Thousand Acre Heart Part 17 Grown ups


It seems like it happened overnight, the carefree party girl, work to party,  party to live had grown up. Paying a mortgage and reading bedtime stories quickly takes precedence over dancing on speakers at the local nightclub.  Days turn into weeks, fade into monthes and before you know it years have passed in the blink of an eye.

I was in Nova Scotia for a visit when my baby boy officially turned into a “grown up” Unofficially he was just a boy under an adult label celebrating the right of passage otherwise known as “the legal age to drink” Generally celebrated at a bar with your inebriated “of age” friends and way too many suggestively named shooters! It was our last night in Truro and all of our friends were going out boozing at the old haunts. Chevys, Engine Room, The Mill. A fight ensued with my husband when I refused to go siting my dislike of bars. He begged me to make an exception and spend that last night before flying back to Edmonton partying with our friends. How could I explain that I could not party on this day. I was certain that my son would be out celebrating his birthday and his graduation into “legal drinking” I was certain I couldn’t help but look for him in every handsome dark haired young man, and even more certain that if I saw him I would know. What I wasn’t certain of was how I would react if I did in fact see the boy I had given birth to, here in Truro, nineteen years ago. So instead of trying to explain I sullenly refused to budge and spent the last night in my hometown with my parents, just as it should be.

On the long flight home Kirk badgered me into telling him why I wouldn’t come out. He was apologetic and understanding but I am positive that he couldn’t quite understand the depth of my feelings. I don’t think anyone but a mom who had given up a child for adoption could begin to.

That being said when we returned to our lives in Edmonton he questioned me further. He knew about the dog earred form facilitating a reunion that I carried around for the past nineteen years. He knew about the letter, a response from Jeffreys mom when he was a baby that had moved from purse to purse since I was a teenager. He knew about the void in my heart that no amount of love from him or the girls could ever fill.

He encouraged me to make the call to the number on the form. He did so delicately at first and I put it off and made all sorts of excuses. There was a storm raging in my heart and he recognized that but he didn’t understand.  Jeffrey was of age now and I could search for him. Why the hesitation?

I had thought about this for nineteen years and thought of almost every imaginable outcome. The one outcome I  never imagined but would now be forced to face was what if he had no desire to know about me. What if I never crossed his mind. What if the closure I hoped for all these years ended with a tightly closed door. I would have no other choice but to accept it. Bear it and respect his wishes. My heart was not quite yet prepared for that scenario.

It took some time, patience and love but with Kirks blessing and encouragement I made the call to Halifax Social Services and was put in touch with an updeat and realistic woman named Christine.

Christine quickly became my lifeline. She spoke to me as directly as possible but her tone was never condesending or negative. She told me the steps involved with the process and allowed my hopefulness but encouraged my cautiousness. The one thing she insisted upon was my patience.

I explained that my children did not know about Jeffrey and she said I should not tell them. If this didn’t go anywhere I would be giving them something and taking it away.

Christine called me almost immediately and let me know that they had an address for Jeffrey on file. She referred to him as Jeremy as I always did because that was the name I gave him. I had made a package with a letter I wrote to him and some pictures of all of us. I wanted him to see us, see that we were real and desperately wanted to know him.

Christine sent a  letter to him explaining that she had some information for him. He was asked to contact the office.

Things were moving a lot quicker then I anticipated which was good but dizzying.  I was transported back to a time when I was sixteen years old. I was in contact with Jeffreys biological father. We had maintained contact for over twenty years, I considered him a good friend. That would change but in my heart I thought he deserved the opportunity to be included. I was up and down like a teeter totter.

I was on the verge of tears constantly. The poor girls were confused because mommy was a basket case. I had to sit down with my bosses and explain why I could barely talk most days.

Christine told me that adopted boys are much less anxious then girls to make contact  with their biological families or at the very least they ponder it awhile before ever thinking seriously about calling.

She said six weeks after the initial letter she would send a Registered follow up letter. That way he would have to sign for it and we would know for certain that he had it in his possession.  She shared with me scenarios good and bad and everything in between to help prepare my heart. I remember the one possibility that I found implausible was that we would meet, not feel any reason to pursue or continue a relationship,  he may not be a good and decent person worthy if being in our lives. I had to consider it but I couldn’t fathom it.

I convinced myself to calm down a little. I was having heart flutters, insomnia,  episodes of euphoria followed by the lowest of lows. I needed to go back to being a Mom and a wife and wait patiently.

About three weeks later I came home from work and I had an important call from Christine.  She left an excitable message on my answering machine but her office was closed by the time I got it. (3 hour time difference 😦 )

We played phone tag for three days until I was finally able to contact Christine. It was about 5:30 am for me and I was laying in the bed that I had tossed and turned in and remained sleepless for days. Christine was about to change my life.

To be continued. …

Thousand Acre Heart Part 16 Daily Post-The Road Less Traveled

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.Photographers, artists, poets: show us OTHER.




I was 16 and pregnant. For most of my pregnancy decisions were made as if it were someone else’s body carrying a child, but it was mine, a child myself really. Ultimately the decision to give my baby up for adoption was agreed upon. I had a beautiful baby boy, just as I had imagined. I chose to keep left at the fork in the road, the road less traveled and some may assume the easy way. I made a decision based on what I felt would be in the best interests of my son. I didn’t live my life with regret but I certainly took the bumpier road. I lived my life with an emptiness in my heart and a longing that nothing could fulfill. It would be impossible to never think what if, I think anyone who has ever loved another person has thought “what if?” at least fleetingly.  For me it was impossible to switch paths. The road I didn’t take continued for another family but for me it no longer had an option to travel.

The other road had a chubby cheeked, dark hard boy who was raised with lots of love and happiness but unbeknownst to me he was never told he was adopted.

Looking back over the years and trying to imagine taking a different road, I was always taken back to a time of my youth and all the emotions of a heartbroken sixteen year old girl. Standing on that road now overgrown with trees and barely visible hurt like nothing you can imagine. So I continued on the road I chose and made an effort to only think ahead to a time when we would meet again. In my heart I believed it would happen someday. I kept a form with me that I was given by the lawyer the day I signed the papers which would give me the opportunity in the future to facilitate a reunion.  I carried it with me, moving it from purse to purse for 19 years.  It was tattered and dogearred but for me it held a lifetime of hope and promise.

My son’s 19th birthday came and went with much angst but although I looked at that yellowed wrinkled form several times a day I hesitated to make a move. My husband noticed a struggle in me and encouraged me to go ahead and make the call. He didn’t understand why I would think about something everyday for nineteen years and then hesitate. I explained that I was scared. What if everything I imagined for nineteen years just ended? What if the road became a dead end? What if he didn’t think of me or long to meet me the way I did him? With love and encouragement I made the call. I was thoroughly prepared for a long road ahead and the possibility that he would have no interest in having any sort of contact. I was catupulted into a Hurricane of emotions. I would just randomly break out into tears at any given time. Things progressed more quickly then I was prepared for and I was told that my son never thought of me or imagined meeting me. He didn’t know I existed because until I searched for him he never knew he was adopted. In following my heart I had ripped a young man’s life and the life of his family wide open. That caused me a lot of angst and I cannot even begin to imagine theirs. I did however never promise not to love him forever and I can’t apologize for that. That road that I chose has the same familiar bumps and turns but the most beautiful scenery.  I belong on this road and that call I made changed my life. It completed me.