Somewhere in Chicago lived some angels.
The first angel was my birth mother. It took me many years to appreciate her sacrifice instead of hating her for leaving me. I never realized her pains and sorrows until I had Thomas 10 years ago. She was 18, kicked out of her home by her stepfather during her pregnancy, active LDS, and had allergies, glasses, and wore short hair. Sound familiar? My birth father wanted to marry her but she wanted more for herself--and for me--and refused to be the wife of someone working odd jobs or as a gas station attendant. Based on the descriptions I have of both of them, I take after my dad.
My second angel was a foster mother who cared for me until I was adopted nearly a month later. Most babies don't come with an instruction manual, but I did. I still have the carefully typed letter and pink envelope describing my eating, sleeping, diapering, and playing habits. She loved me enough to know me and my ways and then to pass the information along to help in my care. There is no return address on the envelope but I thank her frequently in my mind.
I’m left-handed. Some days it’s not hard being a little different. But there are those times that remind me just how different I am—cutting with scissors, ironing, measuring liquids. If you’re right-handed, you never think about doing those things. Am I right? The blades always work on your scissors, the cord on the iron never gets in your way, and the measurements you’re accustomed to are always in the right place. It’s just the way life is.
I’m adopted. It’s just the way life is—most days. I’ve always known that I’m adopted. It’s part of my identity (like being left-handed), but it doesn’t make me who I am.
Heavenly Father, in his concern for me, designated a family for me where I would be taught the gospel from my infancy. I was raised by two well-educated parents who sought to fulfill my birth mother’s wishes while maintaining our own family identity. My older sister, their biological child, and I were treated the same even though I threatened them with cries of inequality throughout my childhood and adolescence. During some childhood spats I may have conversely muttered the words, “Well, Mom and Dad were stuck with you… but they chose me!!”
There have been many times throughout my life that I have wanted to search for my birth mother. And yet I never have. I was angered with her, even hating her for abandoning me, for several years. Then I had my first baby. When I held him for the first time, I finally realized what an angelic birth mother I had. How on earth could you endure a pregnancy, labor and delivery, and then go home without anything to show for it? I can’t even imagine her trials, angst, love, and determination during that time. This was an 18-year-old girl in the mid-1970’s who was placed into foster care during her pregnancy by her stepfather and who also turned down a proposal of marriage by my birth father. She wanted more for me and my life. I hope she wanted more for her, too!
My mother, the woman who actually did all the work raising me, was in poor health all my life. I knew that if I did any more searching than obtaining non-identifying information, it would seriously take its toll on her. She would have felt like she had not been or done enough as my mother. And yet, my desire to search had nothing to do with that! I was looking for peace, medical information, and the roots of who I was and why I looked and acted the way I did. Knowing that my mother would likely die relatively young, I told myself not to search until her passing. And yet after mom passed away I had no desire to search for my birth mother. She was really just a vessel to get me to this mortal existence. My mother is whom I am sealed to. I believe our lives together and the eternal sealing that binds us has changed me. I am hers and she is mine. While I’ll be eternally grateful for the sacrifices my birth mother made to get me here, I don’t wish to interrupt either of our lives and families.
Megan, 33, is Spencer's wife and mother to Thomas (10), Katie (6), and Daniel (3). She enjoys photography, games, singing, organizing, bargain shopping, walking, socializing, and serving as the Laurels Advisor in her ward. With quick wit, Megan uses her blog to clear her head, open her heart, and share her life. She hopes you get a chuckle or tear as you enjoy life with her. You can find her blogging at Hall Pass .