See, my birthmom is shy. Fragile-seeming. And... I know it had been a *huge* step for her to come find me, and... I didn't want to make her talk about anything she didn't want to talk about. All I knew about him was that he'd been 26 to her 17 and, well, had not wanted a kid.
The day before we left, my birthmom and I were wandering around Cassadaga, a spiritualist camp near DeLand. It was Cassadaga that started this whole part of my life - my aunt, a True Believer, had taken my birthmom there for a reading. The psychic told my birthmom that she had given a child up for adoption... and that she would be reunited with her. Shortly thereafter, my birthmom got a call from the agency she'd placed me with, asking if she still wanted to be found if I ever came looking. She said yes; then they asked if she wanted to find me. Astonished to hear that she could do such a thing, she said yes... and just a few months later, I was found.
So it makes sense that Cassadaga's where I'd ask about my conception.
When she was fifteen years old, my shy, retiring birthmom was a drinkin' smokin' hellion schtupping a guy ten years older than her. They'd met through friends, and were very bad for each other in a way that seems like a lot of fun when you're a rebellious teenager. And she ran away with him - an extended roadtrip that landed them in, of all places, Ohio.
Where she proved her naivete by calling home and telling her mother to send her her blanket. Next thing she knew, her mother was on her doorstep making her an offer: her blanket, or a ticket home.
She chose the blanket.
And that was that for a year. She roamed around with my biological father, having adventures. (She seems so very much like me at that age; I wonder what she'd've made of having a daughter Just Like Her, as her mother undoubtably cursed her?) Eventually, they found themselves back in Florida where, showing further innocence, she called home to say she was in town.
Did I mention my three uncles?
Said three uncles, three big brothers, tracked them down on the beach and did what big brothers do in these situations - beat the crap out of her boyfriend and bundled her off home. There was family court of some sort, where she was ordered to stay home until she was seventeen.
Upon turning seventeen, she promptly called him, and he came to get her.
They lived in Virginia for a while... until she felt a strong urge to go home. Which she did. Three days later, her mother had a heart attack. My birthmom visited her in the hospital. Her mother took one look at her and said "Are you pregnant?"
She was. Five months.
When she called him, he either refused to believe her or pretended he didn't believe her.
(I wonder if he ever wonders...)
Her mother insisted that she would not support her and her baby... and life was a lot harder for single moms in the mid-70s than it is now. So she decided to give me up for adoption, and she chose not to see me.
In the hospital, my grandmother tried to see me, but they wouldn't let her, because my birthmom had said she didn't want to. She would have let her. But she didn't know til too late that her mother had tried, had wanted to.
(My grandmother died many years before my birthmom found me. She never got to see me.)
My birthmom saw me once: the day she had to go to court to officially give me up. I was six weeks old, and was wearing a yellow dress. That was one of the first things she asked me during our first phone conversation: "When they picked you up, were you wearing a yellow dress?" (I wasn't - my parents had brought an outfit to take me home in. That fascinates me. Almost like a ritual, like shedding a skin; the dress one mother had seen me in removed, to be replaced with an outfit from another mother.)
And she had not seen me again for twenty-four years.
When I got home, I used my Google-fu. His name and a few other bits she'd told me.
I have an address and phone number for someone that may very well be him.
Will I use them? I don't know.
But I don't have to know tonight.