A Canadian-Belgian Jew, or How I met my birthmother

It all began with Lithuanians. Drunk Lithuanians, specifically. At a wedding.
Well, not real Lithuanians, nor was it a real wedding, but a group of us had been portraying them for about 5 hours when I sat down next to Colleen Winters and started chatting.

We didn’t talk about anything that particularly impressive, except that we got to chatting about our relative adoptions and the facts behind them. It was an interesting conversation, but I thought nothing of it.
Then, the next night, I went home and was talking to my mom and we somehow got talking about adoption, and I mentioned that Colleen and I had discussed meeting our birthmoms and our opinions about it.

My mom said “would you ever like to meet her”?

I said “Well, I guess? Just to see, you know. I mean, I have questions I’d like answered”.

So my mom left the room and came back with a letter that was postmarked May of 2007. It was a letter from my birthmother, who for sake of clarity will now be called Krista. Because that’s her name. In the letter, she wrote to say that I was free to write her should I have any questions, and she wasn’t trying to take over my life, but she’d love to hear from me.

So that was weird. So then I did what every responsible person would do. I Googled her. I found her in the first 3 minutes of searching, and a couple of cross indexes made me completely sure.

I debated for awhile. I mean, I was happy not knowing, but there is always that just sort of…wonder. I thought about when I was working at the court house and I had realized I had access to the birth records. I wasn’t sure what to do, and I remember Mex told me that this was something he couldn’t help me with–that I had to do this totally on my own….and now, the situation had come completely full circle..I was staring at the door to my birth mom, this woman who I had wondered about for so long…and it was completely up to me.

I decided to email her, while simultaneously freaking out to Steph, Andrew, Brittney and Abby. After about 10 revisions, I sent the email, kind of introducing myself, telling her a little about me, apologizing for emailing but hell if I was going to snail mail that shit.

So the next day, I heard back from her. It seemed like she was really nice, and she told me a little bit about herself. That was when things got Twilight Zone weird. Turns out Krista had gone not just to the same high school as me, but the same grade school, as well. Her parents were best friends with my grade school music teacher. She knew people I knew. I had been in a play with my sister and never known it. That was the weirdest part, I think. I had always thought that since I was born in Springfield, MO, my birth mom was far away. It turns out she was just visiting her sister when I was born.

So we exchanged emails for awhile, and then she asked if it would be alright if she called me. So she called me later that night,(while I was at the KFC drivethrough) and she seemed really nice. She mentioned that she might be in the Quad Cities that weekend because her daughter Zoey had a speech meet and could she call to do lunch? I said yes, but I didn’t really think anything of it until she called me at 3 on Saturday saying that she would be in town in a few minutes.

I suggested we eat at the Olive Garden, and after frantically trying to figure out what the hell I was going to wear (with help from Abby) I rushed over to the OG after stopping only to get flowers. So we met up, and it was a very surreal moment.

This is her…its just really, really weird still.

First off, she’s got GREAT fucking hair. And she’s really pretty. Which is good to know :). It was just weird–I had dreamed of this moment for so many years, and all of the sudden I was rushing out the door and my hair was a terrible mess and I didn’t know what was going to come out of it. (At least I didn’t get kidnapped like in Annie as Abby and I had previously discussed). And then I was sitting across the table with the real, live Amanda Virginia…who wasn’t Amanda Virgina at all, but a happy, friendly woman who I really liked.

But so we had lunch, and it was great. We got along very well,but I had to go to Godspell so I had to leave earlier than I would have liked. And I realized that I had forgotten to ask the most important question. What the HELL am I?

So I emailed her again, and survey says….Canadian/Belgian Jew!
Well, the Jew is by technicality only, but Goddamn it, I’ve joked about it long enough I’m embracing it.
See, my (birth) Grandmother was Belgian, and then immigrated to Canada, where she married my (birth) Grandfather who is German/Irish/English.
Then Krista married a Jew.

So it’s the wrong side, and I’m not even entirely sure that she was talking about my birth father, but either way. Still cool.

So….that’s the story. It’s still a little weird, and I don’t really know how I feel about the whole situation. I mean, on one hand, I’m really happy about meeting her, but there are just a lot of weird emotions involved. We’ll see what happens, I guess, but for now, I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out.

It’s like making a new friend, really. I mean, I’m not looking for a new mommy. I am quite happy with the one I have. But now I have a younger sister named Zoey who is a senior in high school, who likes theatre and music and is on the speech team, and a younger brother and sister who are twins named Samantha and Teddy who are 8. Samantha is chunky and dorky, and Teddy is skinny and covered with freckles and wears big gold glasses. I also have three aunts and an uncle. Krista has a boyfriend named Dean who knows a lot about flowers and picked me out daisies for when she first met me because he thought they were fun and I seemed like a fun person.

So, it doesn’t end with Lithuanians, but at least now I don’t have to keep telling the story over and over.

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