Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kidnapped Daughter reunites with her family

Lorraine
How much alike are our children, who were adopted, when we first/birth mothers find them? Does this sound like a familiar story? From today's New York Post:
"They can't stop touching one another, they can't stop looking at one another -- their faces mirrors of each other's past and future.
"Cuddled on a couch in a Midtown hotel suite last night, Joy White and long-lost daughter Carlina began to bridge 23 years that were stolen from them, each telling The Post in exclusive interviews that now, at last, "I feel complete."



"'When I see my mother, I see myself,' said the vivacious 5-foot-2 Carlina, who could not tear her eyes from Joy. 'I see the smile, the lips the chin, and the legs -- we all have flat knees,' she giggled. 'I'm just amazed. I feel like I'm in a dream. I see my face in both my parents. I get my eyes from my father.'

"Looking around the hotel room at her dad, Carl Tyson, mom Joy and other ecstatic relatives, all the terrible years apart seemed hardly to matter. 'Talking to her doesn't feel disconnected,' Carlina said. 'They were always there, but just missing. Now I feel complete.'

"Watching her grown-up baby girl, Joy burst with pride. 'I see myself, too,' she marveled. 'I see my face, but with a smaller body,' sweetly hugging the daughter she had longed to hold. 'I see Carl in her eyes. I see my forehead, my eyebrows, my chin. 'She's just like me,' Joy said, laughing. 'We like the same colors. We like our houses to be clean. We can't go to sleep without the dishes being washed.'

"The mom and daughter listened to one another's memories of years missing so much." 
This is not an adoption story, but one of abduction and kidnapping, yet the parallels are not lost to us. The young woman who was abducted from Harlem Hospital in 1987 when she was 19-days old found her own true real family herself by checking on the Internet for babies that were missing that year, and came across a baby picture that looked  like her own child--and a baby picture she had of herself. Carlina became suspicious when her "mother" could not come up with a birth certificate or Social Security number. She had left home at seventeen.

Here's more than the Today Show this morning about this case:

>>>Ann Curry:  a woman helped break her own cold case and find her family more than 20 years after she was abducted as a baby. Tom Lamas is from WNBC and he's got more details for us. Tom, good morning.

>> Good morning, Ann. In August of 1987, a teenage mother came to this hospital because her infant was sick. That mother would leave the hospital sick herself, heart-broken with endless depression, her baby was gone, kidnapped from right here and no one could tell her who had her child. 23 years ago, the unthinkable happened to new mom, Joy White....and for more than two decades, the Whites would never see or hear from their little girl.

>> She was broken. She was broken for so long. [Referring to Joy White, the mother of the missing baby. Sound like he could be describing any of us?]

>> Reporter:  Just when the case couldn't get any colder, last month Atlanta resident 23-year-old Nejdra Nance reportedly learned the woman who raised her wasn't her biological mother.

>> Around Christmas The Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a phone call through our 24-hour hotline from this young woman who indicated that she was suspicious about her past. She had questions about who she really was...and they opened up their cold case files.

>> She says, Wow, that looks like me. She takes out her own baby photo and says, I look like the same person.

>> Reporter:  Nance reached out to Joy White and agreed to meet. This week, DNA confirmed with what the family had already known.

>> I knew it anyway.

>> Reporter:  Mother and daughter, reunited.

>> Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.

Ann Curry: Dr. Janet Taylor is a psychiatrist here in New York City.....Janet, it's hard to imagine the psychological ramifications here. How would you describe it for this family?

>> Boh have been traumatized. You had early-life trauma, but also that feeling like I just don't belong. And then, you know, the family showing so much faith saying -- keeping their number with the Center for Exploited Children. So it all came together. But recovery is the right word. With so much joy I think this family is definitely on the road to recovery.

>>Ann Curry: But this means that now she has to feel like she belongs in this family that she's not known.

>> Taylor: But clearly she belongs. Her mom having the name--Joy is the right word. They have love. There will be difficult times, but they'll put the pieces together, stay in the moment and work on re-creating a new relationship as adults and thankfully themselves.

Thankfully themselves. Did she really say that?

Now that Carlina/Nedra is with her own, true family, she can be "thankfully herself." Her true self.

So we hear and read all this about a reunion after a kidnapping and a 23-years of separation, and everybody says, Oh,well, there will be much they have to make up and get to know one another, but the long lost child is going to fit right in! Yet when we try to make this same point--though we keep our mouths shut in front of the adoptive family, if we are allowed to meet them at all--we are shot down by so many....adoptees who want to act as if they don't belong in our families and aren't they glad they were raised by someone else, adoptive parents who want to deny that the "child" in question has anything in common with their biological/blood/first/birth families, when they have so very much in common, and all the friends of the adoptive family.

Now of course I'm not talking about everyone--there are wonderful adoptive parents who understand, truly understand even if it shocks them and they feel the sting of suddenly being the outsider--but how this reunion is treated in the mind's eye of the public is so very different from how the reunions between adoptees and their biological families is looked upon. However, this ought to be the norm--that people everywhere understand that coming home to your real family is going to be a reason for joy. It doesn't have to mean a rejection of the family who raised you if it was a good family but...it's not the same as the one where you belong.

The Mistress's DaughterAnd then there are the other kinds of stories, where a person who was adopted was raised in a different social class--higher than his origins, and better educated too--those adoptees seem to have a different reaction to their birth parents. It shows up in their memoirs--Sarah Saffian in Ithaka, A.M. Holmes in The Mistress's Daughter--and the barely hidden disdain they feel towards these people who are less educated and refined than they were raised.

Let's hope that this story--that of Carlina and Joy and her father, Carl (after whom she was presumably named)--registers on some level with the great unwashed public so that when they do hear about a first/birth family reunion, they "get" it.

One last thought, directed to first mothers: If there is a first mother out there who is afraid of reuniting with your child, who has turned down the reunion in the past, take the teaching moment for all of America and reach out to that child of yours. Let him or her know who he is, where she came from, let her look into your eyes and see her own reflected there. Let her have peace and let the peace of reunion come flooding into your own heart. Every day you delay denies you of comfort and peace, not only for yourself, but for your daughter or son. Take this moment to make that phone call, to write that letter, to hit "FRIEND" on Facebook.

Tomorrow may never come. Tomorrow may be too late.--lorraine

Addendum, added 9/12/11: As a reader has reminded us, reunion ain't all roses. For more see:
 Why birth/natural mother-adoptee reunions go awry

 When birth/natural mother-adoptee reunions go awry, Part 2

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39 comments :

  1. I don't understand something..... they talk about how things are recoverable, fixable, yet adoption reunions are not even thought of as a normal part of life....confusing...

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  2. Just added this to the blog (I was in a hurry when I posted a couple hours ago):

    So we hear and read all this about a reunion after a kidnapping and a 23-years of separation, and everybody says, Oh,well, there will be much they have to make up and get to know one another, but the long lost child is going to fit right in! Yet when we try to make this same point--though we keep our mouths shut in front of the adoptive family, if we are allowed to meet them at all--we are shot down by so many....adoptees who want to act as if they don't belong in our families and aren't they glad they were raised by someone else, adoptive parents who want to deny that the "child" in question has anything in common with their biological/blood/first/birth families, when they have so very much in common, and all the friends of the adoptive family.

    Now of course I'm not talking about everyone--there are wonderful adoptive parents who understand, truly understand--but how this reunion is treated in the mind's eye of the public is so very different from how the reunions between adoptees and their biological families is handled. However, this ought to be the norm. Let's hope that this story registers on some level with the great unwashed public so that when they do hear about a first/birth family reunion, they "get" it.

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  3. I saw the broadcast on "Today" this morning, and one of the things that struck me (among so many of the other parallels among those of us in the adoption community); during the story part, there was a comment about the daughter fitting back into her "real" family. My comment, under my breath, but my son heard it (which is neither here nor there, since he didn't comment back), was, "she'll never fit in".

    Granted, I'm still only a little over a year into my reunion, and I haven't had over much contact with members of my first family, I still don't think that many adoptees ever truely feel that they fit into the families they reunite with. Even though we see the joyful story today, I foresee for this family the same type of reunion that many of us deal with. Joy, elation, pull-back, boundry setting. And the American public will never be told of all of this. The last impression we will get is how happy this newly reformed family is; not the full truth. But then again, do we as a society really want all of the story?

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  4. They won't get it. The child kidnapped by strangers, raised by kidnapper strangers was not government approved (illegal)and therefore is OK for the adult adoptee to want to return to his/her original family. But if a child is adopted by strangers, government approved and lauded...it is then determined that the adult adoptee (or natural mother) should have no need to search...as they are with their 'real, legal' family...the natural mother/natural family is erased with the stroke of a pen and notary stamp. In the first instance...the natural mother/natural family was not 'erased'. It's the word 'adoption' that makes all the difference with the 'great unwashed public'. The only difference..one act is illegal, the other legal...but still no matter, the infant went home with strangers in either instance.

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  5. I have heard so much positive about this reunion in the press. This woman's desire to be reunited with her family, her not feeling part of the family she was raised in--it seems makes sense to people, but when adoptees say the same, it's just wrong and subversive? Sigh.

    I suppose it's all about ownership. This woman was not separated legally from her family, but adoptees are. A piece of paper is meant to change everything and alter a person's response to loss? Puhleeze.

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  6. Contrast this true tale of a kidnapped child being reunited with her family to Jessica Mitchard's "The Deep End of the Ocean" where a young child is kidnapped by a deranged woman and reunited with his family after nine years. The kidnapper went to a mental hospital and the boy was raised by her husband, a decent guy.

    Mitchard, an adoptive mother, presents the boy as conflicted about returning to his family. In fact he has suicidal thoughts from having to leave the only parents he knew. He is angry because his real parents do not appreciate the bond he developed with the husband of the kidnapper. He finds no solace in being with people who like like him; in fact familial similarities are not even discussed.

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  7. I have found the discussions about this to be so...I don't know...ironic, and from my perspective as an adoptee, insulting.

    Carlina spoke about how she never felt she belonged and that she never "fit in". The adoption loving public has been so agreeable. Yet when adoptees say the same thing, many are quick to put us in our place and tell us that we were just "imagining things" and downplay our losses and the importance of DNA.

    People have also said, "Well of course she did not feel as though she fit in- those people kidnapped her!"

    To that I say, an infant has no concept of adoption, or kidnapping. All they know is that their Mother is gone, and there is a stranger in her place.

    Can Carlina ever be her "true self"? I know I cannot, and most of my adoptee friends say the same thing. Our "true self" left the day we lost our first Mothers. Reunion helps, but we cannot undo the history we have lived by living with strangers, just as we cannot undo the lack of history with our first families.

    For me, being in reunion for 24 years now, I still do not FULLY belong in any of my families. One has a history and no connection, the other has connection and no history.

    I wish this woman well, and I am so happy for her and her rightful family. I also hope they punish her kidnappers to the fullest extent of the law.

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  8. I am speechless and sad. Will link to this post though. What an important story and contrast. Thank you.

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  9. Yes, it is absolutely about ownership. If a child is adopted "legally" they should have no desire to search and reunite with their natural families, because they already have a "family". if they do it is looked at as a snub to the adoptive family and the natual family more often than not gets cast aside, once again. The only thing that makes this case ANY different is the fact that it was not legally sanctioned. Had she been "legally adopted" people would be saying she was betraying her "only" family right now, by being so overjoyed and at the discovery of her natural family and spending much deserved quality time with them...

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  10. While many who are touched by this story are taken in by the kidnapping angle, the only part of the story that matters is the part about the kidnapper's instability. Her drug use and related social pathologies.

    Let's face it, stealing another woman's infant by posing as a nurse in a hospital is, itself, evidence of a deeply troubled mind. A seriously criminal mind. I'm guessing the kidnapper may face criminal prosecution, and thought she probably has no assets, Carlina's birth mother can undoubtedly sue her for all she's got.

    Of course Carlina knew she was living with a nut, which makes the outcome of this story seem, at first, like a fairy tale.

    On the other hand, a few years ago there was another kidnapping story involving an infant boy. I believe the boy was to be adopted but something went wrong in the legal process.

    Rather than return the child to his biological father, as the court ordered, the adoptive parents took him and ran. I think landed in Arizona or New Mexico.

    Fast forward about 22 years. The young man needed some documentation for a job, and like Carlina, that started things rolling, ending when his biological father found him.

    However, the young man said he was terrifically happy with his adoptive parents and, under the circumstances, wanted no part of biological father.

    Meanwhile, the adoptvie parents were prosecuted and the father was handed a jail sentence, which he served.

    I don't know if there was a rapprochement between the young man and his bio dad. Perhaps someone here knows the outcome. Anyway, that story came and went with relative speed.

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  11. I vaguely remember that case, No slapps. There was also the DeMartino/Scarpetta case in 1972 where the adoptive parents fled from NY to Fl. with "Baby Lenore" whom the courts had ruled should be returned to the birthmother Olga Scarpetta who tried to get her back within a week or two after surrendering.

    Many years later, a magazine tracked down the family and the daughter was vehement that her adoptive parents did the right thing and she wanted nothing to do with the birthmother. She was NOT angry at her adoptive parents, as many had predicted she would be.

    On the other side of that, Baby Jessica/Anna, who was successfully returned to her birthparents after a long court battle, when interviewed as a teen was perfectly happy where she was and had no desire to connect with the prospective AP's who had her for almost two years.

    This leads to me think that where there is not abuse or neglect, and kids are raised decently, they would prefer to stay where they are, even if some would want to connect with their original family, but not cut off the family that raised them altogether. The legal and criminal ramifications may matter less to the child than how they were treated. Adoptees I have known from perfectly legal adoptions who totally disconnect from their adoptive families usually have serious reasons of abuse and neglect growing up.

    Kidnapping a child is horrendous and the woman who did it was a criminal, then she compounded her awful behavior by abusing and neglecting the child. Taking any child illegally as in contested adoptions is wrong as well.

    It is a wonderful thing that the girl was able to connect to her family now, but like every case, this one is unique and has its own special circumstances.

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  12. I've heard from adoptees who said there was no abuse in their family but that they always felt like they did not belong with that particular group of people. And I know many adoptees who move far away from where they were raised and have a cool and distant connection with their adoptive parents. I don't think it's just a matter of abuse that sets up a disconnect; it is the luck of the draw. Some adoptees get parents who fortunately are more like the biological parents, in terms of interests and natural abilities; some do not.

    The "do nots" feel dislocated, like a science nerd dropped down in a family of artistic types, or the other way around.

    In my own particularly laboratory consisting of my daughter and her daughters, I can see the many many ways they are and were similar to my particular DNA and that of other members of my family, down to something as seemingly unimportant as what kind of coffee pot do you use? One that leaves a large carbon footprint (those one-cup things, each in a separate packet)or a French press that uses nothing but pot and hot water?

    Big difference. And telling.

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  13. Lorraine,

    In my view as an adoptee who has reunited with his birth family, it seems the Nurture:Nature balance is 20% Nurture:80% Nature.

    Major patterns in my life are so close to those of my birth father's and so different from those of my adoptive parents that it's as though I was receiving secret signals from him.

    You wrote:

    I've heard from adoptees who said there was no abuse in their family but that they always felt like they did not belong with that particular group of people.

    Yes. The disconnect. I had it. Fortunately, my adoptive parents were reasonably relaxed about most matters, which meant I was able to go my merry way without too many parental roadblocks intruding.

    Thus, I cannot honestly claim living under their roof was a true impediment to getting where I thought I ought to go.

    We were able to admit that I was the blank slate and that it was up to me to discover whatever was within.

    Meanwhile, I know a number of families in which at least one of the biological offspring seems to have been dropped off by a passing alien spacecraft. Nevertheless, the similarities between my birth father and me are eerie.

    Moreover, though my own two boys do not look like me, the younger one seems to have my brain in his head. Thus, I believe I can guide his thinking with a very light touch.

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  14. I don't think the general public will ever liken adoption to kidnapping. Adoption is widely believed to be in the best interest of the child and kidnapping certainly is not.

    I agree with Baby Girl Williamson/Morse that most adoptees do not fully become members of their first families again after reunion. That everyone is totally happy about it and that they all set about to make up for lost time. Adoption comes with so much baggage. Some fmothers may never have told anyone or maybe they don't want to revisit the awful circumstances that lead to the relinquishment, sometimes there are kept bio-siblings who may be jealous or insecure about this new "interloper". And for the adoptee, s/he has to deal with attachment issues and loyalty to the adoptive parents and the brainwashing that the APs are the child's "real/only" parents.

    I do think,however, that this kidnap victim has a great chance of being fully integrated into her real family. She doesn't have any loyalty to her kidnapper and the bio-family (hopefully) has no guilt/shame issues as they were victims of a crime. There is a striking similarity in the two experiences, the way she felt that she didn't belong and was in the wrong family which many adoptees feel, too.

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  15. Lo, yes, of course I know adoptees who never fit in their adoptive family and there was no abuse, just difference, and this is much more likely to happen in adoptive than biological families since it is much more random than the chance of not being like the parents you were born to.

    What I was talking about was adoptees who seriously cut themselves off from the adoptive parents, not just move away and see them seldom, or feel they have little in common with them. People can still love those unlike them, and often do.

    I have a whole slew of things too like your coffee maker where my son is similar to me and people in my family, like the cat thing, his writing style, some tastes in books and music, and where he is like his brothers, not me...running marathons, being in a math/computer field, and he sounds like one brother on the phone, has the bad handwriting of another. I sent him a picture of a bird feeder I had painted, and he said it resembled home-made Christmas ornaments he and his wife had painted. All those little things are great and more likely in blood relatives. But they are not always there, and they do not always outweigh other factors.

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  16. "I've heard from adoptees who said there was no abuse in their family but that they always felt like they did not belong with that particular group of people."

    I am one of those adoptees, Lorraine. I very much love my adoptive parents and wasn't abused in the slightest. I was raised an only child, and while I do share my parents' political views, we otherwise inhabit quite different intellectual and social worlds. I found my own way in life, and they supported me on that journey. And yet I am very, very little like anyone at all in my afamily.

    It was wonderful to find my maternal first family a year and a half ago, to sit in my brother's living room and actually *look* like the people in photographs on the walls, to find out that my brother and I have followed parallel career paths with multiple graduate degrees. I am more like him--on so many levels--than *anyone* in my afamily.

    While I would never cut off my aparents, and I am absolutely negotiating awkwardness in getting to know my first family in middle age, I would have jumped at the chance to know my first family in childhood and adolescence. It might have helped me avoid a great deal of the pain I felt from being so different from my afamily.

    Carlina's story is being shown in such a positive light because of the circumstances of her story, but also--I believe--because she was *not* an adoptee, and thus not subject to societal expectations of gratitude, etc. She is not being transgressive, and is thus roundly celebrated and praised.

    I think abuse is a red herring in this discussion. As you said, Lorraine, I wish it were the norm that all reunion stories were given so much positive, nonjudgmental attention.

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  17. "I wish it were the norm that all reunion stories were given so much positive, nonjudgmental attention."

    Even better, that adoption reunion was so much the norm and so accepted that most reunion stories were given no media attention at all, because they were not news, just normal everyday life.

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  18. I do think the difference in public opinion between adoption reunion and this particular reunion is the stigmas attached to adoption.

    No one making an opinion on this in the gen pop really knows how many adoptees feel this way or that way or think that deep into it like those of us directly connected to adoption do.

    Rather, in the case of the kidnapping, they (rightfully) place the "bad guy" label on the person who did the kidnapping of the child. This frees up compassion for the individual seeking reunion.

    In adoption reunion in legal adoption, society instead places the "bad guy" label on the adoptee, because they *must* be hurting their APs feelings who rightfully adopted them.

    Again, society does not look that far into it in order to have the same compassion for Adult Adoptees as for the woman we're discussing here in this issue. Search and reunion, or feeling like you don't fit in, has little to do with how your parents treated you. Some people want to reunite for their own personal reasons and should be looked at as individuals in their reasons for doing so, not with the gross societal labels of its "OK if you've been kidnapped but not OK if you were legally adopted"--that simply doesn't make sense.

    A more understanding public we can hope for but we probably will not get :-)

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  19. One of the differences is that the general public believes that we voluntarily gave up our babies and therefore do not deserve to change our minds and get them back years later. They will never understand the coercion that led to adoption, so they will never feel sympathy with our reunions.
    Kathy

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  20. I know my story is very different from stories of regular adoptees. I really feel a lot of empathy for Carlina. I always had the feeling of not fitting in, or belonging with my adoptive family. I couldn't stand it at all during my youth as well as into adulthood.

    As a late discovery adoptee I sometimes feel slightly vindicated that I am not from the same gene pool as my family. At the same time, it also makes me very sad because I may never have anyone that I feel a true connection with. My sister and brother are my parents biological children. They have it. My brother is 20 years older than me, while my sister is 10 years older. It's weird, I know.

    I never foresaw the kind of trauma that comes from being a late-discovery adoptee. Even now, after nearly 4 years in this lifestyle I still don't think I'm anywhere near understanding all of this. I've seen two therapists who both listened to my life story and said they have never had a client with so much trauma. I don't know whether to take that as a compliment or not.

    I hope that Carlita chooses to share her progress both in reunion as well as over coming the trauma. Her's is such a sad story. This is really a tough one for each of us, whether we're adoptees or moms.

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  21. Kathy wrote:"They will never understand the coercion that led to adoption, so they will never feel sympathy with our reunions."

    Good point. There is definitely an element of "you made your bed, now lie in it" to adoption. And from the adoptee perspective "your mother did what she thought was best for you, so it's best to let sleeping dogs lie." Also, as long as the adoption is done through the proper legal channels, it will never be considered to have anything remotely in common with kidnapping.

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  22. I have noticed that people that do drugs
    all their life then decide to quit get more
    respect, praise and help than a mother
    who has lost her baby in adoption. It's like
    they are the worst people and no one gives
    a care about the pain. Even adoptee's are
    looked at as ungrateful for wanting up know
    their families.

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  23. "Even better, that adoption reunion was so much the norm and so accepted that most reunion stories were given no media attention at all, because they were not news, just normal everyday life."

    Well said.

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  24. Baby Girl Williams/Morse speaks the truth: "Even though we see the joyful story today, I foresee for this family the same type of reunion that many of us deal with. Joy, elation, pull-back, boundry setting. And the American public will never be told of all of this. The last impression we will get is how happy this newly reformed family is; not the full truth."

    As an adopted person I finally had to set boundaries with my birth mother. She wanted me to be the person she would have raised me to be. Anything she disliked about me she blamed on my Christian upbringing. Anything she liked about me she attributed to genetics. She also insisted that I have a Primal Wound and that I don't know who I really am. But I know exactly who I am. I felt the need to set boundaries with my birth mother and when I did she immediately pulled back and quit communicating with me.

    My birth mother doesn't seem to be able to get any closure from the loss that she felt with adoption. Knowing me hasn't given her any peace of mind because she can't accept me for who I am. I don't feel that I can help her.

    One of my favorite films is "Meet the Robinsons." I think it has a very important message. Learn about the past, but "Keep moving forward!"

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  25. I'm curious here, Joyful adoptee, what do you mean, set boundaries? Often we first mothers feel that our children purposefully seek to hurt us, and so we pull back in self-preservation. I am not suggesting that is the case in your situation because I do not know any of the particulars, but I'm curious (and I'm sure many of our readers would be) what you mean by "set boundaries." If you come back, will you be more specific?

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  26. @Joyful Adoptee,
    Not being accepted for who you are is not necessarily an adoption issue, per se. There are many people who are judgmental and disapproving when someone does not think or act they way they want them to. And many controlling people wil end a relationship if the other person isn't doing what s/he wants.

    Another difference with this kidnapping and adoption reunions is that with adoption it is assumed by both sets of parents that the child is now a full-fledged member of the new family. Bio-families of a kidnapped child would not think this.

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  27. I really cannot get my mind around the horror it must be to have a child kidnapped. Two of my kids were briefly lost when they were small, with a good outcome within hours, but the raw panic , terror, grief and fear of those experiences far outweighed anything I felt about surrendering my first son, bad as that was.

    The grief of surrender was relentless,complex, ambiguous, and somewhat alleviated by the naive hope that my son was in a better place with better parents. It was bad. It was not the worst. It is over now.

    I cannot say I know what it feels like to have a child kidnapped, for that first panic to settle into years. I cannot say my son was kidnapped. I had a part in surrendering him, as did others, as did circumstances, but no, it was not the same thing, nor do I in any way envy the positive treatment of a kidnap reunion as compared to adoption reunion.

    I guess I have been fortunate in how people I tell about my reunion react, since for many years now reactions have been sympathetic, understanding, and mostly positive. When he was a minor, people would ask "what about his adoptive parents?" They do not anymore. If they have negative opinions they have the grace and good manners to keep them to themselves.

    We all move in different circles, deal with things differently. Just speaking for myself here.

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  28. Honestly, I have to say, that not only is the parallel not lost on me... but that this is adoption/kidnapping.

    I was just talking to a friend of mine, who knows all of my adoption horror stories and she told me that recently two people came up to her, both had husbands who were adopted. One of them didn't even have a birth certificate, at all. Just like this woman. But, he calls himself adopted, not kidnapped. What's the difference? That maybe his mother didn't put a call out to Missing & Exploited Children?

    Oh the parallels....

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  29. @joyfuladoptee:

    How old are you and was your particular adoption an "open" or closed adoption? I would like to address your post but am not sure how to proceed without knowing a little more detail. If I am jumping the gun and am out of line plese accept my apology.

    I will say this, IF you are from the OPEN adoption era, (if not you can disgregard this) is hard for alot of us who were manipulated and conned of our children with lies and false promises of "open" adoptions that closed, (leaving us in the dust to wonder if our children were dead or alive), to ACCEPT anything. We lost our children needlessly and with malice of people promising her things they never intended to deliver on.

    If that was the deciding factor in her going through with the adoption, then all bets are off as far as her accepting your adopters and whatever they did for you. They conned her. That's all she needs to know.

    Finding our children, only to have them so loyal and grateful to the people who deceived us in that manner is not very condusive to having a "happy ending" in a so called "reunion".

    I don't care how they brought you up or what your genetics are; that betrayal is never reconciled. Ever.

    That is a fact that is so convenienty overlooked when discussing "boundaries" and all the first mother did wrong in reunion.

    The adopters never do anything wrong... it is always HER, even though they are the decieving liars who manipulated her out of her own child.

    Her only fault was trusting them when she was young and vulnerable, to give her child what she THOUGHT she couldn't.

    So sure, learn from past. When you hear the truth of what really happend and chose to omit that fact while you "keep moving forward", I think it will be safe to assume that it will be an interesting journey for you indeed.

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  30. @Stephanie,
    I appreciate your comments regarding promised open adoptions which were then closed by the APs. However, I think the type of manipulation you speak of was also present during the closed era (of which I am an adoptee). Only in this circumstance it wasn't the particular APs but society itself which conned my n-mother right out of her own child.

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  31. @Robin
    Yes, I agree and my post was not a snub to the the closed area and manipulation by society those mothers endured as well.

    I do think "reunions" have a whole different dynamic when the mother actually chose and met the people who adopted her child; then was subsequently cut out of the picture. That was the point I was trying to make. If I did not make that point eloquently enought my apologies.

    I in no way take anything away from any era, where a mother and her child were separated.

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  32. Thank you, Stephanie, for clarifying that. I read your profile and I see where you are coming from. I am so very sorry for what happened to you. It is unconscionable.

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  33. Joyfuladoptee:

    Meet the Robinsons? Are you kidding us?

    You are getting psychological insights from a cartoon movie? For me it was just the opposite. I fit right in with my real family, my adoptee family are...like aliens to me.

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  34. Stephanie, I always thought there would be much more personal anger at adoptive parents whom you actually met who betrayed you, as is the case for you and many younger mothers.

    When I had my son in 1968, the emphasis was not on owing a childless a couple a child, but owing the child a two parent stable family. The idea of disappointing prospective adoptive parents waiting for a child did not enter into it.

    I dealt with an agency, and while they pressured me that my son was getting older and less adoptable in foster care, it was clear my child was being given to the agency to give to whatever prospective adoptive parents were next on the list, not a specific couple who had been promised my child.

    I hated the agency, but had no particular animosity towards the adoptive parents whomever they were. It wasn't personal. For you it is. I can understand that very well.

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  35. As an adoptee I too was struck by how the daughter never felt a part of her kidnapper/adopter's family. That part resonates with some of us who were adopted.

    No doubt as this plays out in the courts and the press, society will side with the girl who was abducted and against her kidnapper. But most will not make the connection that, but for a piece of paper and a court's sanction, there is little difference subjectively to those involved in closed adoptions.

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  36. Let the peace of reunion come flooding into your own heart. Every day you delay denies you of comfort and peace, not only for yourself, but for your daughter or son.
    -----------------------
    I don't think you are being fair to the mother hiding out there. Really, PEACE? I am very happy that I was able to show my daughter her origins, but PEACE? No, it's more like torment. I owed my daughter reunion and I'm glad I was able to welcome her with open arms. Just don't pretend to the hiding mother that reunion is all sweetness and joy. Sure knowing that my child is safe in the world has peaceful components. But after being found and then cast aside like some worker you met at the airport help desk has totally wreaked havoc on my peace of mind. No, it's not brought me peace. It has brought me greater pain than I can recount.
    And yes I am hiding behind anonymous. Because who knows. years down the road she may actually realize what a gem I am and bring me into her life. I don't blame her or want to hurt her. The whole adoption thing is just so wrong!
    Call me anonymous gem!

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  37. Dear Gem: I know about the conflict of reunion in spades, and so does fellow blogger Jane and many of our readers who are mothers...but I still believe I had more peace of mind after I found my daughter and we reunited. So though today while I would temper that statement, it's still better to know than not know.

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  38. Gem here. With all the emotional turmoil reunion has brought about, I would still choose it over not knowing. If I had it to do over I would have done an active search instead of a passive search when my daughter turned 18. I think she needed to know who I was back them. And of course if I had it to do over I would have never let her go in the first place.
    I'm hopeful that the reunion of the kidnapped child will turn out better. That mother never signed relinquishment papers. I was fed a lot of bull but I ate it up. I believed that she was better off with strangers. If I put the shoe on the other foot why would I invest in someone now that cast me aside as a baby.

    ReplyDelete

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