Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering those left in limbo by the events of 9/11

File:Wtc arial march2001.jpg
Before 9/11
Today is the tenth anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Center and my thoughts invariably stray to the first parents who wondered if their children whom they would never know died in the World Trade Center, and to the adoptees who wondered if their birth parents whom they would never meet were in the buildings as they went down. 

I am one of the fortunate natural mothers who never had to wonder. On one of her trips east to visit me, my found daughter and I spent much of an afternoon at the World Trade Center. It was when the open-air floor was available to visitors, and since we both liked heights, we sat there on a park bench for about 45 minutes and chatted while we watched helicopters fly below us and around the buildings. In my mind's eye, I can see the two of us sitting there, happy just to be together.

My daughter was camping in Door County in Wisconsin ten years ago today, and as soon as she was able she found a pay phone and called me. Though I live a hundred miles away from Manhattan and the WTC, she wanted to be reassured that I was all right. I remember how deeply pleased I was to get that call. Though she had been adopted and I did not raise her, we both had the knowledge that the other was safe. Everyone deserves that kind of peace of mind.

Adoption with sealed records is wrong on so many levels, but to leave lives in emotional limbo for ever is enough reason to end it, and end it today.--lorraine


Anonymous said...

I was watching the 9/11 events today,and crying as usual. I did not personally know anyone who died My brothers did. One of them knew 3 people, 2 from childhood and 1 from work. It seems that some people want to tell them"Move on It's been 10 years" but how do you move on when you're left in limbo and,no disrespect meant to them, but that is what I feel people tell me,as a natural mother."It's over,get on with things he turned out fine"-which he did- but they just don't have a clue how all this feels. Only someone else who walked in these people's shoes can understand,I guess. Hearing how long it took to read all the names just brings home how many people were killed that horrible day. My Dad died on Sept 11,2007,4 years ago not 11, so maybe that'a why I feel like this I remember that day-september 11,2001 having just been furloughed at my job with a US government agency and worrying about my recently-found son who flew planes and calling him to make sure he was okay. One of my sisters worked in downtown Manhattan and saw the second plane hit and had to walk across the 59th St bridge into Queens because the subways weren't working and my parents went into NYC trying to find her. Then I went back to my house and it was filled with 1000's of bees that had broken through from their nest in the ceiling But this is nothing compared to the people who worked in the towers or who died or especially those who lost loved ones. They belong to a 'club' that only they can understand. When I was called back to work some clown sprinkled sugar in the bathroom and thought an anthrax scare would be just the thing to get out early on a Friday.

Anonymous said...

The way Sept 11 ,2011 most affected me,I guess, is that all those heroic first responders inspired my found-son to become a firefighter and EMT. From flying planes to fighting fires. Can't say he's not the adventurous type Oh yeah, he also likes snow-boarding and helicopter-skiing.Worry.That's what mothers do.

Rebecca Herman said...

There actually was a young woman who learned three years after 9/11 (when she was old enough to access her original birth certificate) that her father had died on flight 93:

very sad that she never got to meet him but she now hs a relationship with her 3 half-sisters

Lorraine Dusky said...

Sag Harbor is a small town, but there was a woman who went to the local high school who was on Flight 93. She was a black belt in Karate and the town likes to think that somehow she was involved in crashing the plane in Somerset County rather than letting it hit the White House or the Capitol.

And oddly enough, my father was born and raised in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and my grandfather is buried there. My fahter started out his life as a coal miner there. I was able to visit my grandfather's grave a few years ago.

Why are you ancestors so important to us? Because we know we are a part of them, and their being lives on in us.

Janet said...

Reading this post made me realize that I had never thought of those who died as possibly being mothers, fathers or children separated by adoption.
When watching some of the tributes I was taken by the children who never knew their parents and how they felt a connection because they had their fathers eyes, or their mothers spirit. A connection that they so visibly cherish.
My daughter has my eyes. Which I inherited from my father (killed in the Korean War when I was a baby)) whom I never really knew. He got them from his mother, who got them from her father....

A connection that adoption severs.

Robin said...

Lorraine wrote:"Why are you ancestors so important to us? Because we know we are a part of them, and their being lives on in us."

Because they enable us to look back through time and see the people whose genes we carry, the people who came before us in history. It helps us to see the continuity and our part in the human story.

Adoptive grandparents can fulfill the psychological role of grandparents but they are not really our ancestors. My a-grandparents loved me to pieces and never made me feel that I wasn't a part of the family because I'm not blood related.

Anonymous said...

I heard that those killed in WTC that were
adoptee's could NOT be identified because
of no DNA to link them to establish who
they were.

Thats the way the public likes adoption sealed
records and no DNA to identify those pesky
relatives. Of course if they were adopted may
feel different.

Anonymous said...

"Adoptive grandparents can fulfill the psychological role of grandparents but they are not really our ancestors."

That's an excellent distinction.
Sadly, in many cases, it was the influence of the ancestral grandparents that caused the legal severance of the line.