I have always known of my adoption, and my parents did their very best to make it seem like a very special thing, so I wouldn't feel unwanted.
When I was eighteen years old, I started searching adoption registries online looking for someone who might miss the little girl I used to be, but I never found anyone.
In May of 2016, I paid my adoption agency to conduct a search for my birthmother using the information they had from my adoption records.
They found her.
A registered letter was sent out, informing my birthmother that I had contacted them. That week was probably the longest week of my life. As the week turned into two and then a month, it weighed more and more on my heart, but I refused to give up the hope that she might be willing to respond -- even just to tell me to get lost.
I again went over in my mind all the incredible reasons she could have not to want connection. I have worked through a million and they are all completely understandable. Still, I held onto that hope that it might happen.
The day the woman from the adoption agency called to tell me she had signed for the letter, I had to swallow my heart as it beat almost out of my chest. She told me my mother's name was Susan, and I cried because although she has no face, she now has a name.
And then I waited.
I'm still waiting.
She has not replied.
I had prepared myself for the possibility of rejection, but did not prepare for no word at all. That has taken some adjustment.
While I understand and respect whatever her reasoning, if I'm honest, it stings a bit. This past year has felt like what I imagine seconds before bungee jumping off a bridge might. I've been on the edge, afraid to move in fear I might slip and miss momentum.
It has been emotionally draining, and often times maddening.
There is a children's book titled "Are You My Mother?" where a baby bird spends the first few days of life asking random animals if they are his mother. I have been playing this game, in one way or another - against my own will - for most of my life, but with that letter out there, it's been even worse.
And then, sometime last month, it hit me that I cannot go on like this; holding my breath, waiting for some big event that may never happen -- just standing on the ledge of a bridge for no good reason.
I made the decision it was time to let it go and let God.
And so, I wrote a letter to my birth mother.