Found Money

I received an email recently from a woman who stumbled across A Slice of Life Writing while doing research about adoption and birth mothers. Through a chain of events she discovered, and subsequently informed me, of a modest sum of money in a bank account that had belonged to my birth mother.

You hear about these things sometimes–where someone dies, no one knows about a bank account they had, and the funds sit there unless a family member discovers the account and claims the money.

Having read a recent post where I talked about searching for my birth mother’s unmarked grave, and the consideration I was giving to purchasing a marker, this individual suggested that perhaps the funds could be used for just that purpose.

Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?

The problem, I realized immediately,  is that even if I thought it was a good idea to attempt to claim these funds that belonged to my birth mother it’s extremely unlikely I would be able to do so given that I was adopted.

The woman who gave birth to me chose to sever her ties with me when I was born. She may be my birth mother–or first mother if you like that term better, although in my mind it doesn’t fit my circumstance–but in the eyes of the law there is no connection between the two of us.

I won’t, of course, do anything about the funds in the bank account.

I am still considering having a marker put on her grave though. I can do that whether the law recognizes her as my mother or not.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. That’s such an interesting twist. It has the potential for a Hollywood ending -and an unusual form of closure. Apparently that’s not to be, but you do have a great idea for a compromise.

    I often think about what you said so well in one of your earlier posts…some hurts by a mother are too deep to ever heal. You are finding ways to heal what you can, and you are helping others do the same.

    1. It sure is interesting, Denise. So many aspects of my adoption story could be described that way. The thing is, I don’t believe in coincidence, I think everything happens for a reason. I usually don’t understand the reasons, but try to trust that all will work out the way it’s intended. The biggest blessing in all of this is hearing from readers who have found a measure of peace and healing in reading my story.

  2. What an interesting and unexpected turn of events! One never knows.
    I can’t help thinking that maybe you learned of this money for a reason. After a certain period of time, I believe unclaimed accounts are turned over to the state. Could you not attempt to claim it, and then donate to a worthy adoption-related cause?

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Cyndia. I don’t know what the laws are in Canada where the account is but I suspect there would have to be some kind of proof required of being a relative of the deceased. There are family members other than myself too. It seems right to me to let this be though I do wonder at the serendipity of learning about this!

  3. Could it be that not all ties were severed?

    1. Legal ties were severed. That said, there are some ties that can never be severed, right?

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