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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.

What I didn't say at the time is that I tried to make the best of things by taking 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 after the official route to looking her up had closed, and after I'd gotten some satisfaction out of finding my birth-father instead, I had decided to let it be for the time being.

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

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

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

I was blessed again this spring, when I found Laura with a heartfelt letter, and got one back in return. And then two weeks ago came the difficult miracle: a ten-day real-life visit from Laura, a blessing upon many blessings.

I call it a difficult miracle because it's not 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 to take most of the risk by flying here from California. But we trusted each other, thanks to the communication we'd exchanged, and we did the work together. And so out of the difficulty came the miracle - the chance to meet and to get to know each other a little across the vast span of time and space.

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

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