“Deciding how to contact my birth mother presented a dilemma. She lived far away in another state. I had four choices—I could fly across the country and attempt to meet with her in person; I could call her on the telephone; I could mail her letters, photographs, a bouquet of flowers and chocolates; or I could ask an intermediary, a friend, a relative, or someone I trusted to contact her. I decided to ask my best friend Grace to meet with her in person.” —Judith Land, author & adoptee
Thinking about calling my birth mother moved my heart to palpitate rapidly and made my mouth go dry. Spasms of fear between bouts of terror left me light-headed and feeling faint. Thinking about a potential reunion with my birth mother had dominated my thoughts every waking hour and governed my dreams for a thousand nights. My passion for finding my birth mother was about to climax in an unsustainable emotional crescendo. The key to my past was in my hand, but I was terrified to open the lock and expose all the secrets inside. It was simply too risky. Why should I change my life? My family loved me. I was healthy and lived in a beautiful location with friends and a good job. Why should I give up my peaceful life of tranquility and certainty for an unknown potentially tumultuous future?
I had a difficult time deciding. My husband provided me with new insights and perspectives into issues that better reflected how others might view them. He was a trained mediator who used a variety of techniques to help executives make critical decisions. The collaborative process he used called the choosing by advantages method of decision making gave me confidence and reduced the chances of me changing my mind in the future. I made the decision to use an intermediary, but who should I choose? What qualifications, responsibilities and skills were important? I needed someone I could trust that would give a good first impression.
Furtively hoping to be the first to catch a glimpse of my birth mother’s face, my best friend Grace had delightedly agreed to be my clandestine coconspirator by personally handing my priceless collection of letters and photographs to Rebecca at her place of work. I was inwardly focused and oblivious to all external sounds and distractions. I viewed my life as a fairy-tale story, the fulfillment of my greatest and most enduring childhood aspirations. I held my breath. I wanted the situation to be perfect. How would my birth mother react when confronted by my emissary?
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