Home from the hospital, I realized just how much work a tiny baby really was. I tried washing cloth diapers by hand in the bath tub and drying them on chairs in the tiny kitchen but this was not working. There was no money to do the laundry at a laundromat.
Nick did not show up until late in the month, and although he held Danny and talked to him, after the months apart, I was beginning to see Nick with new eyes..... Over the next couple of months, Nick tried, as best he could. We found a small apartment and Nick got a job, working for the County, in the landscaping and trees department. He hated getting up in the morning, and I resented his temper, which he lost every morning when I woke him. I began to see that no matter what I did, we were not going to get along -- and it was not my fault...he still got violent no matter what I did.
We separated, and Nick headed back stateside. I lived in fear, though, that he would come back and perhaps harm Danny as well as me. I was afraid to walk down the street, for fear that Nick would show up. I was often anxious and found it difficult to cope with new situations.
After much soul searching, I realized that raising Danny was something that I could not do on my own, or with my mom's help. I would not raise him on welfare, as I had been raised. I would not be a single parent, as my mother had been. I went to the welfare office, and talked with my social worker. Although she tried her best to dissuade me, I asked that Danny be placed in a foster home, where he would have his needs taken care of. The foster family had a lovely home, and there were TWO parents....things that I could not give Danny. I only visited him there a couple of times, before putting him up for adoption.
Time passed, and when Nick did not come back, I began to believe that perhaps he would not return, and I would be safe. I hoped that Danny was safe, in a new home, with parents who would love and care for him.
I got a job, divorced Nick, went to secretarial school, and re-married. Four years later, I had a son. I always had some fear that Nick would show up, and threaten me, and this child....it was then that I realized I still had the same fears, even though Danny was safe. Still, every year on his birthday, and on other days throughout the year, I would wonder what he was doing, and what he looked like. Was he happy? Were his parents good to him?
A friend introduced me to the ParentFinders adoption reunion group, in the late 1980s. I joined, happy to support them. The friend's search for her family did not go well. K.D.'s birth mom had no interest in meeting her at all -- she wanted no contact.
On the other hand, my husband's mom was glad to meet, when we found her. She had left my husband with his dad, when he was a baby. He was raised by his dad and stepmom. We maintain contact with his birth mom to this day.
In May of 2000, my husband and I had gone out shopping. On arriving home, we found a message on the answering machine from his stepmom. She asked that I call her.
I called, wondering what the mysterious message meant.
When M. answered the phone, she said, "Oh, Trish, I have some news for you, and I'm not sure if it's good or bad....."
"What is it?" I asked, beginning to worry.
"Well, a lady has phoned, and she says that Danny is looking for you."
I was excited, and completely in shock!
"That's GOOD news!" I said to M. "It's wonderful news! Thank you!"
M. gave me the phone number to call, and I spoke with the lady from Canadian Adoptees Registry Inc. She explained that the Registry had got my surname when matching me up with the old information that ParentFinders had had back in the 1980s.
They had managed to trace my inlaws, and that was why they'd phoned them. She said that Danny was living in Denmark and that she would contact him, then we would get the information on how to contact each other. I was very excited, as it all came back to me - how I had loved Nick, and how we had been so happy when we found out that I was pregnant, the bad times, and how I had agreed with the social worker, to never expect to see Danny again (even though I silently vowed that "I would so!")
There was then a wait of a couple of days, until Danny checked his email.....finally the lady from The Canadian Adoptees Registry Inc. phoned him. He hadn't checked his email -- he didn't think I would be found so quickly!
How excited I was, when I got Danny's email contact info. Our first emails were joyful, and so our reunion was all by internet....
And how wonderful it was to learn about Danny's life up until now. Danny reassured me that he has had a happy family life, growing up. He had been raised in a large family, with brothers and sisters, growing up in a small town. Strangely, the family who adopted Danny emigrated to Canada from Denmark. Danny travelled there with his parents, met his future wife and stayed. He did not know that my grandfather on my mother's side was from Denmark, coming to the US and then to Canada about 1913. I learned that he had a family, and I was so excited when he mailed me photos. I was able to tell him that he looks like his birthfather.
Danny continued to search for Nick, but sadly, he learned that Nick had passed away in 1995, at the age of just 43. Danny learned from Nick's brother that Nick had had a brain tumour. When I learned this, I wondered if Nick had had the tumour for many years, and if it was the reason for much of his behaviour.
Since Danny lives in Denmark, we kept in touch by emails, and snail mail. But then, in May of 2004, Danny flew over to Canada to visit his parents. We met on May 24, Victoria Day. We visited for several hours, and then met at the airport a week later, to see him off for the return trip to Denmark.
In 2007, we travelled to Denmark, and stayed with Danny and his family for a few days. We had a wonderful time visiting, and also saw a lot of that country. A couple of years later, Danny, his wife and the two kids came to Canada for a holiday and we met again for a visit.
Danny's adoptive parents were completely supportive of his wish to search, and for that I am very grateful.
It is becoming easier to find identifying information as new laws are coming into effect.
With the open adoptions that are so common these days, there will be fewer and fewer people who are separated forever, as was the case in the old days.
If you are a son or daughter searching for a birth parent, or a parent searching for a child, do not give up hope.