Her Bad Mother

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lost Boy

His name was William Frederick Hunter, and she only saw him once.

Once, from behind the window of the nursery. He was wrapped in a blue blanket, and he was oh so small. They asked her if she wanted to hold him, and she said no. Just as she had in the delivery room, right after he was born, when she had squeezed her eyes shut so that she wouldn't see him, her heart, the heart that she was giving away. She said no.


It would have killed me,
she said. It would have killed me. I couldn't have gone on. I loved him.

She had loved his father. They had planned to marry, as soon as he divorced his wife. Nobody had believed her, but it was true. It seemed true. They'd run off together twice. They both went AWOL from the Air Force, running off into the night to be together. Her family pursued them, his wife's family sent private detectives after them, the Air Force searched for them. They were wanted. They ran. They were found, and they ran again. He left his family for her, risked his career for her. He was happy that they were going to have a baby. They hid out in motels.

At the time, she said, I thought it was romantic. She shakes her head.

She was nineteen years old. He was nearly twice her age. When her family found her the second time, they didn't bother to reason with her. They just took her. They took her and put her in a home for unwed mothers. She stayed there. She doesn't know what happened to her lover. She never saw or heard from him again. She thinks that he probably went back to the Air Force, and to his wife.

I would have liked for him to know that he had a son, she said. I think that would have made him happy. She paused. Or maybe not.

When she went into labor, the nurses at the home for unwed mothers gave her some money and put her in a taxi. She arrived at the hospital alone, labored alone, gave birth alone. Gave up her child alone.

She was alone when the social worker came into her room and asked her if she knew anything about the parents who would adopt her child. It's a private adoption, she told the worker. My doctor arranged it. The social worker nodded. But did she know that those parents were in their 60's? That they were old? That the province would never approve it if it were a public adoption? She didn't know. She didn't want that. She wasn't giving up her son to new parents, only for him to lose them in a few years. Like he was losing her, now. She wanted the best for him. That was the only way she could do this. She had to know that she was giving him a better life.

She called her doctor in. She told her that she wouldn't do it. She wanted her son to go to a young family, to parents who had their whole lives ahead of them, to parents who had years and years and years to love him. Her doctor was furious.

I was terrified, she said. I'd never spoken up to anyone older than me, not to anyone with any authority. But I had to do it. For him.

Her baby went into foster care while adoption services sought new parents. She didn't go to see him.

My parents went to see him, I think, she said. They never talked about it, but I'm sure they did. My mother put him in her will, and kept him there. Through revisions and revisions until the end of her life, she kept him there, always a member of the family, in her heart.

The man that she would some day marry came to her side during that time. They were friends. He held her hand, a lot. She grieved for her lost love and her lost baby, and he held her hand. He said, I'll marry you. We can get your baby back. I will love that baby. With you. We will love that baby, together.

But it was too late.

William Frederick Hunter was adopted by a Vancouver couple. Professors at UBC, I think, she said. It was too late for me, she said. For us. Or so we thought. We didn't know any better. We were so young. We might have been able to get him back. But we didn't try. We didn't know to try. We thought he was gone.

She grieved for years. Her husband held her hand. She couldn't bear the idea of having children. Just the thought of seeing another baby in another blanket... it was too much.

The grief became less acute, as time passed. One day, she realized that she could have another baby, and bear the pain. She could imagine not transposing her lost boy upon a new child. She could love again.

It took seven years, she said. Seven years before I knew that I would be okay. And then I had - then we had - you.

And I loved again.

I squeeze my own baby boy, pulling him tightly against my chest, wondering how it would feel to let him go. Even if I thought it best, for him - could I let him go? My heart screams.

I understand why she couldn't hold him, her lost boy.

I've thought about him every single day of my life, she says. Every single day. Every single day I see that little baby in that blue blanket, and I wonder.

I wonder.

She pauses. I imagine that her hand trembles as she lifts her wine to her lips, but I can't see in the dim light of the late summer evening. I'm glad that I can't see, and that she can't see me. Tears are streaming down my face and wetting my baby's head.

I've never looked for him. I couldn't. What if something had happened to him? What if he hated me? What if he didn't want to know anything of me? What if he never forgave me?
Her voice cracks. I couldn't stand knowing.

We sit quietly. I reach for the wine bottle between us and fill her emptied glass.

Still, she says. Still. I've often wondered whether you or your sister would ever look for him.

Would you want me to?

She takes a sip of her wine. She doesn't look at me.


Then I will.

Thank you.

We sit.

I just want him to know how much I loved him. How much I love him still.

I know.

Thank you.

His name was William Frederick Hunter, and he's my brother. I'm going to find him.


PS: Because you are asking: he was born in July of 1963, at Grace Hospital in Vancouver. William Frederick Hunter was the name given to him to at birth. One or both of his parents were - we think - professors at UBC. That's all I know.

PPS: Those of you who are offering to help - oh god the tears - your generosity makes my heart ache - please e-mail me, if you haven't already. And, all of you, with all of your tremendous words of support: THANK YOU. Going off to weep now.

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1 – 200 of 291 Newer› Newest»
Blogger Karen Bodkin said...

Wow Catherine. I hope you do find him and that he and your mother can find peace in knowing each other. I really hope it works out well.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An amazingly good story, and post. I wish you luck. What a brave mother you have.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Issa said...

You are amazing Catherine and she's lucky to have you. I wish you luck in finding him. Hopefully he's always wanted to find her and just needed someone to do it for him.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*hugs* for you, mama. and your mama.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing story. The strength your mother must have.... Good luck in your search.

2:40 PM  
Blogger CP said...

Wow. That is an amazing post and written so that it went straight to my heart. I am still covered in goosebumps and have tears in my eyes.

I wish you much luck and success in your quest to find him and let him know how much love your mother carried for him all these years.

2:41 PM  
Blogger ChurchPunkMom said...

wow.. no words. just.. wow.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish you the best of luck. your post brought tears to my eyes. at work.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

wow. wow. wow.
just wow.
i hope you find him.
for your mother.
for you.
for him.


2:42 PM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

Right now I am in a torrent of tears for your mother. Sure, people write that ALL the time in comments, but really...they are pouring from my eyes.

There is no loss like that of a child. None.

I hope beyond everything that you find him and that she can have some peace and joy come from it.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so completely blown away by this. I wish you luck, though that doesn't realyl convey the right feelings for the magnitude of this. It's an incredibly courageous thing you're doing.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart is broken for your mom and I am completely and utterly choked up by this story. I wish you all of the best in your search.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

oh, my effing god: SOBBING. Hard to write, and now that I'm seeing your comments... GAH.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Just ditto/wow to the previous comments.

If you have not held your own infant in your arms you cannot imagine this kind of distress--so painful. This post gives power to an altogether too common situation. I think you should be proud of it, as difficult as it must have been to write.

And so is this is a new revelation in your family?

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is incredible. I too am sitting in my own tears.

I hope you find each other. Oh, I hope.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Mandee - I Think You Should said...

Wow really seems to be the only way to sum it up. What an amazing woman your mother is. You'll find him. I know it.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

I am amazed and touched at the strength your mother showed through this ordeal - and then she had you and your sister, and only now told you about it? That's amazing. I hope you find him.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Must Be Motherhood: it's sort of new. She had told me - under some very trying circumstances, when I was twenty or so - that she had given a child up for adoption. She did not give any details, and said that she never wanted to discuss it. So we never, ever did. That's another whole story in itself.

This was the first time she'd told me the story. It was just a couple of weeks ago. I've been processing it, with difficulty.

3:02 PM  
Blogger ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Your mom is an amazing woman. Hugs to you both. I wish you the best of luck finding him.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An adoption story that may resonate with you and your mom: http://gkkk04.wordpress.com/2006/03/28/adoption/

(I don't keep this blog up anymore, but would be glad to share more details with you if it would help.)

Love and hugs to you both.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and I think I still have the contact info for the wonderful woman in Tennessee who helped me. If you want it. email at gk.lists@gmail.com

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW you just made the ice queen tear up.

Find him and let him read this. Wow.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this made this new mommy cry. tears of love spring forth in hopes that you can find him. william frederick hunter, you are so very loved.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Mary Beth said...

Thank god I have an office at work - as I surreptitiously wipe tears. Good luck with your search for you ... and for your mother.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. i was given up for adoption when i was born and i found my bio mom a few years back. we found each other through a national registry in the US. but, i was hot on her trail via other means. the online adoptee search community is strong and there is a lot of help out there.

i also learned that there were a number of lies told to both my adoptive and biological parents when i was adopted which could have made finding her difficult if we hadn't both registered.

good luck!!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Minnie said...

I'm without words.

I wish you well on your search and thank you for sharing your story.

3:09 PM  
Blogger boomama said...

This is absolutely beautifully written. Thank you - and thank your mother - for sharing this part of your family's story.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Gemini Girl said...

I just got chills.

Please find him... for all of you. Good luck with your journey.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Catherine, this post gave me chills. The heartache your mother must have felt at the time and for all these years.

I hope your search finds your brother.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can feel your exhale from here. As a mom of two girls and a boy....well I hope you all can be three one day. No love like a mother's love, is there?

3:12 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Wow. Best of luck to you in your search. I was there when my ex-husband and his mom were reunited with the daughter she had given up for adoption. It was amazing. I hope it happens for you someday.

3:12 PM  
Blogger T with Honey said...

I am in tears. Good luck with your search.

Oh, I wish I could come up with something better to say but the story just blew me away.

3:12 PM  
Blogger María said...

(((Your Mom))) <--I got that from you. :)

I hope you can find him, and I appreciate you writing this, even though I know it must have been difficult. Who knows? Maybe he'll Google himself and find YOU!

♥ ♥ ♥

3:14 PM  
Blogger Badness Jones said...

I'm crying as I read your words. My maternal grandfather got married when he was stationed in England during the war. His wife died giving birth to their son. My grandfather left the baby with his wife's parents and came home to Canada. He married my grandmother, who refused to let anyone talk about his first wife or his baby. He never contacted his son. My mom found out about his first wife, and her older brother, as a teenager - but has never been able to find him. It's like a missing piece. I wish you luck Catherine, and I hope, when you find him, that it will give your mom a sense of peace.

3:14 PM  
Blogger HeatherPride said...

I can relate to how you feel. My mother had a baby who died before I was born, and as a child I lived in the shadow of her grief over the loss of her firstborn. When I became a mother, I had new understanding of that loss and how it must have affected my poor mom.

Good luck in your search. Please keep us all posted.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I hope you find him.

3:15 PM  
Blogger MissAnna said...

Wow. Heartbreaking, yet beautifully written. May you find him and your mum find peace.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Good luck.

I have no other words.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Fiesty Charlie said...

It is utterly amazing what women have gone through over the years. My heart aches for your mom. I am sending lots of prayers for her to have some peace in her heart.

Your tweet sent me here to check on you, know I know why you are crying all day. Let the tears flow, and feel loved here.

Your family is lucky to have you and your heart working on this. I hope it all works out.


3:18 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...



There are tears in my eyes. I hope you find him. With all my heart I hope you do.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Mayberry said...

My heart is aching for all of you. We had something sort of similar happen in our family and it is working out, now. I very much hope the same for you.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

I have a half-brother who would be about 11 now. I know one day we'll meet.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still crying over this. I hope you find him. It is never too late to try. best of luck to you on your search. Love to your mom.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Mom gave up a son long before she was ever married and had me, and she does not know that I know about it. I often wonder who he is and where he is.

I am praying that you find William.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Crystal D said...

Oh my god that is so beautiful, painful beautiful. I can only imagine how her heart still breaks. I hope it doesn't take years and I hope you mom will get to know him.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God I hope you find him.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your story gave me goosebumps, and that doesn't happen often.

This WILL have a happy ending. When you find your brother, he will know how much your mother loved him to make the sacrifice.

Oh, my heart breaks for her...

3:22 PM  
Blogger designHER Momma said...

simply amazing post, and I know you will find him. Thank you so much for such an honest, heartfelt, beautifully written post.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really heavy, obviously. Best wishes on your journey. I have extremely high hopes for you being that you've got amazing readers and a blog to boost your chances of getting the word out.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 8 adopted siblings, some of which haved tried to find their birth parents and others who do not wish to have anything to do with their birth parents. I also have a sister who gave a child up for adoption without any of us knowing she was pregnant. Most people do the best they can do, or at least what they think is best. It is not always easy for an adopted child to understand that though.

I wish you all the best in your search for your brother. Reading this post will mean alot to him, I am sure. Thank you for sharing it.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. What a hard story to tell, and retell. I wish you the best in finding your brother. :)

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My already soft heart has burst at the seams. Thank you. I think some days we just need to cry all day, you know?

And when you're done, you'll have a renewed determination to find him. And find him, you will.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

I hope you can find him and make your mother complete again.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Wonderful post. Learning about something like this that's been avoided for so many years must be shocking, exciting, scary, amazing, thrilling.

Best of luck in your quest.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear God, I cannot imagine. Yet I can. As "That" mother who has laid one of her own to rest, I think perhaps it would be almost harder to know that he was still out there...alive, yet gone.

I wish you the greatest of luck in finding your brother.


3:29 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

What a powerful, heartbreaking piece.

I so very hope you find him.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Magpie Girl said...

This was so beautifully written...and full of bravery on so many fronts.

A dear friend of mine found his birth family after many years of searching. It is a mixed bag of emotions to be sure, but this once only-child now has sisters and nieces and nephews.

May your journey be blessed and hopeful.



3:30 PM  
Blogger Alli Worthington said...



3:30 PM  
Blogger moosh in indy. said...


3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm commenting even before I've gotten my breathing back to normal, and I can't even see the keyboard clearly yet.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

There is so much I could say but I have no words. Prayers for you, your mother, and your brother.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Elan Morgan said...

I don't even know what to say. You are starting an amazing journey that so many never get to make. My heart goes with you.

3:38 PM  
Blogger mek said...

Beautifully written - all the love and grief right there - good luck in your search!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a little bit about adoption searches now, because of working for the province - the good news is it's a lot easier these days to make these connections, and they are supported a lot more than they used to be.

Good luck - I really hope you can find him.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. very very powerful. best of luck on your search.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Manager Mom said...

just, wow.

3:43 PM  
Blogger hello haha narf said...

chills. i have every hair on my neck and arms standing at attention.

what a moving and powerful piece you wrote. many prayers coming your way.

all the best,


3:43 PM  
Blogger palinode said...

By the time I realized how this post was going to end, that it would close on my heart like a trap and squeeze, it was too late and I couldn't stop reading. Good luck to you and your family.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Darla said...

From someone who was adopted in the late 60's at the age of 6 hours old to a dad who was 51 (my dad loved me, he died when I was 22) and a mom who was 28 at the time (who left me when I was 10 in the middle of the night), I have to say GOD BLESS YOU for doing what you KNEW was right.

And let me say, I have a very strong feeling he WILL want to know you and your mom.

Praying for you.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES. At the end, I just wanted to stand up and pump my fist in the air for you. That's what it takes, that decision, that sea change that makes inaction impossible.

My birth mother was 15 when she relinquished me, and I was 26 when I found her. On my birthday last week, 8 years into ur relationship, I could just call her and we could chat. I had to marvel at the fact that we can just-DO that now. I just call her. It's changed my life in such a fundamental way...the pieces are not missing.

I hope you find him, for you, for him, for your mom. All the best.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Praying you find eachother.

3:48 PM  
Blogger ScientistMother said...

Wow. Life changing. Life altering. Wow. You grew up in Vancouver? I hope you find him and it all turn out well. Take the time to process it as you have alot going on. Hugs, Hugs and more HUGS!

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...I am near tears here. I can't imagine having to make the decision she made.

Good luck with your search. I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

3:49 PM  
Blogger hello haha narf said...

how old would your brother be?

3:50 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Oh, my.

Sobbing. And I am not an easy crier.

Your mom is such an incredibly strong woman. I can't imagine the weight of that emotional burden she carried for all of those years.

I love that you two are close enough for her to share this with you, and to ask for your help.

I can't stop crying.

I wish you luck.

3:50 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Gulp. You made me cry. I hope you find him.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

Wow. Incredible. I hope that she, that you, find him.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time. Good luck on your search! How amazing...

3:55 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

OMG, I have tears rolling down my face. What a brave, beautiful mother you have.

I'm praying that you find him and that doing so brings your mother peace.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Godspeed on your journey.
I just have this weird feeling that this is going to be resolved-- I have no idea why. Maybe because I have several friends who have searched and found.
You are stronger than you even know.

3:57 PM  
Blogger floating in space said...

Wow. I'm crying big, fat tears for you and your mom. Praying you find him.

3:58 PM  
Blogger lattemommy said...

That was a heartwrenchingly beautiful story, wonderfully told. I hope you find him. I hope your mother gets to say the things to him that her heart yearns to say.

I live in the Vancouver area, and if you need someone to do legwork for you here, I'd be glad to help. Good luck.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

GEEZ. My heart.
FIND him and Godspeed.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was beautiful. That IS beautiful. It's no wonder you're so amazing -- look at your amazing mother. Hugs and strength and best wishes and good luck from Exile.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Maman said...

If you want help from a geek with good search skills, a computer and time on her hands... let me know. Good luck.

Now I need to go back to crying.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my sister and i have a missing brother too- a few times we've tried to find him, but our family just shuts it down and our mother died 30 years ago- and would he want us to find him? it is so hard...missing pieces indeed.

4:05 PM  
Blogger LinLos said...

Your mother is brave. I was adopted, by two wonderful people who gave me a life and opportunities my birthmother couldn't have. But I will always wonder about her, my unknown mother who gave me life in a time when she didn't have to. Who she was, who she is, if I look like her, if she loves peanut butter, is allergic to chocolate, has a soft spot for ugly stray dogs, and a thousand and one other things. Good luck.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Wow wow wow. This is so heartbreaking and lovely and hopeful all at the same time.

I hope with all my heart that you find him.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Des said...

That is beautiful. God speed.

4:16 PM  
Blogger imaginary binky said...

Wiping the tears from my eyes. Go find him. He is part of you, and your mother needs to be complete again.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Juggling Frogs said...

Oh my word! This is wrenching. Whatever the outcome, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

You can bet we'll all be here, waiting for updates, hoping for the best.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christ on a cracker give your mom a hug from me. Not the same, at all, but having lost a son I know that ache, it's bone and soul deep and I'm so sorry she has carried that for so long.

I hope you find him for your family but especially for your mom so she can finally exhale.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, you don't understand what your post really did for me today...I am right now in the middle of an adoption plan gone wrong...my baby was just released from the hospital, she was a preemie...the adoptive parents should be on a plane now coming to get her...but I backed out, and I don't know why...I am sittin ghere right now regretting my decision..am I short changing my baby girls life here?! i have so many emotions going through my mind...Its hard for me to look at her sometimes because I know what I should do, but why can't I do it?! Sorry I just kinda went off there...but thats whats going on with me right now...just got word the adoptive couple just wants to back out completely...is this a sign? do I keep my baby girl even though if I do I will be sacrificing the lives of all my children..this baby is #3...I would love to have your opinion...please..

4:26 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

As a birth mother too afraid to face him, I would like to help you, I have submitted your post to Digg hoping to get the name out there.

4:27 PM  
Blogger TheMama said...

Crying. That's all I've got.

I'm crying.

My MIL was adopted and until the day she died, she was grateful for the life her birth mother had provided for her by letting her go, but it never stopped her from wondering.

I hope with every fiber of my being that you will find him.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly hope that you find him because that is heartbreaking. I'll pray for you.

4:34 PM  
Blogger scarbie doll said...

You know how I hate to comment after 96 other people. But this merits a comment. Whoa and wow.

4:41 PM  
Blogger VDog said...

Dayum, it's a good thing I didn't put mascara on today! SNAP!

I hope you can find him. What a story. What a time.

Good luck.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Kim @ Ponytaildiaries.com said...

This mirrors my "Aunt Mom's" story almost perfectly. She passed away before she ever found him, though. I've thought of looking for him just to tell him about her. But, to be honest, I'm afraid of doing that. What if...What if he doesn't care? What if he's angry? You know? I don't know if I could handle her memory not being honored but I could understand if he doesn't appreciate her. But knowing it would break my heart. I guess you never know. And the never know is what scares me so I do nothing.

I hope you find him! I'm in tears at your description. Your strength that I admire you so much for since finding you and reading your site obviously came from her.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Laura said...


4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautifully told story. Best of luck to you and your family. I wish I knew how to help but I like you have a brother and sister (twins) that have been lost in the adoption process.

They were born in 1972, my mother was only 14. I found out when I was 21 and haven't been able to get any farther than that in 6 years.

But you, You have a name, a beginning, a start. I will keep you in my thoughts. I can truly say I know how you feel.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Oh Cath. Do it, find him. I can never imagine you regretting finding him, but not looking, that you might regret.

What a lot to process. Hugs, you.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Gabrielle of Design Mom said...

Wow. I'm crying. With a start this beautiful, how can the resolution to this story be anything but positive.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Marie: Talk to a hospital social worker or someone you trust who will be honest with you about your resources, the commitment required, your options. Do not make any hasty decisions either way.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

big big stuff...if you want to find him there are some websites..I can look em up for you.

I was told by my mom that I have a half sister out there somewhere...dad had an affair and they put the girl up for adoption right away....

It was a huge deal for her to tell me....

she gave me all the info in case I want to try and find her someday

4:55 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

I love you. I have been there, not able to hold her but at least I knew where she went, for my heart it keeps me sane.

I will help you find him, having been on the birth mother side of things I know a few tricks.

You know where to find me if you want me to walk with you.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catherine - you are truly amazing and fearless....

4:57 PM  
Blogger West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

My mother gave up her first baby too. That baby grew up & found my mom, so now I have an older half sister. It was a long search (in the dark ages before the internet too) but worth it. I wish you all the best, and trust that healing will come.

4:57 PM  
Blogger heels said...

Marie- You probably have some time. Take it. Don't rush to a decision like this. The adoptive parents backing out just bought you a little more wiggle room. Try to maybe think past keeping or not keeping into other options. Is an open adoption a possibility?

Stay strong, for yourself, that baby, and your other 2 children. Best wishes.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Listen Up, MoFos! said...

You'll find him, I just know you will!!! You made me cry. So much I could say, yet I can't say a word... Thanks so much for sharing!

5:00 PM  
Blogger Listen Up, MoFos! said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Listen Up, MoFos! said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

A very amazing story. My Aunt gave up a baby when she was 16. 30 yrs later he found her. He expressed to her how grateful he was that she choose to give him up for adoption. He had an amazing childhood and wonderful adoptive parents. He and my Aunt are very close now and he has welcomed her and the rest of us into his family. It was truly a blessing all around.

Good luck in finding your brother. I will keep you in my prayers.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Keely Van Brocklin Emery said...

Wow. My husband has a sister out there and I often wonder if we could find her... but we'd need his mother's blessing for that. Reading this makes me realize how hard that must have been for my mother in law and especially after having my own child - and another on the way - I feel like I understand her even more.

I hope that you find your brother. Best of luck to you!

5:00 PM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

Oh my. I want to run out and start googling and help find him for you. Good luck. Sending strength to you and your mom.

5:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, the crying I've done today out there in this world. Your mom sounds like a truly strong woman. I hope this is the first step toward giving her a reunion with her son, and a new facet to your family by which to learn from and love. It could truly be such an amazing thing. I hope he's out there, somewhere, waiting joyously for you all, and that you find him soon to experience that.

5:01 PM  
Blogger flutter said...


I am a birthmom. While I do not for a moment, think I made the wrong choice, I ache for my daughter every day.
Your want to be a good parent, your concern, your struggle...it all leads me to believe that the heart you have is strong, that the love you have for your child is insurmountable.
There are resources to help you with money, if that is your concern. there are counselors to talk to you and guide you.

There are birthmoms (me) that will hold your hand and hear your concerns and help you.

You are shortchanging no one. This life, this love is beautiful.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Amy @ Taste Like Crazy said...

Coming from someone who was adopted [and currently bawling] I would LOVE to be "found" by my biological family.

I know that I have at least two 1/2 siblings and I've always wondered what they're like...what they look like...if I pass them when I walk down the aisle at the grocery store.

I truly believe that only someone in this situation can understand the yearning and the hole. Because there is a hole as cliché as that may sound and I know that finding my biological family is the only thing that will fill it.

Understand that he may not want to know you. But, also understand that on some level you can't care and that this isn't about him. It's about you, it's about your mom, it's about your family.

I wish you luck from the depths of my heart.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

Marie, deciding with your heart vs, your head must be impossible. Your baby girl needs a loving family, food, clothes. can you give that to her? Are you sure?

Please talk to a social worker or your adoption agency.
Good luck.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, fantastic post. Even with my heart of stone, I am weeping a little bit and looking at my own baby son. I wish you all the best in your search, wish I had a means of helping you.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said, but that was extremely well-written and throughly heart-wrenching. I pray that you will find him.

5:03 PM  
Blogger susan said...

This was an amazing post. One painful to read.

I gave up a daughter at 20. The nurses kept trying to get me to hold her. It was gut-wrenching.

You'll find him. I know you will. Good luck!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Tina@ SendChocolateNow said...

Um. Yeah. I've got nothing wise to say. Speechless.

I hope it works out the way you all want. To carry that hurt and guilt in her heart for all this time...I hurt for your mother.

Sending prayers on your behalf and your brother's, as well.


5:04 PM  
Blogger Tina@ SendChocolateNow said...

Oh and you f'in rock...and your mother, too.


5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So beautiful. So raw. I hope you find him. You will.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one of my dearest friends recently found her birth mom and it was the most amazing, positive experience of her life.

i wish the same for you in your quest to find your brother. and you *will* find him!

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh the heartbreak
and the hope.
I pray that you find him and that he understands and that he can love her.
I could've been him, but my mom chose at the last minute to keep me and I could've been her, but chose to keep my daughter.
But, I know I could've been there.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

@Anonymous/Marie -

I wish I could give you a big hug.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to raise your daughter. Nothing at all.

It's not "an adoption plan gone wrong." The decision to place a child for adoption really has to be remade after the child is born. Sometimes after the birth, moms realize that adoption isn't right choice after all. And that is FINE. That is normal.

You sound like you really don't want to place, but you're trying to talk yourself into it. Please don't. It's a decision that can never be undone and will be a loss that you and your other other children carry with them the rest of their lives. If you give parenting a try and eventually realize that it really isn't working out, adoption will still be there. Don't feel like you need to rush into it right now.

I say that as an adoptive mom who what it's like to be on the other side of the equation, waiting to see if a child will come home with me. The prospective adoptive couple might have some sadness over this change, but that's just part of the adoption process for us. They will be okay.

Best wishes to you and your new daughter. I will be thinking of you. I sincerely hope things work out for you and your family of four.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Manic Mommy said...

Oh. My. I hope you find him. I hope he's had a good life. And that his parents (birth and adoptive) gave him a good heart.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

wow. what a story and so beautifully written. best of luck with your search to you and your family.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was about to go to the mall, but now i'm a teary mess. your mother's story is my mother's story...and we found my brother. it's been 9 years now, and while there were very trying times along the way, i'm (exceedingly) happy to report that these days it seems like he's always been here...always been with us and part of us.

i guess in some ways he always was.
if there's anything i can do to help you in this journey, let me know.

when i was growing up, i never thought my mom was unhappy. but, now that her son is back in her life? she's a completely different person. a huge weight has been lifted from her soul, i think. it has been the most incredible thing to see. we are so very, very blessed. i hope that someday you will get to share this unusual joy with your mother, as well.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oh good luck! I've got a giant lump in my throat from reading that.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I really don't have any words other than to say thank you for this. As the mother of an adopted daughter I always wonder what will her mother feel at some point, what will she feel? What will potential other siblings feel (as I believe there will be more her mother is young). I am thankful our adoption is open so we can answer these questions in time for all involved. I hope you find him.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was so beautiful, as always. I am totally speechless.

I hope and pray that you find him. I really do.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Whatever I can do, C.
Whatever, whenever.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Mr Lady said...

I live in Vancouver, and I will help you.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am in awe - of your amazing writing ability and the courage it took to help your mother to heal. It can happen. You will find him. My sister found me. I'm sad to say that we've since lost touch, without ever meeting. There is no heart-wrenching story to it. Just parents without the capacity to be parents. Your mother - just wonderful. Give her a huge hug and tell her somehow, someway, he knows he is loved.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Avonlea said...

Your mom is amazingly strong. Prayers from me too that you will find him.

I'm also sitting here crying at the heart-hurting beautifulness of this post.

5:21 PM  
Blogger The Ex said...

My aunt gave up a baby for adoption when she was 13. He's in his mid-thirties now and I found him. I found him and she won't talk to him because she's too afraid of what he'll think.

My dad also gave up my two half-siblings when the mother disappeared and when they were reunited we found out they had a horrible life.

This is so....unbelievably touching. I just hope so much that works out and that he's been happy and that no one gets hurt.

5:22 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

OMG HBM, totally sobbing heaving sobs at work here... So sad, so beautiful, so... much. Godspeed on that voyage, honey.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catherine, two of my children came to us through adoption. Luckily they were both open adoptions and we have loving relationships with their other families.

No matter how much my children love me, it doesn't negate their ties and bonds to families the were born to.

I hope you find your brother. Adoption should be about joining two families, not losing one.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Kim @ Ponytaildiaries.com said...

I just thought about how my comment might sound. I sure hope it wasn't thought that I was trying to dissuade you with my fears. I really do have high hopes you find him.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! this made me cry!!! Good luck. I'll help you spread the word.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

wow. i'm not even sure how to comment. i was adopted as an infant as well. as a child and into my teenage years i always wondered about my birth mom, and even made a tiny attempt to find her when i was 16. it was more of a curiosity because i had a friend who found her birth family. i never tried to find her again, and honestly never cared to. i appreciated all she did in giving me away...giving me a chance at a life she knew she couldn't give me, but i had no desire to know more. when i was pregnant with my first child i got a letter from the adoption agency saying she had sent them a letter for me and wanted to know if i wanted it. i got it and learned a little of her story. she was 16, from a large family, and money was scarce. it made me even more grateful to her...knowing that it was the hardest thing she ever did. she also told me she was registered with a finding agency so if i ever wanted to know who she was i could find her. i didn't want to know. i wrote her back and told her how much i appreciated what she did...told her about my childhood and my life, but told her i wasn't ready for any kind of reunion. 6 years later i felt like i was supposed to at least contact her and give her my name and contact info if she ever needed it. i did very reluctantly. i talked to her on the phone, and she just cried and cried she was so happy to hear from me. i honestly felt sorry for her, because although i could understand her feelings...her attachment to me...i felt nothing of that attachment for her. again...i was so grateful and told her that. i told her that i just wasn't in a place where i wanted to meet her in person. i wanted to give her the same privilege she had given me. the opportunity to be able to contact me if she needed to. she was great. she has been great. i hear from her about once a year as she checks in, but she has never pressured me to become part of her family. some people may think it is heartless of me that i don't desire a relationship. i am one of 4 children and the only one adopted. i was never treated like an adopted child. not ever. my grandparents even forgot i was adopted saying that my son looks just like my brother and why shouldn't he. i think if i had felt a hole somewhere in my life or had been treated differently i might have responded to my birth mother differently. i am glad i know her story. the reasons why she gave me up. and when i had my children i always thought of her when they turned 2 weeks old. that was when she left me at the baby home. her last look at me. so i looked at my 2 week old babies and couldn't imagine having to give them up. and i said a prayer of thanksgiving for the woman who made that sacrifice.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


thank you for sharing.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and to the anonymous commentor considering becoming a birth mother- head on over to openadoptionsupport.com, post your question (or even email it) and you will have some birth moms who are likely pretty supportive responding to you. No one will try to push you either way, they will just be some good sounding boards.

If you'd like to email me vindaugablog at yahoo dot com I can privately give you the names of some birth moms who blog.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh damnit. I really didn't feel like crying today.

I hope you find him. Big huge hugs to you!

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an adoptive mother, this hit me so hard; I have, as you know, tried in vain to make contact with our daughter's birth mother and just saw her walking the other day. The case worker won't return my calls, and all I want to do is send photos and an occasional update so they know she's okay.

Honey, if there is anything I can do to help, you have only to ask. There are a lot of people out there who know the hoops to jump through and the sites and agencies that can help track down the information you are seeking. I haven't read through all the comments yet, but I will.

This was so beautifully written, and it broke my heart. Tell your mother we are all going to help you.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Wow. Of course you are in my thoughts as you begin your search. What a journey you are beginning.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Genevieve Hinson said...

An amazing, heart-wrenching post. I hope you find your brother.

The women at BirthMomBuds.com might be of some help and emotional support (for your mom, you and your family). I know there are search angels out there -- perhaps they can help suggest one. These folks have a lot of experience in doing exactly this.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Amie Adams said...

As an adoptee, I can't even imagine that my birth parents have thought about me--let alone thought about finding me.

Thank you for this perspective.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Good luck finding your brother. I hope it's a glorious reunion for all of you.

Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

5:49 PM  
Blogger SJINCO said...

My older sister gave up a daughter for adoption when she was barely 21. Totally alone.

The daughter she gave up in the mid80's turned 21 on July 27, 08. We are trying to find her.

I wish you luck. This story hits home to my heart like no other.

Blessings and Best Wishes.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

This is the most beautiful, touching post I've read lately. I can't imagine living with that in your life - I'm so glad your Mom got to have you and your sister to love. I hope that you are able to find your brother, and that it gives some peace to your Mom and to you. What an amazing and heartbreaking story.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Emily T said...


I wish you all kinds of luck and admire the bravery that your mother has shown and most definitely passed on to you.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I am a first/birth mother and reading your post I cried my eyes out. Good luck with your search.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Bri said...

This must have been so hard to write...bravo for your bravery and obvious love for your mom. I wish the two of you all the luck in your search and only wish there was something I could do.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow... what a great post... I am saying a prayer for you all... I hope you find him

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, amazing story! Thanks for sharing!

6:42 PM  
Blogger K said...

I don't know what I can do to help, but will if you need an extra set of hands at the keyboard. I feel for your mommy and for you. Seriously, I'll google or email or call if you need more bodies helping.


7:04 PM  
Blogger Jezer said...

Oh honey, you and your family are just extraordinary. Prayers and good wishes from me for you.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Catherine, what a beautifully written story. I wish you all the luck in finding him.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, your Mom. My heart aches for her.

Best of luck in your search!

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shared this with a friend of mine. She found her birth mom using Adoption Reunion Registry. They both
live in the Vancouver area.

Good luck!

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found one sister. Another sister and a brother are still missing. And a father. I think I've reconciled to that now. But it took me searching to find parts of me to realize that I'm whole anyway. My best of luck to you on your search, my dear, that it may be fruitful, and put your mother's mind, at least a little, to rest.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Fran Loosen said...

My brother was adopted and my mother always told my brother time and again how much his birth mother loved him. Although she'd never met her, I think she wanted him to know what a supreme sacrifice his mom made for our family.

I hope your brothers adoptive parents let him know how much your mom loved him. I can't imagine that myself.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Anonymous/Maria - e-mail me (herbadmother@gmail.com) if you're still reading.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I was adopted.

I just wrote on my own blog a bit ago about it.

I said I'd probably never find my birth mother. I've got a good adopted family.

But the main reason is fear. What if she doesn't want to know me? What if she doesn't care? What if she's gone and I'll never know her.

I know your mothers fears reversed.

Tell her, if you can, that I love her for loving him.

8:26 PM  
Blogger b*babbler said...

Wow Catherine - I really have no words.

It's a beautiful, sad, tragic story. I hope that you are successful in your search...


8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't even read the other comments because of the tears in my eyes.

Beautiful and heartbreaking, all at the same time. I really hope you find him.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Mama Smurf said...



I will be anxiously awaiting updates on your search and praying for a happy ending (for all parties involved).

8:49 PM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I am so f'ing proud to call you my friend it makes my heart explode. How you put it out there, with such beauty, grace, and gentle power just blows my mind. I love you and I know when you find him, he is going to be so proud that you are his sister.

8:53 PM  
Blogger J from Ireland said...

Oh my God, that is just heartbreaking. I sincerly hope you find your brother and he knows how loved he is. His grandmother including him in her will, aw, that is lovely. Best of luck in your search.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Cathy, Amy and Kristina said...

You make my heart ache -- with sadness for a lost little boy and with the beauty of your words.

Bless you. And bless her.

9:13 PM  
Blogger laurie said...

Amazing. This is a powerful post. I do wish you the best of luck i finding him and that this story has a great ending. I hope that this is just the beginning of this story, too - that we will continue to hear more if / when you find out more and if you are willing to share.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Everydaytreats said...

Your mother is so lucky to have you, a fighter, as her daughter. I believe you when you say you will find him.

Beautifully written. I'm crying, just like everybody else.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I just let out a gasp. A real one.

Oh Catherine. Oh oh oh.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your mother's story and her love for her lost boy. Somewhere out there is my husband's birth mother. He thinks of her all the time. We've tried to find her, but we have only a few details. She was an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia and his birth father was a law student there also. I think they would be proud to know that their son is a brilliant lawyer today!
If we should ever find her, we will sincerely thank her for her selfless act of love. My sweet husband loves her no matter what and no matter where she may be; and he thanks her for giving him a beautiful life. I think her for giving me a loving husband who I can build a beautiful life with.
I pray that you will have a joyous reunion some day soon. God bless your sweet mother.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your mother's story and her love for her lost boy. Somewhere out there is my husband's birth mother. He thinks of her all the time. We've tried to find her, but we have only a few details. She was an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia and his birth father was a law student there also. I think they would be proud to know that their son is a brilliant lawyer today!
If we should ever find her, we will sincerely thank her for her selfless act of love. My sweet husband loves her no matter what and no matter where she may be; and he thanks her for giving him a beautiful life. I think her for giving me a loving husband who I can build a beautiful life with.
I pray that you will have a joyous reunion some day soon. God bless your sweet mother.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Mandi said...

I realize my comment will be redundant in reading all of these comments... but WOW. You are an amazing writer, first of all. And your story is just... Wow. The ONLY reason I am not bawling (cause I was on the verge the whole time) is because my own kiddos were trying to climb on me as I was reading. I wish you great success in finding him, I can only begin to imagine the many emotions that are coursing through you right now.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Shelli said...

I am SO SO SO SO grateful that the birth mother that chose us to raise her child is STILL a positive, loving presence in our daughter's life.

Your painful story simply affirms that for me.

Thank you for sharing.

9:48 PM  
Blogger tracey.becker1@gmail.com said...

Good luck, Catherine. My heart goes out to your mother and your family...

9:48 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I think I held my breath as I read that entire post. To know you have a brother now . . .after all those years. My heart hurts for your mother, and for you. I hope you find him.

9:55 PM  
Blogger arse poetica said...

My God, the sacrifices we make. I am heartbroken and crying and hoping to God that you find William.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Samuels said...

What an amazing story, beautifully told (of course.) I need to say this: the relationship you have with your mother is a spectacular gift. Amid this sad story, I as a daughter couldn't keep my mind off the fact that you and your mother were sharing it. Such a beautiful thing.
I am so glad you have embarked on this quest -- if any of my reporting background can help please let me know.
You are a remarkable writer, a remarkable woman, and a stunning mom and daughter. I am proud to know you.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Maggie, Dammit said...

I have a sister, just like this brother. I wrote about her, but not nearly so eloquently.

When they took the baby away from my mom, she couldn't bear to see her, either. My mom locked herself in the salvation army home for unwed mothers closet and painted until they were gone. She crafted a lakeside scene, birch trees and sunlight.

22 years later they were reunited. That painting hangs in my sister's house today.

I wish for you the same sort of peace.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so hope you find him. This story has me bawling.

10:06 PM  
Blogger InventingLiz said...

Thank you so much for writing this, I am at the beginning of the process of adopting and I don't ever want to forget what another woman had to go through in order for me to become a mother. Good luck in your search for your brother.

10:10 PM  
Blogger caramama said...

Oh, Catherine! I'm crying for your mother, your brother, you, everything. How hard that must have been for her. How this must be so hard for you.

You are doing a wonderful thing looking for him. I wish you the best of luck finding him. I hear that private investigators can be really good at this. My best wishes to you and your family!

10:16 PM  
Blogger Run ANC said...

Just look at the strength you have at your disposal here. With everyone's help, you'll find him. I can feel it.

Good luck! If I can help in any way, I'm here.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he would want to know everything of you, I'm sure. What a gift of a sister you would be. All wishes for all the luck in the world sent your way.

(Catherine, you are such a beautifully truthful writer. This is such a rare thing and this is why it means so much to me to read your words.)

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow and good luck

10:35 PM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...

Oh, C. Literally shaking with tears.

You and your mother. Such brave women, such pillars of strength.

I hope you find your brother.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

Speechless Catherine, just speechless.

I hope you find him.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to say this. I wasn't going to comment. But. My family had a similar tale, one day I may blog about it. He was found. The whole family rejoiced. He broke my Aunties heart.

Sometimes people cannot live up to the dream.

Good luck my lovely and I pray that you find him and all is wonderful.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I know I'm like comment number 1,000, but I have to.

Wow! I hope you find him. And I hope he's led a happy life.

Fantastic post.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Velma said...

Oh, how I hope for a resolution to this story for all of your sakes! A loved one just had an adoption fall through, and it has been a topic on my mind all week. Good luck.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Kelley - thank you for saying that. It's reality. It's on my mind.

11:00 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Wow. Just... Wow. Sending you St. Anothonyesque thoughts. Love.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Schmitty said...

What a beautiful post that has completely pulled at my heart! I wish I knew how to help you. I do hope you find your brother. My thoughts are with you!

11:33 PM  
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