Sunday, January 19, 2014

In adoption, in life, there will always be tears

Lorraine
Tears. I doubt that even the most hardened people do not get through a reunion without some tears, whether they are tears of relief and joy or tears of fear and sorrow. Reunions between mother and child touch our deepest feelings, our strongest emotions. I honestly do not remember if I cried when I read the letter informing me that the Searcher, whoever he or she was, had located my daughter already from the clues I left in Birthmark--all I had to do was ask and pay the fee. I asked, and now I had her name, her other parents' names and whereabouts. She was found. What I remember is the enormous relief of the exact moment I read that letter. I was sitting at my kitchen table. Imagine walking on a tight wire for 15 years, holding yourself up and in balance, praying you don't wobble this way or that and fall off, and then learning that suddenly, in the nanosecond it takes for an idea to be realized in the brain, you are able to step off. That is what I felt. 

So tears at that moment I do not recall--certainly I had a hot flush of watery eyes, I weep at the drop of a Hallmark commercial. But I surely know that I have spent enough tears over my daughter's birth, relinquishment and reunion and finally, death, that I could probably wash my hair in them. 

MY DAUGHTER WONDERED WHO DIED
I'm thinking about tears today because someone left a comment at an earlier blog about Colin Kaepernick and how his mother--his adoptive mother--cried when she saw the interview with his other mother, his first/birth mother Heidi Russo on television, and then called Colin and told him. Crying. We don't know whether that is what tipped the scales against Kaepernick meeting Heidi Russo, but all that has come out since is that he didn't want to hurt his mother--his adoptive mother, that is, the only one he knew from conscious memory, and that meeting Russo would "hurt" her. 

The person who left the comment last night says: 
"I think the fact that Colin's adoptive mother told him to watch the interview on ESPN and then call her back..which he did..then adoptive Mom started crying..making him feel bad ..like it had hurt her so bad..that he didn't want to see his birth Mom for fear of hurting adoptive Mom even more..and she played the big girl part ..like I will go with you..or set it up for you..but all the while knowing she wanted to be a part of it..not letting him go on his own..and feel free to feel his Own feelings in stead of how to worry about how Adoptive Mom was going to feel about it..."
The tears part reminded me of what my daughter said when she was told, at 15, that I was on the phone. She said her mother and father came to her room, where she was doing her homework, and that her mother was crying so hard she thought someone had died. Now understand that because of our daughter's epilepsy, Jane's adoptive parents had been trying to get in touch with me. As soon as I made clear that I was my daughter Jane's natural/birth mother, I started crying. Jane's adoptive mother began asking my name, address and phone number. It was 1979, and I was afraid that she was going to call the police. I asked her why she was nailing down exactly who I was. Her answer?

She was afraid that I would hang up and they would not be able to find me! Then she started crying, and we cried together. She wasn't angry that I had called, I was crying tears of relief, so was she, and we were both responding to the emotional enormity of the moment. (Incidentally, I did not use the term: birth mother. There is an easy way around that.*) 

Adoption is surrounded by tears: tears of the mother who gives birth; often tears of the couple who find that they are infertile and unable to have children; tears of sorrow, tears of joy. Certainly adoptees--especially those who have searched, found and been rejected--shed tears too; certainly adoptees who can never find also shed tears of frustration and sorrow. Adoption is a tear-inducing machine. 

ADOPTION IS FULL OF TEARS
I cannot write from the point of view of the adopted: I have always been secure in the knowledge of who I am and where I came from. But today I am sending out a beacon from my perspective of a first mother urging the adopted not to mistake their adoptive parents' tears as a reason they should not meet their biological parents, if they are able to. Many of us are like that woman I described above, holding ourselves together while we walk a tight rope, trying so hard not to fall off, to stay sane, but harboring this deep pain and guilt and longing, hoping, praying, waiting for reunion with our children lost to other families. Whether or not an adoptee shares her search, finding, or reunion with one's adoptive family is another matter, and solely up to the adoptee.

For some adoptive parents, it is true, they hope their "love will be enough" and their children will not be curious about their true identities. But in the spirit that the great majority of adoptive parents today, even those who adopted in the era of closed adoptions, can and will understand and accept their children's need to know, I urge adoptees to look past the tears that are understandably natural and meet your first parents, if they can be found, if they are willing. God, I hate to write that last clause, but I know a great many biological are still mired in the shame and secrecy of another time, and reject meeting their children. If any are reading here--and I know that is unlikely--but I cannot help take this opportunity and urge you to meet your child; do this one thing for them. They deserve no less. Ownership of each other's identity should not, must not, be a state secret. Mother and child were together at birth; only the age of the child prevented him from "knowing" a mother's name--other than the one who nourished me in the womb. Meet your child despite the tears that are certain to come.

Tears. Adoption is full of tears. But first mothers, and adoptees, do not let tears hold you back. Your greatest joy may come through tears. They spring up from our deepest feelings, our darkest fears, yet they prove we are alive. In life, there will always be tears.--lorraine
___________________________

* This is the language I used when I first spoke to my daughter's other mother: I gave birth to a daughter on April 5, 1966, and I believe that girl is Jane. 

FROM FMF
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's mother speaks of her love for him--and he can't take it.
A Call Kaepernick should make--to his birth mother

READING
 
Family Secrets - The Path from Shame to Healing by John Bradshaw.
Not an adoption book per se, but the subtitle tells me there is something there for our community: The path to self-acceptance and reunion. From Amazon: In his bestselling books and compelling PBS specials, John Bradshaw has transformed our understanding of how we are shaped by our families. Now join him on this fascinating journey of discovery, which starts with your life today and takes you back through the conflicts, the strengths, and the weaknesses of your parents’ generation—and even your grandparents’. Using a powerful technique for exploring your “family tree,” you’ll trace the visible and invisible patterns that have influenced you. You’ll learn about family secrets that are healthy and necessary, and also about the secrets that can limit your wholeness and freedom—even if you don’t know they exist. 

This work is sometimes painful, but it is always enlightening—filled with the kind of “aha” moments and realizations that make everything fall into place. With John Bradshaw’s guidance, you will come to a new appreciation and acceptance of yourself. You will also be able to build more open, honest, and loving relationships with the people who matter most.


THANK YOU FOR ORDERING ANYTHING THROUGH THE PORTAL HERE--AMAZON AND THE ADS FROM BLOGHER ON THE LEFT.

59 comments :

  1. Adoptive mother=Italian/Jewish mother manipulative, control freak tactics.
    Adoptive mother=KGB
    Adoptive Mother=too immature and unstable to be around any kid.
    Poor Colin.

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  2. I see this to be normal behavior from adoptive moms. After, all they bought and paid for a baby of their
    own.
    Trouble is mother isn't dead
    and when she findly finds her
    adult child she wants to
    reunite.
    Thats when the emotional hold the tears, the loyalty, play into the mix. Sadly, its emotional blackmail. GROW
    UP, baby didn't fall from the sky.

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  3. I just finished reading "The Sound of Hope" by Anne Bauer. It should be required reading for anyone who adopts a child. As a firstmother, this book made me realize just how controlling an adoptive parent can be. Anne does an amazing job dealing with her APs who try very hard to make her feel terrible for wanting to know her other family. I admire her for not allowing her APs to prevent her from going ahead with her search and reunion.

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  4. With tremendous respect for Lorraine, as a 56 year old adoptee from NY I must offer the following: I could never search for my first mother. My adoptive parents, now in their 90's, would be crushed beyond repair. When my VERY closed adoption was finalized they took me home, put the papers away, and never really spoke about it again. As an adult, when I was having trouble obtaining a passport, my mother still said she felt the records should remain sealed, and that was that. They never even let me see whatever adoption papers they have, never mind actually give them to me to own.

    My point, and Lorraine stated it herself in this post, an adoptee's perspective is a unique one. Adoptive parents, first parents, kept children.....no one can understand the adoptee's dilemma. My dilemma is that I come from the Baby Scoop Era. Adoptions were closed. My AP's were never counseled as to how to deal with their chosen baby once that baby grew into a person. They were great parents, but firmly believe today what they believed in 1957. How do I pursue this with them?
    If I were to search and keep it to myself, I would explode. I do not have the strength to search for my first mother while caring for the 2 people who raised me.

    New York State is notorious for giving adoptees no information. I have inquired twice over the last year and received nothing but form letters.

    So here I am. My own children are curious as to medical history, etc., and I am stuck. I need some answers, but my AP's have made it very clear that they do not believe any of this is important. NYS won't help me.

    I am extremely conflicted and torn, and have been beating myself up over this for a long time now. The only answer for me is for NY to wake up and unseal the records. Or for me to wait until my A-parents are gone.

    Sad. No human being should be put in this position.

    This blog is great! Thanks to Lorraine and Jane for great, informative posts.

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  5. Julia Emily: I was so saddened to read your comment--because you are certainly old enough to strike out on your own--without telling your adoptive parents. Do you have an amended birth certificate? Do you know when and where you were born? ( I am hoping the answers are yes.) With that information alone you can start searching. a) register immediately with the ISRR, check it out on line; b) I assume you mean you have written or registered with the state registry, which is underfunded and under publicized so that most natural mothers do not even know it exists--but at least your information is there; c) if you were born in NYC and have your amended birth certificate, go immediately to the New York Public Library, Main Branch, Genealogy Room and find the OBC whose number coordinates with the one on your amended birth certificate; and lastly, find a search angel in NYC to help you. On line groups may steer you to someone; I don't know any myself. Ask on Facebook at one of the many pages devoted to adoption issues.

    You don't have to tell you parents what you are doing, but you do own your own life and your are entitled to your own identity!

    And lastly, people in their 90s, if their minds are active, can still understand and perhaps you have not made clear to them how important this is to you and your children. I can certainly understand how difficult a conversation that will be--but it is one you should try to have--again.

    Perhaps you can broach the subject with them as your children's need to know their medical histories. Or you could invent something about yourself, too--and say your doctor says it is imperative you find out. It seems to me that a lie like this--when you have been asked to live a lie all your life--falls into the category of highly permissible.

    Can you show up at the public hearing next Friday in NYC? 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 250 Broadway. Wear something RED! I will be posting more about this in a day or two.

    Does anybody know if judges are still refusing to give the information if you file a legal request? Some judges in some jurisdictions understand and simply say YES to all such requests. This could all be done without telling your parents.

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  6. Quit blaming the adoptive parents. If Colin does not want to meet the person that birthed him that is his right. Period. Whether because he doesn't want to hurt his Mom or what - HIS RIGHT!!! Yes, the adopted child has them too, and they are at least as important as the rights of the people that bred him.
    Quit making excuses, all of you. Sometimes it just is, you are not 'my' mom, I don't know you as a mom, and I don't have to. Live, and let live.

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    Replies
    1. Lori,
      No, excuses from me blaming adopters, its the truth and facts of what my son went through after I found him.
      His adopter loved him so much she told her "son" that I didnt want him. I guess that was her ultimate try at making him think that might have been true. She also tried the he stabbed her in the heart after I found him.
      He wanted to know his mom and told his adopt er she knew her mom.
      Wake up call to all that adopt its not a lifetime of servitude even if you bought the baby from sellers religious institutes, social workers, drs, lawyers, or anither third party seller such as another
      Adopter. They love business very lucrative selling babies bith here and abroad.

      Delete
  7. Bee: I had the same reaction to Anon's comment about certain ethnic types. She apparently never met my Polish mother--when I said I was moving out of my parent's home after college and taking a job in another city! My mom did come around--after a month of the silent treatment and a You-are-killing-me look on her face.

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  8. Lori is an insecure adopter. Not much new there. Us "breeders" have that effect on them.

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  9. Lori left a comment on another, earlier post that we did not publish.

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  10. My son searched for "about" 20 years. When we connected I met his APs. SHE was rude. That was the only time I ever dealt with them. She did tell me they told him he was adopted and he "always" wanted them to "tell me about the lady that had me" for a bedtime story. He was very close to his A/father, not his A/mother.

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  11. I too am a first mom. My daughter is almost two months old, and she is the best gift I could have ever received. I am lucky enough that my adoption is an open adoption. (really, were calling it the onion adoption because we are always finding new layers that we didn't know where here.)
    As a first mom, it is hard for me to watch another women love my child as her own, but at the same time, I take great comfort knowing that they will care for her as there own, and that they have more to give her now than I am able to.
    With adopting out a child, you have to trust that the APs will do what they feel is best for the child, and you have to come to an understanding that by adopting out your child, as hard as it is, you are giving them the options of saying ya or na.
    Now, I'm not saying what Colins Aps did was right, I do believe that ever first parents should at least have the opportunity to have and build, some kind of relationship with there child. Because no matter what, that bond will always be with the first mother. It's something she will carry with her, long past the nine months leading up to birth. But Colins decision not to meet his first mom, was in the end, his choice. His love for is adoptive mom, was much like any child will love there mom. And i respect that. As a First mom, I could not imagine going threw an adoption with out at least understanding that the child will love his APs. its nautrul, and I hope that the child would feel safe and loved with his AP.
    I am not siding with any side, just putting perspective into the topic, from my perspective, and circumstances that I am in.
    Misty N.

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  12. Misty,
    Stick around you are so new to this open adoption.you are in sounds like you are throughly brainwashed.

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  13. I'd like to thank Lorraine for responding to my comment. My situation is a catch-22, if that is the correct expression.

    I have no amended BC. Obviously no OBC, either. I do have a document which I probably used to get my first job or my driver's license. It is the finalization of my adoption, filed almost 4 years after my birth. This document is useless now, given the new post 9/11 laws.

    The NYS registry has been a complete waste of my time since I do not know my actual birthdate. My AP's were not present at my birth, and they were given two different dates, so they picked one to serve as my birthday. In fact they had "birth announcements" printed at the tine with the wrong date.

    This is a non-kinship adoption, and it was legal, although I question the competence of the lawyer! It was not black market as my AP's were afraid to do anything illegal.

    They were great parents....gave me everything. Good schools...vacations, a good home...the whole 9 yards. But the message was and still is that this is ground where we do not tread. Hasn't it all worked out great? Why would I ever want to know these details that my AP's feel are unimportant? Maybe they are insecure. They waited a long time to adopt me, and then it took long to finalize. I do not know ANY particulars about what went on during that time, but it must have been horrible for them.

    OK....now it is horrible for me. I can't get any info out of NY, so logically I should search. Knowing I would be fully responsible for my AP's falling to pieces....I just can't do it. And I am their caretaker now. I am with them almost all day, everyday. I could not keep a search a secret.

    So I feel stuck.

    Thanks for listening. This blog is a great source of information as well as comfort and advice.

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  14. I love the way you write. I was reunited with my son for 20 years until he passed away. I continue to appreciate hearing about others' stories.

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  15. Julia Emily- if you have your adoption decree you should be able to petition the court of jurisdiction to provide notice of where your amended birth certificate can be obtained. If it was a legal adoption, there should be papertrails. How are you going to be able to renew your driver's license the next time without a certified copy of your birth certificate listing your adoptive parents' names? Tell your apars that you lost your license and need to obtain a copy of your birth certificate to get a replacement or you can't drive them to shop, church or doctor's visits. You don't have to tell them you are searching but your birth certificate is a legal necessity. I would obtain an attorney to petition the court to determine place and date of birth and to find out how to obtain legal documents to obtain a passport.

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  16. What a relief, or commiseration at least, to feel as though I am not alone. I reunited with my daughter ten years ago, it was reel me in/cast me out for quite a long time. Then, for the past couple of years we became quite close...until one day (almost to the exact date of your timeline!) she slammed shut, cut me out...and requested no notes, no communication...I went from babysitting granddaughter in her home two days a week...to nothing in the space of 24 hours. Talk about whiplash...PTSD! It's terrible.
    I wonder sometimes if I should just walk away. The pain is so hurtful, in response my own defenses rise up, and in order to protect myself I find a lot of anger. I don't want to look ahead to a life filled with random pockets of hurt and anger, and walking on eggshells, and fear of being shut out...yet again.
    I am allowed to see my granddaughter now quite intermittently...but I can feel my heart protecting itself. I am wary of loving too much because I will never know when my daughter will decide to just cut off communication.
    B-moms have it rough. The pain of being 16, the shame, the bad self esteem, warped body image...years and years of altered life trajectory. AND THEN to find that the hurt, the blame, the "otherness" the disposable one...so many heavy labels and so much burden.
    Not sure I am cut out to stay in the "game" where someone else gets to make all the painful rules. yuk.

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  17. Just lost the whole piece I had written! Dang. Suffice it to say that I had a very similar pull of the plug and almost to the very date same timeline as Lorraine.

    My daughter and I have been reunited for almost ten years and after the first few we came closer to one another. Over the last couple of years closer than ever. And then five months ago...wham!!

    I had even come to be taking care of her daughter, my granddaughter two days a week. I thought we had moved beyond the early years of "reel me in/cast me out" but now, this time was the worst. The door was slammed, she wanted no notes, no communication. I get to see my granddaughter verrrrry intermittently. And, no surprise really, I feel my heart protecting itself a little...there is a buffer of fear of getting to close to this new little child because who knows when that door will get slammed too.
    B moms have it rough. For me it was the loss of my own life at 16. Shame, stigma, bad bad self esteem, body issues which led down a trail of bad choices and such.
    Then...after reunion I thought perhaps life had come full circle and that having given life and lost life that somehow this new relationship might have been worth it all.
    but actually it just brings more pain. I am the "other" one. I am the disposable one. She can just cast me out like trash. She gets to make the harsh rules and call the shots. I am sick of walking on her eggshells. Not sure I want to really stick around and look down the road at having this PTSD resulting behavior continue.
    When I first gave her up at 16 it really wasn't much of a choice. What did I have to offer?
    But now I do have a choice...and after five months of sick silence and mean punishing behavior I am teetering on making a choice. Life is short and I am tired of being treated like an evil monster.

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  18. No, Lori is not an insecure adopter, re-read. I am an adoptee tired of being harassed by a woman I want nothing to do with. I don't hate her - I don't know her, I don't want to, and it is my right. You'd do well to let people know that some of us adoptees do not want to meet, and that is our right, just like it was your right to surrender.

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  19. Also, if you had published my other comment, people would have the context of this post. But heaven forbid you let the children speak. Just keep moderating us out, I know - this is a blog for first mom's that have been wronged, not the children facing the second assault to appease your narcissistic desires.

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  20. Lisa: all good suggestions. I KNOW there is going to be trouble trying to renew my license. That decree is the only document I have ever had, but it really has no information on it other than my own name.

    Like I stated earlier, no person, in my opinion, should be put in this position. To be pulled in opposite directions like this at times is unbearable. Frail AP's in their 90's who firmly believe in the secrecy aspect of adoption are very difficult to deal with, and it is an emotional thing as well. But then there are the problems that come with all this secrecy...which they don't understand. It's an emotional tug of war.

    NY is a miserable state as far as this adoption thing, as we all know. Is petitioning the court an expensive thing, I wonder? It may be my only option at this point. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  21. Lori, the only comment of yours that I did not publish was one at an old blog that few would ever read and certainly it invited dialog.

    If you read the blog for any amount of time you will see that adoptees are among our most frequent commentors, but--First Mother Forum is written by, and generally for, mothers who relinquished from all generations.

    You are certainly welcome to comment here and have an opinion and an experience that differs; but please be respectful of the general readership. You may have every reason to feel the way you do, but all we sense coming from you is a deep deep well of anger, and that you have come here to foist that anger onto us.

    And yes, we are very aware of many many adoptees who do not want to meet or have a relationship--just as there are mothers who do the same to their children who were adopted.

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  22. Misty,

    You sound just like me when I relinquished 17 years ago.And I understand....this is the only way you can cope. If you are at this site and you have any trust in us natural mothers for the sake of your baby get him/her back now!!!! For the health of your baby. Find the COURAGE and do it because you love your baby! NO ONE can love him/her more than you. NO ONE. There are resources out there for you. You can continue to go to school whatever while raising your little one. Give motherhood a chance.

    Just sayin...I wish I had someone to advise me.

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  23. Lori,

    The question is why? Why don't you want to know her? Is this how you are in the workplace or other social arenas to people that want to get to know you? Or have you blocked her because she carries that connection as your natural mother? I guarantee that she isn't asking you to call her,"mom". Your natural mother knows her place full well!!!

    You say that natural mothers are narcissistic. Please clarify.

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  24. Julia Emily-
    I understand your fear but at the same time, you are letting your fear deny you the right to your information. I admire that you are so honest with people but when it comes to search and reunion (or simply reclaiming enough identification to get your driver's license!), it is time to take matters into your own hands.
    I suggest you get a cell phone with no connection to your aparents and get to work. Hire a lawyer to petition the court for at least an amended BC or simply speak to one about your rights to your ABC because you certainly DO have rights to it.
    Can you explain why NY does not have your amended BC on file? Is it possible your adoption was finalized in a different state or even country? You must have a BC of some kind on file somewhere, Right?
    I know your aparents love you, but they are treating you like a 2nd class citizen. It is infuriating that two people who HAVE their BC's are denying you any opportunity to yours amended or otherwise.
    As far as the rest of your search, well that is up to you. For me, I waited too long and found one of my parents had already died before I could find him. I wish I had searched sooner.
    I know you want to protect your aparents but my question is protect them from what? Long ago truths? The right for you to drive them around in their old age?
    It is difficult to reach out of comfort zones but this is what you will need to do to find some semblance of your truth and it sounds to me like the best thing you can do is leave your AP's out of it. You are not a child and you have a right to your information and it is ok to do this without them.
    I hope you find what you need.

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  25. {{{{{Misty Nolan}}}}} I hope they keep the adoption open. You probably had everything your daughter needed and will ever want. Are you in a state where you can revoke consent? If you are please read what adoptees have to say. If you relinquished because of money we have a group of women that can help you get resources. And if your reason is because you don't want to hurt the adoptive parents, just remember, this is about YOUR child. You must keep the child's best interest in mind. And contrary to what you were told by the adoption agency or lawyer, your child will suffer horrendous trauma by the brutal act of adoption. Find me on Facebook, Barbara Monckton Thavis and I can get you set up with resources. It doesn't get better, Misty but it sure gets a whole lot worst. I'm 55 and I am heartsick every day I allowed another family (who divorced when our child was 8, by the way) to raise my precious daughter.

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  26. @Julia Emily (very pretty name,btw),

    I think you have a two-fold problem. You have a mindset problem and a practical/legal problem. You must get it in your mind, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you have every right to your familial history, no matter what anyone else thinks. I can tell by your comments that you really do want to know who your first parents are. You must be convinced, because it is true, that your wants and needs are as important as anyone else's. Your feelings matter. You had nothing whatsoever to do with being the victim (and I do think that word is appropriate) of a closed adoption. This was something that was done to you. You never agreed to not knowing who your biological family is or living without a medical history, for that matter. I think Anne Bauer's "The Sound of Hope" would be an excellent book for you to read. Ms. Bauer demonstrates, again and again, how the adoptee's needs are important and how she can meet her needs without destroying relationships in the process.

    Furthermore, since your APs have lived for nearly a century, they have certainly seen enormous changes in society. Not just in technology, but in attitudes, beliefs, etc. Just the changes in women's role in society over the last 90 plus years has been astounding. Your APs may not be quite as thrown overboard by this as you think.

    Your second issue is a practical/legal one. What is this adoption finalization you wrote about? Does it give your birth name? Or the county where the adoption was finalized? There should be some information on it to give you clues as to where to look.

    You need to connect with a support group or search angel who is an expert in New York City and state. Perhaps someone at FMF can provide a name. I was able to petition the court in my state on my own, using a template prepared by a lawyer. Some states will only allow a lawyer to petition the court. But you may initially be able to do a number of things on your own without incurring legal fees. Also, have you considered DNA testing? This is a promising new direction that is helping many adoptees to find their families.

    I do believe that, unless yours was a black or even gray market adoption, you will be able to uncover the answers you seek. I would also caution you that at your age and with your elderly APs you need to do everything you can immediately. But most of all, please know that myself and many other readers at FMF support you 100% in your right to know your own blood kin.

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  27. I hate to write this but Lori is right. Our children don’t owe us anything. As much as we feel the adoption agency or their adoptive parents have deceived us, the reality for so many natural moms including myself is that our children don’t care. I respect my daughter’s decision to not have contact and for my own well being have made peace with it. My love for her will never change ,but after mourning for 20 years I feel that I have mourned long enough.

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  28. Joe Soll is a wonderful man an adoptee just these past few days found his family. He was a black market baby he had no information at all.
    Google his name he works with adoptees, moms and anyone he can help.
    Right now Joe is flying high what we call when we find our family. Good luck and search your aparents are selfish in my opinion they dont want you to know probably because of fear. Unlock your fear take steps find before its to late.

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  29. Anonymous:

    You are right. If a child who was adopted (or kept) wants no contact with a parent there is nothing to do but move on. As a friend, also a first mother, once said to me, Honey, we lost them when we gave them up.

    We may get them back to some degree after reunion, and for some of us this is a blessing beyond compare, but just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to have a relationship. As someone said at an earlier blog about contact, The people who want to be in your life will be; you don't have to go chasing after them.

    So true. I know how much this kind of behavior hurts--hurts to the bone, and 20 years is too long to mourn. I can't help but think sometimes our children want us to understand what it felt like to be given up. It might have happened when they could not object, but now, as adults, they can. Your words are wise. We all need to make peace with our reality.

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  30. @Misty Nolan, If at all possible, do what BJane suggests. The best adoption is a prevented one!

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  31. BJane, I'll clarify - not all natural mother's are narcissistic, for certain, but I was set off on the other post by *** - a woman grasping at every excuse to try and see her daughter that simply did not want to see her.
    I read another of Lorraine's blog posts last night and was very glad to hear that message - sometimes you just have to let it go, it will make your life easier than struggling to try and make an unrequited relationship work.
    Why do I not want to know her? Well, I'm simply not interested... I have a lot of joy in my life, a great husband, a great job, great friends that I don't spend nearly enough time with as it is. I want to focus my energy on positive and like minded relationships, and I don't care for drama. Our time here is to precious to dwell on and resolve all the hurts and wrongs along the way. To some degree I was wronged, and it's not going to be made right... I was not stolen from her, but I suspect the church had influence. It was a different time, and I'm sorry if she felt societal pressure to surrender, but she could only hope that I had a good life - I had a reasonable childhood with APs, not great, but not terrible. My A mom wasn't particularly warm, and her influence is not at all a reason for me not wanting to meet - I got the impression that many on here blame the APs for everything, but mine really couldn't care less. I really think you would all do well to try NOT to blame the APs.
    Ultimately, I simply have other healthy, happy, drama free relationships that I'd prefer to foster.
    Thank you Anon, and Lorraine, for understanding our side to some degree... I am certain that it hurts to have to surrender a baby, but that baby is a different person then the grown up they become - genetics only account for so much. I don't know who ever determined that losing a child is harder than losing a parent, since everyone's grief is different, but the same applies here, and in my case I grieved it and closed the door 15 years ago. And I have no regrets. Cold, sure, hard to hear, I bet, but I cannot live my life while trying to fix and appease her.
    Will I die wishing I had known her? Maybe. There are a lot of other people I will wish I had met as well.

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  32. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my comments and give advice!

    I may have to petition the courts to open my file. As long as I can financially afford to do so, it might be the best answer for me. Some kind of BC has to be on file somewhere!

    My adoption was finalized in NYC. I attended the proceeding with my AP's and remember it quite well since I was almost 4 years old at the time. First mother did not attend. My AP's and she apparently never met.

    Why an amended BC was never issued is a mystery. When I asked my folks for my birth certificate decades ago, I think in order to get working papers, the only paper they could give me was this finalization document. It has my name on it and no one else's. Not first parents, not adoptive parents.
    I know that whole 3+ year period was traumatic for them. When it finally was over, they really never spoke about it again. I do not know why the finalization took so long to happen. And, like I stated earlier, I think they had a TERRIBLE lawyer!

    In theory, what everyone says here makes sense. I certainly am entitled to knowledge of my beginnings, etc. Without knowing my AP's personally, it is difficult for anyone to really understand the emotional pull that is going on here.

    I don't think they are trying to be difficult....it is just what they firmly believe. My father especially would become unglued if he had any idea I was searching in any way for first parents.

    I am still feeling stuck, but I do have that one document and I know this whole thing legally happened in NY. I think petitioning the court is a good way to go. Thanks everyone for the suggestion!

    What I am really trying to do is close a gap in my history that exists for no good reason. Why did my first mother relinquish, and then take almost 4 years to actually decide to go through with it? How could my AP's take a baby into their home not really knowing anything about the first mother? The secrecy at the time gave them security, I believe, and we are still living with it today.

    Stranger than fiction. When you stop and think about it, how were human beings treated this way? And is it really any better today?

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  33. Finally, to address the anger (besides the invasive woman from the other blog)
    Did any of you read your posts? Comments from evon just this on blog entry? Including the one Lorraine quoted in her write up, then turned the assumption on it's ear? Let me compile them for you here:
    '...his adoptive mother--cried when she saw the interview with his other mother, his first/birth mother Heidi Russo on television, and then called Colin and told him. Crying. (In italics). '
    'AP=Jewish Iralian, AP =KGB AP= immature poor Colin'(???)
    'I see this as normal AP behavior... Bought and paid for baby... Emotional blackmail' Hmm. wanna know what BM''s normal behavior is?
    'Book made me realize no manipulative AP can be' I would venture that Colin's birth mother was pretty manipulative trying to use the media...
    Best one - 'Lori is an insecure adopter', thanks for the giggle.
    To Misty's optimism and satisfaction with her choice -'stick around... Brainwashed' and 'can you revoke? It gets worse not better'. WOW. Misplaced, she never asked for advice, just had a POV to offer. No rescue necessary but Thanks, Tips.
    To Julia Emily, basic consensus - 'they're in their 90's, get over their feelings. No concern for their frailty or simple respect. Oh, and your AP's are selfish.' It's her comfort zone, she'll do it when ready!
    So anger yes! Not because I have a soft spot for my APs, they were cold uptight and indifferent (not that it would be bad if I DID have a soft spot though, since I've known them for 38 yrs!), but anger because of he way I choose to live my life and how pathetic this all comes across! Some of the reading here is so hateful, spiteful, and ridiculously biased (if you could read it as a person without a horse in this race, wow) and I get frustrated to see women on other women acting like this. I could blame being adopted and take up pot/oxy heroin or whatever behavior to remind me of what little value I had at birth to be given up. But my past doesn't define me, I choose to make my present and future better - up to my standards. For you BMs it shouldn't define you either, and moreover, you should not feel the need to place blame. It makes you into a victim. Don't rely on a meeting for closure/need for healing/ reconciliation, whatever, and find your own happy.
    You have a choice every day to play a victim and continue to blame others, or you can be a victor and choose how you will move forward - holding onto blame just defers you from choosing, because it's 'happening to you' and you're just along for the ride.
    Quit blaming APs and consider it a part of the experience. Find another way; they were there, are there, and will be there - you choose how to react to it. Victor or victim? (And victor doesn't mean you win - simply NOT reacting May be victorious.

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  34. I was so sad to see the article about this when LGA shared it on FB. It hit me then that part of the problem with this particular situation is that it's sooo public. He is being put in the position of having a conversation publicly that he obviously doesn't want to have. I also agree that the AP's reaction wasn't going to allow him to feel that he could do anything other than what he did. I'm so sorry that this is so public and that his first mom is also having to deal with this publicly. I didn't see her interview, so I'm not really sure why he's upset. I saw him say that she said things that weren't accurate. I can't help but wonder if it's a simple matter of perspective rather than actual truths.

    This is a lesson to me. I have no idea how my kids will feel about meeting their first family. I get the insecurity, the fear of losing. But I also hope, that I can be truly supportive. I'm maintaining relationship with them now so that our kids will have a choice, so they won't even hopefully have to look. It is so hard in our situation to do this, to maintain relationship with someone who did drugs during pregnancy, who may still be doing. But she's their other mom. And her choices don't change that. So I can sympathize with the feelings of the AP here, but not with her actions. Her tears should have been hidden, her hurt should have stayed behind closed doors. God help me to do that for the good of my kids when those feelings come to me.

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  35. The feelings of adoptive parents are not more important than those of the person they adopted.

    Sometimes a line from a Bob Marley song comes filtering through my mind when I read, yet again, this common situation of an adopted person being stymied by the self-serving demands of their aparents.
    The line of the song is 'Free yourself from mental slavery'.

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  36. Judging by all the comments and opinions here....everyone handles search and reunion differently. Everyone seems to have a different angle on it. I do have to thank everyone for their advice.

    My legal situation is bizarre. I really never thought much about it until the last few years, and it does need to be resolved. Which I think I might do by petitioning the courts and leaving my AP's in the dark about it. I would like my OBC....but at this point ANY BC would have to do.

    I still could never search for any first parents. It is not a matter of AP's feelings trumping mine. They would be shattered, and I can't be the one responsible for that. Not at this stage of their lives, when they are both over 90 and still believe in how wonderfully this all worked out. They are not equipped to handle it.

    I certainly appreciate the help! I don't feel as hopreless anymore!

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  37. Lori,

    I am also adopted.

    And, I agree with you that sometimes adoptees just don't want to know their b-families. Sometimes APs have nothing to do with it. (But, often, there are issues there. Fear. Loyalty. Reminders of infertility, etc.)

    I don't know your story, but it sounds like there was some attempt at a "reunion." It sounds like you found your b-mom to be too drama-filled to handle.... And, that's your right.

    But, this comment saddened me: "to remind me of what little value I had at birth to be given up."

    You had value. I don't know your story. I don't know if your b-parents valued you at the time or not. But, whether they did or not, you had value. Your value is not predicated on how others view you.

    I'm on the other side. I would have liked to have known my b-mom. But, she clearly values her secret and her family more than me. But, that doesn't change my value. She may not value me, but I have value with or without her stamp of approval.

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  38. Julia Emily -

    You said, "I still could never search for any first parents. It is not a matter of AP's feelings trumping mine. They would be shattered, and I can't be the one responsible for that."

    I'm an AP, and I just really want to encourage you to decide for yourself, apart from your parents feelings, if you want to search for your other parents. If you don't want them to know, then I think you could find ways to conduct the search privately. But, speaking as a parent myself, children are not responsible for their parents' feelings. You are an adult, and you are free to do as you choose, and your parents cannot continue to hide your own truth from you. It's wrong, and it saddens me when anyone feels that they must live with the bad decisions made by their parents.

    Something to consider is that waiting costs time. There are adoptees, I know of one, who waver on the decision to search only to find a first parent has passed on and the decision to search was made too late. If you personally feel that you are not ready for a reunion, then that's one thing. But I really urge you to reconsider if your ONLY reason is your adoptive parents' feelings. Your happiness and your feelings are not less than theirs.

    I am very sorry you are dealing with all this. It's not fair to you at all.

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  39. Julia Emily, Tiffany: Everybody involved in search any way at all knows that a great many adoptees wait until their adoptive parents have died; then it is too late for the kind of closure they hope for. There is one in a Jean Strauss movie that breaks your heart. As I recall, both he and his mother had named a dog the same name! Talk about spiritual communion.

    Julia--I know you say your parents would be shattered, but how shattered will you be if they die holding some information about yourself? Perhaps you could talk to your father? In my experiences, they are often they are more able to deal with reality than the mother. Quite honesty, I would invent a medical reason if I were you. Makes it sound as if you have no choice, and are therefore blameless. I am sorry we are even suggesting subterfuge, but the situation appears to call for it. You probably don't have a lot of time.

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  40. I don't know if this is a reason Colin Kaepernick's mom got all weepy and Colin felt she'd been attacked, but in the interview Heidi said that she heard no news of Colin for about 12 years, implying it was the a-mom who cut off communication.

    However, other stories suggest that it was Heidi who backed out because she found the pain of hearing about him too painful to bear and it prevented her from moving on.
    "I couldn't move forward with my life" she said.

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  41. Lori just doesn't "get it"....She needs to read about the young teens of the 1970s who had NO SAY in relinquishing their babies. These mothers did not want to give their children up!!!!!! What does she not understand about some of us not having a say in the situation? She needs to stop playing the victim card while at the same time re-victimizing her birth mother. She is cold, callous, and obviously doesn't know anything about the psychology of a firstmother. Her ignorance is glaring!!!!!!

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  42. Lori,

    I personally do NOT blame adoptive mom. When I found my son she held all the cards in her hand. She contolled things she couldn't control which was my son. He was forced to make a choice by her and her tactics. Am I blaming her, no, she did what she thought would work. It didn't my son msde the decision to know me, his sibs, his family. Adoptive mmom then started working on his child taking my son's child from him because her tactics didn't work. He again told his ex and adoptive mom it his child should be with him. I admire my son for his strength. He had to take a stand but again if he hadn't he would never have known his loving mom nor would zi have ever known my loving son. We have been reunited since 92.

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  43. Lori,

    Did you mention you had children? You didn't mention if you did.... And having children does change things. Because when you bear a child the view(in most cases) becomes unselfish. I believe that is why the majority of natural mothers relinquish. They believe at the the time that it is the most unselfish thing for the baby, "the best for the child". They believe the propaganda.
    I have six other children besides the one I lost. I am CONCERNED for his well being. I always will be.

    And I WAS a victim and so was my son. And because I recognize that I can heal and now prevent and educate others in a similar situation. I don't think that expressing disdain for a broken system is stating that I am a victim. What it is stating is that I want to help heal and change things for the better. I am no longer a victim.

    I share my story on this blog and also listen to others pov so as to help and be helped. Because I need tools of advice and support for what lies ahead of me,for what is becoming a rocky road in reunion with my son.

    My son is 17. We are on a rocky recovery because of his AP's. That is the truth. Because his amom is threatened. What she doesn't understand is basic human nature. My son wants a relationship with me....a relationship. His amom is not secure enough to know that she has a relationship with him that is irreplaceable that is not contingent on me. He is going to have many relationships in his life that will be independent of his and hers. Like his wife/companion.

    I have had contact with him for a few years (going to lunch, family bbqs, etc) and she has just snapped. Literally!(I think because he is almost 18) It was a pretty good adoption until she had to define me. I am just a "extended family friend". I don't think she realizes how she is hurting and confusing my son.

    Lesson for Misty; a seemingly great adoption can turn to hell in a matter of min. Adoption is TRAGIC. PERIOD.

    I agree Lori that if you have relinquished a child, you can invite and be unconditional, but can not PLACE any expectations on that child. It is unfair to them as people.

    I disagree about DNA being just a small part. Read a book called, Adoption Healing, A Path to Recovery by Joe Soll. It was mentioned in an earlier post. It is for the adoptee but helps the natural mothers and AP's as well. WONDERFUL BOOK!

    Lori, you'd be amazed if you met your natural family how much you are like them. Now, that doesn't take away the power to make your own choices and change negative qualities that are inherent in our genetics. But it gives us a map. I am not saying that you do something that makes you uncomfortable. I am just saying that's the beauty of mother nature/science.

    I do read the posts. I appreciate that everyone is willing to be vocal. I don't agree on everything any one person says. I try(sometimes I'm not too successful) to extend compassion and I hope that it will be generously given to me.

    I also agree that we need to be happy. Having healthy relationships is part of that equation. A friend of mine who is a psychologist said these words to me about relationships. It applies to everyone. "Your either in, or out." Meaning you want someone in your life then make time. If not be courteous and move on. Remembering that you can not force.

    Life is too short. I want my children in my life. I will take them in any way I can!


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  44. 'sounds like you found your b-mom to be too drama-filled to handle'

    I always find comments like this offensive because of their trivialising nature.

    Perhaps something is lost in translation (I'm not based in the US) but it often seems to me that the genuine anguish of a first mother - who has often been parted from her child for decades - is dismissed as 'drama'.

    Meanwhile, and mystifyingly to me, when an adoptive mother cries at the reappearance of her child's other mother (who existed at the time of the adoption so shouldn't really be such a surprise) her feelings are taken extremely seriously and ameliorating her tears is seen as the overriding priority.

    I think the different levels of respect shown to each mother's feelings indicates how each is regarded, and thus perhaps says more about the speaker than the mother in question.

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  45. Julia Emily said: 'When you stop and think about it, how were human beings treated this way?'

    Oh, you are so right.

    I think this about first mothers like myself. And I think this about people like my son, who was adopted by strangers.

    Aghast, I so often ask myself this same question.

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  46. Cherry,

    The reason I used the phrase "too drama-filled to handle" was because Lori wrote about cultivating other "drama free relationships," which to me implied that she found her interactions with her mother to be anything but drama free.

    I was just guessing based on what she's written. I don't even know if they've met.

    I think there is a huge difference between a woman who is genuinely grieving the loss of her child and one who creates drama.

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  47. Such a range of emotions here on this thread!!

    Lorraine: yes, I would definitely be shattered should by AP's leave this earth and take some important information with them.

    But I am already shattered.

    As decent as my life was/is....this happened to me. An innocent baby with no voice. A fair number of people made all these decisions for me, down to picking a date to serve as my birthday. AP's, first mother, lawyers, adoption agency....these were all adults who, in some capacity, decided all of this.

    Nobody asked me.

    I will be able to resolve some of this. And some of it will have to be left alone.

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  48. "Bee: I had the same reaction to Anon's comment about certain ethnic types. She apparently never met my Polish mother--"

    Um, I'm a guy so, sexist much? Why do you assume my comment came from a woman? Bee needs to realize most (normal) people don't want to play PC games. Yes, certain groups of people do act in certain ways so deal with it. It isn't racist to observe this truth, but it sure is immature to twist it into something else. The biggest clincher, I AM an Italian, so there ladies.

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  49. Regardless of the situation...in the end the tears fall like boulders on the adopted ones. Not allowed to show our "grief as it may be hurtful to one or both of our mothers...no matter how we feel, no matter where are loyalties might or might not be we are judged as not being good enough, compassionate enough, and yes, good enough to anyone.We were born, adopted, lived and grow up "being adopted" and we are not able to voice OUR realities without SOMEONE trying to manipulate the story to make THEIR situation better, to MAKE us feel or do certain things to make the mothers feel better.

    Anyone wonder why we may be a little angry at times?

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  50. " The biggest clincher, I AM an Italian, so there ladies."

    Nothing there to do with you being Italian. Just evidence you're an *sshole. They come in all races and ethnicities.

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  51. Beautiful comment, dpen. Yes, the script was already written for us adoptees before we were even born. How we would feel, what we would think, how we would react to being adopted. And when we don't follow what was decided for us, without our input, there can be hell to pay. It is more than time for us to speak OUR truths and to have OUR voices heard, without always having to make sure that no one else gets hurt in the process.

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  52. To all adoptees if you speak your truth and keep saying it those that think adoption is wonderful might listen.
    Being a good adoptees hasn't
    People think you are happy when you may not be.
    Speak up and out even to those that have adopted you.

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  53. I cannot write from the point of view of the adopted: I have always been secure in the knowledge of who I am and where I came from. But today I am sending out a beacon from my perspective of a first mother urging the adopted not to mistake their adoptive parents' tears as a reason they should not meet their biological parents, if they are able to.

    Lorraine...I can only speak for myself at 47+ years of age. I remember thinking about, wondering about and wanting my first parents when I was 5 years old. It is not as easy as just doing what you are asking even though that is what I desperately wanted. In my case, it was a sense of survival that held me back for so long. My adoptive father was so powerful that I felt I had no power. That's how manipulative some AP's can be. When I did meet my mother my father threw a huge fit...pressured me through my husband. My a-mother is so passive she did not say a thing. My parents did not really talk to me in any real way except as their possession, and they were rich so how could things be so bad, right?

    I wanted more than anything to meet my mother and be with her...and to know my father. Now I have done both, and there has been a price, but i am now an adult and can handle it. I didn't really reach adulthood til the age of 46, as hard as that may be to believe. Total mind fucking.

    Lee H.

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  54. Oh Lee H. at least you did it! Consider yourself among the fortunate. I salute your strength against someone--your adoptive father--who was able to do what she needed for herself.

    Remember that Jamaican song: ,Don't worry, be happy? For some reason right now it is playing in my head. So should it be in yours.

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  55. Adrian Nolan here, Misty Nolans dad. unfortunately shes leaving out alot of the story - she had options. my wife and i BEGGED to be allowed to adopt.our grandchild and were refused. Mistys aunts offerrd. several of our friends offered. Misty 'proudly' did a tv show with bbc - a show that refused to talk to me by the way. - she refuses to allow us contact. or even provide contact information for the same sex couple that adopted my granddaughter. there are lots of options.. someone, somewhere, has her convinced this is.the only way. i dont suppose anyone out there has suggestions for a grandfather that desperately wants to be a part of his grandchilds life?

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  56. Adrian Nolan:

    Posts that are past 30 days are unlikely to have people reading the comments. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Your situation sounds terrible, and terrible for the child involved who will not be raised within her family. I don't know how to console you, it sounds like your granddaughter did a foolish thing.

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