I received a shrunken down, photocopied, non certified version of my daughter’s original birth certificate.
I am underwhelmed.
I do not mean that negatively rather I expected to feel something more than I did when I opened the envelope.
I opened it, stared at the receipt that came with it for a bit before looking at the OBC copy. It still looks fake. Does the one she would get look different?
It is sort of an odd feeling. Surreal? Unreal? Questionably real?
What does this document mean? Moreover, what did I expect it would mean?
I was surprised to see they had not spelled her birth name incorrectly. It was spelled incorrectly on that ever so lovely petition to adopt notice published in the law bulletin.
As I expected the addressed listed as my address was 2130 North Kenmore, Chicago, IL, the site of the maternity “home”.
All other info was seemingly correct although I question why her father’s age was listed but not his name? I know why his name is not there (he was not present to admit paternity after birth…rather only present to surrender his rights to her pre-birth). I also think the age is wrong. They say he was 19 at the time of her birth. I think he was 18 and would have turned 19 a few months later. I could be wrong. I do know his birthday (and remember, oddly that his fathers birthday plus his mothers adds up to his).
It did remind me of the time she was born. I had not recalled that. I recall going to the hospital in the evening of May 15 (or so I thought). I think they sent me back to the “home”. I believe I puked up a coke on the wall of Gehring Hall. My friend Carol might remember more details.
I do not remember going to the hospital, or being admitted. My mind jumps from puking on the wall to being in the delivery room and having the doctors move the mirror away from my view so I could not see her being born. Prior to that, I remember hallucinating when they gave me Demerol (and told me I was “lucky” I was with Easter House as “clinic” girls from Gehring do not normally get pain killers). I remember the bloody half moon nail marks I made in my caseworker’s hands during labor. Then I jump to some quiet time alone with my daughter (time I was also told I was “lucky to have courtesy of Easter House”), Whitney Houston “Greatest Love of All” on the radio. My mother arrives at some point. The memories are all foggy, jumbled, the images float in and out and in again.
One less foggy item is that I now know the time she was born.
I suppose that is a good thing to remember.
I stare at the document, at her name, well, not her name, but my daughters name. My dream daughter. The ghost child I carried around in an invisible ergobaby wrap for 18 years. Where did that dream girl go when I found the human version of my child? I feel like she is gone, sort of, but that ergo is still wrapped around my torso.
What am I to do with this now? Put it in “the box”? File it somewhere? What value does it hold now that I have it, if any?
Yes, I have proof my daughter exists, yet she doesn’t.