Share on Facebook  |  More Articles

Published Thursday September 24th, 2009 at 10:33pm

Original Article by Natalie Flowers

At this moment I don't have anybody to tell this to who would understand at 8:24 in the morning and is a birthmother.

Last night my son arrived, sans girlfriend, stood at the front door of a man whom I consider to be my dearest friend.

Since my son's arrival there has been a many years gap where peoplewho were around me didn't know that he was actually missing in actionin my life. By my choice, by his parents' decisions, by timing thatwent awry, we just didn't get to see one another very often. As much asI have talked about it to therapists and to my close friends, there wasno way to describe the emptiness inside me, a space left carved out ofmy heart in the shape of Spencer, the beautiful being whom I bore.

This is the dinner party with professional gay men. Intelligent,kind, literate professionals with tendencies toward traditional familyrecipes, wine consumption, and world travel. Truly, only four of themhave known that I was a singer, and it is hardly ever discussed. MostlyI go to be part of my friend George's extended family, to listen to hislatest discoveries in personal growth, to love on his dogs, and to baskin the luxurious social environment that he creates in his home toshare with all of us.

So last night Spencer entered this space of tender travelers and metGeorge for the first time. We ate some delicious home made food, andwhile sitting at a table I realized that the man across from me wassomeone who used to collect my music and promote it in his own smallway to everyone he spoke to, and as he was talking to Spencer and tome, he asked Spencer "How do you know George?" And Spencer answered"Through her." And he pointed to me.

Then the gentleman pried some more. It wasn't painful, simply a needfor more detail, so Spencer eventually said to him "She is mybiological mom."

This particular moment is something you dread, the uncomfortablesurface of an old and now ancient memory of a moment so painful that itburns into your psyche like a sankara. No matter how many times youplay it in your head you cannot imagine that it will be easy when thewords slip out, or that the person receiving them will even grasp thescope of all that they represent.

Of course, this man never knew that I had a child. It explains a lotabout my past behavior and why I have written so many songs about loss,the other side of midnight, and being devoured by insatiable longingfor connectedness and trust in something greater than myself.

The next phase is then "Why, I can see the resemblance!" which, of course, makes me secretly beam.

In fact, I think I notice a beam between Spencer and me, there atthe table, a beautiful light of love that saturates us, and all of thefeelings of dread and inadequacy fall away for moments I never dreamedwould happen.

As much as your rational adult side tells you that you will one daybe with your child and have a decent relationship with him, theirrational side of you thinks nothing of dashing your hopes to therocks, over and over, like waves in a mighty ocean.

I am sitting in a moment I knew would happen and I can see the brevity of every breath and every bit of beauty there is in it!

This must be the God people are talking about!

Spencer navigated well in the crowd of beautiful men. He is atolerant, flexible spirit who is very convincing when he is sold onsomething. I am eating dip and watching him from afar. George startstelling stories about the adoption, how Spencer almost ended up withhim instead of Rick and Cheryl, but how Byron, then his other half,wanted a life of passion and travel and didn't have room for children.I remember, I was there when he said it. I also breathe a secret sighof relief that my friend Byron didn't raise my kid. I'm not sure hewould have done any better than I. It is merely a game to put all ofthis in retrospect.

I KNEW I wasn't ready. I didn't have a job, or a home, or even thebeginnings of a home (I was living with someone's grandmother), my lifewas essentially full of all of the reasons why you do not insert achild into the fabric of society when you have nothing to offer becauseyou are young and immature and have spent your life blaming others foryour mistakes. I might have produced a person destined to become apsychotherapist. Instead, Rick and Cheryl allowed his expansion throughloving him. However imperfect that situation seemed to me at the time,the developments in Spencer tell me that they did something absolutelyright, and I must credit them here, as much as I used to think I wouldnever do that. I know that I have wronged them in some way.

George would have made room for Spencer, but it wasn't meant to be.It has been one of life's greatest losses for me for my son not to havemet the people whom I considered to be my family. I so wanted to sharethem with him, their wisdom, humor, and insight. How much compassioncan you have poured into your life by a family of human beings? Minehas been like an endless pitcher of that very substance, over and overagain I am reminded that I have been able to cope with all of mycircumstances by the grace of something I cannot see or even talkabout, and it arrives unexpectedly and offers me a home whenever I amin need, food when I am hungry, hugs when I need them, reality checkswhen I am not being real. This is what I received in exchange forgiving my son up for adoption. I got a spiritual welding job.

As the party drew to a close, I got to sing for the group so nowthey really know what I do, and after Spencer left, George leaned intome and said "Natalie, I just LOVE him! He so reminds me of you, thegreater half of you, he is so much like you!" I knew this would happen.I knew that they would get along and even perhaps know one another frombefore, because that's just how it is. Some of us do. George has beenreminding me of this for most of my life.