For the first time since she was five years old, my mother experienced family life. Adopted at the age of 14 her life was now taking a very different path from her Seventh Day Adventist beginnings. She would be christened in the Lutheran Church and have a far more structured existence than her birth family could ever have imagined.
While the little family of three lived together happily, there was a genuine undercurrent of sadness for my mother’s adoptive parents – they were estranged from their son. He had married a woman they did not approve of.
They had not attended the wedding, nor had their son been to visit his mother. Almost a year had gone by since she had seen her son. But circumstances had now changed. He had heard of the adoption.
Having a young girl to love and care for did much to fill the void, but a mother’s heart for a lost son will always ache. Whenever the doorbell rang, with a hopeful heart, she said, “That may be my son…”
Her husband, however, was still very angry and made it clear their son was not welcome. But he was not there the fateful day the knock on the door came. My mother was the one who ran to answer it. When she realised who, it was she threw her arms around him with pure delight. In her mind, he was her brother and she welcomed him with an open heart.
He had no such inclination. Consumed with jealousy and rage, he pushed past her and marched into the living room, into the waiting arms of his mother.
© Inara Hawley 2016