She’s carried the message in her heart for years, stretching back to the year immediately following her high school graduation when, on Mother’s Day, her mom asked her if this special day ever made Lisa Ann think about her birth mother. The answer was yes. Her mom also asked Lisa Ann if she would be open to meeting this birth mother if she’d ever try to contact Lisa Ann. Again, the answer was yes.
And so it went on quite regularly for years: Lisa Ann’s mom asking the same two Mother’s Day questions and Lisa Ann answering the same way to both questions: yes.
“Each year as I answered those two questions I could see the small tear in her eyes. I explained that I (would) want to say ‘thank you’ to my birth mother — because, without her giving me life, I would have never been loved by you.”
These distinct, but interconnected feelings of gratitude have been swimming around in Lisa Ann’s heart for years until about a year ago, when she built her Facebook page. Within a month of her new online profile going live, she received an e-mail from a stranger asking if Lisa Ann was born on a particular date — and if she was by any chance adopted. In fact, Lisa Ann was born on the day in question. And yes, she was adopted.
Your Catholic Neighbor
Name: Lisa Ann Krutzik
Parish: St. Mary, Appleton
Favorite saint: Mary
Words to live by: “God gave us a beautiful world to experience. Get out there and experience it.”
The stranger explained that her friend had been a young woman in 1967 who gave up her child so that her infant girl would have a chance at having a good life in a home with two parents. She intimated how, to this day, this searching birth mother thinks about her daughter daily and would do almost anything to find her. The stranger added that, for years, the searching birth mother had been feeling badly about giving up her child and that, to this day, she worries about her.
But, as Lisa Ann explained to them, “I was not that daughter.”
Lisa Ann wrote back to the stranger, asking her to forward a message to the mother of the other adopted, now-grown woman who shares Lisa Ann’s birth date. Some excerpts:
n When I was a little girl, the first book I learned to read was about adoption. The book explained that when a child was adopted, they were chosen. They were chosen to be special children who could bring happiness to a family, and they were chosen to be loved by more than one mommy.
• In grade school I was very open about being adopted. I remember a classmate of mine, Mary, talking to me during recess one day and she asked me if it was weird being adopted. I said “No, I was chosen. I know that my parents want me because they chose me.”
• My adoptive parents gave me a great childhood with a stable home. … I had parents who loved each other and danced in the kitchen. We went to church every Sunday. I had a tree house and as many trips to the library as I wanted for books upon books upon books.
• At 21 I was asked at a retreat how I felt about my birth mother. I responded “She gave me life, and then she gave me ‘a life’ by giving me up for adoption.”
• At 38 I started photographing children released from custody for adoption and realized how many beautiful children desire to be loved and to be “chosen.”
• Now at 42, I know and understand that wherever my birth mother is — whatever she’s doing, thinking, or feeling — that I appreciate her more than words can ever convey. Just because an adopted child may not be looking for the birth mother doesn’t mean that they don’t have love for or interest in their birth mother. … I truly believe … that a birth mother who chooses to give up her child for any reason does it with love.
Lisa Ann notes that there isn’t a day that goes by when she doesn’t think about both her mom, Mary, and her birth mother. “My mom died of cancer over 10 years ago. … I held her hand and counted the seconds between each breath. God gave me a special gift by being born to one and raised by another, and that gift has a name in our society: adoption.”
Her smile is as full as her heart with gratitude. “To all the birth mothers out there who wonder if we think about you on Mother’s Day — we do,” she says. “Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for giving us life.”
Favorite saint: Mary
Words to live by: