Who Are You

I got in the car Wednesday and the song “Who Are You” by the Who was on the radio. Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal. Turns out, that day it was the soundtrack for my existential crisis. I burst into tears.

IMG_1929As you may have read earlier (here and here) I have been searching for my birth mother.

Wednesday, right before I got in the car, she called me.

I’m so grateful for that. I was able to thank her for giving me life and for giving me up. I was able to tell her about her amazing grandsons and to let her know I’ve had (and am having) a great life. I was able to tell her my parents wanted me to pass on their love and gratitude.

I was able to ask about my birth father. And get his name.

Who Are You

I don’t want to reveal details of her story that she hasn’t wanted to reveal in the nearly 46 years I’ve been alive, so without going into too much details. Know that I have heard her voice and it was a gift.

My birth father has been dead for a number of years, but I’m hoping to get in touch with his daughter, another sister I didn’t know I had.

I’m hoping I can at least get some photographs of my birth mother, even if we never get to meet in person.

A couple in the congregation I serve does a lot of genealogical research, and I gave them my birth father’s name. They traced his ancestors back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and back to England in the 1400s (this is my paternal grandmother’s line). They traced the paternal grandfather’s line back to Ireland. They found a Revolutionary War veteran in case I decide I want to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. They even found pictures online of relatives.

These were the first family pictures I’ve ever looked at (other than my kids’ pictures) and wondered, “do I look like any of these people?”

Who Are You

I, of course, am the same person I was before my birth mother called me, before I knew my birth father’s name, before I’d found a picture of my sister.

I’m not an artist, but I feel like the information I’ve received in the past few days has been the equivalent of taking a perfectly fine drawing and filling in more detail to make it even more beautiful and complete.

Or perhaps think of a cello playing the melody line of a song and then listen again to the song with the rest of the orchestra joining in.

I don’t feel my life or identity has been in any way inadequate before this information was added to the mix. I do feel a few more pieces have been added to the puzzle of me.

At the end of this rather amazing week, I’m grateful. I’m so thankful my birth mother called me. I’m so glad I got to tell her I love her and thank her for giving me life.

I hope to hear from her again. I recognize I might not ever hear from her again. I remain grateful for the 10 minutes I got to speak with her this week.

I’m still answering the “Who Are You” question. I suspect we all are, one way or another.

Who are you?

16 thoughts on “Who Are You

  1. I’m so very glad for you, Marci! It is in no way the same, but the work I’ve done with the Enneagram has made me more aware of who I am. “Oh, THAT’S me…” that gasp of recognition. Praying for you in the process.


  2. So happy you got to speak to her! I so want her to call you again and get to know the amazing person she brought into this world! However, Even if that doesn’t happen, you now know more that gives you some answers and peace! Well done! Or, as my fav Texan actor would say…alright, alright, alright! 🙂


  3. Oh my word, what an incredible gift! Thank you for sharing this part of your journey, Marci. I imagine your birth mother has at least some inkling that she should be very, very proud of the woman you’ve become.


  4. Wow, Marci. I don’t mind telling you that this really touches close to home for us, for my husband and my stepdaughter, who is adopted. Very complex, and lots of issues. Whew. Holding you in prayer, my friend. Dori


  5. Marci,

    Thank you so much for sharing this awesome news. My heart was and still is so full of joy for you to have heard her voice. At first I was going to type speechless but then I thought oh no! Something MUST be said to this sweet little girl. This beautiful woman and mother.
    This is truly wonderful news. Our friend & pastor!
    Kem & Ann


  6. Thank you, everyone. It has been humbling to realize how many people I have in the world to care for me and cheer me on. Going through this sort of experience brings that all home in powerful ways. Grateful for your presence in my life.


  7. Wonderfully written Marci. I can imagine the courage it took for your birth mother to make the call, but am so glad she did-for her and for you. I can visualize the cloud of questions being lifted and peace in your hearts that must have come with that. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are amazing.


  8. What a powerful question to ask, and to have answered, all in a few moments of time. Even though I have asked myself that question a zillion times, I keep ending up with the same answer. Seems my creator had something in mind, but it’s been slow-going for me to figure that one out! All I can come up with is “I Am am you you say I am”. Turns out I can say that to my creator…but can I say that to my contemporaries? Evidently so, because I can’t count the times someone has told me what I mean to them, and it almost never matches what I thought that might be. Just when I think I might have an inkling of what my gifts are, I realize it may vary from person to person and what they need from my soul at the time. And again, most of the time I am unprepared for what I hear. It is humbling and confusing…makes charting out a journey rather difficult, because what you think you should be doing is never clear. So. I live in a fog of just living the best I know how, and try to never have expectations about anything. You don’t know me…but I am Marilyn, Deanna’s cousin. So happy for some of the details of your life to have been filled in…it must bring you illuminating peace and joy.


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