My adoptive mother was 42 when I was born. I think it’s reasonable to assume my natural mother fell into the typical age range of the women victimized by the “baby scoop era,” so was likely in her mid to late teens up to early 20s – which would make her in her mid-to-late 60s up to probably maximum of around 75. I wrote briefly about some of the difficulties I had with such an older mother in an earlier post, and now I have found another: I cannot imagine my mother. I don’t think I know anyone particularly well in that age range, and so when I try to think of her and try to imagine how she views the world I just come up blank. The reason I have been playing this mental game with myself is because as I set the balls in motion to find her, I know the inevitable reaching out to her will occur. It is what I want and why I am doing all this, after all. I am enough of an optimist to think that will happen sooner than later and I want to have thought it all through before the time comes so I don’t make a mistake or hurt her in any way.
I wonder, of course, about the circumstances of my conception and relinquishment, but I think more keenly I wonder what she felt, wanted, was told, and believed at that time, and how she now views it. I know this sounds like I’m viewing all of this experience very clinically but I am not at all – it’s just how my brain works and how I manage. Maybe she is that way too, and won’t feel like I am examining her in a petri dish through a microscope. I can only hope. I imagine sitting with her, looking into a face like mine, holding hands like mine, asking these questions, and the prospect of that being real sends thrills of hope and anxiety through me.
I imagine that when she has thought of me over these past five decades she has wondered ‘Is she okay? Is she happy? Does she enjoy her life?’. I want to tell her that every day since I learned she existed I have worried over the very same questions.