A Rare Root


It took her sixty years, but she finally did manage to maneuver the tangled maze of history and silence.

“Why do they make it so difficult?” she had demanded one day, flooded with frustrations.

“Shame, I suppose,” the woman at the records office had shrugged.

And a shame it was.

One that too many women carried, and too many cultures reinforced.

Sealed hopes.

But shame could not, in the end, keep her story from being told.

She watched the ancient lady in the market. Half-bent. Wholly recognizable.

Her birth mother.

A rare root unfurled inside her heart. Sprouted. Took hold.



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox




42 thoughts on “A Rare Root

  1. Adoption… it is a very tense subject. On one hand, a child lives that might have been very well dead. On the other, a mother’s pain as giving up the child of her heart. One of the many foster homes I was in had adopted two of China’s angels. The girls never knew their homeland or culture… even so, they were not treated well at school and often teased for being “too American”. So very sad.

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    • Indeed, though one wonders why so many need protection from being found … and how shame – societal and other – may be something we can help address, so that fewer of those who end up needing to put a child up for adoption, feel the need to hide it from the children, even once grown.

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    • I agree that shame is destructive. Guilt has a place in helping one examine their actions and their impact on others, but shaming – let alone of those who often are the least worthy of that shaming – is unneeded and is often cruel for the sake of inflicting pain and controlling others.


    • I hope so, too! Though, I also know a woman who ‘stalked’ (well, not really, but she found out who she was and watched her a few times) her then-elderly birth mother but never actually spoke to her or introduced herself. She was too afraid of being rejected and she was loathe to bring up things that maybe her birth mother could not tolerate. The elderly woman was reportedly quite frail. So, I don’t know whether that was a good or bad decision, but the woman I know did not, in the end, meet her mother. She found solace in knowing who her mother is, and that her mother was alive still. Was it enough? Perhaps. Or, it was what she’d managed at the time. Saddened me, though I understood it, too.


  2. Beautiful and sad. Shame is hard to lose, it is not only within oneself but driven by the generation, the culture, the family. These are high hurdles to overcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Na’ama Y’karah,

    There are so many of these stories of people finding their birth parents and siblings after a lifetime. Some happy…some not so happy. I hope this is a happy reunion. Beautifully written which is no surprise.



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  4. I love this. I have a friend for whom this actually took place. She located her mother 40 years after she was given away for adoption, and was able to meet her and be with her in her final days. Since then she has found several relatives, even a couple of siblings. Sometimes these stories do have happy endings!

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