I don't write much about being a birth mother, as ceaseless hand-wringing over "does my birth son know he's adopted?" gets tedious if you're not actually inside my head. Also, my previous birth mother essay on BlogHer is, in hindsight, laced with bitterness and not entirely respectful to my birth son's adoptive family. So I've been in a holding pattern: maintaining my distance, monitoring my birth son's public information because what else have I got, and trying to wean myself from a lingering hope that, as he's now legally an adult, he might contact me.The comments are informative, supportive, and mostly great. It's worth reading just for them.
Then I found an essay he wrote for his local newspaper in which he defended his (adoptive) cultural and racial identity, and which made me realize he likely was never told about being adopted. And that made me heartsick -- not only because of the likelihood that I may never exist for him, but because he's probably been raised in ignorance of his genetic background. And that is not fair to him.
The post also talks about running away a few months after his birth, to live in Ghana. Here's a photo from that time. You can't quite tell, but I am sporting an anemic set of dreads (I didn't realize that my hair is not at all thick until just a few years ago). My Ghanaian friends thought my piddly little dreads were hilarious -- the thought of anyone intentionally letting their hair get matted was not popular in a country where people take pride in being well-groomed.