Adoption—your birth mother played the violin


Childhood dreams and fantasies of my birth mother were of a demure and quietly pensive attractive lady playing the violin. It was the only image I had ever had of her.

My adopted mother Rosella was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Reaching out for sympathy and emotional support she had quietly stated, “There is something I want to tell you before I die. Your birth mother’s name was Becky, Rebecca, Roberta or Loretta, or something like that, and her last name started with the letter M. She played the violin.” I felt as if I had been shot out of a canon but I remained poker-faced to prevent my exuberance from showing.

Over five million people lived in the state of Wisconsin—I planned to call every one of them until I found someone named Becky. A male voice responded positively on the hundredth call. “I have a sister named Becky. She lives on a dairy farm near Madison.” My knees were weak. My heart was racing. My left eye started twitching. My hands were shaking as I envisioned an attractive woman with brown hair looking out her kitchen window at a pastoral scene with a large white barn surrounded by mature shade trees, dairy cows and endless rows of corn. I jumped for joy. I had finally hit the jackpot. My birth mother was living on a dairy farm in Wisconsin—an exotic new lifestyle I had never imagined. I had no experience milking cows. I wondered if we had anything in common.

I could hear myself breathing as I dialed her number. My heart was beating rapidly. “Did you give a baby up for adoption thirty years ago?” There was a long hesitation. She seemed sad and deeply reflective. I gazed catatonically into space with my mouth wide open and eyes dilated. My chest was heaving. I could feel myself taking shallow, frequent breaths. “This is Judy. Are you my birth mother?” I asked politely. Her lack of an emotional response was astonishing. The silence was killing me. Why didn’t she just say, yes or no? What was she waiting for? “I’m sorry,” she finally responded after a lengthy deliberation.

Our conversation fizzled. Was she my birth mother or not? Her vague response to a poignant question of this magnitude was enigmatic. I had never anticipated such a nebulous outcome. I felt like a cold, wet, orphaned puppy. I carefully placed the receiver back on the hook. But wait—I had forgotten to ask Rebecca if she played the violin…I wondered if I should call her back?

Judith Land


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About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
This entry was posted in Adoption, Children, Life, Parenting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Adoption—your birth mother played the violin

  1. lonistel says:

    I love reading these excerpts. I wrote you a note awhile back. I was also adopted. I’d love to read & review your book on my blog. Please let me know if you are interested!

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