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When I discovered the name of my
birthmother & where she was from, I made several unanswered calls to the only relative of her I could find; her mother, Mary Dillard. Since I lived several hours away, calling &
leaving a message would be the end of the line for me unless she answered or returned my calls, which she did not. Without a response, I couldn't even be sure I'd found the right person, so I decided to take a trip to the town she lived in, Laurel, Ms. At least then I could knock on a door if I had to.
     When I arrived in Laurel, I got a
motel room, took a shower to get
my head straight, then sat on the
bed & made another call to Mary
Dillard. Again, there was no answer, so I hung up. A few min later I tried again, but still no answer. I debated leaving a message, but decided not to for fear of spooking her. If the caller id showed a local number corresponding to a message from me, it might frighten her enough to call the police, or give her an excuse to to avoid me forever. So I bought a street map & drove to the address listed for Mary Dillard in the phone book. A car was parked in the driveway, the lights were on, & I even saw movement through a crack in the curtains. I remember noticing that my heart was pumping so hard, I could see my shirt moving up & down. I wasnt quite ready to walk up & ring the doorbell, so I drove to the nearest pay phone & called her number again, but still no answer. My mind was racing & even though I was sure she was avoiding me, I drove back to her house just in case she left in the few min it took me to drive to the pay phone. This time two cars were in the driveway. An older man was on the porch with an older lady who was standing in the doorway. This was the first time
I saw her. My biological grandmother. I didnt stop right away. For one thing, I couldn't
catch my breath right away, so I just kept circling the block. I wondered if she had put the pieces together and realized that I was in town. I concluded that this was probably the case, and since another person was there, she would be obligated to answer the doorbell. I thought she probably invited the man over for security and since I had no intention of frightening anyone, I parked on the street so no one felt blocked in or cornered, I walked onto the porch, took a deep breath, and rang the door bell.
     When she opened the door I said,"Hi, my name is Bart. I think we may be related. Do you have a daughter named Rebecca, who was a drum major in high school?" Her response was,"Why don't yo u come in & sit down. Would yo u like some iced tea?" she then introduced the man as a "dear friend" who checks in on her from time to time since her husband passed away many years ago. All of this happened before she even acknowledged a word I had said. Her man friend stayed the whole time I was there even though he kept out of sight, in the kitchen. This was what convinced me that he was there for her security & that she put the pieces together, figuring out that I was in Laurel, even before I rang the doorbell.  Eventually, she sat down to talk to me. When she did, she was very cordial. I asked questions & she answered each one. I learned that my biological father's name was Larry Brownlee, I looked very much like him, & that he was
killed by a drunk driver in '72 only weeks after returning from Vietnam. She told me that he & my biological mother dated but weren't serious, so when she became pregnant, she wanted to move away, have the baby, give it away, then come back home so no one would be the wiser. What is even funnier than that, is that mary (biological grandmother) STILL thought no one knew what had happened! oh but they did. Everyone I later spoke to, knew. They just never challenged the family's story & allowed them to fabricate whatever they needed to. It was quite nice of the townsfolk, really. I also learned Becky was married now, with 3 boys. She
lived in the nearby town of Richton, Ms. By the time I left, Mary had given me her word that she would speak to Becky & urge her to
meet me the following day. She said she would offer her house as a place for our meeting. I remember Mary saying that Becky owed me at least that much, so i returned to my motel room very optimistic. I sat there waiting & expecting a call. When the phone finally rang, I answered it before the first ring ended. It was Becky. The first question she asked was if I minded her husband listening in on the conversation. I thought it was a very odd request, but I would have agreed to anything, so I said it was ok. The truth was that he was already on the line because as soon as I agreed, he immediately asked me if I was a christian, in a sour, angry tone."If you are not a christian, we're not going to have anything to do with you!", he said.
   It was very difficult for me to endure this guy & his attitude, but I had still not seen my biological mother even once, so I tried to make the guy feel as powerful as I could by acting as meek & gracious as I could, like his fear of me & my intentions was unfounded. I was a just a weak, worthless pauper. dim witted, out classed, & thankful for any crumbs he was kind enough to drop on the floor for me to pick up & eat. "Yes sir, I am a christian. Methodist. I have been a christian & a Methodist my whole life. Are you a christian too, sir?" "yes", he says. still sour, but not as aggressive as before. " I'm glad", I say. "I feel better knowing I'm speaking to fellow christians". I was really winging it. I feared I laid it on a little thick, but he didn't seem to notice. Eventually, the negotiations ended & without another word spoken from Becky, he ALLOWED a meeting to be scheduled for the following day, in his presence, for a very short period of time, with him holding the right to terminate the meeting at any time, for any reason, & only if I agreed to never contact her again. Man, was he one fragile character! But I would have agreed to just about anything. & I
did.
     After hanging up, I realized I had nearly 24 hrs to wait before the meeting, so I sat on the bed & wrote
out a bunch of questions I wanted to ask. When I was done, they filled 3 pages. I wrote & re wrote my questions, changing the order back & forth. I changed the wording several times hoping to make them as polite & non- threatening as possible. When it was finally time to go, I felt that I was as prepared as I could be. I arrived at Mary's house before them, & chose the darkest corner of the room to sit in. When Mr. "I dont talk to non- christians" arrived with his wife in tow, the front door opened into my corner, blocking his view of me, so I stood up & walked toward him with my hand out, to shake his hand, but I was snubbed. As soon as he saw me, he turned & walked to the opposite side of the room. Before he sat down, he motioned for Becky to come in & sit beside him, but I intercepted her, giving her the stupid flowers I bought, & a hug. Both were accepted, but she never made eye contact or participated in the hug. I assumed this was because he was there & watching. From that point on, he never stopped staring at me, while she couldn't bring herself to look at me even once. It was very awkward & I immediately regretted the flowers & the hug. There was complete silence, so I unfolded my questions & quickly looked through them for a softball to throw her, abandoning the order of the questions that I settled on.
    That's when Mr Righteous said, "Are all those sheets of paper your questions? We dont have time for all that. You said you just had a FEW questions! ".  Without acknowledging his remarks, I asked Becky if she dated my biological dad back then, & if he knew about me. I had the feeling that my time was short, so instead of a softball, I chose to play hardball! & indeed, my time was short. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, Mr Righteous jumped up, pointing his finger at me, & screamed "Get the hell out of here! She doesnt have to answer questions  like that!" He was actually coming toward me, pointing & screaming. Both Becky & Mary just sat there without making a sound. I held my hands up & said, "Ok ok", as I backed out the house. He then said something about not wanting to see my face ever again, & under my breath I said, "Oh, but you will".

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Comment Preferences

  •  Now that you know (7+ / 0-)

    What you are up against with your birthmother are you going to contact your birthfathers family?  Perhaps they will be more receptive to you. They may not be aware of your existence.

    Your birthmother is obviously in an abusive relationship.  You need to think about how you want to proceed. Your grandmother seems more receptive.  Perhaps cultivating a non threatening relationship with her will alleviate some of the anxiety you all must be feeling.  

    I wish you peace in your life.  Dealing with this drama may not be in your best interest emotionally.  You are not defined by the biological threads.  They were broken a long time ago.

    My Brothers Keeper

    by Reetz on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 10:17:34 PM PDT

    •  Contacting birth parents can be a Pandora's Box (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oortdust

      My adopted daughter was contacted a couple of years ago by her birth mother and, now that she is planning her marriage, her birth mother is determined to take part in the ceremony and not merely attend.

      This is very painful for my daughter as her adoptive mother is dying and will not live to see the wedding.  To have her birth mother intrude upon her wedding plans has upset her to the extent she has postponed the wedding for a year, hoping matters will sort themselves out.

      •  oh no - that is so sad (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oortdust
      •  i read this several times to be sure i was (0+ / 0-)

        seeing what i thought...

        my heart is with you, as well as your daughter.

      •  Your daughter seems overly concerned w/ (0+ / 0-)

        Her bio mom's feeling. So much so, that it's causing her & others unnecessary pain. Her dilemma & feelings about the wedding shouldn't be a subject that's off limits between her & her bio mom. What I mean is, a reasonable person shouldn't be hurt when it's explained to them. If her bio mom can't sympathize, then she is very selfish. Maybe your daughter can have a wedding ceremony w/o bio mom, then another unofficial wedding next yr, w/ bio mom invited to participate.
             I wish you & your daughter the best. & I hope you both find peace.

  •  i am so sorry for your pain - it comes through (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, oortdust, emmasnacker

    in your telling of this story - and i'm sorry for your birth mother's pain, too.

    you were born in a time where being a full human being was not acceptable when that human being was a woman.

    women were made to feel ashamed for being complete people and if there was a child involved, the "shame" put on her was even more.

    it sounds like she has continued to live with that "blame" of being somehow less than worthy by her current marriage.

    i wish you happiness and fulfillment - that comes from within you.  i wish that there is a happy ending for all here, but if that isn't to be - live your life and live it to the fullest!  you deserve that!

  •  I'm so sorry you had to go through that. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oortdust

    Please be careful about any future contact you have with that man. I know you would like to have your mother in your life, but it may not be worth the risk. Remember that the life you have now is precious, with or without her.

    "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

    by tb92 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:37:26 PM PDT

  •  Are you sure you want to have anything to do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    with these people?  They sound horrible.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 02:13:12 AM PDT

  •  Hello agnosliberalis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oortdust

    How very disappointing the meeting with your birthmom must have been.  From the description of her husband, imagine the hurdles she had to pass just to get to see you that day.

    If your grandmother is willing to act as go-between, perhaps that would be a way to establish a relationship.  

    I hope you reach peace with your quest.

  •  sorry agnosliberalis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oortdust

    how sad for both you and for her that this controlling individual prevented any connection you might have been able to make

    {{{hugs}}}

  •  I am sorry. As a grandmother and adoptive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oortdust, edrie

    parent of these kids.  I hope you realize the adoptive parents are your REAL parents.   I am so sorry for the
    let down but I have seen my oldest daughter let down and
    her life basically ruined and still being ruined by the birthmom. (not my daughter).  
    She wants her approval and love so very much and in many way, has misplaced anger because of the poor excuse of a parent she was.  Different situation because she KNEW her parent before she got messed up with men and drugs.  Still, this man in your BM's life is very unhealthy and overbearing and I would cling to my adoptive parents if possible and put this in my solved solution notebook.  It will lead you to turmoil and more anxiety.  You cannot change the situation and it is not your fault.  Anyone can make a baby but it takes a lot of love and  non christians is a hypocrit. He must never speak to himself.  He cannot judge.  He shows no signs of
    real faith and God loves everyone.  
    God Bless you.
    I wish my oldest  would take my advice.  She keeps going back into that horrible abusive sitution just to get let down over and over.  A baby, a junkie and a husband in jail, she still would runa through fire to have a Mama.  her birth Mom. She has one, in me but cannot accept me as Mama.  the others do.  She runs to the dark side of life.  She tries to turn the other kids to Birth Mom.  The other ones are too smart.  They refuse and this past trip has proved really not so good as they are truly disappointed in her after her absence for two years.  They just shake their head.  I just don't get it and shake my head as well.  She was supposed to stay till Monday.  They are good with her leaving today.
    She is leaving this evening.  
    Please try and put this obvious hurt behind you and leave it alone.  My other kids refer to their birth mom as the eggdonor and all have different fathers.  (sperm donors). Except this one.  She clings for her acceptance and as her Dad...can take it to leave him.
    Us...She needs to see so she can report back to the methhead on how the others are who have no interest in her at all.
    Adoption is really really a ball of confusion...and emotions on all sides.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 05:07:03 AM PDT

    •  love hurts - in so many ways - your daughter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      hurts you because her bm can't love.  i am so very sorry that this pain is in your life, but love heals that pain - knowing where the hurt is originating makes it a bit easier to let it go.

      {{{{{{{{{{{{{vetwife}}}}}}}}}}}}

      •  You are right edrie and I know where (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edrie

        it orginates.   I wish so much she could just accept what she cannot change.  I will always be Maw Maw, but Maw Maw is loved so I guess I can deal with that.  thanks edrie.
        I have never left her so ......she always knows she turns to me when she is in real trouble.  That somehow is reassuring, even with her trying to make Birth Mom into a mama..it will never happen.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 06:07:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am sorry (0+ / 0-)

    You are her son and she is your mother and no one can take that from you.  If you were my son I would welcome you with open arms but I do not fear being dictated to or abused by another human.  I hope in another time she will be able to welcome you as I'm sure in her heart she longs to do.  Meanwhile maybe you can have a relationship with your grandmother?

    I am a mother to my firstborn daughter whom I was forced to surrender for adoption.  We have been in a loving close relationship for 17 years.  You will hear the horror stories here about birthmothers who deny or abuse but I am here to say that is not the norm if the online support groups I belong to are any indication.  

    You have two mothers and anyone who wishes to deny that or to stereotype or oppress original mothers does not serve you well.

    I'm wishing you the very best.

  •  The lunkhead (0+ / 0-)

    probably threatened her with the loss of her other 3 sons if she shows any interest in you.  Real Christian of him...

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