Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adoptees ask: "Why Was I Given Away?"

Jane
“Why Was I Given Away? What were the circumstances of my adoption?” are often the first questions adoptees newly in reunion ask. We find that people Google such a question frequently. Lurking beneath these questions is the fear that
they were not good enough to keep. We birth/first parents try to answer in a way that comforts our children, that alleviates their pain that comes from being abandoned. We give brief simplistic answers often portraying ourselves as martyrs or victims or both.

We tell our children “I loved you so much, but I wasn’t ready to take care of you. I wanted the very best for you, and so did your birth father. I am proud of who you’ve become. I know I made the right decision.” Sometimes we sprinkle on a bit of religion: “I prayed and God told me it was the right thing to do.”

(That adoption is a loving, courageous decision is still a popular message. Dr Drew (Pinsky) repeated this at least half a dozen times on the MTV (Pro) Adoption Special aired July 12.)

Alternatively, we are victims. “I was pressured by my parents; your father refused to help me.” Often we are both: “I gave you up because I was told it would be selfish to keep you.”  

We frequently hear the word "decision" in the context of adoption surrender. The use of this word suggests mothers made informed choices as if they were deciding whether to buy a Cadillac or a Ford. In actuality, mothers rarely gathered information, weighed the pro and cons of  “parenting” and adoption, and came to a reasoned decision.

Becoming Patrick: A Memoir
In actuality, every story is different and reasons are complex. In his just published memoir Becoming Patrick, adoptee Patrick McMahon describes asking his mother, Barb Shields, about the decision to give him up. “I know she told me that my father convinced her they weren’t ready to raise children, but there’s got to be more to it. I need to understand in order to quell the pounding beats: how? why? how? why?” …
“My mother hesitates, then begins in a more subdued voice, ‘Well, the truth is I was afraid to death of losing your father. He convinced me we were not ready to have children, and I thought he would leave me if I kept you. I was that afraid.’”

Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v Wade
In my case, adoption was the default. When I became pregnant in 1966 and my child's father declined to marry me, I assumed I would not raise the baby (I did not think of her as “my” baby.) I did not ask anyone for help, including her father. This was my problem and my problem alone. And, like other women of the Baby Scoop Era, I wanted to keep my pregnancy a secret. 

I believed that adoption was the responsible and inevitable resolution to an irresponsible act. Placing illegitimate children for adoption was necessary to maintain a civilized society. I’m appalled now on how twisted my thinking was but back then I truly believed that giving up one’s baby reflected a higher culture. I did not know that closed adoptions were a recent invention of social engineers and adoption profiteers. Requiring that single women give up their babies assured male control over women’s fertility, reinforced concepts of proper families, supplied children for the infertile, punished women for indiscretions, assured some degree of protection for children who might otherwise be abandoned, reduced the welfare rolls, and provided jobs for social workers. (See Rickie Solinger's Wake Up Little Susie for an excellent history of adoption in mid-20th century America.)

After my daughter Rebecca (in earlier posts I referred to her by the name her adoptive parents gave her) was born, overwhelming grief forced me to consider keeping her.  I did not have a clue about how to do so. My social worker did not pressure me – but she provided no helpful information either.

I believed that adoptive parents were superior people, gracious, loving, wealthy even though I knew some who were none of these. At a time when just being divorced sullied a woman's character, I knew that having an illegitimate child would brand me as inferior--and being illegitimate would stigmatize my daughter. (“You are your mother’s shame and she is yours.”) I did not deserve Rebecca.

I worried that I could not provide for my daughter her as well as the fantasy couple. Although I had a college degree, I had worked only in low-paying clerical jobs. If there was subsidized day care then, I did not know about it. No matter how hard I struggled to raise her, I could never do as well as the fantasy perfect couple.

I thought that Rebecca would suffer by not having a father. If a mother could not provide the father, she needed to exit and give her baby to a woman who could. My parents divorced when I was in high school and my father had not been around much before then. I envied girls with Ozzie Nelson fathers.

When my heart cried out, “go get your baby,” I responding by concentrating on silencing my heart. Fear trumped love.

I argued with myself for a month, gave up, and signed the papers. I thought the sorrow, the stress, the anxiety would be over, done. I did not know that it was just beginning.

This is the best explanation I can give but I like many birth mothers, I can never explain fully why I did what I did. “Finding truth is like peeling an onion” one of my college professors used to say. The truth is that the truth is often inexplicable.

Adoptees sometimes try to comfort themselves and their mothers by telling them “Thank you for my great life. You made the right decision.” This can be hurtful, akin to a mother telling her child: “I’m glad I gave you away.”

If I were to give advice to adoptees newly in reunion, I would say: ”Don’t dig too deeply for reasons; knowing the reasons cannot fill the void left by the loss of your mother. Dwell on knowing the mother you see before you now.”
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Related posts: I did not give up my child because I loved her;
and Does God Care (about birth mothers) or Is God Dead? ;

50 comments :

  1. Jane, I think your advice is spot on.

    My mother really cannot even begin to think about what happened in 1968-69, and so be it. I believe, as you pointed out that it could be, my adoption was a default outcome, rather than a "choice," although it's a grey area. She found herself pregnant at 21, convinced herself she wasn't for seven months thanks to monthly bleeding (as an L&D RN, I think argh, placenta previa? subchorionic hemorrhage?), soldiered through her final semester of college, told her parents about me a week before my birth, was VERY sick due to the blood loss, smoking, anxiety and other stuff, got two blood transfusions, fought with her parents during the arrangements for the adoption two states away, she had me, and then closed that door thinking that was going to be her coping mechanism for eternity. It doesn't help that her husband (not my father), whom she married shortly after having me, insisted that I remain in a locked box. She was willing and able to comply with his request.

    Then, as she said, I upset the apple cart royally two years ago. There is relief not to have the secret to keep anymore, and no one in the family is judging her--which was another big relief, she said. But in our conversations, she stresses that she isn't comfortable being emotional and is still very much "stuck" in 1969 with all the pain, stress, etc. I was not conceived in a loving relationship. I am not a love child. I do not bring up happy memories of a long-lost misty hero. And while she cares for me because I am her child, it's not all sunshine and roses.

    We have agreed to move ahead, getting to know each other as adults, as friends, and this is working well. We are sharing confidences and even laughing together. She gave me parenting advice the other day when I was at wit's end. I am happy, considering a year ago, she wouldn't talk to me AT ALL. Small steps are fine.

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  2. Ms. Marginalia:

    I do mean this sincerely: thanks for sharing that story here. It will give others hope.

    So far, so good.

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  3. ms. marginalia - Oh how I love you and your words of wisdom. You are an amazing and remarkable woman.

    Jane - thank you for this post. You summed it up for me when you said, "I believed that adoption was the responsible and inevitable resolution to an irresponsible act." I no longer believe this, but it doesn't undo what I did.

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  4. "She was willing and able to comply with his request. "
    Is one supposed to interpret that as meaning she was not at all reluctant?

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  5. So far, so good.It is truly wonderful to see thoughtfulness and honesty and good intention after the bun fight that is going on for us Aussie adoptees. Once we acknowledge that adoption is not the same, trauma is not the same for mother and for adoptee we seem to be on the right road.
    I read a comment this morning that indicated that the mother expected the primal wound to be healed for the adoptee by reunion!!So many assumptions and if you'll excuse the term, misconceptions.
    I was a bastard love child except my mother at 24, didn't know my father was already married until after she became pregnant.The stigma never goes away, expresses itself more subtley over the years as things change in our society.
    What hasn't changed is the ideas a small group of mothers have about what adoption is for adoptees, perhaps they are too fearful, too guilty and too stuck to look further.
    Thank you for this post, thank you for all your posts - a voice of reason and sense in all the craziness.

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  6. Although my mother has refused contact (via non-response), I can come up with reasons as to why she relinquished me (single, Catholic, presumably was not in or had ended a relationship with my father as he doesn't know that I exist). My more burning question is, 'what were the events leading up to my conception?' I am fascinated by stories and what to know the who what when where how that led to their connection. Is this question any more or less invasive?

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  7. Our 'decision" was almost solely based on lies. We were told our babies would be better off in those fairy tale families. We were told they would forget us and we would forget them. We were told it would stop hurting.
    After the fog had cleared I realized I had made the wrong decision. I wasn't going to forget and it hurt like hell.
    I waited for 36 years for her to come back to me. When she asked the question "Why"? I realized that all the reasons I had convinced my 17 year old self off where meaningless now and just sounded like lame excuses.
    I ask myself the question all the time. I was defiant about many other things in my life at that time why not about this? I have no answer. And I too am appalled at my "decision".

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  8. @Anon: That's what so difficult. I don't know, and she doesn't want to talk about anything that happened in 1969. I can't say anything other than what she's told me.

    My mother met her husband very shortly after I was born, accepted his proposal on their sixth date, and married him when I was eight months old. She had told him about me before their engagement. He asked her never to speak of me again, and not to let me back into their lives. She agreed. I do not know how she made this promise: eagerly, reluctantly, ambivalently, joyfully, sadly, anything. It's not open to discussion, at least not at this point.

    I made it impossible for her to keep up her end of the bargain when I contacted my brother and told him of my existence two years ago. I don't regret doing what I did, because I am not a secret for someone else to dictate keeping, but I can also see that I made things difficult for her.

    My mother's husband does not like it that I am back in the lives of my mother and brother (they have both told me this). They both talk to me, and they tell *him* that they talk to me, but I am not welcome at family events. There is definite strain on my relationships with my mother and brother because of this man's lack of support.

    It's complicated. I don't doubt that my mother holds back because her life back then was a series of painful conflicts. Telling me about it would make things more complicated. I wish she could tell me about her quandaries, but I must accept that for now, those subjects are not on the table.

    That's why I was so struck by what Jane said: it can be incredibly helpful to focus on getting to know your mother as she is *now*, rather than trying to piece together details of what happened then. While I wish I could know more, much more, about the story of how I came to be adopted, I am gladly trading knowing details of that for building a friendly relationship with my mother in the here and now.

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  9. Girl*wander,

    It's more invasive to ask about the events leading up to your conception than to ask why you were given away. But I think it's reasonable to ask.

    My daughter asked me about my relationship with her father. I've tried to answer but it's another thing I really can't explain -- why I was involved with a man whom I knew had lost interest in me and I had serious doubts about his character.

    Rebecca asked her father the same question and from what she told me, our answers were close but had different slants. I don't know what she makes of it but she had the right to ask.

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  10. Maybe because I wrote a whole book (Birthmark) about how I ended up pregnant and in a situation where I felt the only choice was to give my daughter up for adoption, she knew very soon after we met--when she was fifteen--exactly what the whole story was. She understood, even at that age, her life story. I was amazed later on to hear her quote parts of it, nearly word for word--but then after we met and I gave her the book, she immediately did a book report on it for her tenth grade English class!

    Because the story of one's conception is the story of that person's life, I don't feel the question--how did I get here?--is out of order. Most first mothers who want a good relationship with their found children are--or should be--willing to reveal the details. While the answers may not be exactly pretty, I would encouarge every first mother to be honest and open in telling the story, and whenever posible not to disparage the child's biological father. One can be honest, but it is wise to remember that you are talking to his child.

    But Jane is right in that we can never fully explain exactly what we did to satisfy most reunited children, and they need to accept us as we are now. As for those husbands who fail to accept into their lives the reunited sons and daughters, well, I canot say anything to defend them. Their reluctance to wholeheartedly embrace the child--says much about the unequal balance of power in the relationship, and perhaps the neediness of the mother, which may have grown out of the emotional scar of having reliquished a child. Those men are like the evil stepmother in Cinderella.

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  11. Quoting Lorraine, "Because the story of one's conception is the story of that person's life, I don't feel the question--how did I get here?--is out of order."

    I agree, most people like to her how their parents met and became partners, even if if was short-lived. This does not mean sharing any salacious details it's just a desire to hear about how the romantic relationship came to be.

    My son asked me at our first in-person meeting how he came to be. Specifically, were his father and I dating? I think he feared he was the result of a rape or a one-night fling.

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  12. "If I were to give advice to adoptees newly in reunion, I would say: ”Don’t dig too deeply for reasons; knowing the reasons cannot fill the void left by the loss of your mother. Dwell on knowing the mother you see before you now.”"

    Excellent. Conversely, if I were to give advice to first mothers in reunion, I would say,

    "Don't focus too much on what is to blame for your relenquishment. Finding the right persons/ institutions/ societal norms to blame cannot fill the void left by the loss of your child. Dwell on knowing the child you see before you now."

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  13. As an adoptee I think you are spot on in your perceptions, that no matter what we are told about why our mothers "chose" adoption, it will never fully satiate the longing to understand.

    For those closeted mothers (which includes my mother)... I would hope that these women could consider how their inability to include their birth child in their current life, exponentially reinforces the negative ideas that we were given away because we were inherently flawed. No matter how a mother explains her refusal to the child she gave away (I can't tell my kids, this isn't the right time, my husband would leave me, etc), it doesn't soften the devastation. In fact, I think it only makes it more outrageous, to try and explain why you can't meet your own flesh and blood child, there really is no excuse. How can a mother say, "I gave you away because I wanted a loving life for you," and then when that child comes knocking on your door, you close it shut?

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  14. As a mother who lost her son to adoption just because there was no help for young white mothers and their babies
    to stay together. Social workers were helping those that were on the list and passed a lax home evaluation. I know
    all about this evaluation as my future husband "adopted"
    my daughter in 69. Worker looked into bedroom for a bed and asked nothing else that was important to my child's life. Just another way to keep a person off welfare. I had already kept my daughter in 63 with help from parents. When got pg second time with same boyfriend my punishment was adoption. Step d!@k made sure! My
    boyfriend enlisted and was training for war. He died in 67
    Has my son taken in 66. We should have been married over phone which I didn't know could be done.
    Demand was there growing for white babies and white
    women to surrender. Adoption was a business with a lot of older consumers needed someone's baby. We were sacrificed for a woman to be able to play mommy and of course consume everything big business was promoting
    From formula to diapers( not cloth ones.)
    When I found my son I told him what had happened and that his dad and I loved each other. We just had those in our lives who didn't love us.
    Payback is a bitch step thing NEVER had grandkids! Lol
    He paid by oldest son in jail for life maybe he should have gave his son up after all his three kids were motherless till he found my mom and her five fatherless kids. Mom kept having kids in a bad marriage? Wtf and they were "mature"
    adults making right decisions! At least I was young and in love they were older and serving a purpose marrying for a need. Ant better than me no way!!!!

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  15. This is such a wise post, as are the comments. Thanks, Jane. Yes, our stories all are different; some were tragic love stories, some were most decidedly not. But we all have to figure our where our individual journeys go from here.

    None of us can change one minute of the past, or really explain what happened back then because sometimes we do not even really know. All we can do is go on from today, try to get to know each other and see where we fit in each other's lives, where hopefully at least some of us can become friends. I am happy for Ms. Marginalia and anyone else where this is finally beginning to happen.

    Topics like this are the heart of working out reunions and coming to some peace,

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  16. Excellent post.

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  17. Jane wrote:"This is the best explanation I can give but I like many birth mothers, I can never explain fully why I did what I did."

    Actually, I do think you explained why you relinquished your daughter.
    Yes, you knew in your heart that you wanted to keep her but you were getting pummelled by society from all angles, backwards, forwards and upside down that adoption was best for both you and the (not your) baby. In my case, the attorney painted such a glowing picture of my APs that I think my mother thought I would be hobnobbing with the Kennedys.

    I assumed my fmother had given me up because I was born out of wedlock in a time when that was a huge social taboo. Of course, my fmother was fed the line that I would be taunted for being a bastard and wouldn't have any friends. The thing I most wonder about is why she was involved with my sorry excuse for a human being father in the first place.

    Sometimes when I read these posts I think you first mothers are too hard on yourselves. You cannot use 21st century thinking on mid-20th century conditions. Most everyone is aware that you can't go back and change the past, however I do believe that analyzing the past can be very useful in creating a better future.

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  18. 'Jane is right in that we can never fully explain exactly what we did to satisfy most reunited children, and they need to accept us as we are now.'
    Acceptance of course goes both ways and mothers need to accept that their babies, 'our kids' as Aussie mothers call us, are now adults.
    Fot the most part I'd guess from what I'm told and my own reunion, that what satisfies adoptees is a mother who is honest, truthful, has good intentions and has dealt with the past as best she can.

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  19. "Sometimes when I read these posts I think you first mothers are too hard on yourselves. You cannot use 21st century thinking on mid-20th century conditions. Most everyone is aware that you can't go back and change the past, however I do believe that analyzing the past can be very useful in creating a better future."
    Very true, Robin, it is hard for one to get their mindset back to that era and understand how things were. I am an adoptee approaching 50 and when I think back to when I was young in the 70s and heard my story, I remember totally understanding at the time because society was still fairly similar in the 70s to how it was in the 60s. However, being in 2011, I tend to find it more difficult because I am thinking of my first mother's story with today's mores in mind and forgetting about society's mores and pressures back then.

    Like Girlwander, I like hearing all your stories as well, I sort of live vicariously through your stories. Because my first mother passed away before she was 40, I tend to have to try and work out her story from not just relatives/friends but from reading all your stories which have helped immensely. It has been a very emotional past year or so doing so but on the positive side have enjoyed getting to know extended family and finding out about my first mother through pictures and other people's memories of her. It has helped also to know that she was much loved by her family and friends.

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  20. "For the most part I'd guess from what I'm told and my own reunion, that what satisfies adoptees is a mother who is honest, truthful, has good intentions and has dealt with the past as best she can."

    I get that impression as well. I personally think I would have been satisfied with that.

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  21. After being reunited with my daughter for almost six years now I don't even bother with any of the negative and uninformed comments people make to us. We know that being together right now is all that matters. It doesn't take away the hurt or the questions but the past is what it is. I can't change that.
    I will in two weeks travel to her adopted mothers' for a visit for the third time. Even though she is 42 years old driving away as she stands with her other Mom is almost unbearable. It throws me right back to leaving the hospital without her in 1969. But I do it for us. It is the least I owe her and myself.

    We will once again try to get through the adoption papers and sort out all the lies they contain. I have yet to make it to the end but am determined to get there this time. It is bad enough that we mothers were lied to yet alone all the lies the papers contain. Staring but not ending with her father listed as unknown. The truth is the only way I know to put the past to a restless sleep.

    All that really matters is to see her smile and hold her in my arms and to have her call me Mom.

    There is hope in reunion.

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  22. Oh Janet, I understand how leaving yuor daughter standing there with her other mother must be excruciating, but not as horrible as not knowing where she is. The scenario you describe is so reminiscent of abandoning our children to others who are "better able to care for them" and must make you revisit all the painful emotions again and again. Is there anyway you could arrange to have the goodbye be not like that? After all, she is 42. Like go to breakfast or dinner with her and then leave from there?

    My heart sank when I read your post, as I know that everytime my daughter left or I left Wisconsin, it was painful, even if I wasn't fully aware why I was hurting again and again so much,

    As a side note, I was almost named Janet, and so when you post I feel an odd connection.

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  23. JANET said: "Even though she is 42 years old driving away as she stands with her other Mom is almost unbearable. It throws me right back to leaving the hospital without her in 1969. But I do it for us. It is the least I owe her and myself."

    Please, Janet, arrange for your "goodbyes to your daughter" as Lorraine suggested - go to breakfast or dinner and then leave your daughter from there! Let's, all of us, start taking our power and dignity back! I'm horrified with chills up and down my spine as my empathy swells for you, Janet.

    It reminds me of the American Adoption Congress conference I attended in 2009. A panel of County Commissioners, and the like, were talking about how the transfer of children from the natural parents to the adopters just didn't sit right with them - keep in mind this was very recently that these pros saw the light - in 2009 only. They felt a gnawing empathy! The usual practice had been to take the child literally FROM the arms of the natural mom TO the arms of the adopters in the adjoining room. The Commissioners, or whoever, then stopped doing it that way. Even these people who were not directly involved could feel that it's INHUMANE!

    Our being brainwashed to list "fathers of our children unknown" is totally despicable and shocking! What LIES these religious zealots, Christians, LDS,... and non-Christians built the adoption industry on! Isn't it a mortal sin to lie?

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  24. A short, CIVIL, addendum to my last comment:

    How much homage do we have to pay adoptive parents for adopting our children!? And for how long!?

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  25. That reminds me:

    A commenter on FMF once said something about showing empathy to, I conjecture, adopted people.

    Well, we're talking about 40-50 year-old adults who have had all the advantages. Right? Let's throw some empathy over my way! Don't mothers deserve empathy, too? Aren't we human? What kind is this martyrdom expected of us for a Lifetime?

    [As an aside, one way you can really tell that I was a newbie to social media is how the last couple weeks, I prefaced my comments with "Oh, I'm studying all your comments...," or "Oh, oh, I'm scooting out of the house to visit a sick person," or "Oh, I don't have time to read right now, but be assured I will," and the like. I'm so relieved that I don't do that anymore. It was work!]

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  26. CB,
    I am sorry about the loss of your mom. Not hearing things from her story directly would be hard. I remember in my own reunion even my mother and sisters told there stories.
    Which didn't necessarily interact with mine. One sister supposedly told my son his dad was interested in her?
    That seems strange to me she would say that when they
    they DIDN'T like each other. When I told my son I was going to call her about it he asked me not to as she would know he told her. Wtf Then my other sister who had no children of her own told us she knew of a bad reunion I do think opinions or falsehoods from close relatives are bad during reunions. It isn't about relatives or adopters reunion is for mothers and their lost grown child. Everybody has to put two cents in just STAY out of it. Let them enjoy the litlle time they have together. My son and I would stay up half the night to get rid of others. Sad

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  27. Caleigh, you wrote:

    "A commenter on FMF once said something about showing empathy to, I conjecture, adopted people.

    Well, we're talking about 40-50 year-old adults who have had all the advantages. Right? Let's throw some empathy over my way!"

    I agree that we all need compassion. I don't think it's a competition. Even though I am a 42-year-old woman who had "all the advantages," I still grew up not knowing who I was born to be, why I felt the way I did about things, whom I resembled, etc. First mothers and adoptees lose each other. Being adopted and having ponies and living in Europe and going to name-brand colleges and the "just-so" didn't make up for the loss of my mother and having people speak for me, deride my position, etc. I am treated as an eternal child, and I hate it.

    I am glad, though, that you feel able to ask for what you need, because I am glad to give it. Hugs. I love your enthusiasm and willingness to put yourself out there, even when it's hard. That's something I've lost over the years. I respect that about you.

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  28. Just a couple more thoughts.My mother had to take me into a room, leave without me and from there my adopters took me.At least they didn't take me from her in the delivery room as is sometimes practised today in 'open adoption' - what an horrendous act that is!
    My father is 'unknown' too and would have remained so if I had'nt been lucky enough to live in a country where reunion is assisted and able to met my mother who was the only one able to tell me who my father was.His name is not recorded anywhere and the knowledge would have died with her.That practice protected married men like my father, nothing more.We can never prove who are fathers are even if we know.
    How very refreshing to be able to comment along with mothers in an atmosphere of sharing and respect, thank you Jane and all.As an Aussie adoptee I'm not used to it!

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  29. MS. MARGINALIA: Thank you for those kind, encouraging, words! It's a shame that only now am I learning to ask for what I need and I'm learning to do so through FMF; there were no such venues heretofore.

    ADDENDUM to previous comment in which I spoke of the proliferation of adoption-adorers who leave lucrative careers to go into the lowly, less lucrative, business of adoption promotion. The example I gave can be reached at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/?iref=allsearch

    Once on the CNN page, please look on the left side under "CNN Heroes Videos," scroll down, and click on "CNN Hero: Becky Fawcett." She avers, "We believe in families. Period."

    Please click on my name and see if the link works. Also, you can just google Fawcett; she's all over the place. You "guys" might already know all about her? I'm the newbie, remember?

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  30. Von: it's great to have you join us.

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  31. Thank you Lorraine, happy to be here.The tide seems to be turning for us at last with an adoptee being interviewed on Ten for the first ime in memory or ever!Perhaps we have a voice after all!

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  32. VON said, "The tide seems to be turning for us at last with an adoptee being interviewed on Ten for the first time in memory or ever!"

    What is Ten? Thanks in advance!

    Wow! All the Blogs You Follow, Von! That list is so informative. I didn't know that there is that much out there. Too bad there are only 24 hours in the day!

    Where have I been? In a cave?

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  33. Lorraine and Caleigh, Thanks for your words of support.
    I did express to my daughter how hard this is and in her last email she said she thinks she has an idea to make it a little easier. I will wait and see what that is.
    As difficult as it is it is definitely better than the not knowing.
    Together we will make it a good visit.

    Lorraine,
    My daughter was born and raised in Wisconsin. Small world.

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  34. JANET: I'm so happy for you! We all are. We're all happy that you're in reunion. Period. But to have your daughter be so empathic and accommodating is really great! Your daughter sounds terrific!

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  35. Janet:
    Small world, indeed. We do want to hear what happens at the visit!

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  36. Adopter and brutal adoption facilitator and family separator, Becky Fawcett, and her ilk, wouldn't dare put such a joyous video out there like the one that got her the CNN "Hero of the Year" Award nomination, nor would she dare start a non-profit that proudly promotes, and flaunts, family separation, IF SHE KNEW WE ARE OUT HERE AND POWERFUL!!!

    Fawcett thinks we're powerless! That's what makes her particularly despicable - reveling in the pain and vulnerability of others! We'll be catchin' up with her, and her ilk, very soon! This I solemnly vow!

    In the words of Malcolm X and Obama's Jeremiah Wright, "The chickens will soon be coming home to roost!" Yeeaaaahhhh!!!

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  37. In my previous July 27, 2011, 10:44 AM comment, I fortuitously said a mouthful, "Where have I been? In a cave?"

    Yes! I've been living in a chilling cave ~ ~ the Cave of Adoption Grief ! ! !

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  38. "Well, we're talking about 40-50 year-old adults who have had all the advantages. Right? Let's throw some empathy over my way!"

    Yes, I did have material advantages (for a time) but I don't see any advantage to losing my entire family on both sides, being raised in a family that I didn't fit into, having the wrong surname and growing up in the wrong city.

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  39. I never thought I'd be quoting Malcolm X. I don't even know anything about him. I'll study up on him someday in the distant future when I have the time and the neurons to spare. When I use his quote about the chickens coming home to roost, I mean that phrase in a positive sense - getting justice and making change!

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  40. Caleigh wrote:In the words of Malcolm X and Obama's Jeremiah Wright, "The chickens will soon be coming home to roost!" Yeeaaaahhhh!!!"

    What is this coming adoption apocalypse you keep referring to? Will violence be involved? Please explain.

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  41. Janet,

    Question here.why do you or your daughter
    have to involve her adopted mom?

    I too have had deal with this situation when I first
    found my son he was living at home. We were
    able to change things. He moved out and it made
    our good byes easier.

    Reunion is about mother and adult adoptee.

    Enjoy the visit I can relate to how much they mean
    and how hard it is to leave. Part of the trauma of
    Losing your baby. I lost my son on 66.

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  42. Hey Anonymous!

    I thought my comment above yours about "chickadees coming home to roost" would have been satisfactorily explanatory.

    You mentioned APOCALYPSE in your inquisitory comment; resultantly, I looked it up in Dictionary.com so, God forbid, I wouldn't make a mistake. And, guess what? You are spot on!

    That's just how I mean it - like you so aptly said it! An APOCALYPSE is a prophetic revelation, especially concerning a cataclysm in which THE FORCES OF GOOD PERMANENTLY TRIUMPH OVER THE FORCES OF EVIL. My adoption goal is for good to triumph over evil! Nobody I know advocates violence.

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  43. Cayleigh, it's not a good idea to quote people you don't know anything about, and especially not a good idea not to know anything about the context in which the quote was made.
    Just sayin'

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  44. Mother,
    To answer your question. Not all of our visits have involved her adopted mother. I have gone to CA twice and she has come here to IL twice.
    Her adopted mother and I live 4 hours apart. When she is able to come this way it is usually for a short time and going to seeing her at all is my priority.
    While their are some akward moments her adopted mother, who was also adopted, is the one who intially invited me to come to her home and visit.
    I think the leaving is just hard no matter the circumstance. It is just all the harder to leave when it is at her adopted mothers and the home she was raised in.

    Reunion is tough but I see no reason to try to pretend that she wasn't raised by another woman. Actually in a way it has helped to better understand her life without me.
    After meeting me her adopted mother now says she has a whole new insight into our daughter and her personality. SHe also has a different outlook on adoption. She says that she has always thought of her childrens first mothers and is glad to have met two of us.She has three adopted children and encouraged all of them to find their original families. She also admits tha she at time has been jealous of the relationship I have with my daughter. She can see the similarities in us and the difference in the bond we have compared to the bond they have.
    any way this becoming why too long.
    The bottom line is losing your child to adoption is a lifelong struggle with emotions. We all have to make the best of reunion and consider ourselves blessed to have broken the silence and to finally know one another.

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  45. The chickens coming home to roost is an old exptession long pre-dating Malcolm X. You're playing with fire Caleigh, suggest you discover what you're talking about before you get yourself in any deeper.
    'we're talking about 40-50 year-old adults who have had all the advantages' - really? As a 67 year old adoptee knowing many other adoptees, show us the advantages of adoption.Your assumptions are quite something!

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  46. VON said, "As a 67 year old adoptee knowing many other adoptees, show us the advantages of adoption.Your assumptions are quite something!"

    I totally agree with you, Von. I don't think there is anything advantageous about adoption. It offers too much pain for all involved - except adopters. I was being sarcastic!!!

    Writing is difficult! Putting exact thoughts and sentiments on paper is not an easy task considering the different personalities and experiences that are reading the thoughts.

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  47. VON said, "The chickens coming home to roost is an old exptession long pre-dating Malcolm X."

    Okaaaay! So Malcolm X was savvy enough to SELECT such a clever expression from his repertoire of knowledge and apply it his today.

    Many expressions that we use every day come from so long ago as the Bible and most people don't even know it; such as, i.e., "There is nothing new under the sun," and "To everything there is a season," and the like.

    There isn't that much new, actually, just old stuff with a twist!

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  48. Janet,
    My suggestion was made in order to help you. I was NOT
    suggesting that you pretend she wasn't raise by someone else.
    I went with my son to his adopted aunts home on Christmas day to meet the woman that raised him. I went with good intentions. Then the games started the woman that raised my son used them all. I decided right there we didn't have to involve her. Why? She didn't want share him after raising him as "her" son for 26 years. She said cruel things to him making him defend himself just to get to know me.
    Hope your renion goes well just wanted to give you some ideas to help as I know that pain. Adults do have voices when it comes to reunions but many of those that adopt try to sabotage the reunion. You admitting to me that she is jealous makes me wonder why she would share this with you. I say to keep control over situation. Wonder what she is saying to your daughter. My son shared things with me that's how I knew what was being said.

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  49. Mother,

    Thanks for the advise and concern.

    ReplyDelete

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