Reclaiming the Slivers of My Soul

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

I finally did it.

Today I put the form, a check for $25, and a copy of my birth certificate in the mail and sent them off to the Utah Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry.

Yesterday, I took the form to a notary public to have it notarized.  Naturally, he had to scrutinize the details, details that I haven’t shared with people who have known me for years much less a complete stranger at the Pack & Ship. As I stood there clutching Penelope while Luke played with things on the desk, I could feel myself start to disconnect from the reality of the moment. For a few moments, it was as if I was watching myself go through the motions, very much like I did when I signed the termination of parental rights form.

The pen the notary was using hesitated over the section in which I marked “Birth Parent.” He quizzically looked up at Penelope, then his pen traced the line underneath the the date of your birth. The pen went back to the section, “Person Registering is {Please check one}”, paused and hovered over “Birth Parent” again. Puzzlement crossed his face as he looked up at me, then at Luke.

I watched him write my name, address, and phone number into his register book. When it came to “type of document”, he wrote, “Utah Vital Records/Adoption Registry.”

I exhaled, unsettled by the rattling of dormant memories of signing adoption paperwork. He pushed the form and the registry towards me and directed me to sign here, here, and put my address here. I had to shift little Penelope to the other side, since I am left-handed and she was trying to grab the registry. My hand shook as I signed. My heart quaked at the fresh reminder of my loss.

But it is done. In some small way, perhaps this is partial restitution of what adoption stripped from you – your original identity. Perhaps it is too little too late, but it is one of the only things I can do for you.

Much love,


8 thoughts on “Reclaiming the Slivers of My Soul

  1. Congrats on taking the plunge! I’m so happy that you did this. If nothing else, at least you know that you’ve done all that you can. It took bravery and courage, so you should be proud of yourself! ((hugs))

    • Thanks, Jenn. I would be more proud if I had stood up to my church leaders and culture 19 or so years ago. Right now, this just feels like a hollow victory and cold comfort. It’s the least I could do for her since I am the one who brought adoption into our lives.

  2. Good for you! This was both riveting and moving … as if it were from a novel. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. It astounds me still (I don’t know why) that paperwork, even years after, is so clinically wedged between us. This could be read as a “spoken word” piece.

    • It astounds me still (I don’t know why) that paperwork, even years after, is so clinically wedged between us

      Yes, this. As I have mulled over this experience in the last few days, the astonishment at the feelings this piece of paper evoked are what stay with me.

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