An adopted 18-year-old girl insults her adoptive mother. She believes that her 'real' mother would love her more, and decides to find her.
Grace Harlan was adopted when she was two years old, and her parents never hid the adoption from her. They told her that they were very lucky to have her, and that they adored her, but Grace always wondered about her 'real' mom.
Being a parent is never easy, and Joan and Dan West did the best they could, but that meant that sometimes they had to set boundaries for Grace, and to tell her no when she most wanted to hear a 'yes.'
As time went on, and Grace became a teenager, she started lashing out at her parents. Whenever they called her out on inappropriate behavior, she would immediately announce that she knew her 'real' mother would never be so mean to her...
A delapidated old house | Source: Shutterstock
Joan listened to Grace rant about how mean she was, and how wonderful her 'real' mother was, and how much she'd love her if she only had the chance. "My 'REAL' mother would never make do that!" she'd scream. "NEVER!"
The final straw was when Grace demanded that her parents allow her to go on a trip to Las Vegas with her group of friends for her 18th birthday. Mr. and Mrs. West thought that a group of 18-year-olds alone in Las Vegas was a recipe for trouble, and they told Grace so.
"You never let me do ANYTHING! You HATE me! You want me to be miserable! My 'REAL' mother would let me go!" Grace screamed enraged.
That night Joan couldn't sleep. She kept tossing and turning, thinking about what Grace had said. It was 5 am when she finally fell asleep, but by then she had a plan.
Mother and daughter | Source: Pexels
When Grace's 18th birthday came around two weeks later, Joan was ready. Dan and Joan woke Grace up with breakfast in bed, singing 'Happy Birthday' at the top of their voices.
Dan handed Grace a set of keys for a cute little second-hand car he'd bought her, and Joan gave her a large envelope. "What's this, mom?" asked Grace.
"Well, honey, you've been wanting to know about your biological mom for a long time now. It was an open adoption, so... Here is all the information we have on your mother."
Grace opened the envelope and pulled out a sheet of paper. "You knew all along?" she gasped, "You kept her from me?"
Sulky looking girl| Source: Unsplash
"No, Grace, she chose not to contact you. We never kept her from you." Dan said gently.
"Grace," said Joan, "I was thinking we could test drive your car down to Jacksonville -- it's only two hours away -- and see if your mother is still living at the same address, or someone can tell us where she is?"
Grace agreed, and the next morning she and Joan got into her cute little car and got onto the freeway. Two hours later they were driving down the main road of a tiny town outside Jacksonville.
"This looks like it's this house..." said Joan, pointing at a dilapidated-looking house at the end of a driveway overgrown with weeds.
Two women in a car | Source: Unsplash
"Are you sure mom?" asked Grace, "That looks...I don't know...Abandoned!"
"This is it," Joan said, "Come on, be brave, Gracie. I'm here with you." Grace and Joan walked up the driveway and knocked on the rickety door. A child who looked about seven years old opened the door.
"Hi!" said Joan smiling, "Is Anne Perkins here?" The kid looked at Joan and nodded, his thumb stuck in his mouth. His blond hair was greasy, and his clothes were filthy. Behind him, another child peered at them.
"Who's that?" asked a woman's voice. A tall thin woman in a floral print dress appeared and pushed the children roughly aside. "Get out of here, you pests!"
A delapidated house | Source: Unsplash
Grace stared at the woman. She wasn't what she imagined her 'real' mother would look like. "Are you Anne Perkins?"
"I used to be," the woman said, laughing coarsely, "I'm Annie Suerry now since I married those kids' lousy dad! Biggest mistake of my life. Never wanted no children, then I go marry a gut with two brats..."
"No children? You don't like children?" asked Grace.
"Never did, now I have these snot-nosed useless little rug rats to care for. Life's funny, you know? But what do you two ladies want? You not selling anything, are you?"
Angry looking woman | Source: Unsplash
"No," said Grace sadly, "We're not selling anything. I'm sorry we disturbed you, we have the wrong person..."
"Wrong person?" screamed the woman, "You come knockin' on people's doors and disturb them, who do you think you are?"
Grace and Joan walked back to the car, and the woman kept on screaming and complaining. Grace drove away, but five minutes later she pulled over and stopped by the side of the road.
Tears were streaming down her face. "Oh mom, can you ever forgive me? I was so wrong! You are my real mom, and you always were. I love you so much!" Grace learned that it's love and devotion that make a family, not DNA.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Being a mother or a father is about love, not biology. Grace's adoptive parents loved her and wanted her to be happy, even if it meant her being with her biological mother.
2. Fantasy does not equal reality. Reality rarely lives up to our dreams. Grace had imagined her mother as a wonder loving woman who'd let her do whatever she wanted.
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Any resemblance in this story to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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