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Canadian Thanksgiving Reunion

October 7, 2011

Another Canadian Thanksgiving Day Reunion Anniversary
October 9th, 2011 will mark the 16th year of my reunion since I first spoke to my birthmother for the very first time. I remember the date very vividly. I was twenty-five, attending a local college, working and playing volleyball up to four nights a week.
The previous week, I attended an adoption search meeting at a wonderful local adoption support group known as Adoption Knowledge Affiliates or AKA. Some of the founding AKA members also helped with adoption searches. One member offered to put my information online with the hope someone would find the information and help facilitate a reunion.
Admittedly, I was very skeptical of this working but I decided it couldn’t hurt. That Friday, October 6th, 1995, the AKA member posted my information. Someone in Western Canada picked up the information and researched the info given. He found some phone numbers through the phone directory and called, eventually reaching a teenage biological cousin of mine. He left a message, saying he was looking for the youngest of three sisters.
That Saturday, I called the operator in Canada and found the same phone numbers as the searcher in Canada found. Here was a gateway to my biological past. Wow, how exciting and terrifying all at once. I stared at the names and numbers, desperately wanting to call. I did some journaling and praying about what I should do next. The message was clear: WAIT!
I was utterly stunned on what my prayers told me, but I asked God to make it “unmistakably clear” to me, and he answered. Wait. The message really tested my faith at the time, but I put my trust in God and the Universe and I did wait.
The fear of calling a stranger, potentially my birthmother, was very strong and surreal. Would she accept me? Would she even want to have contact with me? Who was she? Did I have siblings? Who was my birthfather and would she tell me his name? The questions just kept coming and coming, questions I had no answers to but desperately I wanted to know. Why was God telling me to wait?
The answers came two days later. I had a challenging day at work and I was at home. A phone call came from the gentleman in Canada who searched for my birthmother. “I found her” he said. She is married and has two other children but I cannot give you her information.”
“Are you kidding me? What am I supposed to do, just wait some more” I thought? Reluctantly, I accepted his boundaries. I called my therapist and spoke to her. She was wonderful and also was a birthmother who gave up and found her son years later. She encouraged me to be patient and try not to worry about it too much.
Helplessly unable to do anything but wait, I made a late dinner and began to relax. I hoped I would be tired enough to fall asleep that night and not fret too much about my birthmother. Suddenly, the phone rang. I answered, and it was HER!
“Oh My God” was all I could say, over and over again. She told me her name and I began to cry. The moment of meeting one’s birthmother for the first time is almost indescribable. I felt an instant strong connection with her, even on the phone almost two thousand miles away.
She asked if I had a good life and I said yes I did. My adoptive parents were wonderful and were always supportive of me searching. One thing my birthmother insisted on when she gave me up was that I be told of my adoption, something my parents told me from when I was three or four years of age.
I found out I had two younger half-brothers and she told me who my birthfather was and where he lived. We talked for about an hour and a half. My roommate had come home while I was talking. As soon as we hung up, the tears started flowing. Graciously, my roommate consoled me as I cried and explained what happened. I felt so happy and whole at once.
I called my parents and spoke to my Dad. He was very happy for me. “I feel whole for once” I can remember telling him. My mind kept thinking of how lucky I was to find my birthmother and how short my search was. Less than two months it took to find my birthmother after I wrote the Alberta Government for more identifying information.
The adoption search and reunion process can be very long, challenging and rewarding. The reunion starts with the first contact of the first meeting but that is only the beginning of the journey. I’m sad to say today that things are not well between my birthmother and me, for a variety of reasons.
Sadly, I don’t plan to talk to her or make contact with her on our anniversary date. I have mixed emotions about this decision (of not contacting her) but that is the reality that we are in right now. My peace and serenity are more important to me than to risk butting heads with her.
We can both be stubborn and strong willed at times, but in the end, right now, I don’t feel the relationship with her serves either of us right now. I will say a prayer for her, for our relationship, and release it to the Universe. Perhaps things will change, perhaps not.
Despite the current circumstances, I am forever grateful I searched and found her and my birth family. For me, it is better to know than not to know where I came from.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend to all my friends and in the Great White North! Have some turkey, fixings and some Pumpkin Pie for me 


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