Sunday, April 12, 2009

Where Did You Go?

I've always been a mother who believes in open adoption. I have always believed that a child can never have enough people who love them. Those beliefs were what drove me to contact my children's birth parents.

Adopting from the foster care system usually means that the birth parents' rights have already been terminated, and any paperwork I was able to view would have all reference to the birth parents redacted. Well, almost all...

In Ashley's case, the social worker was a little sloppy with her redacting. I had the birth mother's name, and I knew the area in which she lived.

I didn't do anything with that information for many years. But, about five years ago, I felt led to reach out and try to contact Ashley's birth mother. With the help of the Internet, I found an address and a phone number which I thought was correct. I called the phone number, and heard the recording.

The voice on the recording said, "Hi,this is Lisa and Lauren. We're not home right now, so please call back." I wasn't sure I had the right number, but when I heard the baby in the background, and figured her name was Lauren, I was pretty sure I had the right number. Why did the baby named Lauren make me think that?

I didn't know that Ashley's birth mother had other children. But, I wondered if indeed she had and had named her two girls after characters on the Young and The Restless - Ashley and Lauren. I know it was a leap of faith, but it felt right to me. So, I composed a letter, included a picture, and sent it to the address I had found on the Internet.

I heard nothing for two years. But one night I got a call. It was Lisa and she confirmed that she had gotten my letter.

Our contact after that was sporadic. Phone calls here and there. An email every once in a while. And then finally, I found her on Facebook. Finally, I had a small window into her life, and I opened wide the window into my life with Ashley. I hoped our relationship could grow, and indeed it seemed to be doing just that. Until last week.

Lisa deleted her Facebook account. There is no trace of her other than the comments and messages she has sent me in the past. I keep checking back, but so far she hasn't returned.

I miss you, Lisa, and really wish you would come back to Facebook or contact me some other way...

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