I was 35 years old the first time I ever got to wish my mother a Happy Mother’s day. I had wished my mom Happy Mother’s day, with cards, flowers, presents and heaps of love, since the day I learned how to talk but my mother…well, that was different.
I didn’t know who she was, what her her name was or where she lived. It was when I turned 35 that my questions were answered and my search for my mother was complete. She and my mom share not only a daughter but they also share a name. Her name is Denise and she is my biological mother.
I was given up for adoption when I was 4 days old, placed in a foster home for a short amount of time and then delivered to my parents when I was 21 days old. My adoption was finalized by the time I was six months old ~ making me officially a Combs and no longer a ward of the state of Texas. All of my records were sealed when my adoption was complete. Everything about me, before I became a Combs, was now shrouded in mystery. My birth certificate was altered to show that Denise and Frank Combs were now the parents of Jennifer Denise Combs. Just one small trace of the other Denise remained ~ her name. Her name was with me all through my life, I just didn’t know it.
It was one of my biggest shocks during the search for her ~ finding out my mother and my mom share a name. My original birth certificate came in the mail sometime in September of 2003. And her name was the only thing I think I saw on the piece of paper that recorded the day of my birth. I had imagined her, in my head, for years and years. I imagined what she looked like, what she sounded like and what her name might be, never for one second stopping to consider that her name would be Denise. The second biggest shock of the search came when the rest of the paper work was released to me in October of 2003 and I found out that Denise’s mother’s name is Claire. My darling daughter, with the name of Claire Denise carries the names of her mom, two of her grandmothers and her great grandmother. I think I let a little shriek when I read my biological grandmother’s name.
The first time I wished Denise a Happy Mother’s Day was in 2004. When I found her, I sent a letter. I shared it with you all quite sometime ago. I titled it “Letters” (http://www.jennicombs.com/2011/02/letters.html.) I have kept every single one of our letters. They are in a binder, waiting for the opportunity to tell the story of my adoption and the completion of my search. For now, here is part of what Denise wrote to me after she got the first ever Mother’s Day card from me….
Received your card today, thank you so much. How very thoughtful of you! I hope when the day comes and we get to meet each other, you continue to think of me as….”remarkable”! (As I sit here with a wide brim straw hat plopped on my head, hair stringing down, sequinned tee shirt and cargo shorts! I am such a ditzy woman..!! Years ago my brother called my “Georgie Girl”… guess I will never change)
Megan (Denise’s other daughter) and I met for breakfast this morning and she has given me the most thoughtful Mama’s day gift I’ve known. She got it at Hallmark, maybe you’ve seen them. It’s a suspended heart with the first heart opening for photo inserts on either side. Then dangling and suspended from the heart are three charms. Girl, Boy, Girl…>(Angie, Jason, Megan) Open the second heart and YOUR charm is there! In the heart! I got all misty eyed and Megan KNEW it! She laughed and was tickled with the reaction! This is really a good holiday for me. Now I know you really ARE in my life, in your own special way.
Opened my mail last night….your letter, May 12th was here! (At this point please realize, I had seriously considered deleting the second paragraph from THIS letter…CAUSE I DIDN’T WANT YOU TO THINK I WAS BEING PUSHY!!) I’m so happy you want to meet me. I’ve been walking around for months saying “I know Jenni and are going meet…” The Monday after Mother’s Day, someone at work showed me a photo of her two grown daughters, and then asked me how mine was. I said it was without a doubt, my very best. I really don’t talk about my personal life at work, but Marsha persisted. So I finally said…got a few minutes to hear my story? She did, I told her about you and Megan’s heart and she cried. Said it was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard. Marsha cried, I cried, we hugged, she cried some more, I cried some more…we hugged some more. It was rather niche to share this with someone outside the family
Have a safe trip this weekend, can’t wait for your next letter! My love to all, hope your father is doing well!! Til then my long ago child…
So with that, I wish all of you Mamas out there the most wonderful day! I hope you are spending it exactly as you deserve, making it your very best ever…feeling the love of your children in your hearts ~ always!