Because She's my Mother

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Because She's my Mother

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Posted: 9/6/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

Eva Ramirez is a beautiful name. Sometimes I imagine that she is a gorgeous supermodel, or a vivacious actress, or a scholarly professor. The truth is I have no idea who this woman is, even though she is my mother. I was two years old and my brother was a newborn when she left us. Even though I am adult now, I need to make a connection with her more than I ever did as a child. I'm terrified her mistakes are in my genes, and I worry that somehow history will repeat itself in my life. Most of all, I just want to know why she did it, if she misses us, and if she loved me.

She was 21 when I was born, and she and my father lived in Snyder, Texas. She and my father were married in July of 1970, and later divorced. Stella, my maternal aunt, still lives in Snyder. A few years ago she told me my mom was remarried to a man named Humphrey or Humphries. I am told she had a son named Gregory, who would be 28 years old today. When I think about the brother I have never met, I have mixed feelings. On one hand I want to meet him someday and get to know him. But on the other hand it hurts me to think that my mom moved on, made a new family, and forgot all about us. I'm terrified to make contact with her because I don't know if I can handle it if she rejects me.

My researcher, Julie, was great to work with. She walked me through the whole process and listened to me rant and rave and all of my "what if's." Julie's first step was to research all Texas births and find out my mother's exact date of birth. Unfortunately that was a dead end, and it appeared that I did not have the correct spelling of my mother's name. Next, Julie found Stella, still living in Snyder, Texas.

When Julie got a hold of Stella, she learned that Eva has been MIA since the early 1990's. She was married to a man named Carl Mosley or Mobley, whose mother died and left them a house in Nebraska. Stella was pretty sure they moved to Nebraska with her son, Gregorio. From Stella, Julie also learned the names of my maternal grandparents, Gregorio Ramirez and Eulalia Contreras. She also learned that I have several aunts and uncles. Their names are Natividad, Mario, Eulidia, Maria, Gregorio, Erlinda, Gilbert, and Robert.

With this information, Julie found good news and bad news. She found the marriage record between Eva and Carl. She also found their son (my brother) Gregory, with his current phone number. When Julie spoke with Greg, she learned that his parents were divorced when he was 16 years old, 12 years ago. Unexpectedly, he also revealed that about 8 years ago, she started having serious mental issues, and was committed to Genoa Community Hospital in Genoa, Nebraska. She has been there ever since. Greg was excited to learn about me and my siblings, and we talked over the phone the same day. No matter what happened, it was worth searching just to meet Gregory.

However, it was very unsettling to learn that my mother has been in a mental hospital. I wondered, will she even remember me? Would it harm her mental state for me to contact her? And, what if her mental illness is hereditary?

When Julie contacted the hospital, they of course did not release any information about Eva or even confirm that she was a patient. However they did put us in contact with a social worker, who visited Eva and asked if she knew who I was and if she wanted to talk to me. She did. The next day I had her phone number, and I called to speak with her. It was a gentle, loving conversation. I didn't get to ask any of the hard questions I had prepared, but somehow it didn't seem necessary. I knew where she was, and learned she was alive. I don't know how to describe it, but it brings me a lot of peace to know that she wasn't capable of finding me. Somehow, that's better than thinking she didn't look for me because she didn't want to, or because she didn't love me. I fact, when we talked for the first time there was such love and joy in her voice that I know she must have had a reason to leave us, and I could hear the regret in her voice and the relief of being found. I remind myself that there are at least two sides to every story. Now that I have found her I am finally able to set aside all of my questions and just love her, because she's my mother.

Written by Mica Burton on Ericka's behalf.

Client ID#271043
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