Author: Dwayne Staten, Adopted Son
I had just gotten home from Middle School; it was a normal day where I didn’t get clowned and got my work done with no problems. It was a good day in my book; that was until I got home. Instead of smelling my mother’s golden fried chicken or hearing my dad’s laughter about his day, I hear silence and a few tears. I walk into the kitchen, and I see my mom in tears and my dad with his head down, which causes me to panic. I try to think about what is wrong & it hits me, they found the math test that I stuffed in the sofa. My mom called me getting me out of my thoughts saying “Wayne have a seat.” “Oh crap they DID find the test” I thought to myself, and I panic even more. So I sat down waiting for my punishment but instead they both held my hand and said “Wayne we love you very much, no matter what”. I went from panic to confusion. I said “I love you too” and then it clicked in my mind that this couldn’t be about a test. My parents looked me in my eye and said 3 words that would change my life, “Dwayne, you’re adopted”. I was surprised, no shocked to be honest. They told me I was adopted at birth, and that they still loved me. After that I felt the hot tears stream down my face. My world was shaken. We all had a cry and hugged it out.
I asked who my mother was, they said they didn’t know but that she was really young. They asked if I wanted to look for her and I said no. I said no because I loved my parents and to me they were my parents, so I did not want to pursue it.
When I told my cousins about me being adopted, some were shocked and others were not because they had already knew. Even when my family knew that I was adopted they treated me like I was one of their own and that brought me joy knowing that they loved me that much… The questions started pouring in and I did not know what to say because I did not know anything, but the one question that always came up was “Aren’t you curious to know?” and like a broken record I said no because I already had a family and I was good. But a small voice echoed inside of me saying “Are you sure you don’t you want to know?”
Fast forward to 15 years later, my 29th birthday was approaching and the question of wanting to know who my birth mother was, never stopped repeating in my head. So I decided that it was time to find her. I told my parents and they said they would help. We contacted the Lutheran Social Services agency and got in contact with a case worker (Imelda Rempson). She told me that she would be more than happy to help and that I needed to fill out a “Break the Seal” application at the family court in DC. I thought I had to take off of work and go out of my way somewhere in DC to fill out the paperwork. Funny enough the court was 15 minutes down the street from my job. I went down to the court, filled out the paperwork and called Imelda to tell her that I submitted the paperwork. After I told her, she said even though she had not received the paperwork, she had already found my birth mother. I was surprised and shocked that she found her so quickly. She said once she received the paperwork, she would give me more information. Once she received the paperwork she contacted me and my birth mother and we decided to meet up at the adoption agency.
When the day arrived I asked my parents to come with me, they had been with me on this journey and I wanted them to see it through. On the way to the agency my mind was filled with questions of who she was, where she came from, and if I had met her before, so when we pulled up to the agency my nerves ramped up even more. When we walked in, Imelda met us and said that she was already there; so I went into the bathroom to calm my nerves. This meeting had a bigger effect on me than I thought, so I looked in the mirror, gave myself a proper pep talk, left the bathroom and went to go meet her. Imelda then took me to a back room and said “When I open this door, the next person you see will be your biological mother” adding the dramatic effect. The door opened and it was like slow motion, there were two women in the room and I didn’t know which one was my mother, until she smiled. It was like looking in a mirror and in that instant, I knew it was her. I had finally met my mom after 28 years.
We sat down and talked about everything from who I was, our journey in our lives, where she was from, our families and more. We then left the room and with her arm in mine, and she met my parents which was an amazing moment. We wanted to keep a relationship so we exchanged numbers and parted ways. I finally found my biological mother and I am glad that I did.