Holly's Story

Just the other day, a friend asked me to describe how “far along” she is in her pregnancy. I could tell her the head measurement in centimeters, remembering the chart on the ultrasound machine translating fetal measurements to weeks. At Cedar River Clinic I learned so much ... about myself, life, perspective, and the vast spectrum of others’ lives. I feel privileged to have shared so much with clients and staff.

I left CRC to manage another clinic that performs abortions. I worked there for over two years and finally admitted the increasing violence (specifically the murders of receptionists at Brookline, MA) affected me to my core. After much soul-searching, rationalization, and support from coworkers, I left to work with homeless women in downtown Seattle. Leaving the only field I had ever worked in ended a personal growth spurt that included getting a tattoo, a body piercing, learning a martial art, and leaving my partner of eight years. The career change is the only decision I regret, I quickly learned I am not suited to working with homeless people.

Which brings me to my current position at a family practice clinic where I help low income clients apply for medical benefits for themselves and their children. I’ve learned more about ‘managed care,’ ‘capitated insurance,’ and ‘primary care providers’ than I thought possible.

But right now, I am on maternity leave to care for and recover from the birth of my son, Zane, who arrived on April 4th. Being a new mom has lots of challenges (getting enough sleep), lifestyle adjustments (carrying 8 lbs. of baby and 20-30 lbs. of stuff everywhere), and responsibility. I know my life would be much more stressful without the loving support of my husband. We planned this pregnancy and accept the challenge, but I cannot imagine what it would be like if we hadn’t. As a cross-cultural adoptee, I have spent lots of time processing my feelings around issues of abandonment, motherhood, blood ties, family, cultural and ethnic identity. After 26 years, I finally accept that I can never find, talk to, or meet my birth mother.

I accept the pain this realization brings, and know I will feel the loss until I die. Some of the joy and healing my son has brought is biological continuity, my bloodline passed on. I look to the future in his eyes and I see the resemblance of my first blood relative.

I continue to hope every child is wanted, looked forward to, and welcomed as much as mine is. Parenting is the right choice for me now but it wasn’t always. The responsibility of rearing the next generation is too profound a decision to impose or legislate.

Holly is a former employee of Cedar River Clinic.
May 1997

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