Meant To Be

"Knowing that she’s not my birth mother hasn’t changed anything. It has only made me more appreciative of her."

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother .~Oprah Winfrey

I was fourteen when I learned that my mom was not my "real"mom. She actually told me on the day of my fourteenth birthday, explaining that I was now old enough to know the truth. Mom had been working at the local CVS pharmacy and it was her week to open up as part of the morning shift. It was before 7 a.m. when she discovered a shopping cart from the adjacent dollar store parked in the pharmacy's entrance.

Quietly sleeping in the cart was a newborn baby wrapped in a soiled blue blanket. Nobody was around; the parking lot was empty. She opened the store, turned off the alarm, and called the police. While she waited, she checked to be sure that the baby was dry and comfortable. She carried him around the store, holding him to her warm body.

The police and the child services person arrived together and insisted on taking the baby to the hospital. My mom went with them. Even though the authorities kept telling her that it was none of her concern, she stayed there for two days. She badgered the nurses, the police and the child services representative, whose job it was to care for the baby, for information and demanded updates on their success in finding the baby's mother. They would come to learn, as I have, that when my mom is on a mission nothing gets in her way.

My mom couldn't have kids of her own, and she and my dad had been approved for adoption. My appearance was a sign so strong that she was relentless in her conviction that I was sent to her by a higher power. Her sheer determination and total ignorance of the law somehow convinced a judge that she could keep me while the official paperwork for my adoption was completed.

Knowing that she's not my birth mother hasn't changed anything. It has only made me more appreciative of her. She said I was welcome to try to find my biological mother if I wanted, but no one could find her when I was born so I think a search would be a waste of time. 

I do find myself looking at my mom differently once in a while because it's hard to believe that she's not my birth mother. We both have blue eyes and blond hair, and she's often mistaken for my older sister because we look so much alike. Neither of us likes broccoli. We are both left-handed, we both whistle in tune, we both have perfect pitch, and we both play the piano. We laugh or cry at the same movies, and we often share the same dreams. I may have trouble finding a girlfriend because I'll compare them all to my mom, and they'll all fall short. I have several friends who have nothing in common with their biological parents; it's uncanny how similar I am to my adoptive ones.

Now it may be easy to explain all these similar traits as coincidence or parental influence — it's certainly not heredity — but I had to draw the line on wishful conjecture when I discovered that my mom was born with a slight deformity called a hammer toe on her left foot. You guessed it, I have one too, and it's the same toe on the same foot! Explain that if you can.

Cover image via Philip Lange I Shutterstock

This story is from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Best Mom Ever!: !01 Stories of Gratitude, Love and Wisdom  © 2017 Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC. All rights reserved.

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