive birth registry saying that if they found my mom, I wanted to have contact with her. I also put my name on the registry to find my birth father and birth siblings. I remember the social worker telling me “meeting your mom may not work out to be the best thing for you,” and I admit that at the time my ideas of meeting her were grandiose and a bit out in left field. I thought that if I found my mom, all my problems would be answered. That my mom would welcome me back and we would have the greatest relationship in the world.

Beyond knowing basic info such as knowing that my mom’s name was Anna, that her last name was Smith, I had to research the rest of the information regarding my family. I obviously now knew that she lived out of the province of Ontario, and that I had other siblings due to conversations I had with my former adoptive father and his second wife. But some of their information was misleading too. Some of their information dealt in stereotypes that in my later years I have grown prone to understanding that there was no basis for them.

There were periodic meetings with the social worker Kathy to get updates on the progress of my application and in between that I tried to go on with my life. My visits to my foster home in the county as sparse as they were becoming less and less, and that was through no one’s fault but my own.  Not only was I dealing with trying to find my mom and my birth family, but my mental health was getting worse. Not only was I dealing with depression but I was dealing with the ever emerging desire to self-harm even more through my eating disorder.

I became acquainted with the porcelain bowl known as the toilet, after anything I tried to eat. For some reason I had begun believing that it wasn’t worth having anything in me and I would stick my finger down my throat until I thought everything I had tried to eat had been purged from my system. I had also taken to cutting myself and taking extra medication to the point that I would end up overdosing and be admitted to the hospital. The friends I did have didn’t know how to deal with what I was doing to myself. They thought that if I just ate and kept what I did eat in, I would be okay. But I wasn’t and I didn’t understand it myself.

Between the slippery slope of my eating disorder and my depression, I managed to attend school, do my assignments, but the burning questions that were always in the back of my mind- Is my mom alive? Is she going to want to see me?” 
By the time I did receive the notice about my birth mom I was out of the Children’s Aid Society’s care and living in a dive of an apartment, a block away from the Independent Home I had previously lived in while under the care of the CAS (Children’s Aid Society). It had taken about 6months to a year for me to hear back from the adoption registry office. A long wait indeed.

I remember I was on my way to school and I was going to be late, so I grabbed my mail and ran out of my apartment like a fire had been lit under me. As I shuffled through the mail, I noticed an official government envelope and feeling trepidation as I glanced at it and opened it. My hands were trembling and my palms sweaty. This was my moment, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. In my nervousness I almost gave myself a paper cut by opening the envelope, but there in front of me was the letter with the words jumping out at me:


If I had not been trying to cross the street at the time, I probably would have done a couple of somersaults. My heart started pounding and I was excited. Now that I had the word that my mom was alive and wanted to meet me, I began to realize that meeting my mom would soon be a reality. A dream of mine was finally coming true.

On another note, sadly I found out that my birth father was deceased, murdered at the hands of a so called friend over a money issue, my oldest brother was in an institution and my youngest brother possibly adopted out to the States. Though that news dampened some of my excitement, I was still thrilled that I had found my mom, even if it was just on paper for now.

To Be Continued.....

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