There aren’t Mother’s Day cards for moments like this.
Five 23andMe customers came together this past week to reunite with the biological mother’s they found through 23andMe to celebrate their first Mother’s Day. One even met her biological mother for the very first time at this reunion. But what do you say?
Each of them — Doug, Tracy, Tiffany, Megan, and Amanda were adopted and had loving families who raised them. They each have mothers. But they also yearned to know more about the women who gave birth to them. When they finally found them, they searched for the right words to say.
Sitting with her son Doug Clarke, her arm linked in his, a beaming Patricia Johnson, said she’d never stopped thinking of him in the more than five decades since she put him into adoption. She always had a feeling of emptiness not knowing what had become of her son, so when they finally found each other, his words were the best present she could have ever received.
“And one of the first things this man said to me was,” she said halting with emotion. “He thanked me for giving him a beautiful life,” said Patricia, who added that making that connection filled her heart.
A sense of gratitude permeated much of what each of these customers said as they sat and spoke in person with their biological mothers for what would be their first Mother’s Day celebration, a brunch in New York City.
For Tiffany Cross, finding her biological mother answered so many questions, but beyond that, it added to the important women in her life.
“I have my mom, my stepmom, and mother-in-law, and now I’ve added another mom to my Mother’s Day crew,” Tiffany said.
For the mothers, who spent so many years wondering what had become of the children they’d given up for adoption, seeing them and knowing that they’d had good lives and they’d thrived to become beautiful adults was the most important gift of all.
Josephine Jones spent years wondering what had happened to her daughter Tracy Delgado, who she thought of every day. As a teenage mom, Josephine was told that it would be detrimental for her to keep her daughter, who has cerebral palsy, so she decided to give her up for adoption. Now all those years later, she didn’t know what her daughter would think of her if they ever met again, but she was waiting and hoping she would get in touch.
“I thought maybe when she turned 21 she would try to call, so we kept the same phone number for 30 something years,” Josephine said.
That phone eventually rang.
Her daughter, Tracy expressed some of the same feelings felt by others when she said that finding her biological mother and learning that her mother had never forgotten her and was searching too, healed something inside her.
“I feel so complete like a missing piece of me,” Tracy said. “I feel whole now.”
To all the mothers out there — adoptive moms, birth moms, stepmoms, mothers-in law — Happy Mother’s Day from 23andMe.
Check out the stories from 23andMe’s Mother’s Day brunch here.