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Our Story Part 1

I let it go.  I had sent the letter I had carried in my heart for  years so birthdays would no longer be sad. I thought my journey was over, but I was wrong.

Several weeks past and Gwen got in touch.  Dee wanted to know if she could send me a letter.  I told Gwen that was wonderful and to share all my contact information, phone, and both physical/email addresses.  I hoped Dee followed through.

Meanwhile life went on.  The kids were getting older which meant we were busier than ever.  We were also exceptionally blessed.  We were able to take the kids on vacations and thought being able to see different places in the country was important.  That summer, the plan was to see New York City.  We stopped the newspaper, put the dog in the kennel,  had them hold the mail and took off to see the Big Apple.  We had an amazing time.   We saw the Statue of Liberty, rode the subway, strolled through Central Park, jumped on/off the double decker tourist bus and stood at gazing up at the World Trade Center when my youngest refused to go up that high to look at the city from the observation deck.   The time passed all to quickly and we returned to Texas to get the kids ready to go back to school.

One of the tasks I had to do that Monday when we got back, was pick up all the mail which had been held while we were away.  I stood in the post office sorting out all the junk mail into a trash can.  Junk, bill, bill, junk, junk, junk,bill,  blue international airmail letter, junk, bill - wait what.    

A blue international airmail letter !  Suddenly I couldn't breathe and sat down hard on the floor.  People came rushing from all over to see if I was alright.  I assured them all I was fine, got to my feet , took the letter and the rest of the mail home.  There I sat at the kitchen counter and opened my letter from "her".

July 31, 2001

 

 Caroline,

I have to start by saying how shocked I was to receive the call from Gwen.  You were never supposed to find me. The adopting couple (your parents) swore in court to tell you that you were adopted but nothing else. It was handled in the high court.  No one knows you exist, that I was pregnant or that you were born  except my parents.  My father died a few years ago and my mother is in very bad health.  This is not something I can discuss with her or anyone. I was 19 years old when I had you. You are a part of a past that was buried away, never to be spoken of again.

I am married to a wonderful man.  He was a widower when we met and I have never told him about you.  He is 23 years older than me and his children were adults when we met.  I can't tell him now, how could I possibly explain a secret that I have kept this long.  Especially one like this.  

I have thought about you every day since you were born.  Wondered where you were and what you were doing.  Thank you for the letter, it means more than you will ever know.

I have enclosed a picture of mother and me, I wonder if we look a like.  When my circumstances change, I will meet you anywhere, anytime.  Until then I would like to keep in touch but please do not send anything to the house unless I write to tell you when to do so.  My husband and I own a second home in Spain and travel back and forth between them.  We are headed over in the next couple of weeks and my sister-in-law comes in to take care of the plants, dogs and mail.  No one knows.

With love,

Dee

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I was stunned.  It never occurred to me that I had been her only child.  I had always assumed that she was young when she had me then moved on with her life, married and had a family with other children.  The letter was encouraging though and left the door open for future communication.  It was more than I had hoped for and included the first photograph of my mother.  I was still sitting at the kitchen counter letter in one hand, photo in the other when my husband walked by behind me.  He glanced over my shoulder and asked, "who is the old lady in the picture with you?"  It wasn't a picture of me at all.  It was a picture of Dee and her mother.  The resemblance undeniable.  We looked so much alike, had the same haircut and same funky style.