Darcie Murphy had been told her story more than once. She had hung on to her mother's every last word when the tale was declared. In the recent past, however, she chose to quiet her mother's emotional banter about her daughter's past.
What made her different from every other child in the neighborhood, possibly even her entire school, was her background. Darcie was Irish through and through. She even had red hair, and green eyes, so it wasn't that hard to believe. But that wasn't the different part. Darcie's parents were 100% African American. Their skin was the deepest, darkest shade of beautiful black, and their hair looked like a tangled vine at midnight. In fact, she loved her parent's for it. As a young girl she wished she had the same shade of skin, and in a youngster's mind, it wasn't odd at all to look different from your mom or dad. But as she got older and saw her friend's with their parents, and how they all looked similar, she questioned her mother at the age of seven.
"Mom?" Darcie asked. She was playing with a doll at her mother's feet.
"Yes, Sugar-Pie?" Mrs. Murphy answered.
"Why do I look different than you and dad?" Darcie set her doll down and got up. She fingered a thick red strand of hair in one hand, and her eyes implored her mother.
"Everyone looks different Honey, but yes, I know what you mean. You know how your best friend Alicia's mommy has a baby in her tummy?" Mrs. Murphy stated, with gentle, calm eyes. The way she smiled had always comforted Darcie, and it made her feel welcome to say anything to her mother.
"Yes, Alicia told me its going to be a baby brother! They are going to name him Sam." She picked up her doll again and rocked it in her arms, all while smiling lovingly at it. It made Mrs. Murphy smile as well.
"Yes, well, I didn't happen to carry you in my tummy. Instead I got you a little later. But as soon as I got you, I loved you more than...more than anything!"
"Who carried me in their tummy, then?" Darcie tilted her head to the side like a confused puppy, and it made her mother laugh.
"Oh sweetie, it was another wonderful woman. I think her name was Eithne. She was from far away and she knew she couldn't take care of you, so she gave you to me." Mrs. Murphy got up and continued with the dishes.
"I'm glad she gave me to you. I wouldn't want any other mama!"
The simple and sweet conversation ended in smile, laughs, and hugs. Years went by and Darcie grew to be the age of fifteen. Her mother had told her all about Eithne Ó Whelan, the 16 year old girl that placed a baby girl for adoption, and how the baby girl grew to be Darcie Karen Murphy. The family was ridiculed here there for raising a little white Irish girl, and sometimes even racism presented itself into their helpless lives. But Darcie grew and thrived on love and mercy, and in the end, each terrible story became a distant memory in each of their lives.
On a rainy day in June, Darcie sat on her bed. Her hair was tied in a French braid wrapped bun, and her eyes had little joy in them. She was reading a short story her friend had sent her, when her mom came in the room.
"Darcie dear, mail for you." Mrs. Murphy tossed an envelope onto her daughter's bed, and shut the door.
The red headed-lass picked up the scribbled-on envelope and glanced at it. It was small and had her name and address, but didn't have a return name. She immediately thought it was another friend's writing, just saying hello, so she tore it open. Here is what it said,
I know you might not want to hear from me, and it takes some
guts thought for me to send this. My name is Cassidy. But I think you know me as Eithne Ó Whelan. I changed my name two years ago because I wanted to start over. Don't worry, I wasn't trying to shove you in the past, but I just had to change. Change something, anything, even my own identity. Yes, I am your birth mom. You probably have so many questions, and I have some too, but that will be in a different letter. That is, if you (and your mom Ebony), want to continue writing with me. Its up to you guys. I moved back to my homeland of Ireland ten years ago, and twelve years ago I got married to your birth dad, Patrick. We have three more children, Alice (age thirteen), Kendra (age seven), and Derik (age three). Send me a letter to the following address if you wish to continue writing:
2662 Rosenbaum Mews
P14 R940, County Cork Ireland, Europe"
Darcie stared at the slightly wrinkled paper in her hand. Why had this woman wanted to reach out after fifteen years? What had made her hand write such a brief and to-the-point letter? Darcie wanted to go and write a long heart-felt letter to Cassidy, but at the same time she wanted to know more about her. In order to find a happy middle, she went to her mom. She showed her the letter and had her read it.
"Cassidy, huh? I appreciate how she included me in there, wanting to get my permission I mean. Are you going to answer?" Mrs. Murphy asked. They were both sipping coffee in what they called their 'sun room', windows were in every wall and it made the light enter and fill the place.
"What do you think? Would you be fine with it?" Darcie asked.
"Of course! Why not? She is just a woman after all. Same as I am. Just a warning..."
"I've heard stories of birth mothers trying to get in touch with their children, and then they suddenly disappear, they don't respond, and they break hearts." Mrs. Murphy hugged her daughter.
"I'll be careful. I love you mom." Darcie looked at her wonderful mother's face. They had a bond, a friendship, that would never be broken. It would stand the test of time, and both of them knew it.
Darcie wrote out a draft, threw it away, and rewrote it, slept, and edited it and sent it the next day. Five letters were exchanged, Mrs. Murphy even wrote one out. Finally letter writing turned into emailing, emailing to texting, and one day, three years after the first letter, a certain text came into Darcie's phone.
"My husband has business in the United States, in Seattle, Washington. I was wondering if you want to get together?"
Did she want to get together? Don't get her wrong, she loved this woman she knew so much about, she loved her so much. But would it be awkward? How long would they talk? What would they talk about? She couldn't just say no though, could she? In five months Darcie was planning to move into the heart of Seattle, all by herself. She was eighteen after all. Would Cassidy want to get together then? No matter what, Darcie wanted her adoptive mom, Ebony to be involved. So she talked to her mom once again, told her what Cassidy had said, and they talked for hours. They agreed that it would be an opportunity like no other.
Three months later Darcie was sitting on her parent's porch waiting to meet the person she had never talked to before. Her mom. Both moms under one roof, and her dad too! One mom the giver, one the receiver. Both equally important in Darcie's life. What would that be like?
Adoption is an act of love, not an act of dismissal. One mother brings the child into existence, and the other raises the child. All parents are important.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.
I love this story! It’s something I haven’t seen before and I got lost (in a good way) in the story. It drew me in!! A few minor grammatical errors: “I wouldn’t want any other mama”. Mama should be capitalized. First two paragraphs are wordy. Take out unnecessary words. Consider deleting a few unnecessary commas. I’d seriously consider continuing this story and submitting it to literary magazines!!! Great job!!! (I envy you 😊)
Thanks so much James! I do have lots of things to improve upon. Thanks for the feedback!!!!
Hi Rose, I was enchanted by this story. You are such a great writer! I also really like how you make a point about adoption. I've occasionally thought of adopting at some point, and this story was quite touching to read. Thank you!
Thanks so much Daniella! I actually am adopted, so I got to add a little perspective. Adoption is 100% a beautiful thing and something that should be considered. Thank YOU!