It was during my first pregnancy that I learned out about my mother's first pregnancy.
We were talking about the magic of being pregnant for the first time. It was that day, that my mom felt she was ready to share with me about her first pregnancy. In the spring of 1965, when my mother was eighteen years old, she became pregnant. I'm not sure of the details, but during her pregnancy, Mom went to live with another family. In December, my mother gave birth to her first born, a son that she named him Kurt. Not being able to take care of her son, but wanting the best for him, she made the decision to give him up for adoption.
Remember that at the time of this revelation, I was pregnant with my daughter. My first born. I was shocked at my mother's news, but immediately I felt a pang of grief for her. A woman's first pregnancy should be a happy time. One of beautiful firsts. I couldn't imagine how difficult it must have been, to be away from your family, scared, ashamed and alone. Growing a little human being, knowing that you would not get to know this little person.
I've thought of Kurt often. It's not like I think about him every day, but I would often wonder what he looked like. I wondered if I passed Kurt on the street, would I recognize a stranger as my brother. Did he look like us? When I would meet men who were adopted, I would casually ask how old they were, to see if they were my long lost brother.
The years went by. Mom never gave up hope that one day she would get the chance to meet her son. In December Kurt was on my mom's mind the most (or at least I could count that in December that she would talk to me about him.) On the years that she could afford to do so, Mom would take a classified ad out in the Toronto newspapers, wishing her birth son a happy birthday. Mom registered with an adoption agency, and hoped that Kurt would one day register as well.
Last week, I had a call from my mother. She was crying. Between sobs, she told me that she had a call from the adoption agency. She had been found: her son had found her. The lady from the agency was 100% sure it was a match. Kurt's name was now Jon. He grown up in Toronto and had a large family of three brothers and a sister. Jon now lived in the London area where he owned his own masonry and stone work business. Mom was waiting for Jon to contact her by email.
In the days that have since passed, the family have all had Facebook contact with Jon. We've had a chance to browse through each other's family pictures. It's been a surreal experience spotting family resemblances with a stranger - my new brother looks A LOT like my grandfather. It's been an exciting time for us, but most of all for my Mom and Jon. Soon - in just a couple of days my sister, brother and I will get a chance to see our mother reunited with her first born. I can't wait.
Just before I received my Mom's phone call last week, I was outside with my camera and spotted this heart shaped icicle clung to a bush in my backyard. I was inside editing, thinking about how you just don't know when or where you will find love when my phone rang.
Trust the universe.