Tag Archives: #love

The Verdict Is In

14 Jul

After the email from my Aunt (we will call her Aunt Patty), things started to unfold so fast. Within the next few days, she told her daughter and other son about me. Her daughter sent me an email and added me on Facebook while her son added me on Facebook and we chatted there. Anna had asked for a picture of my biological mother so she could show it to her grandmother and see if maybe she might have known my mother.

Everyone was so nice! They seemed genuinely excited to have a new addition to the family and were curious about who this new person was.  It was fun learning about everyone and seeing some of the things we have in common. Little did I know that Aunt Patty was hard at work behind the scenes.

Aunt Patty kept in touch. She said she was sorry she could not tell me who my father was but told me stories about both of them. I heard about some of their traditions, families, etc. She also sent me pictures of her brothers and herself. I sent her some pictures of me. I asked her if I reminded her of anyone. Nothing prepared me for her response!!!

She wrote me and said she wished she could tell me 100% who my father was but she can tell me in her heart who she believes it is. She said that she had a long talk with her brother. She told him all about me and showed him the picture of my biological mother. He said he did not recognize her and that he was not my father. Seeing his face and hearing him out, she believed him. She truly believed that her other brother (father #1) was my biological father. She even went as far as to say that I remind her a bit of him. He was such a good man. They did coffee together every Friday until he was too sick to do it anymore. He raised his daughters on his own and was very good to his mother. He called her every day and visited her often when she was in the nursing home.  He was also Patty’s daughter’s god father. Every year at Easter he sent her a corsage from her “secret admirer.” What an absolute sweetheart!! She said that if he knew I existed he would have been sure to be a part of my life and that he would have loved me.

So there is was. I would never know 100% but it seemed pretty darn sure. She of all people would know her brother and be able to tell if he was being honest with her. Plus, so many of the clues that I found along the way seemed to point to him. In all honesty, even though he was gone which means that just like my biological mother I will never be able to meet him and their story will always be a mystery, just hearing about the man he was, I would be thrilled if he was my biological father. Everyone tells me stories about the person my biological mother was. It would make so much sense if it was him. And wouldn’t it be nice that even if I can never meet my biological father in the end, that the memory of him that I am introduced to is such a good and positive one!

I was finally finding my peace. Little by little. It wasn’t quite closure, but it was peace. I still hoped for the rest. I still hoped in time maybe Patty’s brother would give me that closure. But this….this was all something I can live with. This was really darn close.  Father #1 was the first person on the list of potentials at the beginning of my search that I felt the instant connection to. It would make sense if it was him. I would be happy if it was him.

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Welcome to the Family!

13 Jul

Anna gave me her grandmother’s email address. I sat there for a little while trying to find the right words.

Hi 🙂 

I am so nervous, I am not sure where to begin!! I guess to start, my name is Becky. Though I guess you already knew that 🙂 It is such a pleasure to meet you!! 

I am not sure what Anna has told you about me but before I say anything about myself I wanted to tell you that while I don’t know them too well, you have a truly amazing family. They have been so kind, gracious and helpful. Anna is one in a million. 9 months pregnant and she still took the time to help a stranger. Her parents, have been wonderful as well. I could not have been luckier than to find myself connected to such good and kind people!

I have so many things I want to say to you 🙂 First and foremost I know I must have come as a complete surprise to you!! I am so sorry for any shock I might have caused you. I never in any way want to cause you any kind of hurt. If in any way I did, I am truly sorry!! Anna said you are open to talking to me and I would absolutely LOVE that. I am so thankful you would be willing to do that! I would love to know more about you and your family. I just wanted to reach out to make sure you are comfortable with that.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have for me. I am an open book! I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about each other 🙂

Sincerely,

Becky 

There is was. I put myself out there and waited for her reply. And her words……just the first sentence alone of her reply…did it for me.

WELCOME TO OUR AWESOME FAMILY. 

At that moment, all was well with the world. Yes, I would surely still wonder who my father was. But in that moment I no longer felt unwanted. I felt quite the opposite. Just those words were enough for me to be at peace. I may never know who my father was but I know he came from a good line of people and those people accepted me. I knew in that moment that if I just had a few pictures of both men and knew a little bit about each of them that would be enough for me. Not only because it had to be, but because I understood.

Mom and Dad

8 May
When it comes to my biological parents, I think the one I have always felt the connection to is my mother. It never really occurred to me before. But I see it now. I always grew up knowing about “Mommy Bevy.”
She got pregnant and chose to keep me. She didn’t tell anyone who my father was. Just that she was pregnant and keeping the baby. People said she was happy about her decision and was excited she was having a little girl. She was the one who named me. She was the one that loved me those first 4 and a half months of my life. Even though I don’t remember her, she was there. She was my mom.
I came to terms many years ago that I would never know who my biological father was. My mother took that secret to the grave with her. There has been a lot of speculation over the years. The general consensus was he was most likely someone she met through work. Maybe he was doing a delivery and they had gotten to know each other. It could have been a secret relationship or a one night stand. Whatever it was, she chose not to include him in my life. Or maybe he chose not to be involved. Maybe he knows he has a kid out there somewhere. Maybe he has no idea. Was she trying to protect him? Protect herself? Man, I hate unanswered questions!!
My aunt (my other aunt, nit my current mom) told me once she knew of someone who might know who my father was. She said she would tell me when I turned 18, but she passed away before that. I was left with not a single clue. How do you find someone who may have no idea that you exist without a single place to start looking. Any lead I thought I might have had come up a dead end.
I realized that my mom had a reason for not sharing the info and whatever it was, I understood. I am sure once I grew up if I wanted to know she would have told me. She would have recognized that it was important to me and would have shared the story of where I came from. But alas, that will not happen. I understand she wanted to keep this secret at the time. Maybe someday, when she thinks I am ready, she will find her own way to share.

Purpose

20 Apr
Now I swear y’all…this is all going somewhere. But for you to understand the journey I am about to take you on, you needed to know the background of who I am, where I came from and the pieces that make me tick.
What I can tell you is this….I am loved. There has never been a day in my life that I have not felt loved by someone. How many people can say that people loved them enough to go to court and fight over them? That they have been loved enough that people don’t give up on you? Been loved enough to have never been forgotten or be a presence in the life of people you have never even met.
My story may not be super conventional but I can say without hesitation that I have been blessed and have daily reminders as to how lucky I am.
With that said, I still have my moments. There are times I sit down and write letters to my biological mother. I tell her all about the things going on in my life. I ask her all the questions I want to ask her: Do I make you proud? Do I disappoint you? Do you love me? Do I embarrass you? Am I living up to the potential you saw in me? and so many more. With the letters come tears.
I am not sure what it is but I sometimes long for my biological mother. I long to hear her voice, to feel her arms wrapped around me. I long to just look at her face and know she is there. To have that moment, that one moment to say everything or say nothing. Just that one moment to have her there.
Maybe it is a girl’s need for her mother, but I have never felt that way about my biological father. In fact I have never felt an emotional connection to him at all. Maybe it is because I have grown up not knowing who he is. No name, no picture, no anything to make him real to me. When it comes to my father, it is more questions like: who are you? How did you meet my mother? What is your story? Were you a couple? Why are you a secret? Did you know about me? The list just keeps going on and on. I guess my mother, because I know she is gone, is the one I long to have a relationship with. I long for her acceptance and love and that validation that I am doing ok by her. My father I think because while I knew he existed, I also knew would never exist in my life. He would never actually be a father. I look at him as a connection to knowing more about my mother and where I can from.
It is all these questions that keep the wheels in my mind turning. That keep me hungry for answers. That have lead me to the journey I am about to embark on…….with you!

Aunt Becky

19 Apr

My sophomore year of high school, my mom got a call from my grandfather. He told her that my foster mother was very sick and that she wanted to see me before she died. My mom said of course and pulled me out of school for a few days. We drove to Pennsylvania where we went to visit her.

They told her I was coming and when we got there, warned me. She could not talk and may not recognize me. As I walked in the room she locked eyes with me instantly. I went and sat by her side and held her hand. She squeezed it so tight and did not let go. I am not sure how long I sat there. She was surrounded by other family members including my foster father, 2 foster brothers and some of their significant others and children. We all talked and after a little while I went for a walk with the two girls who would have been my nieces. I fell in love with them instantly.  Those two girls made me feel like I was a part of the family. That we had known each other for ages.

My mom and I said our goodbyes when it was time to go. My foster mother was getting in to bed. The next day we met my grandfather and his wife for breakfast and they told us she had passed away the previous night. They believed she had hung on as long as she did so she could see me one last time. Of course I felt so guilty. Like maybe I should not have gone so soon so they could have had her longer but I realize now that I am older that was not the case. She was physically ready to go. Emotionally, she had been holding on.

A few years later my grandfather passed away and my foster father came to the funeral. It was there he and I really reconnected. He told me that he was remarrying and invited me to the wedding. I didn’t tell my mom and my dad, but my boyfriend and I drove to Pennsylvania for the wedding! It was such a special moment to be a part of but also so strange as all these people kept coming up to me telling me stories of, “I knew you when you were this tall” making a gesture showing they knew me when I was a wee little thing!

After the wedding I spent a few days with his oldest son (who should I have grown up with them, would have been my oldest brother) and his wife and four children. It was such a nice time. The kids all called me Aunt Becky. It appears they all grew up knowing who “Becky” was. They even told me that their grandmother still had my room in her house while they were growing up. I couldn’t believe it. I was special enough to this family that even when I had not been around for so many years, I was still in a way a part of it.

Since then, we have kept in touch with Christmas cards every year, sometimes letters and cards in between and of course now through social media it is even easier to be in touch! Who said families are cookie cutter? Families come in all shapes and sizes. Families are the people who love you. Sometimes they are your biological parents and siblings. Sometimes they are other relatives. Sometimes they are people who have come into your life and and become such a special part of it.

Found Siblings

19 Apr
When I was about twelve years old my brother came back into my life. He was around eighteen. That was a very hard time for me. For many of the years in between I did not know him. His dad passed away in a motorcycle accident. While that was surely a very hard time for him, it also brought him back into all of our lives. I wanted that. I wanted a brother, my brother.
My brother showed up just before my birthday. We spent time together with my family before he and I embarked ALONE on a road trip. The day we left I was an absolute mess. Disclaimer, I was always the kid that went to summer camp and got home sick. As much as I wanted to get away from my family, I really didn’t.
We get into the old beat up Cadillac. I am sitting in the car hysterically crying. My brother goes back inside the house and gets my mom He doesn’t know what to do. She comes out to the car, opens my door, looks and me and says, “you are going on this trip. Tears will do you no good. Your brother came all this way to do this with you and you are not backing out of it now. So stop crying.” Then she looked at my brother and said, “drive” shut the passenger door and walked away. Talk about tough love!
Off we went. As we drove away it started to rain. Water started leaking on me from above and I could feel the rain drops hitting my face. I cried harder. We continued down the highway and I heard the worst words yet, “We missed the exit. We have to turn around and get directions.” Panic!!!! I was panicking! Here I am in a car, water pouring (ok that might be an exaggeration) on me, with a stranger and we are lost !!! My brother pulled into a gas station and when he came out a few moments later he handed me a Slim Jim…something I had never had in my parents house. It was pretty good. Score one for my brother 😉
We finally made it to our first of several stops.
I think the trouble I faced with my brother was that I had so much pressure from everyone. I was supposed to instantly love him because he was my brother but it was hard for me because I was still a kid. I understood that he was my brother but he was also a stranger. I had people getting mad at me and giving me lectures because of the way I was with him. I think that pushed me further away rather than towards him.
The thing about my brother is that I am not sure that he got it. I am not sure that he understood why I was the way I was. I am sure that my reaction wasn’t what he had hoped for. But the thing is, unlike everyone else, he never pressured me. He never asked anything of me. But he also never gave up on me. He still called. He still showed up. While he was in boot camp in the Navy and out on deployment, he wrote to me. He kept telling me that he loved me and kept proving it over and over.
In time, I began to feel like I knew him. I began to trust him. I began to really love him. Not the “smile and do what everyone is telling me to” kind, but the kind where I truly loved him as my brother. I was interested in him and the things he was doing. I liked talking to him and our bond began to grow. He would tell me about our mom and growing up.
I sometimes think that our mom brought us back into each other’s lives for reason. For him, because his dad died leaving such a void. He needed family. And me, while I had been blessed with so much growing up, having him in my life is kind of like having our own little family. I think our mom looks down on us and smiles knowing that her kids are together.
Two years ago I flew down to see my brother and his family. He came to pick me up at the airport. When we got in the car, there were 2 Slim Jims sitting on the dashboard. I love that we can look back now and laugh.
My brother has given me so much. He has given me his love, a sister in law and beautiful nuggets for me to watch grow up into amazing little people. I am so blessed to have them.  all in my life. A life filled with more love and happiness because they are in it.

Promises

14 Apr

The first two years after my mother’s death I lived with a foster family. They were members of my grandfather’s church and had agreed to take me in. The family was made up of a mom, dad and three sons.

I don’t have memories of those years but I have physical reminders. I know I was happy. I know that they loved me and cared about me. When I was 10, the mother sent me a photo album filled with pictures, each one with a caption so I knew who everyone was. One of my favorite pictures was from my second birthday party. I wore a little dress and had pigtails that were one giant curl each. I blew out the candles on my choo choo train birthday cake. Yes, there were multiple train cars made of cake with butter cookies for wheels!!

Another favorite picture was of me with someone’s over-sized button up shirt and boots on over my undershirt and diaper trying to walk around the house. A classic picture that is taken of many a child. I am so glad to have that. I also have a needlepoint picture the mother made me that hung in my bedroom through my teen years.

My aunt made a promise to my mother when she was visiting her after I was first born. She agreed that if anything ever happened to my mom, she would take care of me. After my mother’s death my aunt went to her parents, my guardians, and said she wanted to take me. My grandmother agreed but my grandfather did not. He wanted me to stay with the foster family. He felt they were a “real” family while my aunt would be a single mom. It was an added benefit that they lived close by to him whereas she lived several states away.

It wasn’t long before both sides found themselves in court. My aunt filed for custody and my foster family filed for adoption. My fate rested on the shoulders of a judge who decided to place me with my aunt. In what seems a twist of fate, he signed the order on my birth mother’s birthday. As if acknowledging her last wish.

Being young I don’t remember a thing, but from what I hear, it was a pretty traumatic day, the day I came to live with my aunt. She showed up at my foster family’s door to take me away, her best friend sitting in the car as the getaway driver. I was brought to the door where my foster mother held me close. She was crying and didn’t let go. My aunt finally pulled me from her arms, put me in the car and her friend drove away. I was crying. My aunt was crying. My foster mother was crying.  A few minutes later I calmed down and that was that.

That was the beginning of our adventure. My aunt and I. Two gals against the world. She never hesitated to tell me about my past. I grew up knowing of my birth mother and how much she loved me. She told me all about my foster family and how special I was to them. That they loved me enough to want me to be a part of their family forever. She also told me how much she loved me and that my mom recognized the bond she and I shared the very first time my aunt held me and that was why she wanted her to take care of me. She knew the two of us would have something special together.