I do not understand this need to denigrate how another person feels about giving up a child for adoption, which is what some of the posts have done. Which is what I expect from people who are all for sealed records--throw away the key, never, non, nyet do you deserve to heal this sore inside.
For me, giving up my baby daughter was like a death inside, though I went on living.
For me, now knowing her for fifteen years was an emotional hell the likes of which I have nothing in my life to compare.
For me, her death, by her own hand, was a further personal disaster that I can not relate on a scale of one to ten anything else that has happened.
For me, the Christmas after her death was not as harrowing, as agonizing, as torturous as the years when I did not know if she were dead or alive. If she had been returned like used goods. If she were institutionalized. If she languished at boarding school because her adoptive mother had died and the new wife didn't want her around. If she were abused like Lisa Steinberg.
The holocaust was indeed one of the worst tragedies of life in the last century, but those who suffered did it because of a madman; they did not bring it on themselves. They did not sign papers. The Jews do not apologize for being in Auschwitz, because they have nothing to apologize for. In some circumstances they sent away their children to save their lives. The Jews were, and are, blameless. And therein lies the great difference between enduring the Holocaust and giving up a child.
In relinquishing our children--which we did, no matter what we signed the damn surrender papers, so we have no one to blame but ourselves, even if we felt overwhelming pressures to do so. The source of our deep grieving is that we knowingly participated in an unnatural act. And that is the reason our tears, our pain, our prostrations of grief often fail to induce sympathy in others.
If not for that, we would be able to argue that we too should have the right to find out what happened to our children. Yet lobby for open records for an hour and you understand why we arouse little to no sympathy in those who are the gatekeepers of the records. Because we signed the papers. We did it. No matter how we try to invoke "circumstances" of the day, we ultimately caved in and did the deed. Willingly or not, we gave up our children. The public knows it. My acquaintance Aston, my friend Yvonne knows it. We know it.
But to quibble over whether my feelings--and those of others who have endured the loss of our children twice--are valid or if we deserve to be dismissed and denigrated strikes me as, well--you fill in whatever word you think is appropriate.