There is a TV show here in England about long lost family members reuniting after long and difficult searches. I watched a few episodes once, flooded with pregnancy hormones, and filled proverbial buckets with my tears. The stories that really wrenched my heart were about mothers giving up their babies, many of them with no other choice, with no support system and often nowhere to live should they choose to keep them.
From being one of those women who cried, “who could be so heartless as to give up their baby?” I realised just how painful – and never fading – that decision must have been.
Katheryn Deprill was abandoned by her 17-year-old mother in a Burger King restaurant when just a few hours old. A child herself, the young mother had been raped and kept the pregnancy a secret, giving birth in her bedroom and making the choice to leave her tiny baby somewhere where she knew she would be found. Finding it difficult to leave my baby alone in his bedroom, I can’t imagine what was going through her mind.
The strength and inspiration I read in this story was when Katheryn, 27 years later and a mother herself, put up this photo on Facebook to try and find her mother:
She put herself out there. She reached out to someone who’d abandoned her. She’d forgiven and tried to understood a woman she knew nothing about. She smiled in that photo, ready for silence or rejection, ready for finding out the worst, ready for nothing to happen at all. Because the risk of those things was not as great as the chance of being accepted.
In her own words, “I would love to be able to meet her, and hug her. I want her to know that I am not mad at her for what she did, however I have so many questions to ask her and also to start a relationship with my biological mother.”
It’s difficult to forgive people who have hurt us, it’s difficult to put yourself out there, asking for someone’s love, attention and to be a part of your life. I’m so glad Katheryn got what she asked for. I’m so glad she asked.