"Natural mothers have spent their lives apologizing. We apologized for getting pregnant, but we were not the only people having sexual relationships. We apologized for giving away our babies, but we were told by everyone that it was the right thing to do for our children. We apologized for missing our children, but it was a perfectly natural reaction for missing our children. Some mothers are still apologizing for wanting to find their lost children. It is time we stopped apologizing. It is right for us to search for our children, We are mothers, after all.
"....It has taken me many years to be be able to describe these events [giving up a child] frankly and without apology. Because I have confronted and embraced my experience, I have robbed it of its power to shame and embarrass me."
This wonderful passage is from first mother Evelyn Burns Robinson's book, Adoption and Recovery: Solving the mystery of reunion. I do wish reunion could be solved. Like a crossword puzzle or anagram. Solved. Felt good about. Resolved.
If we have learned from First Mother Forum, it is that reunion is so vastly different for the two sides of the adoption equation: mother and child. Those of us mothers who want a relationship, who hope for a relationship as soon as we have our wits returned to us, want it to be as normal as possible--phone calls, connection, disagreements that actually can be argued, inclusion in the found child's life--but as far as I can tell, nobody knows what the new normal is for first mother/relinquished child. It's up, it's down, it's a crazy carnival ride that is so emotionally fraught that it often appears that one side or the other has to get off. Sometimes it is the mother; sometimes it is the adopted one.
We cannot undo the past; we cannot have back what we once relinquished. We do not have to apologize to the world, but we can tell our children one time we are sorry they were adopted, that this unfortunate occurance is part of their story. But we must accept what is. We can only live our lives the best we can: we can bring kindness to all whose paths cross ours, we can look for the humor in life's little exigencies, and we can resolve to hurt as few people as possible as we set down one foot after the other to the end of our way, our tao, our path.
To do anything else is not a choice; it is giving up. Again.--lorraine
See also: Why birth/natural mother-adoptee reunions go awry
The [birth] mother and child reunion, Part 3
After the Birthmother/Adoptee Reunion: Navigating the Turbulent Waters
(NOTE BENE: Only comments regarding reunion left at the current blog will be posted.)