A few weeks ago it was January 17, the first time in my life that I recognized and memorialized my birth mother’s death. It was quiet and it was sad, but it went on like any other day of my life. And then a couple weeks later I went to a doctor’s appointment.
“No husband today?”
“Nope just me, his sister is getting married tomorrow so he’s super busy at the office preparing for the day off.”
“That’s so exciting, how is he doing? Only a few weeks away!”
“He’s doing good! Taking care of me really well…he’s a little nervous.”
“That’s normal, how about you?”
“Me? I’m doing really good. A little nervous too, but mostly just excited.”
“What are you most excited about?”
“Well you know…I’m adopted…
And for the last few years I’ve been searching for my birth mother. I don’t know, maybe it was hormones or something, but I felt compelled to find her and thank her, and look her in the eyes and maybe even see my own. So we booked this expensive trip to Korea. My husband and I saved up for months to go, and then right before we were to set off and uncover my biological history I got a call from my adoption agency. A man named Steve apologized to me, my mom was dead. She died when I was a kid. And even though I had no idea who this woman was, what she was like, what perfume she wore, if she had a family…well, I felt really broken. All these hypotheticals I had created since I was a kid, about meeting a biological family member and discovering my laugh in hers, it all got shattered like glass, scattered around without the possibility of putting it all back together again.
But I still went. I went to Korea even though my husband said we didn’t have to, he said the lost money was no big deal, we can wait. But I wanted to go.
And then one night I sat in this hotel room in Seoul only a few miles from where my mother left me forever. I was nervous, and sick, and shaking. And as my husband used Google Translate to decipher the results, I already knew the answer before the two lines could appear.
In that moment I felt incredibly close to my birth mother, as if we were one in the same.
So in reality, I guess I’m just excited because everything I thought I had lost and broken was resurrected into the strangest most amazing coincidence of my life. I found out I was to be a mother, while searching for my own mother, in her motherland. I was able to carry my son through the same streets that my mother carried me. And very soon I’ll get to look into my son’s eyes and see my own, maybe discover my laugh, and through him I’ll get to know my mother. Because I’m going to be the mother to him that she never could be for me. It seems only fitting that I honor her with that gift. I’m just so excited and grateful that the first biological relative I will ever meet will be my own son.”
“That’s very beautiful.”
“It was the best way to finally meet my mother.”