In Short: Love, fulfilment, and completeness.
In 1962 I was 19 when my girlfriend, Cathy, told me she was pregnant. We were too young to get married, and we had our education ahead of us. Cathy and I were so very nervous and frightened; she trusted that I knew what I was doing, and I had let her down.
Someone I knew suggested I go to this pharmacy downtown and covertly say that my girlfriend and I have a problem. The pharmacist understood and sold me three pills, even though they were illegal. They didn’t work, and the pharmacist recommended a doctor who gave Cathy a series of 3 injections. They didn’t take either, and Cathy went to a home for unwed mothers.
On January 10, 1963, the day before my 20th birthday, I got a phone call from Cathy saying that she had “given birth to a 6 lb, 8 oz baby girl; she has brown hair like me and blue eyes like you, and the nurses named her Marla.”
Marla was immediately put up for adoption; a lawyer handled it and would only tell me that she was adopted by a good family that was quite comfortable, and living in a city about 30 miles away.
For years it bothered me that somewhere in this nearby city I had a daughter, and I was concerned what problems she might have by those pills and injections.
In about 1980 I registered at Parent Finders on the off chance that Marla might register as well. Two years later they called me saying that she did.
But there was a snag. Because of the laws as they were, Marla needed her parents’ permission to meet with me (or that they died, whichever came first). They gave their permission because this is what Marla really wanted. Marla’s mother is still alive today.
And then there was another snag. This was the first time a birth father wanted to meet his daughter without the birth mother, and they didn’t know anything about me or what my ulterior motives might be.
And so I was investigated. I passed.
Then they phoned and said there is someone here who wants to talk to you, and she passed the phone to Marla. We spoke for about two hours, and made arrangements to have lunch the next day. That turned into a six-hour getting-to-know-you gabfest.
So what’s it like to meet your birth daughter? In a word, it has been WONDERFUL!
But then I got a job offer some 2,000 miles away, and in January 1983, four months after we had met, I moved away.
Marla visited us several times and stayed with us, and we would see her and her new family when we went home; we’ve been friends now for 37 years, and get together whenever possible. Plus we have hour-long conversations on the phone several times a year.
Neither Cathy nor I could have given Marla the opportunities that her parents gave her. Putting her up for adoption was the best thing for all concerned. Today Marla is active in her business, has two wonderful young sons that both work in I.T., and a doting husband who also has a successful business.
Neil Koven graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto in Business Admin with a major in Marketing, and post grad work in Advertising Management. He is now a retired commercial photographer.
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