In the early 80's, while raising three children, I became a foster parent with a preference for teens.
By the luck of the draw, we were sent David and we welcomed him into our family with open arms. It struck me very funny when I went to his open school night and his teacher took one look at me and said: "You must be David's mother. He looks just like you."
David had been adopted and when his adoptive father passed away, his adoptive mother decided he was too much to handle. In arguments, she told him to go find his "real" family! She made him sleep in the garage before totally casting him off into the foster system.
When he told me of his failed adoption and of her often telling him to find his family, I contacted his former adoptive mother and asked her if she had any papers with David's original name or the name of his mother. She was less than pleasant or cooperative.
But David recalled that his original placement was the result of his parents divorce. In NJ at that time (and perhsps still) marriage records are sealed but divorce records were open to the public! I scoured those records until I found his parents'.
We were in the process of contacting his family when david was shuffled off to another foster home. The last I heard from him, he had found some of his brothers and they had had gotten him into a life of crime leading to prison. He had a hard life.
It's been about 30 years since I had heard from him and always wondered how he was doing.
This week David (no longer his name) found me on Facebook and updated me with his life and his family including three daughters. he goes by his original name and as a result cannot get a photo ID so no driver's license! (I will try to help him sort that out.)
In corresponding he referred to me as "Mom." I told him I was surprised and honored. He wrote back saying: "you were the only person in my life that i wanted to call mom. you are the only one to act like a mom to me, as far as im concerned. " How sad, since I was in David's life for such a very short time! He said: "you were the only mom figure i had. my mom acted like one of my friends, cause it was too late to try and be mom at that point." His mother is now deceased.