From My Heart to Yours | May 2019


       At my house, May is the month we get to enjoy the best display of the year from the roses in my front yard (for the rest of the year, I basically neglect them!) It’s also the month that most of us spend at least a little time thinking about our mothers. I know I do. My mom passed away just before her 61st birthday some 13 years ago. I miss her very much. 

Today, I went online and looked up my mother’s obituary. Re-reading the comments from friends and family about her great faith, her wonderful attitude despite great physical suffering in her life, and her love for “Nana’s pride and joy” (her grandchildren!) brought me to tears once again. 

 Today, I also registered with an adoption search database.

No, I was not adopted, but I have a brother who was. It’s an amazing story which I have not spoken of publicly out of respect for my family. But, it’s time. I have a brother out there somewhere! and I hope I get the chance to meet him. I think, NOW, my mother would like that. She can see so much clearer on the other side of heaven. 

My mom was just 16 when she became pregnant with my sister. She was then married and had her first child at 17. I came along just after she turned 19. Then, at age 21, my father walked out the door and never came back.

It wasn’t easy for my mother who was left to fend for herself and two little girls. It wasn’t easy for my sister and me. (Quite honestly, after meeting and hearing my dad’s story when I was 21, it wasn’t easy for him, either!) My sister and I didn’t get much “mothering” during those years – and much, much later in life, that was something my mom expressed deep regret about. But I totally get it. Like so many of the clients we see here at Informed Choices, she did her best...and I really believe that. My grandparents and aunts helped to raise us and later my mother remarried. There was a great deal of tension in our home, but my parents worked hard to provide us with a house in a good school district with many opportunities for growth. I am truly thankful.

Well, after our dad left the scene, my mom became pregnant again. This time, it was a pregnancy she hid from her family (successfully) up until the day of birth! Before anyone could intervene, my mother released the only son she would ever have in a closed adoption in Minnesota. The only reason I know this was because I overheard her telling a close friend about it in a very rare moment. It was a long time before I had the courage to ask her about it and we only spoke of it once. It was something so painful for her that she tried to keep from thinking about it. I wish we could talk about it again now. After many years of serving the needs of patients in similar circumstances, I hope I would be able to express deep empathy to my mother. What she did took great courage, especially in 1966.

So today, I added my name to an adoption search database. I felt the nudge to do so and I am leaving it in God’s hands. You see, I think my mom is a real hero. Raising two little girls when you are just a girl yourself was not easy.  Giving LIFE to a child conceived in very difficult and complicated circumstances was not easy either. I know it had to hurt to give Life.

 This year, as Mother’s Day approaches, I hope I honor my mother specifically - and all mothers in general - with this story of maternal sacrifice. (I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything!) More than anything, I hope my mom is happy about this on the other side of eternity. 

 With you for Life -- Christine 

Christine Vatuone