The missing piece of the puzzle
Christine was excited to hear from me and she could tell that my heart was sitting in my throat making it difficult to form coherent sentences. She went ahead and did the talking and though I know it was her job to remain impartial and unattached the circumstances made it next to impossible. Any woman with a heart that beats inside their body would have found it difficult not to feel some sort of emotion if they were the one in charge of relaying information to me about the son I longed for for a great deal of my life. She told me that Jeremy had contacted her by phone because he had sent an email and hadn’t heard back right away. It turns out that his email was stuck in her junk-mail folder and he was pretty anxious to hear back. She told me his name was Jeffrey, I admit that initially I had a very hard time identifying with that, for 19 years he was Jeremy in my heart. She also told me his nickname was Jam which resonated a little better because the initials short for Jeffrey Andrew also represented Jeremy Allen. She told me about his family and where he grew up which was surprisingly close to where I had lived prior to moving to Edmonton. She told me he had played hockey most of his life as a goalie and that made me smile. I was drinking the information in like a thirsty traveler in the dessert but what I longed to know most was “Did he think of me?” Did he ever wonder where he got his dark hair and wondrous eyes from? Did he ever wonder if we had the same laugh, the same curiosity, the same smile? It seemed almost too much to ask. This woman had just given me so much in a short time, so much more then promised and more then I ever hoped to expect. Then she told me the information that I thirsted for. To her it even seemed incredulous. Unfathomable in this day and age, especially in such a small town she speculated. He never thought of me. He never wondered in what ways we were similar or different. He never laid awake nights and thought “what if?” The truth was, until the letter from social services came he had lived his life one hundred percent as Jeffrey Andrew, not wondering about the little boy Jeremy or the woman who had chosen to let another family raise him as their son. There had been absolutely no reason to look back because he was never told he was adopted. I gasped and Christine allowed me some time to feel everything that I was feeling. I cried openly. I cried for him and for his parents, I cried for uprooting his life and the pain that it would cause. I also cried for me. I felt a betrayal of sorts. It wasn’t the agreement, albeit verbal, his adopted mom had promised to give him a letter from me when he was old enough to understand. I cried at the thought that had I waited for him to search for me that day would have never come. Among the tears were tears of pure happiness, for the gift of today. My boy was healthy, happy, well adjusted, that was everything a mother could hope for. Christine told me that Jeffrey wanted to forgo the normal progression of things and have direct contact with me. Over the sound of my beating heart I heard that he had written me a letter as well and she was about to forward it to me. She wished us luck. Her job was done. She was cutting me loose. This woman who had been my anchor in a sea of churning emotion was turning the Captains hat over to me. I was scared and excited sitting at my computer waiting for his email to come through. I must have read it a thousand times. My heart felt things I can’t even begin to explain but I know I was a little bit crazy. I typed a letter back quickly and that is where our “new” relationship began. It was a continuation of the one we forged in a hospital room with me promising to love him forever.
I woke the girls up for school and very quickly dissolved into a teary emotional mess. The talk I had planned in my head for months came out in choked waves while I blew my nose and wiped the running faucets that had taken over my eyes. Their immediate reaction was to cry as well. Their young hearts couldn’t quite comprehend. They wanted to know if their brother was okay and could he come live with us. I told them that wasn’t possible…what did I know?
I can’t recall my conversations with my husband or my mom on this day. It’s lost somewhere in my heart so they can feel free to weigh in if they remember. I am sure they won’t discount the fact that I was a little crazy. Maybe everyone is on the journey to becoming whole.
Jeffrey has from the beginning encouraged this blog and has agreed that I can share some of our correspondence. I will share some of our initial correspondence with you but I have blocked out some names in the interest of everyone’s privacy.
Feb 4, 2010
As soon as i read this letter i had so much to say, and wanted to send it so fast. I only got it today. I didn’t think I was going to be so enthusiastic before i read it. My parents named me Jeffrey, I go by Jeff. Most of my friends call me Jam , its my initials and it caught on in high school. I just found out i was adopted less than a week ago, im still kind of in shock.
So my name is Jeff, I’ve always been fairly popular lots of friends. Im alot like you in that I value memories more than things. Nothing is better than a good story. Id like to think I have lots. My thing growing up was Hockey. I played goalie mostly and I was pretty good. I was always kinda a leader on my team ive had some of my best times playing hockey. I did good in school until highschool , I cared more about hockey and work. But I graduated at the end of last year.
After I graduated I took off To Banff with one of my best friends XXXX. Our friends xxxx and XXXX were living there and we went to stay with them. The plan was to get Jobs but i got homesick really fast ,so we went home. I feel like i learned alot from it though. And while I partied pretty hard and had alot of fun.
When I came back i decided that I wanted to go to college to become a youth worker which is what im doing now. School is pretty great because i love that im going to be doing something for a career that makes a difference. Im not working right now because at the start of the school year I was on a Juniour “C” hockey team and i couldn’t find a place to work around school and hockey. My goals right now are to do good in school and get a part time job, and work full time in april when im done school for the year. Im really a fun loving guy who lives for the weekend. I love your husbands silver patron shirt thats in one of the pictures!
I have a great family. My mom and dad XXXX and XXXX and my younger sister natalie. Besides the fact that they kept this from me for so long, they really are great. They always spoiled me and gave me more than I needed. I’ve lived in the same house here alll my life, but id like to get on my own as soon as i get a job and school done with. My dad was kinda like one of my best friends growing up and most of my memories with him are going to hockey rinks all over the place. My mom is a really caring person. My little sister natalie is 16 and she is awesome, we haven’t fought at all since we were younger. She is a pretty blonde and really smart. She only found out the other day when I did too. I guess when my parents adopted me they didn’t think that they could have kids and 3 years later they got lucky with my sister.
Finding out was such a shock but I’ve taken it really well i think. I’ve been on and off with my girl XXXX for a while now. ( I say my girl cuz i don’t know what to say because she hates being labelled). We Kinda just started seeing each other again just before I found out, and having her there for me is a big part of the reason i’ve been able to take it so well. I believe that things happen for a reason and every decision can effect so much. I believe in Karma and positive thinking. You should read the book ” The Celestine Prophecy”. It talks about how good things will happen and how things will work out if you just follow your intuitions and be led by coincedences. I think that’s why XXXX and me seemed to make a mends at the perfect time before I needed her. I also believe that’s why you knew to do the right thing when you decided to give my parents the gift of their first son. I hope your guilt goes away because your decision allowed me to have a great life. I really believe that your love and good thoughts have made a difference to me on some level. I’ve always been pretty lucky and I think you having me close to your heart probably had lots to do with it. Knowing that you worried about me dispising you for the decision you made me feel so bad. My parents not telling me didn’t make me mad at first… I lost trust in them.. but knowing that I was doing so good and you had to worry all the time makes me kinda mad at them. Thats what really struck me when i read the letter you sent me. Doing what im doing in school helps me understand the courage (i can only imagine) it would take to do whats best like you did. You didn’t deserve to have to worry for all that time.
You guys sound like you have a really good time! Kirk seems like a great husband by how you talk about him. Morgan and Haley are so beautiful. xxxx said she thought Haley looked like me. It’s crazy to think I have two little sister I didn’t even know about. Id like to know more about them. Do they know they have a big brother somewhere? When are their birthdays? I always find coincedences relating to dates and i guess im really into that stuff. Is there anything you can tell me about my father?
You say that you only moved two years ago and you look really famillar to me. The girls too, but maybe you guys would anyways. When you lived here did you ever buy groceries at sobeys on robie street? I worked there for a long time. I hope that this letter clears your mind and takes all guilt off your shoulders! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org cuz mail is pretty old school. I can’t believe i wrote all this without saying how jealous I am that you went to ACDC, UFC and go to oilers games. One of my best friends went to ACDC in moncton , and i missed getting a ticket. He says it was amazing. He’ll love it that you mentioned ACDC. Im a huge leaf fan but i’ve always liked the oilers too, they both could be doing alot better this year though! Im excited to talk more and your close to my heart now too. I’ll see if i can find a suitable picture but if not ill find some good ones soon. Jeff
I love the nickname Jam. Nicknames are the best. Some of my friends call me Mich some of them call me Shelle and my best friend in London, Ontario calls me Po Po. That one is a long story!!
I was absolutely stunned that you replied so soon and you are right that mail is old school so this is a really great way for us to communicate. When Tina told me that you didn’t know that you were adopted I was so worried about you being shook up but you seem to be taking it in stride.
I will admit initially I was a little mad at your parents too, I always assumed you knew that you were adopted and that they would have at some point given you the letter I wrote after you were born. Taking a step back I realize that people make decisions that are personal to them and I can no more judge their decisions then I would like to have all of mine judged. The most important thing is that they gave you a good life and if anything I am sure they thought they were doing what was best. If I can take one thing from that it is that from the beginning they loved you like their very own and that is what I wished for you always. I bet they are struggling with this a little as well. I am quite certain that they have their own feelings surrounding you and I being in contact so please be easy on them.
Your letter certainly made me feel so much better about a lot of things. As far as the worrying and the guilt it is part of life and especially Motherhood so nobody is to blame for that. You mentioned that your Mother and you didn’t always see eye to eye. I bet you Morgan (the oldest) can relate. We love each other to the ends of the earth but she likes to challenge me on everything and it is my job to make sure that she eats well, brushes her teeth, does her homework, is safe…..all the non-fun stuff, so a lot of the time Kirk gets to be the fun one!! I like to think my kids have a lot of fun with me as well. They love it when I act silly. Especially when we turn on the radio and play name that tune and dance. The kids are Beatles fans and Haley woke up at 2 am last weekend because Kirk and I were playing their Beatles Rock Band. We were doing the tour. Hehe. We had fun. We also have a “Rock Band….”band” Kirk plays drums, Morgan guitar and Haley and I are singers. Haley mostly dances and makes up her own songs. She also has to change her clothes 50 times for these events. She is quite a diva. She turns 6 on April 29 and Morgan will turn 11 on November 8.
Haley is anything but shy, she loves to sing and dance and act and do anything that draws attention to her. Getting ready for school this morning she was singing the Barney song and she would start out all sweet and then go into a “Metallica like “version. If you can imagine Metallica singing the Barney song??? Hmmmm…..She would like to be a ballerina and says she will eat carrots instead of chips. She loves chips!!!
Morgan is my cool rock chick. We have the same favorite song right now. Billy Talent, Rusted by the Rain. She also likes to write poetry and music (I think she gets that from me) She is interested in History, geography and would love to travel the world. We watch House Hunters International together so we can see what it would be like to live other places. We all love the Beach. I have family that live in Malgash in the summer and I adore it there. We all do.
Morgan is also a UFC fan. Her favorites are Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson and GSP.I have a picture of me and Dan Henderson after he knocked out Michael Bisbing at UFC 100. He was cool and excited and I brought back a shirt that he signed from Morgan.
Kirk will be tickled that you like his Patron shirt. It is his favorite. I bought it in Vegas. He also loves Patron. I like Cuervo Gold just as well and it costs a lot less. Kirk is a good husband and the best Dad. He and I haven’t always had it easy, we have had our share of struggles but they were all worth it. We all have a lot of fun together. Kirk played football and Rugby until we left Truro. He played with the Saints the year they won the provincial Championships. He misses playing on teams and just recently has started to play a little Hockey with some buddies. He also got Morgan a stick and they play around at the outdoor rink down the road.
I was so touched that you said that your Dad was like your best friend. So you are a Hockey guy! We took Morgan to her first NHL game Oilers vs. Kings for her Birthday this year. She and Kirk are L.A. Kings fans. Kirk has been for 25 years so even though I was rooting for the Home team “The Edmonton Snoilers” I was glad that they won for him. I was a New Jersey Devils fan growing up. The Bear (that’s my fave radio station here) played a song this morning called “Wake me up when the Season ends” as a dig to the Oilers….to the tune of Geenday When September ends!! Hopefully the Eskimos will make good use of Jesse Lumstrom and make us proud this year. Haley loves the Eskimo games….she mainly likes the cheerleaders!
I agree with you on the Celestine Prophecy though I have not read it but will….I believe in the power of faith and positive thinking. I have many stories in that regard. I am not surprised that you are popular and have lots of friends….it rather runs in the family! You don’t have to worry about “party pics” and that sort of thing!! As I said we are still very social people and doesn’t everyone “Live for the weekend?” One day though you will have grown up responsibilities and I wouldn’t ever want you to look back and feel like you missed out on anything!! You have no reason to be Jealous about AC/DC…you will have plenty of opportunity to see them. They ROCKED. My top five concerts (I can’t put them in order) Eagles, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Rolling Stones and yeah that is 4 but I saw the Eagles twice and they were sooo awesome both times. Like I said you have years to catch up and out do me and I hope you do. Don’t count me out yet though.
I was glad to hear about xxxx. It is a comfort to know that you have someone to help you deal with your feelings surrounding this. It is a pretty big deal and you haven’t had 20 years to think about it like I did. (Almost 20…April 10) My stepdad and my good friend and neighbour share your birthday.
I have tried to touch on everything…..you can ask me anything at all. Also let me know if you are overwhelmed or anything.
You asked about your father and I would like you to know that he is still in Truro. He remains to this very day one of my best friends. He and I are polar opposites but every time in my life when I needed someone he was always there. Everything that we went through had the potential to tear us apart but “You” are the glue that kept us in touch and caring about each other always. We dated off and on for years but we were just not meant to be together forever in that way. I will love him always though and he and I have been in touch and he is grateful for news. He was quite worried when he found out that you hadn’t known you were adopted, he was worried about you being overwhelmed. He has a good heart. He was very popular in school too, lots of friends, he played football and he was popular with the ladies. None of them compared to me though!! Hehe. He was engaged but never married. He has a son that is 8 and he is a phenomenal Dad. He works hard and has for as long as I’ve known him. His parents divorced young so though he was his parent’s only child he has a ½ sister and step brother on one side and a ½ brother on the other side. He lost his Dad in the spring. I guess to sum it up….you come from good people.
I think I have to close this off at some point ….I could rattle on forever. You have lightened the weight that has been sitting on my heart forever and thank you so much for putting me in yours.
Yes the girls know about you. Morgan is over the moon excited. She cried at first because she wanted to know that you were alright. She has thousands of questions!!
I hope to hear from u soon. Xo
16 thoughts on “Thousand Acre Heart Part 18 The missing piece of the puzzle”
This is amazing you made me cry but in a good way. I remember Jam from school , and I baby sat Morgan and Haylee for years small world. Your an a amazing woman Michelle and I love your story ❤ Caitlin
Thanks Caitlin ♥
I remember the emotional rollercoaster you were on when this first started, and how much more confident you seemed after meeting him. I’m touched to have been able to witness this part of your life!
Thanks for being an accepting boss and a truly compassionate friend. ♥
Love you and am sooo happy for all!!!
all i can say is wow, so happy for all of you 🙂
I am so happy for you to finally make the connection with your son after all these years Michelle. I remember seeing him the day he was born. Wondering how you would make it through such a tough decision. Its seems he had a great life, the one you knew he deserved 🙂 You are a great mother and it’s great to see you all come together finally xo
You were at the hospital? With Timm? Sorry some of that time is foggy. Thanks xo
so happy that things worked out so well michelle enjoy your story and you write so well I will look and hope to find the book he was talking about would be nice to read that one take care lov aunt marion xo
Love it!! Such an amazing story, you deserve all the happiness that has come your way. Love you girl xx