I first contacted Lorraine back in 1979 or 1980, after reading her My Turn column in Newsweek. I had relinquished my daughter to adoption in 1976, and Birthmark was a lifesaver. Wow! Someone else just like me! I sent her a letter care of Newsweek, and it miraculously made its way to her. I still have her response, a form letter with a handwritten note (in fountain pen!) at the bottom. The form letter ended with “Whenever I get depressed, I remind myself of a quote of Lincoln’s I read some time ago: Let us have faith that right makes right,” which was followed by “Linda—Don’t be so negative about the possibility that someday you might meet your child—your daughter is too young for you to start looking…I wrote it [Birthmark] to let people know how we feel and to let us all know we are not alone…”
Two decades later, I reconnected with Lorraine after my reunion with my daughter started to head south for the second or third time. I asked her how I could see the glass as have full rather than half empty, and she responded “Well, you don’t.” Since that initial cry for help, Lorraine and I have supported one another through our relationships with our daughters and beyond, and have vented against the adoption industry—from modern day maternity homes to crawling into a cave for most of November (National Adoption Month) to the monumental, frustrating task of granting adoptees to right to their original birth certificates. Regardless of the 10,001 reasons we chose adoption, our journeys led us to the same place—we’re childless mothers.
Since we reconnected four or five years ago, Lorraine and I exchange e-mails almost daily. Happily, it’s not all adoption, all the time, just when it’s in our face, such as when a celebrity somehow sails through the bureaucracy and has a camera crew covering their third world adoption (we’re keeping a tally), or how we can’t seem to sit down and watch a TV show—from Grey’s Anatomy to CSI—without having a [usually deranged or drug addiced, rarely a broken hearted all-American girl-next-door] birthmother storyline, or when a movie like Juno is a blow for pro-choice and reproductive rights.
When we’re not raging against the system, we watch and recommend movies, TV shows, discuss the NY Times and weekly magazine articles. I turned her on to Amy Winehouse (regardless of her personal problems, she rocks). And we both love to cook (but I hate to clean up) and are really, really good at it; we share and compare recipes all the time.
No doubt you’re just like us. You rant and rave, cry on your child’s birthday or the anniversary of the day you signed the papers that said you’re no longer your child’s mother. And once in a great while, you may even manage to find a silver lining in this mess called adoption. Feel free to chime in, have your say. There’s strength in numbers as you know. Help right make right. And cross your fingers that some TV executive will be surfing the Internet and will have the brilliant idea to finally give Lorraine and me the TV show we were destined to host.