Adoption · Musings and Personal

The Prodigal Birthmother Returns

In mid August, a couple of days after my younger daughter’s seventh birthday, I reached out to my girls’ biological mother, Ruthie.

Me: I’ve been thinking about you the last few days and wanted to say hello. I hope you are doing well.

Okay, truth be told, I thought of her more days than not; however, I needed to tread lightly for my own sake.

Ruthie and I hadn’t communicated in two and a half years. When I didn’t hear back this time, I concluded she had no desire to get in touch. I let go of any hope. And then I heard back from her at the end of September.

Ruthie: This went to my “other” folder so I just now saw it but I think of you all the time. Hello back.

What did she mean by hello back? Was that her being cautious in her reply? A passive way of saying she didn’t want to reestablish contact? Should I reply and if so, then how?

God told me to reply so I did so, with caution.

Me: Hearing back from you is a nice surprise…

Ruthie: I was very happy to hear from you also… If there is anything you would like to ask me please feel free.

We talked on the phone a few days later.

I told her about the challenges with the girls, namely Payten. I also told her about my memoir and my hope to publish.

She told me she’s been sober almost two years, has a job, and had gotten her GED. If I was a person who cried when happy, I would’ve flooded the house!

Coffee Night picture of Ruthie and I

We met for coffee.

I cannot remember the last time there was such joy in my heart.

She looked healthy and happy. Her teeth were fixed and she showed them off in a brilliant smile. But the biggest change has been her demeanor. She is calm and reflective; she has a sense of vulnerability and is honest about things she couldn’t be in the past.

I have struggled with anger towards Ruthie, and hurt feelings from the choices she made. However, these feelings NEVER eclipsed my love for her. And so I am taking things slow. My heart is cautiously optimistic that this new Ruthie will be around for a long, long time.

She said something in an email to me that the old Ruthie would not, and perhaps could not say:

I know that trust has to be earned. All I can think of is to take baby steps at whatever pace is comfortable. I really enjoy the pictures and the time we got to spend together. I don’t know if there is anything I can do to make up for any of my past actions and if there please let me know. But I do plan on not repeating the past and that is something that will only be proven one day at a time…

And that’s how I am taking it, one day at a time.

*** Today is Erin Bohn’s Adoption Talk linkup. Click on the badge on the side of my page to read more great adoption blogs and/or link one up yourself!

10 thoughts on “The Prodigal Birthmother Returns

  1. What a great story. You know…I probably don’t have that much in common with Ruthie but there were a ton of times when I probably didn’t have it all together, either. I think it’s so nice that you celebrated her accomplishments with so much grace and that you’ve taken the time to get to know her.
    Thank you for joining up with #AdoptionTalk!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Jill. It’s not me at all, it’s God. He opened my eyes to what it means to love the sinner, hate the sin. I have created a separate blog to post the memoir I wrote about my adoption experience. The link is in my latest post, “Moving to a new location.” I hope you will check it out.


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