So, I have this box. It is nothing to look at. It is an old Florida Oranges box I received from my Granny back when she sent me Florida oranges and Grapefruits in the mail because she knew I loved them. Inside of it, photos, birthday cards, letters, memories.
I don’t know why on this particular day I made the decision to open that box and look for it. I can’t even remember putting the paperwork inside of it, or why I kept it. I knew there weren’t any last names on the paperwork. It was just a generic “Dear Birthmother” letter and 2 forms filled out (one by each adoptive parent) about colleges attended, likes, dislikes, and first names. I don’t know what I hoped I would find, but on this day I had an uncontrollable urge to try.
Digging to the bottom of the box, I found what I was looking for and one more thing, my first son’s hospital hat. I immediately put the hat to my nose and tried to smell some remnant of him, but all I could smell was dust. Putting it aside, I read through the letter and forms for the first time in 13 years or so.
I gathered up the information, walked calmly to the computer and started googling. First name combos, quotes, no quotes. Connecticut? First names plus colleges. I don’t remember what the exact google query was, but up popped a photo. A photo of the people I had met 13 years ago. It was them. I knew their last names. I felt like I was spying on them. It felt wrong, but I could not help myself. A few clicks later and I found of photo of my son. OH MY GOD. There he was, smiling. At the bottom of the page, an email address for the adoptive mother.
A few days later, and after much soul searching I emailed her. I had to know. I had to forge some kind of connection. I don’t know if anyone who isn’t a first mother can understand the thought process, but it felt like I had no choice. I had to write her.
Since that day 2 years ago, I have been crushed by wave after wave of emotion that I had repressed. It has been painful, necessary, and unending. Pandora’s box can not be closed.