'I can't get over it!" The owner of Boberg Resort and Motel in Nisswa, Minn., was shocked after watching my adult son meet his birth mother for the first time. In front of her store.
"They just shook hands and said: 'Hello. Glad to meet you.' "
Our family enjoyed an annual week at Gull Lake for 18 years. Now that my son worked in Brainerd, and because his birth mother's childhood vacations were also spent in this area, she requested this resort for their reunion site. The year was 1991.
Fate led us to this resort years ago, with its family-style cottages, playground and lake. As I unloaded the cooler of food, boxes of paper plates, tablecloth, dish towels and the coffee pot, I realized what a shock this handshake had been for the resort owner. Did I ever mention in these many years that my kids were adopted? This was our third birth mother reunion, so we knew "Glad to meet you" is pretty much the standard.
So much healing took place on the beach that week. My son's girlfriend brought their child to meet his two grandmas. Yes, we did some fishing, but we mainly untied knotted fishing lines — as we also untied hidden family ties. Other cabin friends were oblivious to all the special connections being made on that beach.
The next summer we rented the big, white, newer cottage by the beach, as a second birth mother was joining us. With Gull Lake slapping the shoreline, we again shared food, sunbathing and long trail walks. I brought my kid's report cards to share with the birth mothers and heard: "This is just like my other kids' cards."
A young sunbathing girl asked my daughter and one birth mother who we all were. They spotted her pregnancy stretch marks about the time she started crying out her own story: She had just given up a baby boy but knew he would come back to her when he was 18.
"No. He will have another family then," warned one of the birth mothers.
As we packed up the van with the lawn chairs, dirty clothes, deflated inner tubes and memories, we prayed for another summer at Boberg's, but we knew this resort was going the way of most family cabins — forced to sell to big corporations. Boberg's did sell, but the memories there are lifelong.
Eunice Anderson, BURNSVILLE