Reflecting on Mom

Laura BowenMother’s Day: Twenty-four hours of honoring the woman who helped us through thick and thin.

For adoptees and adoptive mothers, this day can be bittersweet.

Growing up, I had always been questioning who my biological mother is. Since I could comprehend what adoption was, my mom has always been very open to talking out my feelings. Every year when Mother’s Day laurarolled around, it caused me to feel like a part of myself was missing. Eventually, I concluded that it was me wondering about my birth mother.

Kathy Kirk, also known as my mom, has always been so supportive in everything I have done. From school to rowing, she has been my biggest fan.

Mother’s Day is a great day to reminisce about small things that have happened throughout our lives together.

Two years ago, my family had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour China on Dillon’s birthland tour. On this trip, there were some unforgettable memories. One of these camera-worthy moments happened at my orphanage.

The orphanage had just gotten relocated a couple of years before we came. The paint was wearing off, but we could still see the vibrant colors. I had so many emotions going into the orphanage. The orphanage vice president and one of the caregivers greeted us.

As soon as I took a step into the orphanage, I had a realization that some of the workers might have been there when I was a baby. We went into a big conference room. This is where the workers brought out our adoption files that would give my mom and me closure to just some of the unanswered adoption questions.

The file read that I had been left on a doorstep of a house across from the orphanage. I was left with a bottle filled halfway with milk.

The file also addressed that I was just over a week old. After I heard that, I started crying.

There were mixed emotions, being happy and sad. I knew that my parents did what they could for me. After this experience, it opened up many topics including the Lifelong Issues of Adoption. These issues include grief, rejection, shame/guilt, intimacy, identity, mastery/control, and loss.

Adoptees and their parents should look into these issues whether they have the opportunity to go back to their birth country or not.

On Mother’s Day, both my adoptive and biological mothers will be in my thoughts.

Even though I cannot physically be with my mother in China, she will always be with me in spirit. I think this day is a great time to bring up questions that you might have about your adoption story.

By Laura Bowen, an 18-year-old Dillon adoptee from Norman, Okla.

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