Denise's Story, Page 5
Denise's Story, Con't.....

Thoughts of searching and letters un mailed.....

The worry about my son was so overwhelming sometimes, but I was incapable of changing anything about the adoption, so I coped with the decision I'd made and my life moved forward. I ALWAYS knew I would search for him and try to find him someday. However, the reality of finding him was always just a dream.

As different events filled my life, thoughts occasionally would turn to my son. 10 months after I married, the birth of my 2nd child, Tiffany, gently reminded me of my firstborn. His January 24th birth date was always the most difficult memory for me. It would have me wondering about his location? or if he was he OK? was he healthy? was he happy? As I looked at other children, I'd always look for similarities in the baby I'd left behind at the hospital. can you hear me whisper to you? can you tell that I'm thinking about you right now? can my thoughts reach you? do you know that i dream about the day that i find you or you find me? oh, how i ache to hold you once again and to tell you that i love you, more than life itself

I wrote a letter to the adoptive agency in 1982 inquiring about my son's health. The adoptive mother included a message in the caseworker's response to me. "the child's adoptive mother asked that we let you know he is a bright child, very happy and healthy". Reading an actual fact about my son gave me such a warm feeling. That one and only factual statement sustained me for 14 years. I wrote other letters but never mailed them out. It wouldn't be fair to his adoptive parents for me to make a contact and i don't , i won't, disrupt his life. I made a mental promise to them and I will not go back on my word. I'll stay in the background, quietly loving him......longing for him.......wondering about him. When he turns 18, then I'll start my search.

Several letters were written and tucked away for future mailings. Thoughts found their way to paper, then were quietly filed away. 18 years came and went. During that time, I remarried, experienced the birth of twins, Danielle and Benjamin in 1984 and saw to my parents' needs during a series of heart attacks and surgeries that prevented them from caring for each other without my support. Another year, beyond 18, slipped by.

I wanted to begin a search but so many obstacles kept getting in the way. Especially the constant thought of rejection. What if I did try to find him now? The possibility of rejection prevented me from taking any further steps for another 2 years. My father died in 1993 and my Mother moved in with us due to her failing health. Persistent, inside voices told me to act and I mentioned to my Mother that I was seriously thinking about searching for my son. She stopped me mid-sentence and said, "Yes, Denise, if you find him, I want to meet him". After all these years, those were cherished words I never thought I'd hear my Mother say to me. It was not to be. My Mother's death, in April of 1995, put me into a tailspin. The void of her presence in my life was unbearable and my world fell apart. I'd lost my mentor and my confidant and to help bear the pain of her loss, I started spending a tremendous amount of time at our 4th generation owned family home.

Every weekend throughout the summer of 1995, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, we drove 10 miles to the house at Walloon Lake. Visiting this home was a refuge for me as the most recent memories of my Mother were back at ‘my’ home in Petoskey. I needed to get away from the well-intentioned, but persistent, phone calls from friends and family. Since my Mother lived with us for 19 months in Petoskey, the house at Walloon had been partially neglected and needed a good cleaning. I busied myself with cleaning the house and sorting through 4 generations’ worth of accumulation. So many wonderful memories came flooding back with each visit we made and I started making discoveries of forgotten pictures and more. I dug deep into drawers of old dressers and in the dusty corners of the basement. I sorted through letters and postcards and started making neat organized piles of important papers. I set aside marked and unmarked pictures, photo albums, diaries and albums knowing I would scour their pages at a later date. I thought I’d better start writing down all of my discoveries or even ‘I’ would soon forget what all I’d found.

Summer was over, the twins were in school, the house was in order at Walloon Lake and I needed to put my energies toward something new. Logically, to me, I started researching my family tree.

Early in the fall of 1995, we acquired a new computer with Windows 95. I bought a genealogy program and started entering the data I’d been collecting all summer long. A short time later, we connected to the internet and a whole new world was opened to me and I discovered the art of searching on the internet in regards to Genealogy. Now that both of my parents were gone, I had to find the answers to all of the “which-ancestor-is-this” questions. It became therapeutic to make a discovery then solve the mystery of who the relative was. The internet became an important resource of information and every Genealogy link I preceded to, an Adoption link would be close by. strange, I'd never given any thought of them being interrelated before. The overwhelming quantity of ongoing searches by other adoptees and birthparents gave me the courage and strength to begin my own quest. regardless of the outcome, the rejection, or the consequences of my search, I've reached a point in my life to take this risk.........if there's rejection by my son, so be it, ........time is going by too quickly and i can't waste another moment........i will begin my search in earnest and i will accept whomever i find. this is my son............who i love with all of my matter what..........

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