When Time Began Again

October 14-November 16, 1999

Once upon a time, there was an adoptee who searched for her birth mother. She had had a good family, but always longed to know her roots. She felt secure in the love she had received growing up but still hungered for answers.

The adoptee contacted the agency that placed her and, after jumping through hoops for several weeks, was finally told that her mother had registered with the agency also. A phone call was set up after some more hoop-jumping, and finally the adoptee heard her birth mother’s voice and wept. They spoke of mundane things, as it was difficult to speak their hearts at such a time. They exchanged addresses, and promised to write.

In the first letter, the adoptee sent a picture of herself. She asked if she could visit the birth mother’s home sometime. The response was immediate: “When can you be here?” The adoptee called the airline, made reservations, called her birth mother to tell her the arrival time, and left for the airport.

On the plane, the adoptee sat next to a window and wondered what in the world she had done! With no word to anyone, she had left her apartment, gotten on the first plane headed east, and was going to spend a weekend with STRANGERS!!!!!!! She wondered if she was crazy. She wondered if her birthmother was crazy! She wondered if they’d like each other. She wondered if her mom and dad would be mad at her when they found out. She wondered if she’d be able to meet any of the other members of her family.

As she sat there wondering, her seatmate on the plane noticed the steady stream of tears coursing down her face and finally asked if everything was “all right?” The adoptee began to share with the kind stranger, and the flight attendant over heard part of the conversation. Her best friend and fellow-attendant was adopted and reunited and she offered to have her stop by the seat to share her story when they had a few minutes. Slowly, news of the impending reunion spread throughout the plane.

As the flight landed, she gathered her purse, her carry-on bag, the coat she’d worn, her book, and began the slow journey to the plane’s door. The elderly and parents of small children were the first to disembark, but the adoptee was near the head of the rest of the line, receiving hugs and well-wishes from many of her fellow passengers. She left the plane, turned the corner of the ramp, following the crowd. As she turned the final corner, she saw her mother. The book slipped, unnoticed, from her hand, followed a few steps later by her coat, then her carry-on bag, and finally her purse. Time stopped, as she was enveloped in a hug she’d waited 28 years to recieve.

When time began again, the two women found themselves alone in the waiting area. All the other passengers had left, but all of the adoptee’s belongings were neatly stacked beside them.

HINT: Not every one on the plane was adopted, but all know the pain of separation and the joy of return.

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