Sunday, January 13, 2013

Should adoptees leave contact with their first mothers to an intermediary?

Lorraine
A search for a first mother is over, almost. The adopted individual makes contact with a relative because that is where the trail led. The relative--sister, brother, uncle, cousin--hesitates. Her sister, niece, cousin has never spoken of "that time" or "the baby." The first mother has had a mediocre life, or a messy life, with serious and serial "issues." A life had started out so promising, but after the baby, well, never got back on track--bad marriages, college plans gone awry, low level jobs that led nowhere.  Or conversely, the woman has "put all that behind her" and become a successful professional, with or without a husband and other children, but either way, she is well respected in her profession and community.

The relative hesitates. Wonders what to do. The adoptee waits, thinking this is the best thing to do--put it in the hands of a relative. Besides, she's fearful anyway, fearful of rejection, fearful of how a single phone call might change her life, fearful. What happens next is totally in the hands of the relative, and for the time being that feels safe. Let someone else contact the birth mother first.

DON'T LET ANYONE PLAY GOD
STOP right there! Why let someone else play god in this most sacred part of your life? I'm writing today because a friend of mine finds herself in just such a situation, having contacted the half-sister her mother lived with during the pregnancy. This never came up with me because I found my daughter. Because she was 15, I did call the house and speak to her adoptive mother first, and then her adoptive father, but in 20 minutes, my daughter was on the phone. Yet if the tables had been reversed and she was the one who had searched for me instinctively I know that I would not wanted outside interference. First of all, my mother didn't even know I had a child and given her up for adoption; if my mother would have been contacted first, this is the first she would have heard of my daughter!

Jane
Jane however, was found, and feels that her daughter contacting her aunt by marriage--because that is the contact her daughter, Rebecca, had from her biological father--probably set the reunion back ten years. As Jane writes: After our reunion I learned she had found her father, Millard, and he had suggested she contact my aunt-by-marriage, Faith, who lived in the same town and was aware of Rebecca's birth, telling her that Faith would know how to reach me. This was true. Millard most likely could have found me himself, and given Rebecca the information.

Faith tried to call me when Rebecca contacted her but I was not at home and my husband, Jay, answered the phone. Faith told Jay that a girl at Brigham Young University was looking for me, but Faith did not want to disclose my address without my permission. Jay took down BYU girl's address and gave me the message when I came home. While Jay knew about Rebecca, we had not talked about her or the relinquishment since the day I told him, right before we married. I was furious that my aunt--with whom I had scant contact then, she lived in a distant state--was involved in something that I felt guilty about, as if I had committed a crime long ago. And now she had involved Jay!  While I had fantasized about reunion, to have others talking about the most personal, painful thing in my life before I could grasp what was happening was devastating. I was consumed with guilt, and anger over these outsiders being involved, and did not think how Rebecca must have felt when I did not respond. From that time on, she became some kind of haunting spirit, not a flesh-and-blood child who needed to know me.

When I called Faith, she asked if she had done the correct thing by not passing along my address to BYU girl. I told her she had. She then said something to the effect "you don't need this," meaning, I learned later, a letter Rebecca her. At the time, I didn't even know there was a letter. I just wanted to end this uncomfortable, upsetting conversation. I wanted it to all go away. I also knew how Faith felt about adoptees searching for birth families--a young man whose adoption Faith's husband, my uncle, a physician, had arranged had written Faith and my uncle years earlier asking for information about his birth family. Faith wrote to him, denying his request.

At the time Faith had an important government position and I'm sure did not want ghosts of the past--the (adopted out) daughter of her late husband's niece--showing up. Several years later, when Rebecca contacted Faith again trying to learn my address, Faith told her I didn't want any contact. Rebecca tried to contact me for a third time more than ten years after the first contact, again through Faith, and this time I did respond, and called Rebecca. My life was in a different place; my raised children were gone. There was an urgency in Faith's voice, she wanted to be done with this girl and she believed this girl was about to contact other relatives, which I did not want to happen. This was the first time Faith actually told me "your daughter" is trying to reach you. The first time it was "girl at BYU"; the second time it was "someone who knew you."  Rebecca told me that she did not clearly identify herself, thinking I would be more likely to contact her if she didn't. I was curious about my lost daughter and had thought about searching for her over the years. Finally I felt a certain moral obligation to answer her questions. 

Even today, there is no question in my mind that if Rebecca had contacted me directly at the beginning of her search, I would have responded positively. I am not blaming her for taking the only route she knew, but going through my aunt--which is where her birth father sent her--surely set back our meeting by a decade.

WHEN POSSIBLE MAKE THE FIRST CONTACT YOURSELF  
Before letting anyone take over--be an intermediary unless you have no choice--consider all that can go wrong: the individual you are trusting to make contact may not have a good relationship with your first mother, but may not tell you this; the individual may lie to you, saying that the mother does not want contract, when in reality, he or she has no idea what the mother wants. If you reach a grandparent, that person may have been the one who dictated that the adoption occur, and she will be feeling guilty and not want you to interfere in their lives, yet the mother may be praying and hoping that you find her. Siblings may not tell the truth, or pass the information on, based on their own experiences or relationship with the mother; she may feel that a child showing up from the mother's past is scandalous and unwanted. The relative may not have known about you at all, and since she or his is in the dark, will assume that the mother does not want to be reminded of your existence, when in fact, the person may know nothing about how the mother feels, or what she wants. 

Adoptees often contact a brother of a first mother, because the trail leads to a certain family, and the birth mother, if married, is likely to have changed her name, and be difficult to trace. Brothers may not have any idea whether their sister wants to be contacted--because the mother has never talked about the missing child, or how she feels--and make the decision for the sister, often turning down the anxious adoptee. So cruel, and so much in the playing-god role. When lobbying for unsealing original birth records, we have heard legislators reveal that their sister is a first mother, and she's never talked about this "unfortunate" part of their lives, therefore...they are not going to support our legislation! So ladies, if you are a mother who relinquished and harbor hope that you will be found by your lost child, speak up to your family! Silence from all of us keeps adoption reform from going forward. 

OUR SILENCE KEEPS BIRTH CERTIFICATES SEALED
No matter through whom one finds her or his mother, or birth father, whenever possible we urge adoptees to make that first contact yourself. Do not leave one of the most important calls you will ever make to someone else. We have no statistics to back this up, but a gut feeling that mothers in the closet will have a harder time refusing to talk to or meet an adoptee who makes the call, or writes the letter with a return address and phone number, herself. It's one thing for a reluctant first mother to say to someone else, leave it be, but it is another thing altogether to hear the voice of your own flesh-and-blood and deny contact. As Jane noted, her initial feeling was a sense that she had committed a crime, and all these other people were taking over the most intensely personal and traumatic thing that had ever happened to her.  

For this reason, Jane and I strongly oppose the Confidential Intermediary system that a number of states have put in play. It dictates than an outsider, unknown to the mother, makes the contact, and possibly dredge up the same feelings of guilt and shame that Jane felt. Despite their personal leanings, CIs are bound by law not to reveal names or contact information. Private searchers and companies like OmniTrace People Search do not have such strictures. We do not wonder that so many CIs report the high rate of refusal that they did when we queried them through First Mother Forum a few years ago; some who are more understanding--and possibly first mothers themselves--reported a higher success rate. One long-time activist and searcher stated that she had no refusals, even though some mothers needed some counseling and time to get to yes. First mothers as searchers can put a newly found first mother at ease because she knows the voice on the other end of the phone understands the deep feelings that have been unleashed.


We repeat, whenever possible, adopted individuals in search, and mothers in search, should make the contact directly, without involving others in that initial call that begins...I was born at such-and-such as hospital on such-and-such a day....or, I had a daughter who was born on....Let no one else in this most private, first, intense conversation.--lorraine and Jane
___________________

Terri Vanech
UPDATE: The "friend" whose experience prompted us to write this post is Terri Vanech, whom we originally wrote about in Adopted People Are Not Allowed Ancestry Because It Might Upset Somebody in 2009, as she began her journal to find her natural/birth mother. After that post, she contacted me and we began a friendship via email. I put her in touch with Jennifer (my alternative universe daughter), a searcher in another state, but she was not able to help Terri, other than give her more suggestions on how to continue her search. The name that Terri had was extremely common.

Terri was born in 1966, the same year as my daughter, whom most of you know committed suicide. The fact that Terri was the same age as my daughter would have been added a special poignancy to our friendship. In 2011, we ran a guest post by Terri: Guest Post: Adoptee learns to live out loud by finding herself and kept it up as a permanent page for over a year, hoping that her mother might find it. Terri started her own blog, Pushing on  Rope and the other day on Facebook we saw that she had indeed found her mother through her mother's half sister. That is what prompted this post, but today you can read Terri's comment about the happy outcome:
Hey Lorraine: It is me, the aforementioned friend, guilty as charged, but only because direct contact was proving impossible. The phone number and address unearthed were not current.

So I did the next best thing I could -- found a side door. I'm happy to tell you that last night, I spoke to my mother for the first time. It's a cautious first step -- a 3 1/2-hour-long conversation that we both hope will be the start of many more.

Having searched for so many years, and several times considered throwing in the towel, this is the best possible outcome I could imagine. Do I wish the "reveal" happened directly from me to her? Why, yes, of course. But one thing this search has taught me is that almost nothing in life goes according to plan.

You've got to do the best with the cards you are dealt.
                                                               * * * 

More on making the first contact from FMF: 
Writing the First Letter (first mother to adoptee)

Suggested reading:  Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents,and Adoptive...Though adoptee Jean Strauss did contact a parish priest where her natural mother was registered, and he made the first phone call, it was welcome. Jean called her immediately. The woman was waiting. This guide will be helpful during a search and reunion, from an adoptees point of view, but first mothers can learn much here too.

Finding Dolores: An Adoptee's Mid-Life Search for the Beginning For two years, psychologist and author Thomas Muldary searched tenaciously for his family of origin, unaware of forces working against him to prevent the revelation of a secret that had been concealed for nearly half a century.  

Finding Dolores is a compelling true story of perseverance and triumph over failure and adversity. It details an extraordinary journey against all odds to learn the truth, connect with genetic history, and claim a birth right. For some, Finding Dolores is a virtual guide for adoption searches, with informative resources and facts about the experiences and challenges of adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, and anyone touched by adoption. Above all, it is a source of inspiration and hope, which are essential for adoptees if they are ever to learn the most fundamental truths of their existence: their origins.--Amazon  Neither Jane nor I have read this book, but the Amazon reviews are positive. Click on image or title to purchase.

27 comments:

Mother said...

First contact should only be made directly by mother or adoptee. No one should be allowed to interfere with one
of the most important times of a person's life. I hate that intermediary system where a complete strangers has control over another person as far if they reunite. Wrong!!

I decided after reuniting and introducing my son he was getting stories that were made up from other's memories even though a lot of family knew nothing suddenly they were offering their memories when they really knew nothing of the loss of my son and my personal pain over his loss.

I have even had his adopter tell him I didn't want him. She knew nothing of me or what I wanted she only
knew she was getting a baby therefore I did not want him. She tried her best to dearly our reunion but my son went into the reunion wanting to know me, his dad, sister and brothers his family.
Tragedy is that reunions can go arwry due to those who want to insert themselves and tell their version of what happened. Even fathers do this sadly they do this as a way to try to make themselves look less culpable in the loss. Adoptee's beware listen to your mother she gave birth she was there and the loss of a live child is a horrible way to live never knowing what happened just like adoptees live.

Anonymous said...

A thousand times no to the CI! The relationship is mother and child, and contact that way is the best path to a future. The horrid CI I was forced to use by the state of my birth was 1. expensive (and obligatory) and 2. rude to both my mother and me. It ceded her way too much control, and I believe she took pleasure in messing things up. She was slow, a poor searcher, and dispensed "advice" that wasn't hers to give. I should have reported her at the time. Come to think of it, I still could.

Haven''t the government, society, and agencies already done enough to tear things asunder between many of us?

I agree with you, wholeheartedly: keep first contact between mother and child, when possible. I think it can be a tremendous relief.

Thetis

Mother said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri S. Vanech said...

Hey Lorraine: It is me, the aforementioned friend, guilty as charged, but only because direct contact was proving impossible. The phone number and address unearthed were not current.

So I did the next best thing I could -- found a side door. I'm happy to tell you that last night, I spoke to my mother for the first time. It's a cautious first step -- a 3 1/2-hour-long conversation that we both hope will be the start of many more.

Having searched for so many years, and several times considered throwing in the towel, this is the best possible outcome I could imagine. Do I wish the "reveal" happened directly from me to her? Why, yes, of course. But one thing this search has taught me is that almost nothing in life goes according to plan.

You've got to do the best with the cards you are dealt.

Sam said...

I made the horrible mistake of having a woman I thought of as a friend (who found out about my son by chance one day) contact him first, after I found him on a social networking site. She ended up telling her sister who was a social worker in another state, getting co-workers in on it, judging me, treating me way different and even sabotaging my job. It turned out horribly. After I ended up leaving my job I told her under no circumstances to contact my child again and to stay out of my business from here on out.

Do not ever let someone wedge themselves into the reunion of you and your child. That is between the two of you, no one else.

Unfortunately for me and I am certain many other mothers, there are many complete strangers who think they have the right to insert themselves into your life and business: The ap's families, friends, their friend's children, friends of your child and even their girlfriends/ boyfriends. They are all there telling your child how much "better off" they were without you in their life (even though they don't know you from Adam and have no right to make such statements).

In my case so many of them wanted nothing more than to sabotage the relationship between my son and myself. No one had to say a word to me to prove that. Their actions toward me told me all I needed to know...

Lorraine Dusky said...

Terri:

I have tears in my eyes as I reply because I know how much you wanted to find, how you went down every possible road, how exciting it was for you to get near but find another door seemingly shut, and I am so so happy for you--and so happy that your mother's half-sister was wrong about wanting contact. When I wrote the post yesterday with Jane, I wondered what was happening with you, but I thought there was a larger message to be told. Often a side door is the only way to get to the prize--one's mother--but I wanted to caution everyone not, if at all possible--not to let the intermediary have the power in determining what happens next.

I am going to add an addendum to the post--wait, a possibly a whole new post. TBD.

All my very best to you and your mother--I'm remembering how our relationship began--me chiding you after you wrote that you might search if it didn't upset your adoptive parents.
xxx

Renee said...

I've been in reunion for 20 yrs and contacted my birthmom by letter. I was an ALMA member and I recall Florench Fisher speaking at one of the NYC meetings I had attended. She emphatically stated that ALMA will never contact the other party for the searching member. She said that when she spoke to her mother for the first time she wanted her mother to accept or deny her herself; no interpretation or baggage laden intermediaries' perception of what her mother said or intended by her words and that speech really hit home for me. I never considered having an intermediary act for me as it was between my mother and I alone; I wanted to give her the choice of contact. Luckily, she contacted me immediately and is one of my closest friends. I was a search assistant for Alma for several years and saw the gamut of search endings; denial, anger, threats as well as the wonderful.

On the flip side, I would have been so insulted if my mom had searched for me and had contacted my adoptive parents rather than me directly. (Its one thing to do that when the adoptee is a minor and you have had some sort of semi-open adoption relationship with the a-pars) I alone had no control in my adoption; reunion should be a decision for me and me alone to make.

My mom and I have been blessed- she'll be visiting me later this month and we plan to have a short girls trip away and enjoy each other's company. I wish everyone the same joy and completion that I've had in my reunion.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "rude"...that pretty much sums up the whole adoption industry and a lot of adoptive parents.

Anonymous said...

"Haven''t the government, society, and agencies already done enough to tear things asunder between many of us?

I agree with you, wholeheartedly: keep first contact between mother and child, when possible. I think it can be a tremendous relief.

Thetis"

I agree 100%
We've had way too much "help" from the so-called qualified professionals already. It's already impossible for them to make up for all the damage they have done.

Susan P. said...

Using my agency-appointed intermediary was disempowering, insulting and ultimately unsuccessful. In fact, interacting with my agency was the wake-up call I needed to become educated and ultimately to become an activist in adoption reform. I later successfully contacted my original mother via certified letter, one in which I could express my feelings heart-to-heart. She had been described to me by agency personnel as "an angry woman," and if her interaction with the agency was anything like mine, I can understand why. On my own, I was able to discover her common humanity. At the end of the day, this is an intensely private matter between two people, and it is nobody else's business except for theirs.

maru67 said...

My son's adoptive mother made contact with my parents to meet him. I was not told until months after I found my son through my mother on FB, who is FB friends with my son's adoptive mother. So it was through his adoptive mother on FB *after* they had met my parents.

It's been three years that I found him; we have a silent reunion with eighteen months having passed since last contact. I can't put into words the extreme betrayal I feel that I did not get to meet my son first. My mother screamed at me and withdrew all support so I would surrender my baby. For all intents and purposes, she threw away my chip, yet he is now considered her grandchild? They all still talk, yet I am conveniently ignored. Doesn't help that my son told me that my mother had nothing good to say about me during their meeting. I cannot 'fix' that. Unfortunately it's a done deal. All I can do is hope that with time, age, and experience my son realizes that I'm not the bad person he's been led to believe I am.

Nancie

Marilyn said...

Direct contact is best. Even in the rare instance when an adoptee or birth/first parent does not want further contact (when reached via phone) at least they have heard each other's voice. And hopefully that "no" will become "yes" over time.

Joanne Wolf Small said...

Speaking as one adopted person, one who did her own search, and assisted hundreds of others with their searches, through Adoptees In Search (AIS), I agree with every major point you made. The fear of rejection felt from both sides is normal. I suggest folks take time to recognize it and accept it before moving forward to the next step in their search. I agree it is best, if possible, to manage your own search from beginning to end for the reasons stated. I agree that leaving the final step to someone else is too risky to chance. I suggest if anyone does not understand the risks so eloquently outlined in the blog above, you cease your search until you do. Your blog put me in touch with memories about my personal search, and the many trials and tribulations on the way to closure. It took me about six months to find my birthmother, and nearly ten years to find my birthfather.

theadoptedones said...

I had to use a search company because I was sick and wouldn't have been able to do it. I picked a company of mothers so I figured that was a good compromise. I think though that I got pawned off on a newbie and it was a mess to put it nicely.

The outcome was that because I had my paperwork, and once they gave up - they finally gave me an obit that listed the name of someone who I knew would have known about me, and she welcomed me with open arms. The damage done by the searcher though couldn't be undone with other family members.

I do have to say regardless of how I think the searcher did - my mother had already passed so the "ideal" wasn't an option anyway.

Anonymous said...

Lorraine wrote:

"I wanted to caution everyone not, if at all possible--not to let the intermediary have the power in determining what happens next."

This is so true! I don't know why they believe they know so much, or have power to direct our futures. They can be destructive and rude. I Googled the name of the CI I was assigned and found that she had done two other searches in the very restrictive state in which I was adopted, both of which ended up with the adoptee being rejected. I cannot help but think the CI contributed to these sad outcomes; she lacks finesse and compassion in contact, from what my mother has told me.

And here is what she wrote to me, when she failed to find my mother based on her own misspelling of a name: "It seems like your birth mother has gone to great lengths to make sure that she wouldn't be found or contacted again, and I feel it's time to give up all attempts at finding her." SHE was playing God, out of pure laziness, pocketing $450 and asking for an additional $81. For doing WHAT, exactly?

If I hadn't had my mother's stubbornness running through my veins, I wouldn't have called her to read her the Riot Act upon receiving the letter with such terrible words. And you know what? When I yelled at her, she magically found something to go on. She was unbelievable! These people should be held accountable for the horrid things they do.

I really, really, really need to let this woman's supervisors know what she did. How can they think it's appropriate to write such words to a client? How? Then again, it's adoptoland and things can be remarkably topsy turvy.

Thetis

Robin said...

When I received my non-identifying information, it came with a brochure outling the CI services that were available to me. My first thought was, yeah, right, I'm going to pay money and trust the very same people who are denying me access to my records in the first place. Hardly!

Fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones since I had my mother's full name. I was able to search independently and found her practically a stone's throw from the hospital where I was born.

"We repeat, whenever possible, adopted individuals in search, and mothers in search, should make the contact directly, without involving others in that initial call that begins..."

I would also suggest that you verify that the person is able to talk privately. You don't want to mention who you are to a first mother when she might be standing right next to a family member who doesn't even know you exist or to an adoptee who may be with a-family members and not feel comfortable right at that moment.

Raven said...

Lo, I am conflicted about this issue when it comes to Confidential Intermediaries. (I am absolutely against family members serving as intermediaries, btw.) I say this because I knew Sally File back in the 1980s, an adoptee who founded Operation Identity in Albuquerque, NM, and who went on to become the state CI. Sally always operated with a great deal of integrity, privacy, and sensitivity. And she helped reunite many moms and their grown kids over the years. I believe that she made a very valuable contribution with her CI activities.

The one thing I like about using a CI is that it gives both the adoptee and natural mom time to process feelings and memories before that first phone call, which can be very overwhelming for many people. I've met a lot of people who felt they had been blindsided out of the blue, which I don't think is a positive way to begin a relationship.

As I said, I'm conflicted on the subject. I can see pro's and con's on both sides. Sometimes I wish life was more black-and-white, but I've always seen things in various shades of gray, lol.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Raven: Some CIs are absolute angels, I agree.

maryanne said...

Nobody should be forced to us a CI as the only means of contacting their relative, and I agree that for most people making their own contact is best. Involving other relatives can really go wrong as several stories here show. Some people may feel more comfortable using a compassionate intermediary, though, and that should be an option, not a mandate.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Maryanne. As a mandate and a moneymaker for the state, I do not support the CI system. Not just because I was burned, but because it makes the assumption that one or the other, mother or adoptee, is a danger and needs someone "rational" in the middle to facilitate. That's a fallacy.

If either party, mother or adoptee, chooses to pursue contact through a CI with whom s/he feels comfortable, that's another thing altogether.

The mandate issue, the power issue, and the absurd money changing hands at the behest of the state really bother me. Paying a CI you hire yourself, and fire if unsatisfied, then move on to another: sure. Some people may feel better with that added level of remove. The problem is that you get only that one shot at first contact.

We are all individuals and as is shown over and over, we cannot speak for each other. We pursue our goals differently. The state needs to get out of the CI business, though. On that I stand firm.

Thetis

Sarah said...

maryanne says: "Some people may feel more comfortable using a compassionate intermediary, though, and that should be an option, not a mandate."

The problem is the comfort may be one-sided. Those searching often want a buffer, someone to make the contact so they don't have to hear the expected rejection. The problem is the person on the other side is not at all comfortable with the stranger (or an distrusted relative) busting into their most private affairs.

maryanne said...

Sarah, that is why it is so hard to decide how to make the contact, not knowing how the person at the other end will react. Some would be angry at an intermediary, no matter how caring, others would not. Some are angry no matter who contacts them. It is impossible to know what would be comfortable to the person contacted without knowing them.

I do feel that involving other relatives is a big risk, and that compulsory intermediaries are wrong and exploit those who have no other way to make contact, especially those who charge and are run by the state.

Barbara Thavis said...

Raven, I too had good luck with the NM intermediary. My daughter contacted me that way. A certified letter was mailed and since I wasn't home I had to go to the post office to retrieved it. The certified mail certificate was posted to my maiden name and I immediately knew it was from my daughter. When the mail carrier brought the envelope to the window at the post office, I saw the New Mexico return address and then knew for sure it was my daughter. I was crazy when they asked for my id as it was in my married name. I really think I would have jumped the window and fought for that letter if he pulled the power card. but he saw the first name and address matched my id and gave me the letter.
I was with my little kids, five and seven years old at the time. I hadn't told them yet so I couldn't pour over the letter until I got home. What a long ride. I immediately went into the bathroom and locked the door. Inside was a beautiful card with pictures of my daughter at various ages as well as a couple pictures of my then six year old granddaughter. Before telling my husband or anyone else on the planet, I drove back to the post office to return the letter saying I wanted contact.
The CI worked for us, even though all she needed to do was google her date of birth and the hospital she was born at to get my email.
I guess some CI's are WAY better than others. And like someone mentioned, it's crazy that charities can call my house day and night at will but my own daughter has to be buffered like one of us would hurt the other.
Getting the letter from my daughter is one of the best days of my life.

Lori said...

I have to say, I got a license as a CI. The search I did that ended it was an adoptee that did a total self-destruct all over her bio-family. I couldn't justify being involved.

Then, when I went to search, I had to hire a CI. The first one passed from cancer before she could do much more than find out where the adoption really took place. Then my file got left in a drawer. The second one went to the adoptive parents. BIG MISTAKE. It created havoc.

Finally, I found my daughter myself. But the damage done by the CI - an adoptee in a bad reunion - was massive. She had disrupted my daughter's relationship and life.

Would I do it again - NO WAY.

Baby Lyman said...

I posted on an internet site in hopes of finding my mother. Her son my half-brother found me. We corresponded via e-mail for about a month. He did the right thing and let me call all the shots. I decided to let him break the news to her via e-mail and then he made a trip to Iowa to be here for our first meeting. He was certain that she would want to meet me and know me and he was right. The reason I am posting here is because in hindsight I wish I would have just had him give me her contact information and made the first contact myself, but I was too afraid. By having my half-brother make the contact I feel like he really served as an emotional buffer for both of us. I feel like many of my questions have went unanswered because she had time to "rebury" her emotions. Also I think she may have held back some since he was there at our first meeting. To outsiders my reunion would seem perfect, but there is something missing. She loves and accepts me now, but I still feel rejected as her baby. Does that make any sense?

Michelle said...

I have known all my life I was adopted. Today, I sent via on Facebook, a "first contact" letter to my biological mother. I don't have any contact info, except her FB account. I agree with the OP, that if possible contact should come from the child/parent.

I "found" my step-father first, they were married one year back in 1967. I had search randomly over the years. Note he is 80 - he wrote me back. With some of the info, I was able to find a brother, a sister and my birth mother. He did not know of me. I realized then that she probably didn't tell anyone. It appeared the stepfather wasn't going to pass judgement - he is very pleasant and I've decided to correspond with him because I would like to. In my letter, I told her how I had found her and said I would respect if she feels best to leave things the way they are. But...I did want my medical history. She is 73 - Realistically, there may not be a lot of time to ease into this - I would like to know her, and her know me. I want to know she is real. I closed my letter by telling her that I was taken care of, but most of all I wanted her to know she gave much happiness to a couple who couldn't have children. Supposedly, I was a wedding gift. My "mothers" were co-workers. I am more excited about having a sister - and we only live 15 mins from one another. So, that's my story - I've decided not to share this with my adopted father, he is 80 also, and at this point - let it be. My adoptive mother passed away 6 years ago. I am 46.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Michelle: I wish I could have gotten through your comment without getting tears in my eyes. The amount of emotions that it reveals are overwhelming. A wedding gift? Ouch.

I don't know what your outcome will be, but I do hope you will let us know, and that you may be able to at least have a relationship with your sister. I hope she can open her heart to you, because undoubtedly she does not know you even exist.
xxx
remember to let us know--
lo