This guest post is by Jennifer Anglin, an adoptee and motivational speaker.
My husband and I had always joked about my origin of birth because of my dark skin.
When DNA kits went on sale, he suggested that for just for fun we should buy one to see where I came from.
One day, when I was sitting at my desk at work, a text message came from my husband. He asked if I had thought about what I would do if the ancestry DNA revealed information about my biological family.
I immediately replied that if it happened it happened. I was ok with it because if it did, God must have thought I needed to know about it.
That’s when he told me that he had found my mother. Just like that– “I found your mom.”
I went into an excited frenzy, and couldn’t ask questions fast enough. Truth was, when my DNA was entered into the computer, it immediately popped up with a match.
It said this is your mom, 100% accuracy. When my husband sent me the screenshot, I knew immediately that she was my mother.
We looked just alike. Needless to say I did not get much work done that day. I quickly tried to glean as much information as I could about this fabulous find.
I talked to a trusted friend who said I had to contact my birth mom. So I did. I messaged her asking if she had any thoughts on this ancestry match.
A message popped up that she had read it but didn’t respond. When I logged back into Ancestry.com, her information had disappeared and there were no matches except cousins long down the line.
I was devastated.
My husband called Ancestry and told them what happened—that there had been a match and now it was gone. The call center employee stated that my birth mother probably panicked and deleted her account.
It was too late for me. I already knew who she was. I got back online and messaged her again saying that I didn’t want or need anything, I just wanted to know if it was true.
The three bouncing dots immediately appeared and my heart rate raced as I waited for her to hit “send.”
She confirmed the information: “I am your biological mother.”
The words hit me like the sunlight hitting a chilly morning, burning the fog off a gorgeous scene.
The fog slowly cleared as I realized that I had a mom. A mom like everyone else has. A mom like me.
I now had someone with whom I share blood and genetics with. A mother. I have a mom. Wow! A mom.
My birthmother went on to explain that she had no money, no job, no education, no home. She had nothing to offer me.
She explained that she didn’t want to give me up but she knew it was best for me because I had a sister that was living with her father and our mother wanted to try to get her back.
My birth mom stated that we were “too much” for my dad. So she spent time with me when I was born and then handed me over to the state for adoption through a local children’s home.
She was clear that our finding each other was terrifying to her because of her history with my older sister.
I respected that and was content to know I had a mom. Monumental.
We communicated through Messenger and eventually through text. The more we talked the more we found we had in common.
Eventually I discovered that we were clones of each other. It was incredible, really. The communication was informative at times, silly at times, and scary for my bio mom.
I had nothing but overwhelming joy about the situation. After all, I wasn’t looking for her, didn’t need anything, and already had a great family.
This was just a cherry on top of an already wonderful sundae. A gift. Here’s your mom. She literally fell out of the sky into my lap.
I knew that God needed me to know who this woman was. I accepted that and did the next right thing, which was communicate with her and then set up a time to meet.
We decided to meet at a place halfway between both of us which was Lebanon, Tennessee. We chose a cozy restaurant and decided to have lunch.
The weeks couldn’t pass fast enough because I was so excited to finally meet her. WHO gets to do such?! It has to be a very small number in the population that actually have this experience.
I dreamed of what it would be like to lay eyes on her for the first time since the first time. 48 years and 339 days had passed since I had last seen her.
I got to the restaurant first and waited in my car. When she pulled up my heart was about to burst. I jumped out of the car and we embraced in a hug that transcended time and history.
She told me that she loved me and that she always had and that I was her baby. My first thought was “she smells SO GOOD”.
All I could do was drink in her smell. She smelled like my mom. I never knew what that smell was, but with my own kids we called that smell “Fresh Mommy”.
I never knew what Fresh Mommy smelled like. The moment I hugged my mom, I smelled Fresh Mommy. It is the scent my children adore from me.
I will never forget as long as I live, her smell. It was the most wonderful scent to ever tickle my nose. I felt home.
I felt like my life had come full circle. I was complete in spite of never feeling incomplete.
My birth mother took my hand and we walked into the restaurant. I.could.not.believe.this. It was the greatest moment of my life hands down.
We sat down and tried to order food. I could barely eat. All I wanted to do was talk. She sounded like me, she had similar mannerisms, she ordered my favorite drink, she looked like me and acted like me.
She has my same positive attitude. She loses her train of thought just like I do. She gets distracted just like I do. We are the same person. I felt like I was having lunch with myself.
One of the coolest questions she asked me was about my tattoos. She said they were beautiful and intricate and well planned.
I showed her the one that was for her. The seed of life. She seemed touched by that. I know I was. She asked me what was the most memorable moment of my life?
That is a question I would ask someone. We are both deep thinkers and want to know a person rather than talk about superficial things. Another commonality.
As we were talking, she stopped mid-sentence and, locking eyes with me, said “My Baby. You look exactly the same as you did the day you were born. Same hair, same eyes, same skin color.
Knowing I was giving you for adoption, they put us in a private room so we could spend some time together. I told you everything. They told me you couldn’t see me but I knew you could.
You stared into my eyes and never cried. I told you my hopes and dreams for you and why I had to give you for adoption. I knew you knew just what I was saying. ”
I now know that those moments we had together at birth in the private room are the reason I didn’t ever search or feel anything was missing because in my heart I knew why she gave me up and how much she loved me.
There were so many poignant moments that day, but this one was the most impactful for me. It revealed to me how strong the genetic connection is between people. Especially mothers and daughters.
She told me about my brother and sisters. My brother and my daughter have the same story. It was revelational.
They both were diagnosed with the same learning disability, both struggled to read early on, and both were super hard workers.
I literally thought I was listening to myself tell the story of my oldest daughter as my mother told me about my brother. Genetics are strong.
What I gained on Saturday, November 3, 2018 was a friend. I had a new best friend. Yes, she just happens to be my biological mother, but now she is my friend. I have a family.
I don’t need another family. But we always need a friend. I’m so thankful for my new friend.
Jennifer Anglin is a motivational speaker, life coach, and author of Fun Thoughts on Life, Learning that You are Enough in a World of Too Much.
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