Hey! It’s a Boy! Part Two

Adoption Early Years

If you haven’t done so, please read https://lifeonthegroceryline.com/2020/10/hey-its-a-boy/ before the post below. Otherwise, you might be a little lost.

A time warp developed in my cubicle as I anticipated any number of possible replies she would send. I wasn’t even sure if she would respond. My mind started racing. Maybe it’s the wrong email? What if it’s the right person but she has no interest in starting a conversation? After all, it’s been almost thirty years. What does all this actually mean? I mean, I don’t even care if there is a response. Nah, of course I do. I have things I want to say. Blah Blah Blah…Rabble Rabble Rabble. 

And as if by magic I noticed the pop-up at the bottom of my screen notifying me saying…

Inbox: Re:Hey! It’s a Boy! 

The length of time between my email and a reply was only a matter of minutes, but it struck a much longer note in my mind. The seconds felt like hours. But when it arrived, I opened the email as quickly as possible, without thinking too much, because I was already worn thin by anticipation. Here is what I saw…

Adoption Email One

My heart skipped a beat and I fell back in my chair for a moment. I didn’t know what to think or say or do. I needed to compose myself. I didn’t anticipate that the news was going to hit me so hard. I try not to be dramatic despite my writer’s mind and I guess I went into the whole “finding my birth mother” thing with the idea that it was a long shot and inevitably it wouldn’t happen. I was being pragmatic and analytical the whole time, because that’s how I have to deal with it to avoid falling off the edge. But the idea that a woman who chose to give birth to me despite every reason not to go through with it was on the other end of the internet waiting for my reply shook me.

Years of unanswered questions bubbled to the surface my emotions started to get the best of me. My eyes began to water. A co-worker walked by and asked, “Did you hear back from her yet?” The best I could do was point at the screen. She looked down, “Oh my God, Adam! That’s amazing.” “I know, right.” I replied. I couldn’t help myself now and tears of joy slid down my face. She put her hands on my shoulders and we sat silently for a moment. My other coworkers started to pick up on what happened. They all knew that I sent the email. These ladies were my aunts at work and my cheerleaders.. Believe me, having “Work Family” is a beautiful thing.

They all gathered around and we talked about my big news and they asked what I was going to say back. I hadn’t the slightest clue. Where to start? What does one say when faced with a narrative shifting moment like that one? Of course I needed to lean into the amber of the moment but that’s easier said than done. With their advice I decided to take it slow and chip away at whatever the conversation turned out to be. They dispersed to their respective cubicles and let me get to my response. 

I re-read the message over and over again to nail down my approach but in the end I went with a simple, boring and reserved email. And for some reason I immediately regretted it. But in the end it was the right type of email to send. She replied with the concise response shown below..

She had a photo of me? This tripped out because I was given up for adoption as a newborn. Immediately, I became worried that I somehow contacted the wrong person. These things happen when people are in a heightened-emotional state like I was at the time. I pushed out an email that, in hindsight, feels ridiculous. 

It’s interesting to watch logic and existing knowledge fly out the window when emotions get involved. I had all the evidence I needed to believe that I found the right person and it made sense that she might have a picture of me since I wasn’t officially at my parents house until a few months after my birthday. But my primal brain won and I sound silly yet understandable in my email.  She responded with a picture and it settled my first worry but ramped up all the other things on my mind.