Growing up in Ireland, a young girl knew she was adopted. She said it always made her feel special. As she entered her teenage years, she became curious, wondering the reasons behind her placement, wondering what her birthmother was like and mostly just yearning to have some questions answered.
On her 13th birthday, her parents told her everything they knew about her birthmother. This included her age, the fact that she loved music and that she was a twin. While this was helpful, it created a need to know more. So, at the age of 15, her parents took her to the adoption agency. The agency added to her information by telling her that her birthmother had named her Kathy. At this point she was three years away from the age of 18 when she could begin to look for her biological mother. At that time, she was told that it took about two years to locate a biological parent or receive some sort of valid information.
Being anxious, she enlisted her Dad’s help. They began cross referencing birth records and other legal documents such as marriage and death certificates. This seemed to work! They found her birthmother, Mary, listed in the phone book. Excitedly, they realized she lived five minutes from their home. This birthmother knew the street well that her adoptive mother lived on!
Making a rash decision, they decided to get in the car and drive by. Unbelievably, as they drove by, Mary was getting out her car in the driveway and a young boy rushed out to hug her. The birthmother said, I just knew it was her because she looked exactly like me! In that moment it was like time stood still and she couldn’t keep her eyes from her biological mother.
After seeing her birthmom, she called her social worker from the adoption agency and asked her to call the birthmom and see if she would meet her. An hour later the social worker called back with good news! A meeting was set up!
When they met, Mary told her daughter her story. She had become pregnant in 1982 and hadn’t told a soul. Her doctor understood that at that time in Ireland, an unplanned pregnancy by an unmarried mother was shameful. So he agreed to tell family that it was a cyst that needed to be removed. Mary told her daughter that she thought about her daily but had never told her husband and young children.
As they met, they hugged and cried and realized how close their worlds were all this time. They shopped at the same grocery store, ate at the same restaurants and watched football games at the same local pub. They exchanged phone numbers and when the daughter put her birthmother’s number into her phone, it popped up as already known. Come to find out that number used to be one of the daughter’s friends numbers and the daughter had called it several times after the friend’s number had been changed. So unknowingly, she had been talking to her birthmother!
Following that first meeting, the two bumped into each other at least weekly. It was a huge comfort to the daughter to know that through all the years of wondering, her biological mother was always close by!