Sunday, February 8, 2009

Search Angel reports nearly 100% success....part two

This is the continuation of Linda Burns's essay on searching and her near perfect reunion rate:

Most siblings happily unite, and the non-adopted siblings find the experience of having a new brother or sister to be exciting and affirming, but I am aware of several families where there has been one child who has not been receptive. In general, those who resent the new sibling fall into one of two categories: either she (or he) is the youngest child, the one who is used to being coddled by her siblings and is the center of attention in the family; or she has been the “only” daughter in a family of boys. Now their special status has been taken over by the exotic “other” that the family wants to welcome.

One family that has very happily reunited consists of a large family of males. Their adopted sibling is female. This lady is being spoiled beyond belief! These guys had always wanted a sister—they said they just wished she had found her Dad earlier.The sister and one of the brothers are both university professors and have become very close.


A Picture of my hero, Ann Fessler, and me. I am Linda in her book, The Girls Who Went Away

We have been asked to find about twenty fathers in all these years, and my husband talks to the men—except for a few who needed a little mothering. An ordained minister, Tom has devoted most of his ministry to Texas Search Ministries, our little group of searchers. He handles the contacts sympathetically, and so far, none of the fathers have turned down a reunion. Only one man asked me to find his son; all the others were adoptees looking for their fathers.

Children sent out of the country

One heart-breaking issue is finding adoptees who were born in Texas sent to Mexico, France, and Spain. Texas Cradle Society of San Antonio, Texas sent at least 20 percent, perhaps as much as 30 percent, of their babies outside the United States, usually when they were at eleven days old. I doubt they ever checked on these children again. Young mothers were trying to give their babies the all-American life, but if the adoption agency had the word "international" in their name....the babies were often adopted out of the country. (The Edna Gladney Home in Ft. Worth is doing the same today.)

These children did not have the physical traits of those where they were sent. They lost their American heritage and citizenship. Those I have talked to say they never felt truly accepted in their new homeland. Most were adopted by very rich families. The adoptees say they were on display to demonstrate the wealth of the family, and that the biological siblings often did not like them. One lady said that because she was fair, blonde, blue-eyed, in a family of darker Hispanics, she always felt a freak. She was "different".

The mother of one of Texas Cradle's International adoptees will be at the march on February 13—this coming Friday—in Austin. With the help of a searcher who speaks Spanish, we found her daughter living south of Mexico City. We found another child in France and were horrified to learn that he did not know he was adopted. However, he was so happy to know the truth of his origins because he could now understand why he is so different from everyone around him. There was nothing wrong with him! He said any fool should know you can't make a Texas boy into a Frenchman. I certainly see his point for I just can't see my husband as a Frenchman.

The law will get you if you search…

We mothers signed papers saying we would never look for our children, and we were told that if they ever searched we could be sent to prison for fraud. I am not making this up. This wasn't in the surrender papers, but this was drilled into us by the social workers. This is what I heard, and I have heard many other mothers say they were told the same thing. We were told our signing the relinquishment papers meant we had to let go forever. I believe this is why there are not as many mothers searching. But I am living proof that a mother will not serve a day in prison if she searches. I can also testify that a mother who does not search, will live her entire life in a prison of her own making. I hope every mother will attempt to find her child. To those who are afraid to search, let me say, Don't be a prisoner of the past. Be free to live again.

It is typically fairly easy to find adoptees in Texas. There are always exceptions, but usually it can be done quickly. Mothers need to search and give their child the choice to know them or not.

I am not going to openly share the way I search is that that could lead to avenues being closed. I am very thankful to David Gray at adoptionsearching.com because he taught me how to use the various records that are available to the public to my advantage. David’s brother wrote, Men From Mars, Women From Venus, but David wrote new life for parents and children when he began compiling open records for Internet use. Ancestry.com also has these same records, but the price difference and the ease of using adoptionsearching.com makes that a better choice. David has tips on his site which are very helpful.

I have seen recent statistics about reuniting, but they do not hold with what I have seen in Texas. Either we are different from the rest of the nation, or the record keeping in other states is not very good.

In closing I want to add that when the mother and child are reunited, they need to meet personally as soon as possible. Until they have touched each other, they are still a name, not individuals. After that first hug and kiss, they are REUNITED!--Linda Burns

email her at: momoburns@yahoo.com

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was adopted in México from the Texas Craddle Society in early '70s. What you are saying is not exactly correct. The Texas Cradle Societey had a big group of people both in México and San Antonio that was in constant contact with the adopting families and it was constantly reviewing the adopted kids, if they were OK. The took good care in choosing the families to adopt. They would make several meetings per year in which adoptive kids and families would get together and coment on their well being. I have met my birth mother and have a great relationship with her as well as my loving adoptive parents. Please try to see both sides of the coin.

Anonymous said...

I was adopted at the Texas Cradle Society in early 70's as well and my adoptive parents were from Mexico City so I was raised there. I agree with the other person that Texas Cradle Society did not just gave away babies to another countries, it was a whole application process, interviews, social studies and economic situation, even before that they visited my adoptive parents house in Mexico City, after I was adopted they used to visit them or my parents were required to write reports about me. I remember we used to go to reunions with other families who adopted babies from Texas Cradle Society. I have to say ai love my adoptive parents, but have to admit that I'd like to know my birthmother/father or at least genetic disease or something

Anonymous said...

I was adopted from Texas Cradle Society in 1977, born in San Antonio to an underage mother.
Texas Cradle Society was VERY supportive, in all ways, when I was 12 and told my mom I wanted to find my birthmother. Due to the circumstances, it was not easy, but they located her a few years later, and I met and am still in contact with my birthmother, siblings, and the rest of the family.

Anonymous said...

I was adopted and Melvyn Sexauer from the Texas Cradle Society handled my adoption,I went to live to my adoptive parent's house in Mexico <city, I never lost my American Citizenship, but I need to say that my latest researchs to find my biological parents have met a dead end, although I could learn my mom's name I have no way to find anything else....

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a baby girl born on April29, 1980. Texas Cradle Society handled the adoption process. Sadly, I was 15 at the time and it was my parents decision to do this. TCS was located on Wurzbach Rd. At the time. A couple, Kitty and Roy ran the facility. Anyone have info.?

Lorraine Dusky said...

Anon: I put your comment up but this is a post from 2009 and is unlikely to be seen today by others. Your best bet is Facebook and International Soundex Reunion Registry: ISRR. It's free and you might find someone who will help, if your child is not already registered. I did!

and now:

COMMENTS CLOSED