It was Thursday of last week that I stumbled to the coffee pot in the office. My usual salutations to the girls in accounting seemed a bit different than other mornings. Darlene (not her real name) had a big smile on her face, a bewildered smile, one that makes you stop and say "OK, what the hell is going on?"
She said, Ralph, I will tell you right now that I will not be getting anything done today". Again, big smile, bewilderment. I said something obnoxious like, "oh, rough night eh? Shouldn't do that." She said no, nothing like that, let me show you something. On her desk was a picture of a young man, around 25 years old, kind of a preppy looking guy, maybe a pharmaceutical salesman. (I was right). "It's my son" she said and I never knew where he was".
Only Darlene could come up with a story like this. I was intrigued to say the least. She went on to explain how she had become pregnant with a child when she was fifteen, given him up for adoption at 16 and never knew what happened. A couple months ago she started working the websites, putting it out there that, if the child were interested, she could be contacted. She got a hit from her sons adopted sister. In about an hour, Darlene was to speak with him for the first time.
I couldn't help but get a little choked up as did the rest of the office. This was real, friggin really real stuff that you hear about on TV and it was unfolding right in the accounting office of Pfoodman! Needless to say, we all gave her a little privacy, our offices are somewhat segregated anyway and that is the way we like it. When I returned for more java there were pictures of her new family everywhere, her grandchildren, two of them, a better picture of her long lost son, a framed picture this time. It was pretty cool.
She had made plans to visit, he will come see her, then vice versa. What a story huh? I asked Darlene, why now? Why did you decide after all these years to track him down at this point in your life? She said it was just the right time. She was settled, mature, balanced, could handle it. I think she could tell somehow by his picture that he could handle it too, a mothers intuition was that it would be OK, because when he found out that Darlene was willing to make contact, he jumped at the chance.
So I suppose this is a story of finding the courage to accept life for what it is or what it has become, taking ownership and getting closure. Regardless of how it may appear to others and with respect to all involved, Darlene embarked on a journey to look at herself at a time when she knew she was ready, after a lot of living, learning and persevearance. I am proud of Darlene to have embarked on such a courageous mission. I would have never guessed that she, when a teenager, was one who found putting a child up for adoption the only option. It is truly a garden of forking paths, our lives. Consider the fact that, if the path is always in the garden, there are certain to be flowers found along the way.