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We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

– Mother Teresa

Activism, Choices, Christianity, Community, Creation, Culture, Down On the Farm, Environment, Faith, Food Justice, Gardening, God's Economics, Hope, Opal's Farm, Persistence, Practice, Quotes, Relationships, Responsibility, Resurrection, Social Justice, Transformation

“Be like the fox / who makes more tracks than necessary, / some in the wrong direction. / Practice resurrection.” – Wendell Berry, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer’s Liberation Front” (1973)

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Activism, Beatitudes, Belief, Christianity, Community, Courage, Faith, Fighting Poverty, Food Justice, God's Economics, Grace, Hope, Persistence, Prayer, Quotes, Relationships, Responsibility, Social Justice, Spirituality, What Can I Do

“According to Jesus here, what determines whether a person’s path leads to heaven or to hell is the way they treat others: whether they have endeavored in their own ways, no matter how large or small, to remove obstacles to the satisfaction of others’ real needs; whether they have tried to ease the systemically imposed suffering of those unjustly held in the hellish depths of prisons, and so on. In other words, people will be judged by whether they have endeavored to live lives leavened by the divine imperative of social justice…” – Christians Against Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Faith and Our Nation by Obery M. Hendricks, Jr.

Adoption, Aging, Children, Choices, Courage, Emotional Health, Faith, Family, Generations, Hope, Persistence, Prayer, Relationships, Stories, Writing

Are You My Mother? Part Two

I wrote “Are You My Mother?” back in May of this year talking about the search for my biological mother. I said I would share my journey and issue an occasional update. Life has been a bit hectic since then (it’s tomato season at Opal’s Farm). Today I find myself seriously (and somewhat fearfully) asking someone if they really are my mother.

I’ve learned a lot since that original blog. I had assistance in my search through an “DNA Detective”. Apparently, my DNA matches were strong. The closest DNA match turned out to be an aunt living in Louisiana. Not a maternal match, though. A series of connections traced back to what appears to be my birth father in southeast Texas. Unfortunately, he passed away in January of this year.

I did see pictures of him. My wife was astounded by the family resemblance. I may not have a definitive answer yet, but it’s looking that way. Patience, patience, patience…

It’s likely I have a half-sister and a niece as well. I’ve always had friends say something like, “I saw a guy in Dallas (or Houston or wherever) that looks just like you. He could have been your brother”. I’m sure that happens to everyone but when you’re adopted there’s always the “what if” question. I’m sure I have at least one sibling out there.

I finally received a maternal match and learned who my grandparents were. They even made an issue of LIFE Magazine, but that’s a whole other story. I’ll share it when the final confirmation is made. It appears their youngest daughter is bio-mom. All of the times, dates, and places match up. The DNA detective sent me pictures from her high school yearbook. They blew me away. I looked in a family mirror for the first time in sixty-two years…

The resemblance was remarkable. I grabbed a picture that sits in my office. It’s of my dad and I when I was a toddler. I held that one against the yearbook pictures. If the woman in the yearbook isn’t my biological mother, I’m sure it must be one of her siblings. Quite frankly, I was elated and terrified.

Final confirmation required contact with this woman I’ve never met. The DNA detective helped me craft a letter. I didn’t wish to open any doors that she wanted to remain closed. Unwanted pregnancies were looked at much differently in the waning years of the Eisenhower Administration.

I wrote the letter, sealed it up, and took it to the post office after a three-day delay. I sent it certified mail – return receipt requested. Now I wait…

I’m acting nonchalant about this whole deal, but inside I’m excited and scared to death. I’ve thought about being able to send this letter for the last forty-plus years. I never thought it would happen. I’m trying desperately to avoid expectations. The reality is that the response may never come and if it does, it may not be the one I want.

Regardless of the outcome there will be another chapter to this story. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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