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Published Wednesday June 3rd, 2009 at 5:20am

Original Article by David Newland

A while ago, I wrote about the experience of finding out my birth father had died. As I said at the time, I didn't exactly know how to handle the situation.

WhatI didn't say at the time is that I tried to make the best of things bytaking the opportunity to look up my birth-mother. I had her name -Laura - and I could have done this a while ago - it's just that afterthe official route to looking her up had closed, and after I'd gottensome satisfaction out of finding my birth-father instead, I had decidedto let it be for the time being.

Death, however, has a way ofcasting a new light on things. In light of my birth-father's untimelydeath, it seemed time to take the further step of looking up Laura. Andso I did, and I found her.

This is a very private matter for meand my family, so I'm not going to tell all here. But I do want to saya few words, because I've been incredibly blessed in so many ways, andif I can share some of the blessings that will be a good thing.

Iwas blessed once to be born at all. I was blessed again to have abirth-mother with the strength and conviction to offer me a betterlife, through adoption, than I likely would have had. I was blessedagain - and it's a perpetual blessing - when my mom and dad picked meup at the Children's Aid in Ottawa and brought me to the shores ofGeorgian Bay, where they faithfully and lovingly raised me. Theycontinue to love and guide me from their happy retirement home on thewest coast, and none of this would be happening if not for them.

Iwas blessed again this spring, when I found Laura with a heartfeltletter, and got one back in return. And then two weeks ago came thedifficult miracle: a ten-day real-life visit from Laura, a blessingupon many blessings.

I call it a difficult miracle because it'snot an easy thing to do, meeting one another like that after 36 years.It was hard for me and it was hard for Laura, who was brave enough totake most of the risk by flying here from California. But we trustedeach other, thanks to the communication we'd exchanged, and we did thework together. And so out of the difficulty came the miracle - thechance to meet and to get to know each other a little across the vastspan of time and space.

There's lots more. It's a big deal forme. But this is what I'm ready to say in this space right now: that Ihave been blessed, and that I am grateful, and that I am a betterperson for all of this. And to the unknowable and indescribable forcesthat have directed my life, which I call "God" for lack of a betterterm, I say "thank you." Thank you for the gift of life, and for thecontinued learning and growing that has made my life so rich andmeaningful.

I really appreciate it, more and more with each difficult and miraculous day.