The Secret Child, Part 3

Part I introduced you to Elizabeth, a brave young girl who made the difficult decision to choose life and give her baby up for adoption many years ago. In a time where abortion had just become legal, she could’ve gone the other way and simply dealt with it quickly. She knew it was right, but had no idea how difficult it would be.

Part II introduced you to Elizabeth as a grown woman, living with her secret until she finally found someone she could trust to share it with. She had her life mostly where she wanted it, but knew something was still missing, and most likely always would be.

Until….she got that phone call and heard the voice on the other end saying, “This is your son.”

If you haven’t read Part I and Part II yet, I urge you to do so before reading this last installment.

 

Elizabeth’s heart most likely stopped beating for a couple of seconds when she heard those words. “This is your son.” She was afraid to breathe because the voice might go away. She thought she might even drop her phone and break it.

So she just sat there, as the voice said again, “Hello? Are you still there?”

“Yes. Yes I am.” She took a deep breath. “How do I know this isn’t a bad joke?”

So he told her. The day and time he was born. The name of the hospital, and where it was. He described the tiny birthmark on his back. And the stuffed dog she’d given him before she handed him over to the nurse to be given to his adoptive parents. “I still have it,” he said.

It really was him.

And the tears came. Real sobbing, gut-wrenching tears. But this time they were tears of joy. Finally, she’d found her son, more appropriately, her son had found her! Could she now actually allow herself to say she was a mother? Would he ever call her mom? So many questions…

Because she was at work, she couldn’t talk as long as she wanted to, which of course her son understood. So she got as many phone numbers for him as she could, as well as email addresses, and promised she would call him back as soon as she got home. And as she ended the call, she sat there and just looked at her phone, almost unsure if that phone call had just taken place, or if it had all been a dream.

But then an email came in, and when she opened it, there he was. Her son had sent her a picture, just as he’d promised. There he was, a handsome grown man, with her eyes and her nose. And the tears came again. She wished her parents were still alive, because now she’d have the courage to tell them.

She couldn’t wait to tell Carl, but this wasn’t something she could tell him over the phone.

So she rushed through the rest of her day, her mind 3,000 miles away, in a small town in California. Wondering when she could get there to see him, and wondering when he’d even let her do that. And praying he would.

Carl knew something had happened when she came home because even though her makeup was smeared, there was an excitement on her face he hadn’t seen in years.

“I have the best news ever!” she told him. And started crying again as she said, “My son called me. I know where he is, and I talked to him….”

“I was so happy for her I didn’t know what to say,” Carl told me. “All I could do was hug her and cry with her for several minutes. I’d never seen her so excited and so happy.”

Elizabeth quickly told her husband about the call, and all about their too-brief conversation. How she’d signed up several years ago on an adoption registry, hoping to someday get this call, but never really expecting it. And she showed him the picture he’d sent her. “This is Brady. This is my son.” And she cried again.

She quickly looked at the time, and told Carl she’d promised to call Brady back when she got home, and of course he told her to go do it, and take all the time she needed.

Of course she was terrified he wouldn’t answer when she called back; that he’d have changed his mind, or he’d tell her it was all a mistake. But he answered on the second ring. And they talked for hours, and he told her his story.

Brady’s adoptive parents had been wonderful, and he’d known he was adopted from the time he was about 4 years old. Unfortunately his adoptive father died a few years after that, and his mother moved to California with his adopted sister to live with her parents.

He’d gone to college there, and now owned his own small construction business. He’d married when he was in his mid 20’s, and they had 3 children. Elizabeth was a grandmother! He explained his adoptive mother had recently died, and even though she’d encouraged him to look for his birth mother, he’d held off looking for her because he didn’t want to upset the mother who raised him.

Elizabeth certainly understood.

Over the next few weeks they talked, emailed, or texted on a daily basis. They shared pictures and stories. Lots of stories. She was finally getting to know her son. And at last he asked her if she would like to come out and meet him and his family in person. An invitation she’d been waiting to hear. Would she? He didn’t have to ask twice!

She and Carl headed to California a few weeks later. She was nervous. Scared to death was more like it! What would he think of her in person? Would he resent her or welcome her with open arms? And his wife, her daughter in law? And their children…her grandchildren…

By the time they arrived she was as scared as she was excited. They rented a car, filled the trunk with the gifts she’d bought for her new family, and they drove the two hours from the airport to her son’s home.

She had no idea what to expect.

Imagine her surprise when they pulled up to the address he ‘d given her and saw the huge “Welcome Mom” sign in the front yard, surrounded by dozens of balloons, and all of them standing out front to greet her! She jumped out of the car and ran up to her son and they hugged each other and cried for what seemed like forever.

“It was amazing,” Carl told me, wiping a tear away as he remembered that day. “Her dream finally came true.”

Elizabeth was fortunate enough to be reunited in a wonderful relationship with the boy she gave up for adoption. And she was fortunate to be accepted in his life and the life of his children. They still talk at least weekly, and visit as often as possible.

Her grandchildren call her “Grandma” and her son finally calls her “Mother.”

As she said, “That’s the best name I’ve ever heard.”

 

If you are a birth mother, or an adopted adult who would like to have a chance to find your biological mother or child, you may go to Adopted.com and register. Just bear in mind that not all birth parents want to be found, and not all adopted children want to find their biological parents.

To all birth mothers who chose life, and chose to entrust their precious child to a family they didn’t know to raise him/her, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You may never fully know how much that one act meant to others.

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