Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can Two Mothers Really Share a Child?




By Linda

FMF recently received a request to discuss our relationships with our children’s adoptive mothers and my hand shot in the air to volunteer for this slam dunk assignment. The simple answer is I have no relationship with my daughter’s adoptive mother. Period. Zip. Nada. Niente. Rien.

I tried. Oh, how I tried. My daughter was raised 40 minutes from me; her mother, divorced since my daughter was in high school, now lives in a desirable empty nesters/suddenly single complex just six miles from me. As I commented in a recent post, I strongly encouraged my daughter to tell her parents that she had found me. I was in the black hole of adoption for 23 years; I didn’t want anyone to be left out. Supposedly her mother’s response to the news was “I always knew you would search. I just wish you had asked me for help.” No help was needed--I left my daughter a trail of neon-colored breadcrumbs; I was just a phone call away.

I was eager to meet the woman who raised my daughter. I naively, foolishly believed I’d be welcomed into the fold; my daughter’s mother would see where those chubby chipmunk cheeks came from, how she earned her title of class flirt (like mother, like daughter). That was the case with her easy going father, but no, she had no interest. She seemed to forget that her daughter had a mother before her, and preferred to believe she was a gift from Santa (the paraphrased text in the formal announcement of my daughter’s arrival). And she was terrified of me.

Several months ago an adoptive father posted a comment for advice about his teenage daughter’s desire to search, and Jane explained the reunion was between his daughter and her mother, not her adoptive parents. I didn’t see it that way when I reunited, but it’s sound advice. In my attempt to create one big happy family, I ended up being the one left out.

When my daughter announced her engagement she said she wanted me to attend her wedding, but she needed to discuss it with her mother. Supposedly the woman’s response was something along the line of “Well, of course, I wouldn’t have you if it weren’t for her.” But I doubt Kay said anything of the sort; I think my daughter was being diplomatic. I suggested that my husband and I meet her mother before the wedding--coffee at Starbucks, anything--there would be enough stress that day, and again my request was denied. Apparently her mother hosted a shower for her here (my daughter lives in the South) and I wasn’t invited; another missed opportunity.

On the eve of the wedding my husband, niece, and I drove ten hours to the hotel where the reception was being held. We were sitting in the vast lobby when the wedding party trickled in from the rehearsal dinner. I walked up to my daughter; she gave me a big showy hug, and immediately walked me over to her mother. “Kay, this is Linda. Linda, this is Kay.” I was David; she was Goliath. Kay is a tall, slender, attractive, classically elegant woman. I’m an artsy, in-your-face, 5’2” free-spirited pear. We limply shook hands and in her soft, breathy voice she discussed her very elderly father’s solo flight from Florida. The wide smile never left her face; I realized the woman was on autopilot. I stood there thinking, “Oh my God, she’s channeling Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and her children are Caroline and John-John!” And then, out of nowhere, my daughter said, “Why don’t you two hug?” I looked to my husband; his face read, “Don’t look at me.” I looked at my daughter with eyes that said, “You’ve got to be @#$%^&* kidding me!” And I looked at Kay, who was as surprised and uncomfortable as I was. There were twenty, thirty people around us…she bent down and we gave one another an air hug that lasted all of one second, and then my husband and I went straight to the bar.

The only other contact we had that weekend was when my husband shared an elevator with Kay and they didn’t speak except for hello. During the reception cocktail hour, the mother of the bride was walking out to the terrace; I was walking in. I instinctively grabbed her and squeezed her tight and told her congratulations.

About a year later I was shopping at my supermarket on a weekday afternoon, which was unusual for me. For some unexplained reason I was drawn to a tall woman wearing flat shoes, a khaki skirt, and a homespun blazer; she reminded me of Miss Hathaway on the Beverly Hillbillies. I walked up to her and said, “Kay?” She looked at me blankly for a few seconds, gave me a fake hug, and we exchanged pleasantries. According to my estranged sister, who had analyzed the event with my daughter (who at the time hadn’t spoken to me in over a year), Kay thought I was a former classmate; she didn’t realize it was me until I inquired about her grandson. Again, according to my estranged sister (who was surprised I didn’t tell her about the encounter; I explained she had ceased being my confidante long ago and besides, it was a non-event) my daughter claimed her mother had “a right to privacy when she shopped.” I just laughed it off, what else could I do? My reunion failed for several reasons, and I admit I made my share of mistakes, but protecting and remaining loyal to the mother who raised my daughter was near the top of the list.

It’s now more than nine years since that long-awaited phone call, and I’ve spent less than 15 minutes with my daughter’s adoptive mother. I know that’s the rule rather than the exception for triad relationships. The only truly successful birthmother-adoptive mother relationship I can think of is Carol Schaefer; who wrote candidly about her relationship with her son’s mother in The Other Mother. Soon after my reunion Carol and I were attending the same meeting and I asked her for guidance. She took a deep breath, placed her hands on the table, and said, “It takes years.”

I’m still optimistic that the meeting and sustainability of the My Two Moms dynamic will continue to improve in contemporary adoptions. I’ve read a few blogs where adoptive mothers sincerely consider their children’s birthmothers members of the family, the ultimate Lifetime movie plot. Several years ago I knew a Christian couple who were adoptive parents of toddler twins. The birthmother had frequent personal contact with her daughters’ parents, but only received photos of her daughters. It was an open adoption, but complicated, at least to me. I’ve wondered if they’ve maintained their warm relationship, or if it became too much to bear.

I’m not complaining or seeking pity. I’m simply sharing my experience, which is just one of thousands of similar stories, some better, and some far worse. My daughter’s mother wasn't/isn't a horror story and by all accounts is an A+ mom. But I can’t help but wonder: why can’t we all just get along?

31 comments:

osolomama said...

A wonderful account of a very difficult subject, and funny to boot too. I have to believe (that a child can have two mothers). I just have to. Thanks for sharing. I can't stop chuckling over Privacy While Shopping. I wish it had turned out better.

Did you ever come to grips with what terrified her?

Mei-Ling said...

My a-mom does not have the ability to say anything past "ni hao" to my Taiwan mom, and my Taiwan mom only knows how to say "Sankyuu."

Not much potential for a relationship there.

Also, it'd be extremely awkward.

Sandy Young said...

I think that your 'relationship' with the amother is the rule rather than the exception. I am still a 'secret' to my son's amom, something else that they don't talk about. I know, however, that she would have been far more comfortable if I had had the good grace to have died in childbirth!

I have often wondered if the reason that they are so fearful of us,and it is indeed fear, is that they are afraid that we will judge them and find them wanting. My son's amom adopted a girl a year after getting him and then shortly after found herself pregnant with another one. From what I have been able to piece together over nearly 20 years, I think that she never really responded to my son as she did to the girls, nor did the afather.

KristySearching said...

You know I ponder this all the time, I credit my daughter's mother with the "non-existance" of my relationship with Sarah. Good old fashioned guilt. I do not believe outwordly her mother would ever say anything unkind, but being a mom myself, I know it is possible to completely guide your children without words. I have said this before, but it still amazes me, for 22 years I was the "saint" that gave them Sarah, but they day Sarah and I connected, I became the uncomfortable to speak of, "elephant in the room" and a big painful inconvenience they wished would simply disappear.

Anonymous said...

This is the COMMON outcome. We (adoptees, first parents, adoptive parents) that are active in the civil rights movement of open records, etc. need to also work on changing society's view on adoption.

The Adoption Industry sells adoptive parents on fiction and they buy it hook, line & sinker! This fiction that adoptees are forced to live is cruel and damaging. Adoptive parents need to be aware that they are parenting SOMEONE ELSE'S CHILD.

I wanted my natural mother at my wedding years ago. It broke my heart that she didn't come. I know she was at the weddings of all her other kids (the kept ones). It hurts. This disfunction called adoption is way too common (a trend) in our culture and that needs to end ASAP.

Shopping for a child is like shopping for a new car. I just read a blog by a disillusioned PAP who talks about 'saving up' for the child and how long until she receives her child. (Like it's being custom made in China just for her.) Yuck. BLLLLLLLLLLLLLahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Ronnie said...

Linda,

I'm sorry to hear of the uncomfortable relationship you have with your daughter's adoptive mother. Unfortunately it is all too common. But, I can't let this opportunity pass without saying a few words about my son's adoptive mother.

She has been open and accepting from the very first contact between my son and me, always referring to him as "our" son. Early in reunion I spend a weekend at her house. She dragged out all sorts of childhood memorabilia and offered me some of it. She said, "I never knew why I saved all this. Now I know it was so I could share it with you."

This acceptance of her son's other mother was reflected in her parenting. My son grew up knowing it was okay to wonder about me and to love me long before we met.

Bea and I are not best buddies, but we do respect each others place in our son's life. When Neal graduated from college, Bea, myself and my three raised children went out to CA to spend the week with Neal. We rented a van and the six of us went sightseeing, out to dinner and to parties together. When the four of them were teasing and ragging on each other, as only siblings can, Bea said to me, "There is no doubt that Neal belongs in this family."

While I agree that reunion is primarily between a mother and her child, having this easy acceptance makes it easier for everyone. As we traveled about to graduation ceremonies, celebrations and parties, Neal introduce Bea and I as "my mom and my other mom." He has often said to me that he is a very lucky man to have two mothers who love him.

*Peach* said...

I'm sorry but just reading your post made me start breathing shallow and feeling nervous. It brings back too many memories of my reunion when I was in my 20's and the whole "family" trying to be together. It felt like I was left out and it took years for me to build the relationships that should have been mine in the first place. Not the happy reunion platitudes and fake hugs and unspoken, unrealized emotions that were attempted.
To me it just seems that it is completely unnatural for any person to have two mothers. Nada. Hence, the complete inability to pull it off, no matter how many try. It is wrong. Open adoption is a farce, just like closed adoption, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

My son's adoptive parents want nothing to do with me, much to my son's disappointment.

My son and I see our reunion as a separate issue to being friends with his adoptive parents (which is just as well).

My son finds it easiest to fit us in at different times. It is unlikely that I will meet his adoptive mother.

I think my son may not bother getting married just to avoid the awkward situation you have described.

Lori said...

Linda, Don't feel so bad. I have never "met" my daughter's other mother and have absolutely no desire to. I have, however, had the obligatory conversation and also a horrible conversation.

Reunion has little or nothing to do with adopters/adoptive parents, whatever you want to call them.

I called my daughter's other mother once, worried since they were (my daughter, my grandson, and her husband) pratically living on the street. Apparently the adopters had evicted them and sued them because of some tiff over money. I had not heard from her in months - so I called. I joke about being happy I don't know Greek, I am not kidding. I believe she said I was never the mother and that she would kill my whole family if I bothered HER baby again. Talk about a shock.

The second time I talked to her, I knew my daughter was out of state and I called to say thank you. To do the "try to be friends" thing. She was very polite and lied the whole time. I accepted that she is massively insecure and has no idea that my daughter is a real person and not one of the dolls she collects. It was very strange. At one point she actually became a person, it lasted a second.

I would not, will not and can not have those people enter my world and I don't care if I run into her somewhere (not a great idea, but unlikely to happen). I would, I just know, probably look at her with utter disgust and march away.

It is about my daughter, me and no one else. Who we choose to bring in is between us.

Relax, the woman is obviously one of those "I am not barren!" ones that can't see past their own issues.

Sally Bacchetta said...

I wonder if I'll ever stop being surprised when I read things like this. I'm floored once again to find that my triad experience is vastly different from that of almost every other triad member I know.

I love our kids' first mothers. In fact, I adore them. I'd even go shoe shopping with them if they asked, and I HATE shopping, especially for shoes!

I love looking at my kids and seeing their first mothers in their faces; it gives me a feeling of connectedness and unity like no other. Because of adoption, I'm connected with whole families I likely wouldn't ever have met if not for adoption.

And I know that they think about the kids at least once or twice most days. I find that notion calming and sanity-restoring on days when I'm not my best... when I think I'm going to scream if I walk into one more room that's been trashed and deserted... when I feel the tremendous weight of responsibility to guide these little people safely and joyfully along their journey to Self... thinking of their first moms reminds me that I'm not alone. That today's struggle is simply that, nothing more, and that being in the triad makes me part of something unique and profound and greater than any of us individually.

I'm genuinely sorry that your daughter's adoptive mother isn't able or willing to be open to a relationship. It's her loss.

Ronnie said...

Peach,

I was telling of just two instances when Bea and I spent time together. My relationship with Neal is very much separate from the one he has with her. That's what I meant by respecting each other's place in his life.

The fact that we are all scattered around the country does help some. No one expects for us to be a big happy family for holidays and all special events.

maryanne said...

Yes, two mothers can share a child, but they both have to be willing to work at it for the child's sake. If one or the other won't play, there is no game. Also, it has to be something the adoptee wants, on her terms.

Where it works out fairly well it seems similar to a divorce situation where there is a mother and stepmother. Rarely do they become best buddies, but they can be civil and polite at family events, and try not to put the kid in the middle or make it an overt rivalry.

Mei-Ling said...

Peach does have a point. It isn't "the norm" to have two mothers. And no, divorce does not count as one person is a step-mother.

"Open adoption is a farce, just like closed adoption, in my opinion."

Hmm... really? :\ I think it could be beneficial.

etropic said...

The last line here really says it all: "Why can't we all just get along?".

I have asked myself this very question MANY times over the last 10 years. Personally, I have found the answer is this: There has to be the willingness to WANT to get along. I don't mean that fake, condescending pleasantry type of getting along either.(as described here) I mean a deep down, get-in-the-trenches-with-me, we-are-here-if-you-need-us,we're-in-this-for-the-long-haul, kind of dedication. Almost a kind of marriage if you will. The idea that "We are not going to cut you off at the first sign of "trouble". Again, maybe I'm a dreamer but that to me SHOWS me your dedication is not only to the child but the whole entire process of adoption. Now, with having said that, let me clarify further.

I am not expecting an adoptive couple to PARENT me, Counsel me, or allow me to lean on them for emotional support. I understand that is not their job. They didn't sign up for that. I simply desire for mutual respect and compassion free from personal judgment. I would dearly love to only see, but FEEL that.

It has been my experience, there really is no need to "get along" as far as the adoptive parents are concerned. They have already gotten everything they want/need. As long as one side is getting their needs met (again, usually the adoptive parents) that's all that really matters. A kind of "the majority rules" concept applies. I feel this same attitude also applies in order for an adoption to be deemed "sucessful". It's much simpler to take the easy way out & push the birth parents(s) away when things get difficult. It's easy to blame us for the difficulties along the way. We are "emotionally unstable, have problems that need to be worked through, etc. (Fill in the blank with any & all things you have ever heard or been TOLD that a birth parent is. Regardless if it really is the case in that individual situation) It's easy to forsake what is RIGHT for what is easy.

maryanne said...

Mei LIng, I realize the divorce analogy is imperfect; I really should avoid analogies as they often confuse rather than enlighten.

The one similarity is that both divorce and adoption can create a situation where the only thing two women have in common is a child, but they came into that situation in an unhappy and often adversarial way. In both situations it is best if they can both put aside their own agendas for the good of the child.

In real life, this often does not work and even when it does there is underlying tension and resentment.

Linda said...

Wow! I just returned from a weekend away and I feel like a won an award! Thank you all for sharing...Peach, your comments have provided insight into what my daughter may be feeling. And Ronnie, I'm thrilled for you, really. I read your comments elsewhere and all I could say was "damn!" Hearing your story gives me, all of us, hope.

Osolo and Sally, I want to make you the Poster Moms of adoption—you are what all adoptive parents would be in an ideal world.

Anonymous, I wish your birthmother was at your wedding, but I can understand her reticence. Lorraine can vouch for me--I went back and forth over the do I/should I attend dilemma practically up to the week of the wedding...I wanted to be there, but it was very difficult for me to accept the fact that I was just another guest. I knew I wouldn't be in the family photos, and while I wasn't surprised to find myself seated at the opposite side of the ballroom from her family, I had to wonder how I ended up with a table of the groom's mother's friends. In hindsight, yes, I’m glad I was there, but I paid a dear price.

Joan BC said...

Your experience is very similar to my own. I also don't have an ongoing relationship with my daughter's adoptive mother, although we live 5 min. apart. I have reunited with my daughter in 2000 and attended her wedding in 04 and did hug her adoptive mom which helped my daughter's adopted sister alot.
My feelings are mitigated by the knowledge of the pain my Aunt was put through as she was an adoptive parent of my two cousins, and one cousin's second wife cruelly told her children that my aunt was not their real grandmother thus sabotaging a crucial relationship in my aunts old age, already reduced by illness and poverty.
My sister and I also have a difficult relationship and I have also told her she is not my confidante and has not been for many years. This stems from her lack of support during the crisis of relinquishment. She now has opinions on everything but I would never let her know anything about my feelings on the adoptive mother front.
My daughter's amom is a successful and accomplished professional and has very few weaknesses and I have nothing against her.
Not sure if this post is working or not.

Stay strong you are not on an easy path so give yourself credit whenever you can.

I think this forum is great
Love

osolomama said...

Wow, is that you with your daughter and her husband (or hubby to be)? OMG, you're all gorgeous. I see the resemblance. It has to be. What a beautiful picture. Your daughter is leaning into you very sweetly. Oh, my goodness. What to say.

joy said...

I really relate to this post from your daughter's point of view.

It's very difficult for me, and I imagine for your daughter.

It is hard because my natural mother seemed to think for a long time that they would somehow become friends.

But isn't that the whole point of adoption? To have another woman's child? I mean it kind of negates the point---I was supposed to be the "as if" child not the "with baggage" child.

A few months ago, both my mothers came to visit me back to back, and I lost it. Totally. I have been doing this for a long time too. It really really sucks.

osolomama said...

No, the whole point of adoption is to parent a child who can't be parented. You do not go into it thinking, oh hey, I'll just snatch another woman's child.

BethGo said...

First, I don't think my firstmother and my adoptive mother would ever be friends in real life at all. They are at opposite ends of the personality spectrum. My amom had to work to like ME. I don't see her and my firstmother meshing as pals even if I wasn't thrown into the mix. They are just too different. Like Felix and Oscar only in a bad way.
Second, because adoption IS thrown into the mix there is this ready made awkwardness. There are also jealousies on both sides which I find ridiculous and at the same time somewhat flattering, as if NOW I am some kind of catch. It makes me very uncomfortable.
Which leads me to my last point. I decided early on that I do not want those worlds to blend. I can not handle the reality of my bios and my adoptives mingling socially. Just the thought of it makes my palms sweat. Why? I have no idea. All I can tell you is that my "inner child"/ego/ psyche rages at the thought of both of my mothers in a room together.
The whole thing is just to surreal for me. I think my head would explode in a situation like that.
*shrug*

Mei-Ling said...

"No, the whole point of adoption is to parent a child who can't be parented."

True.

but I think that applies more to foster adoption in the case parents actually physically, legally losing all rights to the child.

Rather than overseas where privilege/government mindset influences the relinquishment.

You see, there are always cases where the mother has had subsequent children.

Kippa said...

Personally, I don't see it as a matter of having to "share".
Maybe I'm being obtuse, but that sounds a little too like dividing the spoils for my comfort.

As far as my *adult* son is concerned, I have my relationship with him, his a-mother has hers.
Which doesn't mean we don't like or respect each other. She's nice. I like her, and she seems to like me too.
When I visit my son, we always enjoy an evening with his a-mom, sometimes in his home, sometimes hers. He delivers the cues and we pick up on them. Which is, I think, as it should be.
But there's not likely to be any bosom buds stuff between us. Among other reasons, because I can't help feeling it could be uncomfortable for my son. You know, the "good fences make good neighbours" kind of thing? Same with families, especially, kind of like Maryanne said, complicated extended ones.

But I do think it's rotten when a-mothers are cold and totally stand-offish from the reunion get-go, as some of the examples here seem to have been.

IMO Linda should have been placed with her daughter's a-family for the wedding. I think both she and her daughter merited that.
I mean, LInda was a "sine qua non" (or whatever) for the event.
Gack.

osolomama said...

Mei Ling, excellent point. Sadly, I have also heard of children, born and adopted, being dropped off at the orphanage because of a later marriage and the new partner didn't want the child. Isn't every moment *the moment in time*? How else is one to determine if a child needs a parent except at that moment? We can debate whether the family wants the child back. In some cases, even months into the abandonment, the family does not. That does not undo the fundamental injustice of families being forced into this choice. But those are two separate things. How do we respond to child abandonment here and now, i.e., children needing parents, even if we (and who am I saying we--shouldn't China be in charge of the solution to this problem?) acknowledge/work on the issues that cause abandonment in the first place. There are some people out there who think you could wave a magic wand and return all children to their original parents and the world would be good and it isn't that clear-cut.

joy said...

Oh I don't think my aparents thought they would just snatch another woman's child.

I don't think most aparents think that relinquishing mothers warrant that much thought. After all, she is a birthmother, not a mother.

I was just a baby who "needed a home and family to care for her" like a brand new car, you know?

Anonymous said...

There probably are some cases where there can be "two mothers" but very, very few. Far too often, one of them is going to be jealous and try to sabotage the relationship. That's what happened in my case. The a-mom couldn't handle it...and my 'offspring' turned out to be pretty much passive aggressive towards me. I discovered that the a-mom was cyberstalking me and confronted her about. he took her side and basically said if I can't be friends with her, he wants nothing to do with me. Thing is, he wasn't doing much anyway. I was hearing far more for her than him and isn't the point of a reunion for the birth mother and offspring to build a relationship, NOT the two "mothers?" His last angry email to me cuts like a knife...and I resent having to be made to feel like the bad one simply because I expect him to do his own legwork in this reunion process rather than him sitting back and letting that woman invade my privacy in the unacceptable way she did! I'm willing to talk with him, if that's what he wishes, but as far as I'm concerned neither of them have a right to dictate to me or lay a huge guilt trip whenever they feel like it! I won't stand for it!

maryanne said...

Commenting on the previous Anon:

I'm not sure what you mean by "cyberstalking", but I think in this age of the internet, Facebook etc. all of us have to assume that our kids and their adoptive parents can google us just as we can google them and sometimes get a whole lot of information, sometimes about things we have posted where we thought they could not be seen. For anyone who has a blog this is even more likely. Just a fact of life in the Information Age.

Of course we all have to set our own boundaries, but for those of for whom a long-term relationship with our kid is the primary thing, generally if we lay down any challenge to the adoptive family, we lose. The adoptee knows them, he or she does not really know us, and most people will go with the familiar when pushed to make a choice. If the adoptive parents are already issuing ultimatums and showing jealousy, any show of that sort from our side is liable to put them over the edge to ditch us, because they fear more of the same but coming from two sides instead of one.

Many adoptees feel torn already, and putting more pressure from our side, no matter how righteous, only tears them more. It isn't worth it, unless you are ready to give up on the relationship.

Anonymous said...

I am an adoptive mother with two adoptive daughters.

I have a dilemma at the moment about can there be two mothers? One of my daughters is in contact with her birth mother. I have met her once and thought we would have some sort of bond? The meeting was very uncomfortable, I felt the odd one out.

I have never had a problem with e.... contacting her birthmother, I think its quite natural, but at the expense of the adoptive mother? The birthmother spends glamorous weekends with e..... and I get excuses galore that e.... doesn't have time or too busy to see me... No, I am not jealous, just would at least like equal billing...after all e.... has this family also that is being neglected.

By the way this adoption was in the l980s and was a very long proceedure and a million pieces of paperwork...

Any suggestions?

Jane Edwards said...

Anonymous, some suggestions. Read some of the excellent books on reunion. B. J. Lifton's books and Lorraine's book, Birthmark, should be first on your list. Check out the American Adoption Congress website for a list of other books.

Try to re-frame the situation. Your daughter is not spending time with her birth family at your expense. She is drawing the family circle larger.

You may have been told when you adopted your daughter, that you would be THE mother forever. That wasn't true. It was wishful thinking (or a marketing ploy) on the part of the adoption agency. The birthmother is always a presence in an adopted child's life. Some respond as your daughter did (drawn to the bio family as if pulled by a magnet), others fear the relationship and reject their birthmothers, others are somewhere in the middle. Keep in mind the arrangements of the relationships change constantly.

While you may want to bond with the birthmother, she likely feels it is her turn to have her daughter since you had her exclusively for many years. The birthmother is likely threatened by you.

Be patient, find some support groups which include adoptees and birthparents, do some reading (you might offer the books to your daughter and her birthmother as well if you're comfortable doing that). Work for the best outcome which is two mothers sharing a beautiful daughter.

Linda Bolton said...

Anonymous, a while back Jane advised an adoptive father who inquired about his 13 year old daughter's future search that the reunion is between the adoptee and the birthfamily, not the adoptive parents..at the time I disagreed, but if you've read through this post you'll see it was wise counsel.

I can say with certainty that this too, shall pass. Your daughter's relationship with her birthmother is by no means at your expense, they're merely enjoying the "honeymoon phase" of reunion. Everything is new, it's exciting, the puzzle pieces are starting to fit. Eventually things will fall into place, hopefully everyone will be comfortable in their roles, which,as Jane said, for better or worse, change constantly.

When I relinquished my daughter in 1976 I was assured that contact when she became of age would be possible; if I didn't have that guarantee I might not have relinquished.

By all means, read adoptee and birthmother memoirs, Nancy Verrier's The Primal Wound, and get thee to a support group STAT. Become as informed as you can. Hear how adoptees feel, seek guidance from other adoptive parents who have gone through the reunion experience.

Please remain open and supportive of your daughter's relationship with her family of origin. At the risk of sounding cruel, it's not about you. It's about your daughter's search for her sense of self.

Anonymous said...

I am very disheartened by some of your comments on here. not the actual story but comments. Birth parents have a place in their child's life, but it is ultimately the adoptive parents decision. if you sign over your rights, they become the child's true parents. maybe not biological, but parents none the less. I have been trying for years to get pregnant and cannot....and this is why we are adopting. some of the things said on here are just hurtful. I hope that my birthmom is involved with my child, as an extra support system and someone to love her. But I also want her to know I raised the child as my own.