Ed Mohs’ Story, conceived in rape and placed for adoption. Ed Mohs is from Marysville, WA and is the Everett 40 Days for Life Coordinator
For over 20 years, I had this indescribable feeling deep within my being, aching to see my birthmother. I longed to meet her before she passed away. This “feeling” never escaped me. I wanted to know, touch, and hug her. I always knew God heard my prayers. Might he also answer them?
I began searching for my birthmother in 1981. Washington Adoptee’s Reunion Movement (WARM) was the official agency within Washington State to unseal court records. I learned of my “non- identifying information” through WARM.
My birthmother was 21 at the time of delivery. She had brown hair and blue eyes. Nine siblings were in her Catholic family and she was of German ancestry. I discovered my grandmother had tuberculosis and died of Alzheimer’s, while my grandfather had heart problems and died of cancer.
Lastly, I learned my conception was due to rape. The Confidential Intermediary for WARM stated I likely would not meet my birthmother.
That “feeling” to locate my birthmother returned years later after raising our four children. Other members of my adoptive family had located their birth relatives. It was my turn.
I tried searching several times between 1999 and 2002. I went back to WARM for an update on my case. Unfortunately, there was little new information. However, I learned my birthmother’s name was “Ann.” Additionally, I discovered both her parents and two brothers had passed away.
Still unsatisfied, I initiated another search, paying nearly $500.00 to an out-of-state agency. Unfortunately, it appeared the investigator never stepped foot into Washington State. This agency provided no new information. I felt disappointed, and angry.
On another occasion, I went directly to the Judge to plead my case. Still, the answer was the same: “no contact with the birth family.”
Twice, I sought prayer as the emotional roller coaster was taking its toll. I felt God’s holy presence on both occasions. He reassured and strengthened me on my search journey.
In June 2002, I wrote a newspaper Letter to Editor pertaining to adoption and foster-care. Surprisingly, the letter printed on July 3, 2002. Two weeks later, I received a note from another private investigator.
“I am certified by the Court to open sealed adoption files . . . and I would be happy to assist you,” she wrote. I went to her home to formalize a fifth search on July 23, 2002, which was three days prior to my birthday.
This time felt different. Within three weeks, I received an email from the investigator, indicating she had located my birthmother and her siblings. Excited, I quickly and prayerfully wrote introductory letters to the seven family members, addressed and mailed them.
Within days, I received an email on August 12, 2002, from Ann’s youngest sister. My aunt wrote in her excitement, “I‘m shaking so bad my fingers are hitting more than one key at a time.” She, too, had wanted to search for me, but never knew where to start.
We exchanged several e-mails while getting acquainted; we agreed to meet three days later at my aunt’s home for dinner. I could hardly wait!
Dinner was Thursday evening, August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Following dinner, my aunt presented me with a family tree portfolio made especially for me. It contained a picture of my birthmother. Silent, I stared at the person who gave birth to me: Ann.
We discussed the possibility of meeting Ann over the next several months. Her overall mental health and welfare was a very important family concern, making it difficult and questionable for me to meet her. I understood and shared those same concerns.
Additionally, I learned of several stories of Ann’s most difficult journey through life. She was born on June 21, 1934 at home in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She hit her head on the bedpost after passing through the birth canal. This injury caused symptoms similar to epilepsy.
Another story: Ann fell and injured her head during school recess. Symptoms began which suggested she was “different.” She was also in a state mental hospital due to her condition.
At age 20, Ann was supposed to baby-sit for a family of three young children. The father picked her up for the babysitting. Returning her home that evening, he committed an ugly, grievous, solitary act of rape, abusing her and taking away her most precious innocence.
Consequently, Ann became pregnant following the rape incident; she completed her pregnancy at a local Salvation Army maternity home. “Baby Mark” was born on July 26, 1955.
Finally, the day and time had arrived for me to meet my birthmother. Anxious and overflowing with excitement, I met her during a small family gathering for pizza and ice cream at her brother’s home.
I desired to see Ann and greet her with a warm, loving hug. Instead, I walked through the front door, quickly shook her hand, and sat down.
It was special being in Ann’s company. She appeared simple in her own unique way. She was quiet, tall and slender. She knew me only as a “friend of the family.” I watched her as she ate the delicious ice cream one spoonful after the other.
Ann lives with two other women in a comfortable group home. While she once recalled “being pregnant,” she does not have immediate knowledge that she is a mother, grand-mother, and great- grandmother.
I am grateful my birth family welcomed me. I am thankful for my “Mother,” Ann! I am also thankful for my wife, Donna, and our four children, parents, extended family and friends; all have stood with me in prayer and loving support.
My search journey included patience, perseverance, and prayer, sprinkled with faith, hope, and love. Thank you, God, for the gift of adoption!
Ed Mohs , Marysville, WA 98270 firstname.lastname@example.org