Sunday, February 11, 2007

It Ain't So Bad: Reunion

Met with my birthmother today.

To borrow the words of Jane Austen: "I am all amazement!"

Amazement that I am still standing.

I am changed. Yet the same.

It was a transformative, healing, grounding experience. Not nearly as scary as I thought.

I survived!

Do we take our cues from our mothers?

My mother was NOT in the least emotional. She gave no hugs. Shed no tears. Expressed no remorse.

So....I was not emotional. I gave no hugs. I shed no tears then or later. I expressed no remorse.

I kept looking at her...thinking: "This is my mother. Shouldn't I feel more?"

Maybe I will later.

Did we both "disassociate" so much that we could not connect? Did we connect? I think we did.

Feeling slightly euphoric because I sorta look like my mother but not really. I'm told I have my father's eyes and brow line. I look like my sister...the pretty one...and that makes me happy. Went out to dinner with my niece and we look like relatives. I am 46 and have a 20-something great-nephew with tattos (sp) who actually asked for job advice.

I actually HAVE people I am related to.

I feel more me than I have ever felt.

And even though my mother isn't the nuturing type...the type to express regret or remorse...oddly, that's okay. Her ghost has been banished and she is who she is...just a woman who had a baby daughter 46 years ago.

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23 Comments:

Blogger Joy said...

Ohhhhh Nina.


I am so glad to read this post

8:09 PM  
Blogger petunia said...

I know how you felt - I kept thinking it was supposed to be like an Oprah special but she was a stranger to me. But at the same time it was a closure and a beginning....weird feelings. Then to be with people who are related....yes....i'm with you. Congrats for making it through.....

8:28 PM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

Wow. A day you will never forget for sure.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Being Me said...

Wonderful!

12:59 AM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Nina....I am glad the first meeting with mom and other relatives went well. Hope you got to see a picture of your dad too and got a bit more information about him. I look forward to reading more - as I am sure there is more to come. For now, just happy for you and your family!

3:56 AM  
Blogger suz said...

oh, nina, i am so happy for your that it went well. i had been checking back here like crazy as i had you on my mind all weekend. thanks for sharing this with us. i wishing you the best in your continued journey.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Aurelia said...

Congratulations...this is just the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Mom2One said...

Wow. So glad for you.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Thanks for checking back and for all the kind words and good cheer!

And Leroy...about my father...still zip. I played journalist yesterday and used my best tricks to coax out his last name from the recesses of her memory and she simply can't or won't remember. I think she blocked it out because her recall is quite good. For example, she remembers her public adoption agency social worker's first and last name. I'm going to make a last ditch attempt to find out by writing a letter for her to send to the hospital where I was born requesting a copy of her medical records and see if it's in there. His name IS in my agency file but they refuse to give it to me citing confidentiality...HIS.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Celera said...

Nina, I'm pleased to hear that this went so well for you! It is a fascinating experience, and has its rewards even when it doesn't go smoothly. And feelings -- don't have any "should" -- they just are what they are. If your feelings seem a bit more muted than you expected, maybe that's best. Maybe there is only so much you are ready to feel at once. Maybe the reality of the situation isn't quite the same as you anticipated -- nothing wrong with that. And especially, good for you to be able to see the experience in a positive light without overly romanticizing it. Your birthmother is a person, as interesting and admirable and flawed and limited as any other person. People who think their problems will all be solved through reunion are setting themselves up for so much disappointment.

I hope this relationship continues to grow and enrich your life -- I'm sure knowing you will enrich their lives also!

8:37 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Thanks, Celera! I was thinking along the same lines, too...that maybe this is so huge and so built up that the actual meeting seems "muted" by comparison. Muted. That really captures it.

And Petunia....You're right! Was absolutely expecting something Oprahesque or, at the least, Montelish but instead got the PBS Newshour in which - after she did not get up and give me a hug and remained calmly seated - I whipped out my pen and notebook and proceeded to interview her and took notes. It's almost funny.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Thanks, Celera! I was thinking along the same lines, too...that maybe this is so huge and so built up that the actual meeting seems "muted" by comparison. Muted. That really captures it.

And Petunia....You're right! Was absolutely expecting something Oprahesque or, at the least, Montelish but instead got the PBS Newshour in which - after she did not get up and give me a hug and remained calmly seated - I whipped out my pen and notebook and proceeded to interview her and took notes. It's almost funny.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Paula O. said...

Nina,

This is amazing to read. I'll be hoping for many more good things to come for you and your mom.

Thank you for sharing this.

11:07 AM  
Blogger chez said...

So glad you survived!!!
WOW - it must all feel so unreal.
My father's name is also in my files - and I have copies of documents with his surname blotted out.
Why we are not allowed our information????? - it makes me so mad.
Sending you huge hugs Nina.
Hugs, C. xx

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