Guest Blog: A Mother's Secret Message

On my 18th birthday, my parents sat down with me. They gave me a file -- my adoption file -- which I had never seen before. It contained a draft of the letter they submitted to Jefferson County, CO explaining why they were good parents, worthy of adopting a child, as well as some of the paperwork regarding my adoption.

It also contained a one-page document with a few anonymous details about my birth parents -- age, height, weight, ethnicity, hobbies. Although I’d always known I was adopted, it was the first time I’d ever see anything related to my birth parents. My parents also handed me a Bible, which they said had come from my birth mother. I thanked my parents, took the file and Bible back to my room, closed the door, and cried.

It’s hard to describe how I felt seeing that information -- to feel, for the first time, connected to the two people who’d brought me into this world. Happy. Sad. Confused. Angry. Relieved. I felt overwhelmed. Despite some mild curiosity, I had never thought much about searching for my birth parents, and I was caught off-guard, feeling confronted by the reality of their existence.

Although I’ve never been particularly religious, I felt particularly touched to receive the Bible. To me, the gesture said my birth mother cared about me and wanted good things for me in my life. I kept it in a box for a number of years and finally put it out on a bookshelf so I could honor its place in my life.

In 2015, I submitted a form to Jefferson County to receive a copy of my adoption court papers. Based on the information in that file, I was able to find my birth mother, Darla. It’s been an amazing experience to get to know her and slowly build our relationship. I feel incredibly lucky!

During one of our calls, she asked me if I had received the Bible, and was glad to hear I had. She then asked if I’d found a secret message written inside. A secret message? She said she’d written a note on the inside cover and glued down the page for fear someone would find it. While we were on the phone, I got the Bible and gently tried to pull the glued page open but it started tearing, so I put it aside. Occasionally, I would pick up the Bible but hesitated to pry the pages apart for fear of ruining the message inside.

This past summer, Darla and my half-sister, Emeshea, came to visit for a long weekend, and we decided to try to reveal the secret message. Emeshea took charge. She researched onli