Some of the Pieces: A timeline.

 

  • October 1963, born.  Immediately admitted into hospital; stay for three months until I am well enough to be relinquished.
  • January 15, 1964, relinquished.
  • January 1964, relocated to address Upper East Side, possible foster home.
  • March 1964, admitted back into hospital.
  • May 1964, out of hospital.  Relocated to foster home in New Hyde Park, Long Island, N. Y.
  • November 1964, adopted.
  • February 1985, move into my first apartment.  Begin searching by autumn.  Letter writing.
  • Spring 1994, join adoption Internet boards.  Begin posting what little details I have.
  • October 1995, marry.  Still searching.  Husband encourages and supports this effort.
  • Spring 1996, we visit Scarsdale address from hospital papers.  No neighbors recall the family.  The library has limited high school yearbooks.
  • April 1998, my child is born.  I hope to know and love my child for many decades; there is no guarantee I will find or even be welcomed by any birthfamily.  I choose my child and put the search on hold for two years.
  • Spring 2000, husband has cancer surgery.  Search as a distraction.  Read a lot about parenting while partner is critically ill.
  • Spring 2001, husband has second surgery for same cancer.  Search for cure for cancer, search for cure for nightmares and crumbling marriage.  Intermittently search for clues to my adoption.
  • August 2001, begin graduate school.  Plan is to become an art teacher (in case husband dies) so my schedule is somewhat in sync with our child’s.
  • Late spring 2002, leave marriage.  Search as goal.  Help others search since I am finding nothing but dead ends.
  • May 2003, walk commencement for graduate school.  Degree with honors.  Search to learn about what I’m supposed to be doing.
  • November 2003, separated, then, divorced.  Receive unsolicited email from professional searcher.  I decline her services; having compiled several notebooks of information all on my own.  Should I ever find anyone, I want to own that accomplishment.
  • January 2004, finish graduate school.  Receive second email from professional searcher.  This time, I reply that I have years of information but am missing a few links.  She offers me a very reduced rate to finish my search.  I sit on this decision for weeks.
  • February 2004, agree to have professional searcher do the last 10 feet of work.  She finds and contacts my birthmother.  Later that day, I screw up the courage and phone my birthmother.  We talk for a while.  During the conversation, my daughter, then five, wakes and comes into my room.  Birthmother learns she is a grandmother, though she is already a grandmother by one of her other children, one of the sons.  She tells me she has three other children, all of whom she kept, none of whom know she gave a baby up for adoption.  None of her kept children know about me.
  • August 2004, she decides to come visit and drives several hours to stay at my home.  We share a weekend together; she leaves daytime Sunday.  It was interesting, terrifying, emotional (in private), and nothing I had prepared for.

I should recall my first visit to where they all lived at the time, but I don’t.  I’m thinking it was cold.  My child, utterly thrilled to have more family, and I drove several hours to meet everyone – we stayed at a nearby B and B, a hotel was too expensive for my single parent wallet.  After that first all-family meet, my child and I returned to the Inn where I collapsed.  For an hour I sobbed wild heaving sobs, and gasped at marrow-deep pain so crippling there is no word for it other than murderous or hateful or abandonment left behind or unloved or unloveable or not good enough or trash or disposable or obligation.

I am a bad thing.  I did a bad thing.  I was not good enough to keep.  And, yet, here I am, still going and still pushing against someone else’s desire to have a life without me.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Some of the Pieces: A timeline.

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