Sixty years ago today, in the early hours of
the morning, a young nineteen year old unwed woman
gave birth to her first child…a son.
She spent most of her pregnancy in a home for unwed
mothers as her father would not, as he said, allow a
bastard child in his house.
She was uneducated and unable to provide even the
basic needs for her newborn son.
She did what she thought would be best for
him…because she loved him. She placed him lovingly
for adoption within hours after his birth.
She would not learn for thirty-six years that her
hopes and dreams of a loving home for her son never
The son instead spent the first year of life in a
hospital nursery and also the nursery of the same home
for unwed mothers his mother had spent her pregnancy.
Despite being a white, blond, hazel eye, healthy
baby…no one came forward to adopt him.
Those first days in a nursery turned out to be
eighteen years of being moved from one foster home to
another or institution…fourteen moves in all.
During those years he would attend many schools, never
have long time friends. He at a time would find his
bed on a back porch and be forced to steal food from
other children at school to dampen his hunger pains
from being fed only one meal a day. He would face the
horror of sexual abuse at the tender age of ten. He would
feel he was worthless and attempt to end his pain
and life before age 11.
Somehow, with the help of a few mentors, hope and a
deep inner faith this baby boy was able to overcome
the years of his childhood. He received a college
education and began a professional career.
At age of thirty-one he suffered a massive heart
attack. He could not answer the doctor’s question of;
“What’s your family medical history?” He was
embarrassed and ashamed for as far as he knew…he had
no family to call his own.
He began a search for the person who he thought would
be able to provide some answers…the mother who
lovingly relinquished him thirty-two years earlier.
The search took four long years. It was a painful,
trying and at times a frustrating journey as he met
numerous obstacles along the way.
He remembers vividly the message left on his answering
machine on April 17, 1986…”This is your mother!”
They would speak a few hours later…a phone call that
would last for hours. His spine still tingles and eyes
tear up as he remembers that day now nineteen years
He met his mother not many months later. It
unfortunately was just the beginning to what turned
out to be a very strained relationship at best. He,
however, had his questions answered.
That relationship ended tragically a mere twelve years
later. His mother, on her own accord this time,
rejected her son and wished him dead as she could not
bear learning her son…her first born…was gay.
Despite several attempts at reconciliation by the son;
mother and son were never to speak or see each other
again in her lifetime. She passed away just shy of
three years after turning her son away.
The son, after time, was able to forgive his mother
and to thank her for not only giving him life but
making the decision she did on the day of his birth.
Despite how his childhood was; it had been the correct
He also was able to search, find and meet his father
once. His father did not wish for a relationship and
his father passed away four years after he found him.
His half siblings, from both his mother and father’s
side, except one rejected him as their brother. The
one remaining sibling also rejected him after their
The one foster family whom he considered to be Mom and
Dad, even after he was on his own, are both long
So today is this person’s sixtieth birthday.
What should be a joyous occasion remains a painful day
as it always has been. It brings forth those memories
of a childhood he cares not to remember. Acceptance by
his new found mother as well as the rejection.
He has in recent years found and met extended family.
They have welcomed him with open and loving arms.
He will receive well wishes from friends, extended
family and others. However, in many ways he will still
feel alone. There will never be birthday wishes from a
mother, father, brothers or sisters…and his heart
Despite those painful memories he moves forward. The
hope and faith that sustained him through these
sixty years continues to sustain him.
Yes, today is that son’s birthday. I quietly wish
him a Happy Birthday, though it may not be.
I know each detail of this person’s life…because I
am that son born sixty years ago.
Yes, today I am sixty! The wounds of the
passed have in many cases healed, however, there are
many that just scabbed over waiting to be broken open
anew…they will never heal.
I however once again…thank my mother and father for
this beautiful gift called life!