In 1975, Ave was a young woman pregnant with her first child. Ave's mother had looked at homes for unwed mothers, due to the taboo perception associated with unwed mothers at the time. However, they found them to be very depressing and decided there was no way they were going that route. Her aunt came, picked her up, and helped her through a most difficult and heart wrenching journey: adoption. Ave's strength, determination, and love for her daughter resulted in her baby girl being adopted by a loving family.
As an important tool in coping with her daughter's adoption, Ave often wrote in her journal. In December of 1998, twenty three years after the adoption, Ave wrote a plea in her journal for her daughter to find her. She was hoping that her daughter wanted to reach out and meet her, as she waited with open arms.
Ave had no idea that less than a year later, her daughter would have the same wish. With the help of a private investigator, Ave's daughter had found her. Her daughter's parents were extremely supportive of searching for Ave. In fact, Ave describes them as two people filled with love, understanding, and warmth.
Ave describes the reunion as an incredible, powerful, and wonderful. She also acknowledges that it's �huge learning curve� with highs and lows. Ave has relied on support groups, books, and family in coping with the many emotions that she has and is experiencing. She encourages other birth mothers do to the same. �There's not a manual for this,� she said. She went to explain, �Each situation is going to be different, because you're dealing with different personalities.�
She also stresses that it's important to go with your instinct, while realizing that it may take time for people to embrace the idea of a reunification or even a search. Some adoptive parents are fearful when their child tells them they'd like to search for their birth mother. There is a misconception that the birth mother could possibly be coming into the picture to take the child away, which is simply not true.
Ave describes it best when she says a reunion can provide �the opportunity for a child to have more love in their life rather than less.� Adoptees may have feelings ranging from joy to hatred when being reunited with their birth mother. Understanding and accepting their range of emotions is an important part of the reunion process. Ave describes it as a roller coaster, with intense highs and intense lows.
One thing is for certain: As the high and lows come and go, Ave's love, happiness, and respect will always be there for her daughter.