When I was 14, I was in complete skepticism as I was pr-egnant. In my credulity, I thought I could go for medical support to remove the pr-egnancy out of my bo-dy. However, my bo-dy was changing and as I was in high school people around me started spreading gossip about me.
Soon my boyfriend, Sidney, and I decided to tell his parents and my mother about the pr-egnancy. They all agreed: adoption was the decision. At that time adoption was the only right thing to do. I constantly kept convincing myself that it was for the best. It had to be, didn’t it?
“I gave birth with the adoption caseworker holding my hand”
We went to the adoption agency which offered me a place to stay during the pregnancy, which was awkward and lonely. The location was four hours from my home. I spent four months there. I went through labor with the adoption agency caseworker holding my hand and telling me to push. From my home no one was present there. I was alone. I felt like I was watching someone else go through it.
It was surreal. I hardly utter a word, and like a robot, I followed the directions given to me.
On March 29, at 12:54, I gave birth to my son. I opted to see him even though they said it would be t-raumatizing. I couldn’t fathom the thought of leaving without holding him at least once. My baby was perfect, but he wasn’t meant to be mine. I told myself he would have a better life with his adoptive parents. I didn’t cry when they took him. I remember feeling ashamed as if I didn’t have the right to c-ry. I was giving my baby up. I couldn’t possibly deserve sympathy right?
“Once my son turned 30, I tried to find him”
When I was in my twenties, I married, had three daughters, and di-vorced. However, my first child, my son, always had a special place in my heart and mind. Every year I silently celebrated his birthday. I always felt he would search me in his thirties, so when he became 30-years-old, I joined an adoption reunion site that matched you with someone who fit the criteria you put in. Unfortunately there were no matches.
In 2021, I knew his 33rd birthday was fast approaching, so I logged back into the website… and lo and behold, an 81 percent match popped up. “OK, Shelley,” I said to myself, “don’t get too excited.” “But something kept tugging at my brain, so I searched the name on the profile on social media. I found a picture of a young man in a heavy coat taking a selfie in the snow. The eyes staring back at me were mine. The lips were his father’s. I knew it instantaneously. I found my son!”
“I found my son on social media 33 years after his adoption”
Quickly, I sent him a private text, saying “Happy birthday,” “I’m your birth mum. I don’t know how else to say that without just blurting it out. I pray you respond. I can’t believe I actually found you”. The next day when I woke up, I checked if he’d seen the message, but he hadn’t. On March 31st, I received a message from him. “Hi. I don’t know where to start. I would love to talk to you.” My heart blew up.
I was constantly concerned he’d resent me for giving him up but what he replied discloses all the assumptions. “This is almost like a dream. There are a million things I want to say, and at the same time, I can’t find the words. Just know I love you. I have never once been upset with you.” I inhaled a sigh of relief and sobbed with tears of appreciation.
After that my phone rang, I knew it was my son, Daniel. I couldn’t answer fast enough. ‘Hello,’ I said, ‘Hey there,’ Daniel responded. It was my son’s voice.
“After 33 years my son was home”
On April 29th, Daniel visited me. The apprehension at the airport was barely too much, and I was so excited I could barely standstill. The first hug from Daniel was unlike anything I’d ever felt. My heart filled up and flooded. “I can’t believe you’re finally here,” I kept saying to him. All he could do was laugh. My son was in our home. The next six days were served with family, food, and all the love we could give him.
When it was time for Daniel to go back to Virginia, it was so difficult to let him go. We hugged for minutes on end, and he kissed me on the forehead before grabbing his suitcase and walking into the airport. Daniel was leaving, but he wasn’t. This was just the beginning. This piece initially came off here and has been republished with full permission.