April 29, 2003

Motherhood

There is a 20 year old young man out there that I call my son. I don't attach any of the qualifiers like "biological" or anything in front of the word son....he is just my son. I gave birth to him. There is nothing else to call him and, honestly, I am quite proud and thrilled to even have the chance to say those words.

The thing is though, he calls me Michelle. Now, before anyone thinks that I am hurt by that or want it changed....well, you are wrong. I might be the one that brought him into the world...but I'm not his mother. That honored title belongs to the woman that raised him through thick and thin. The woman that answered his cries in the night, tended to bumps and bruises, helped him nurse any broken hearts and waited up when he went out at night. SHE is his mother and I would never, couldn't ever assume to take her place or her title.

So, before the archives all came down, I talked a little bit about getting letters from him and his parents. I honestly can't think of a more emotional time. I came home from work that Monday night and WildChild had left the mail on the counter for me. I just glanced at was there and saw a handwritten letter. At first, I thought it was from John, since he was gone. Then I read the return address...it was from him, my son. I dropped my bags and picked up the letter, afraid to open it. I just stood there for a few minutes, crying. I was overwhelmed with so many feelings. I finally got my nerve up and opened the letter to read....and my heart soared. He wants to get to know me! He wrote an eloquent letter and had many of the typical questions that I would assume most adoptees have. I don't think my hands stopped shaking until I finally sat down at the computer to answer him. I finished the letter before I went to bed, since I know what a procrastinator I am about correspondence.

The next night I got the most beautiful letter from his parents. They answered many questions (like why I never heard anything almost three years ago) and they sent me a picture. The waterworks started anew, of course. For days I would pull the picture out and just stare at it. Yes, he has my eyes. Yes, he has my chin. Yes, he has my high cheekbones. Hmmmm, that isn't my nose.

The next few weeks were a flurry of emails and even a few phone calls. I was quite proud of myself for not crying the first time that I talked to him. You imagine something for twenty years and then react completely different than what you thought. The main thought that kept running through my head was "this is my son! I'm talking to my son!" He sent me a link to see more pictures of him. Wow. I mean really, WOW! Those that have seen the pictures instantly remark about how much he looks like me. Even the WildChild said that he looks much more like me than she does. Where he has dark hair and blue eyes, she is blonde and has brown eyes.

Y'all, I couldn't be more proud of him. (No, I still haven't thought about what I should call him or if I should use his real name here...feel free to let me know if "you" are reading this!) He is in school, having finished basic training in the military this past winter. He is smart and well-spoken. He finds it amusing that I listen to some of the same music that he listens to. I sent him some CDs so that he would have more music to listen to at school. (Which reminds me, I'll make you that one CD that didn't work and mail it off soon!)

So here is where the hard part comes in. Getting to know this person that is both instantly known to me and yet a complete stranger. There is no history, no "remember when..." to speak of. We are starting from scratch. Will he like me? Will he end up thinking I am some psycho that puts her life out there on the net for all to read? I would be quite happy to chat every single day with him, yet I am reluctant to call for fear that I would be bothering him. He's a young man, he's got other things to do than sit on the phone with some 36 year old woman. I don't want to seem clingy or needy. I want him to be the one in control of the relationship...letting me in as much as he sees fit. I'm sure that eventually, we'll find the right niche...but the trying on of all the others is a slow process. I think we both hope that, eventually, we'll meet face to face. Right now though, I can't think that far ahead. I have faith that when the time is right, the opportunity will present itself.

So far, that faith has brought him this close...right?

Posted by rowEn at 11:10 AM | Comments (1195)