39 Years and Counting...

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I passed through another year a few weeks ago. My friends don't really understand that my birthday has never really been one of celebration, rather, one of melancholy. 39 years and counting, years that I've searched and given up and searched again...

My birthday has always been a day when I feel an almost eerie extra sensory sort of connection to her, the lady who gave birth to me. In my more imaginative years I would send out this telepathic wave, letting her know that I was okay and thinking of her too. After all, it had to be the one day a year that she would also be thinking of me, right?

This unspoken yearning belief was affirmed with the birth of my son and respect for my birth mother grew throughout my pregnancy and beyond. I made the choice to keep my child and travel the path of single parenthood in a much more accepting era from that which I was born. She had made the most difficult decision one can make. I never understood how that decision was love in itself, that understanding was multiplied with the birth of my daughter; de ja vu... single again. As parents we make the best decisions we can for our children even if it hurts like hell. For me that was leaving my children's fathers, for her it was leaving me.

This year, right before my birthday, I finally accessed my "non identifying information". I now know the technical aspects of my pre natal care, that I resemble her physical characteristics and that she had been orphaned in her early adolescence. I can feel empathy for that; someone once told me that I had always been an orphan but just hadn't realized it. I do not mean this statement to be inferred as disrespect for adoptive parents; let's just say that I don't believe mine was a "successful placement".

Receiving my non identifying information was as if I were given permission to peer through a peek hole while the door remained locked. In January, my file will go back into archives.... When I read that statement a little girl cries out "I don't want to be an archive!" But alas I do not have the key to unlock that door. Only she has the power to sign a consent form and thus release a portion of my identity.

Next year I will be forty years old. I am a responsible adult raising my children, they do not have a father but we have beautifully open communication with one another and love. We don't have a whole lot of money, but I have a challenging career and my children have learned the value of things, to be grateful for what they do have and the value of earning it...child support? What's that!?! After the demise of my relationship with my daughter's father I promised myself that I would stop the pattern I had with men. I promised myself that I would not even go out with anyone until she was at least eight years old. I kept that promise; my children have not had a parade of men come through our door, or any other stereotypical maladies for that matter. My daughter is seven now and I am in fact re-evaluating that promise; we are doing just fine. Either that or I have become very safe in my solitary harbor....and no longer want to risk seeking that elusive happily ever after...

I feel secure with my identity, it is not based on whether or not I ever meet my "lady", the woman who cared for herself and me and gave me to the world... but I would like to at least have the chance...the choice.

I don't want next year to be "Forty and still counting", but rather, a new beginning. If you know anything about a child born on September 7th, 1963 who was given to the Los Angeles County Department of Charities please call the post adoptive department of their Youth and Family Service Department or e-mail me at mrsmijo@hotmail.com...Thank you.
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