' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Dear FMF: Why did my (reunited) daughter's Facebook posting hurt so much?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dear FMF: Why did my (reunited) daughter's Facebook posting hurt so much?

Lorraine
Dear First Mother Forum:
I met my daughter a few years ago and we have had a couple of good meetings. She looks a LOT like my mother when she was younger, and reminds me a lot of my sister…same mannerisms, laugh, big personality, sense of humor, etc.  

But don’t talk about that stuff with her for she will not go there…it is probably the damnedest thing I have ever seen. She mentioned a couple of things to me…we have the same dark brown eyes, but the last time we were together, my husband mentioned the similarities between her and my sister, and my daughter absolutely clammed up.


She also doesn't want to meet my other daughter--her sister, and she would love to have a sister! I know my other daughter is disappointed.

I'm trying not to be hurt but when she and I got settled into things (years in) I became her Facebook friend (we still are).....not good! The next thing I saw was a post/picture with her and her adoptive parents and she wrote a comment about her "great parents." I know I should be grateful that she was loved, but I didn't expect was to be so hurt over the "great parents" posting. It made me feel like nothing, and I keep thinking about it.--First Mother Jill

Dear Jill: Every one is different in how they handle the reunion. It may be exceedingly difficult for your daughter to be told that she resembles not only you, but others in the family. It could simply be adding to her sense of disconnection since...she doesn't feel like a part of "your" family. You are one really important person--her mother--the rest of the family is ALSO what she missed, and that maybe difficult for her to emotionally deal with. Dealing with you and your husband may be all she wants to handle. 

LET HER BE IN CHARGE 
You have to let her be the one in charge of the relationship. Knowing that there are siblings who were kept, never mind the reason or the different circumstances--may affect her in a way even she doesn't understand--but may be opening up feelings that are intense and raw and uncomfortable, and she doesn't want to go there. She may sense that meeting a kept child would only increase her sense of alienation from her biological family--your family. You want her to be a part of the whole family, but for now, just accept her and enjoy the relationship you have. 

As for the Facebook posting, let that roll off your back. Her adoptive mother and her family and friends may all know about your reunion with "her" daughter (after all she's done for her, after all the love she has given her) and she may be having a terrible time with this emotionally, crying to anyone who will listen. Your daughter's posting is a way of reassuring her adoptive mother: I still love you, Mom. Yes, she is her Mom and your are her mother, and trust me, your daughter knows your primary place in her life.

I saw my daughter have to go through all kinds of machinations to try to not hurt either her adoptive parents or me, and there were plenty of times I felt like I the got the short end of the stick. I was simply expected to "accept" and understand what came my way since I was the "real" mother. Her other mother was incredibly sensitive about our relationship, and her feelings were more present because my daughter mostly lived near her and--well, she had a real temper but that's another story!  In word and deed, my daughter was so aware of trying not to hurt her adoptive mother's feelings, because...it was so easy to do so. Even learning that my daughter and I spoke often could set her off. As my daughter once explained, her adoptive mother knew she wasn't the "real" mother, understood that biology has its strong pull, and saw how alike physically my daughter and I were. Hell, it must have been difficult to stomach! when the adoptive mother didn't count on me coming back into their relationship.

'UNDERSTANDING' WHEN I WANTED TO SCREAM
So I kept "understanding" even though there were times I wanted to say: Hey, wait a minute! I have feelings too. Have a big heart and understand that every aspect of reunion has been emotionally traumatic and strange to her. Adoptees go through all kinds of emotions that the reunion opens up in them. She is likely to have a sense of discombobulation about the life not lived, no matter how in charge of his life she appears to be. Be glad that she wanted to meet you and wants to have a relationship, and that her husband supports your relationship and you all get along well.

However, I don't mean that anyone should be always on the end of a bad relationship! No one should be a punching bag, and sometimes first mothers and fathers have to walk away--if someone, even a reunited child/adult, is seriously abusing their trust and love. In my own case, my reunited daughter came and went so many times in my life that when she returned I did not trust that it would be forever--oh, maybe near the end I did, but I suppose hope springs eternal and she never physically hurt me. It was always her leaving that hurt. Though I know she told lies about me and our relationship, my friends knew that she was making stuff up. They did not believe her, and as for her friends back in Wisconsin, I did not know them. So whatever lies she told...are just out there. I am quite sure she never told the father of my first granddaughter that I tried to convince my daughter to let him raise the girl with his mother, as he wanted. Rather I expect she told him a pack of lies about me, and our relationship.

Eventually, after years into our relationship, I did tell my daughter that there were times she hurt my feelings by seeming not to be paying attention. I told her it was important to be remembered on my birthday and Mother's Day. I think it was good for her to hear that--maybe she thought I didn't care. Anyway, flowers arrived that year on Mother's Day. Eventually she wrote her notes to me signed, "Love, your daughter." I came across one of those notes yesterday, stuck in a Polish cook book she gave me one year. 

Since your daughter is gun shy about the rest of your/her family, step back and wait. Maybe your other daughter/her sister could simply send a holiday card, and see if she is interested in pursuing a relationship, even if everyone lives in different cities, as you say. But the most important thing now is to let her set the parameters of the reunion. She didn't have a choice when she was relinquished, and now she needs to have the right to express her own choices. Respect that, and you will probably be rewarded. 

Or not.

I repeat, everyone is different. When I was going through rough times with my daughter, I reminded myself that...in many ways, we lost our children when we gave them up. They are not as if we had raised them. We didn't. And though it is difficult sometimes, we have to remember and respect that.--lorraine
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RECOMMENDED READING
Adoptive parents having trouble understanding their reunited children may benefit from reading about the adoptee experience from an adoptee's point of view, as in Betty Jean Lifton's book, Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience
"Important and powerful . . . [the author] is concerned not just with adoptees but with the experience of adoptive parents and birth parents."Psychology Today

A Man and His Mother: An Adopted Son's Search
"With his usual intelligence and emotional honesty, former football star Tim Green (now a novelist and commentator on National Public Radio) tackles the subject of his search for his biological mother in A Man and His MotherHis account of their first meeting is deeply moving; a subsequent encounter with his natural father is described with respect for the older man's feelings. Most affecting of all is the loving portrait of Green's adoptive mother and father ('the only parents I ever had'), which reminds us that being a parent involves much more than genes."--Amazon

Yes, that is what the Amazon review says. I found the book moving and insightful. The world wants reassurance big time that the adoptive parents are not forgotten, and that they are much more than place sitters until the biological mother comes into the picture. 



82 comments :

  1. I think that I was not destined to have any relationship with my daughter. It has been a nightmare for me. I am not perfect and made massive mistakes. At the same time, as I review the things in my life and the reunion, I realized that she made it very clear that she would make it her life to make my life hell....that it was what she believed I deserved. So, for me, I am delighted to say, she has backed off fast (after reading a blog entry and assuming it was about her) before she reentered my life to wreck it once again...... and sad because I know that she will never be able to even try to be real with me.

    I get that it is a lot to take in - my daughter is the very image of me and my mother. Her sons, the elder has my eyes and looks like her biological father. The younger looks like my father, brothers, uncles and grandfather.... She hates all of that. She does not bother to try with her cousins or anything.

    I disagree with the "let him set the parameters" to a certain extent. After all, there is a point when you must consider your own feelings. I have reached past that point and then woke and realized I did not want to be the punching bag and that adoption is not the end of the world for anyone.... not pleasant and fraught with pitfalls, morally repugnant, but not the end of the world. To continue to feed that belief of "no choice" when the adoptee is an adult and after a time, is like giving candy to the kid to shut them up.... it minimizes their adult status. You must make choices as adults.... the time for candy is over.

    JMHO.

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    1. Oh, I mean if he/she the adoptee doesn't want contact, then you do need to let them set the parameters. I don't ANY ONE SHOULD BE A PUNCHING BAG.

      IT'S late, tomorrow I will modify...

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    2. I added a new graf... and now goodnight!

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  2. I tend to think than when adoptees deny similarities that are apparent to others, they are trying to deny they were raised in a family other than their own. They cast aside everything that would make them different from a child raised in a bio family.

    It has to be painful to be reminded that you look like people who you believe did not want you when you were born. Denying similarities adds fuel to the adoptee's insistence that the adoptive parents are THE REAL parents.

    As Lorraine said, you have to accept them as they are and let it go. Arguing with them won't work even if the truth is as plain as the nose on their face.

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  3. Every reunion that I know of personally, and I know quote a few, has gone south. Every single one.

    Adoptees have a lot to deal with. I didn't realize exactly how much I was dealing with until pretty recently. I knew I was unhappy, but I didn't understand exactly why. Being raised in a closed adoption is a very bizarre situation. Someone gave birth to me, but gave me away. I was told ridiculous things about this "girl", all while being told that my A-parents were my only parents. No one else matters, so don't even think about anyone else. The records are sealed shut so as to make searching and reunion almost impossible. It would hurt my adoptive parents if I were to search. Forget it and move on. After a while this brainwashing, not only from AP's but from society as well, does have an effect, and the adoptee will appear to move on, always trying to make everyone around them comfortable and happy.

    Now throw reunion into this. AP's go berserk and give the adoptee an impossibly hard time. I have seen it countless times. The first mother wants to be accepted, but the adoptee does not know her. My first mother may have given birth to me, and share characteristics with me, but I DO NOT KNOW this person. Nor do I know the entire family she would probably want me to meet. The similarities between us, that I missed growing up in an adoptive family, would send me into a tailspin. Having grown up an only child, I would not be able to accept siblings as an adult. Adoptees are only human. But we have two sets of everything, and everyone wants us to choose between them. Everyone claims their feelings are being hurt. yet, the adoptee, and I know this first hand, is NEVER asked about their feelings. It never happens.

    Adoption destroys people. My cousin (who committed suicide) and I used to discuss this very often, as long as no one else could hear us. No one knew she was unhappy, except me. No one knew I was unhappy. My adoptive parents don't know I am unhappy about anything even today. Everyone thinks adoption works. Adoption can't work, and reunion makes it all the more difficult. The little baby that was passed around like a stuffed toy so many years ago is now an adult, and the emotional baggage is incredible. First mothers, of course, suffer pain and loss. But the adoptee many times is not even treated as a person. There is no help for us, only hoards of people telling us constantly how to act and what we are allowed to do.

    On a side note, I am 99% sure my first mother has died. I now know when she graduated high school, and I'm searching for the yearbook. I would just like to see her graduation photo, and see that the girl was actually a person. It will probably take me decades before I can really untangle this whole mess in my mind.

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    1. In our adoption support group which has about 50 members, many people have had okay (albeit frequently complicated) reunions that do work out, as the vast majority, but in addition to the group, many of our Members also are in therapy - and that helps a lot -

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    2. Julia: Your comment about the reunions that "go south" make me feel at least that my daughter and I kept on trying. She'd leave, she'd tell lies, she'd come back and we'd resume. Of course I got wary, but she was my daughter.

      End of story. She was my daughter. Though she committed suicide,I am forever glad that we were close at the end. At least that gives me some comfort now.

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  4. When do some adoptees become grownups?

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    1. When they see adult and mature behaviours demonstrated by their role models - and because so many people in our society are emotional children, not just adoptees, but most people period are not yet mature emotionally and remain manipulative and childish their entire lives.

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    2. Does society treat adoptees like adults? When I, as an adult adoptee, am denied access to my own birth records and my own birth certificate...not to mention that many agencies want to get permission from our first-parents before any information is released. None of this seems to be in sync with an adoptees' adult status.

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  5. The *better* the reunion, the *bigger* the losses.

    And sometimes, with every "your voice sounds like..." you've lost so much already, you just need to reject that for the time being. How do you go on processing continuous losses?

    The eventual realization that, "she could have raised me" is like swallowing broken glass, and many (especially men) can't do it. It goes against our programming and threatens our self preservation. It sounds like the son here is working hard to please everyone and go on living. Trying to process all that adoptees are confronted with in reunion can knock them down.

    While most everyone else on the outside focuses on the *gains* of reunion, it's nearly impossible for the adoptee to continue assess the cumulative, profound losses. Hearing that he sounds like an uncle turns into not only did I lose my mother/father, now I've lost an uncle that I didn't grow up knowing and probably never will know. He can only filter so much at a time, maybe ever.

    The losses in adoption--for the adoptee--can be catastrophic.

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    1. Whoops, mistyped the adoptee as a son instead of the daughter...

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    2. Yes. Sunny, you are right. Meeting more people and hearing this and that can be comforting to some, but at the same time, increase the sense of loss. The loss is monumental and permanent. Unfixable.

      Facts had to be changed in the post so that the adoptee did not recognize himself/herself.

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  6. As I was going though my exercise routine this morning, I thought of the other side of the reunion story. This happened to 2 adoptees that I know. Reunion was going along smoothly enough between the first mother and the adoptee. Then the kept siblings (or half siblings) came into the picture. In both cases, the adoptee wanted to at least be friendly. And the siblings wanted no part of it. They were hurt that this adoptee dropped from the sky into their family. How could this have been kept a secret? They are hurt beyond repair.

    The first mother would probably want everyone to at least try to get along. In one case the adoptee screamed at her first mother that if she had wanted that, she never should have given her up in the first place. Maybe that was not the thing to say, but that is how this young girl felt. That relationship is now defunct. The adoptive parents in this case, are now also estranged from the adoptee. Now she has no one.

    The cast of characters in reunion is very large, diverse, and difficult to navigate. Everyone has an angle, and a lot are quick to say why they are so hurt by what was supposed to be a happy reunion. As the adoptee in the middle of all this, I would run away. I would never be able to handle it.

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    1. I belong to an adoption support group where often enough the siblings are warm and welcoming (or at least most of them are) but clearly in the case we are told about, this adoptee needs more time and space and it seems that in the rush to be reunited, the natural family is putting themselves at the head of the line - and that space, no matter how huge, needs to be given to the adoptee - this is about her life - not just the first family -

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    2. Actually, Janet, don't rush to judge the natural family here.

      They are not pushing themselves forward or first; they are letting things be, as I think the post says. The natural mother was only expressing what is going on, and that she is saddened (as is the adoptee's sibling) by this.

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  7. Jane & Lorriane:

    I have to say as an adoptee that sometimes it's not about denial. When I first met my bfamily everyone commented how I looked like my "REAL" mom & dad ( bparents) when I thought it was insulting, because my "mom & dad" are my aparents. At first, I let it slide but as it was said more often, I started to correct people by saying:" you mean my bparents, right?" For some adoptees, when we think people are taking credit for the work our parents did like calling the bparents the "REAL" parents ( as if they raised us) or claiming credit for our accomplishments we can become defensive. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out similarities but to many of us, when we first meet, we see the bfamily as strangers who are biologically related to us BUT have no history/memories with.

    Just my two cents!

    Mya!

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    1. Exactly right, Mya. My daughter had some of that same defensiveness when she first met relatives (very early in the relationship), but it seemed to dissipate as times went on. Of course, my relatives were in a distant state from where I was, so there was not much interaction anyway.

      People not steeped in the rigors of pro-adoption language that agencies and adoptive parents have pushed often use words that ...come naturally. In adoption, everybody's real, but outsiders use of the word mean...real, as in: You wouldn't be here without the woman/man who conceived you and gave birth to you....

      It is too bad that some, if not most, adoptive parents react so violently to the word, because everybody understands that they raised the child, and were the "real" parents who was on the scene.

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    2. Mya,

      While I get that you see biofamily as the biologically related strangers, but the truth is so much more complicated. Genetics are what make you who you are - researchers are now saying that more than 88% of behaviors/thought patterns/etc, are genetic. So when you say it is insulting, while I can respect that, the truth is looks and behaviors have nothing, or at best very little to do with who you are as an adopted person - the child of the aparents. To the bfamily, they are just as stressed and confused as you are.

      History with anyone is important! Most bfamilies get that more than you know. They have that history and the link it creates.

      Sadly, it does not change your emotional response, the defensive "these are my parents" that seems to pop immediately into the mind. Most first mothers get that even before they have an actual F2F. Most of us respect it.

      I think the part that I don't get is why rub the First Mother's nose in it? Why get angry? Or is that anger about being abandoned and this is just a way to bring it out?

      Sigh, the communication gap.

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    3. Lori:

      For me, at first, it was as if my aparents ( and my history with them) was being dismissed. And as you know, we adoptee are very protective of our aparents and family. As I have stated before in one of my pervious post, I have a very loving relationship with my bfamily and my aparents love them too. But I know one of the main reason why we have this relationship is because my bparents respect the relationship that I have with my "mom & dad" they know my aparents are my parents. I feel that some, not all, adoptees may have difficult relationships with their bfamily because of anger or because the bfamily does not see the afamily as significant, nor do they acknowledge the relationship between the adoptee and aparents

      Mya

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    4. Mya, to make it easier to find your comments, please choose the Name/URL choice when you comment, out in Mya--you do not need to put in a URL--and it will give you an identity, at least here....thanks

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    5. Mya, it also would help biological parents if adoptees were honest about that relationship... My daughter dismissed her parents, in fact she denigrated them and told me all the "horrible" stuff. What reaction would you expect from a bparent who only heard how they abused the child that was entrusted to them? Honestly, it works out that if you want someone to respect your relationships, you have to respect them as well. I am learning. I think that you are also an exception.

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    6. Lori:

      I agree respect goes both ways

      Mya

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  8. Jane writes:
    It has to be painful to be reminded that you look like people who you believe did not want you when you were born.

    Yes it is painful to feel that you were not wanted when you were born. I always felt that way. My first mother left as soon as she could. I remained in a facility somewhere, until two months later when I was given to people who didn't even think it was important to find out my birthday. There was no celebrating when I was born. My first mother was disgraced and my AP's were not there. This was a situation everyone wanted to be over and done with right away. Never mind about the baby....she's a blank slate. She'll be fine.

    I felt this way for many years, as I learned parts of how this situation unfolded. I am trying now, in middle age, to make sense of it, to understand the thinking of the time, etc. But it does not make me feel wanted, believe me. It bothers me tremendously, if I let it.

    This post obviously left a huge impression on mw today, because I am back for a third time. Please try to understand, as impossible as it may be, what adoption does to the baby involved.

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    1. Writing about "what adoption does to the baby involved" is indeed important, JE, because it could be read by someone contemplating giving up their as yet unborn child, and prevent that from happening. When we gave our babies up, we had no idea--it seems no one did, or was writing about it--what adoption DID to the babies involved. Now we know. And it's not pretty.

      The world didn't know either what giving up a baby did to the mother either. We were scarred for life, and no some of us can't even meet or talk to the children because we have been hiding under the cloak of shame for so long. I know that some of my acquaintances who do not know much about me think that I am obsessed with adoption and do not have another life. I do; it's just that giving up my baby cut my life so deeply and that cut was never healed over.

      We are all in this together.

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    2. Julia Emily, I am so thankful to you and other adoptees for describing how life feels for you. I would never know unless you said, and every time you express more of what it's like, I learn more. Thank you all so much.

      I feel so sad, learning what it's like to be an adoptee. It means my son, who I love more than anything or anyone on earth, most likely feels this way. Knowing that I have caused this for him. when I thought I was making his life better, is a terrible thing to realise, but I'm still very thankful to all the adoptees who have the sheer integrity and bravery to speak out, with honesty, against the usual grain, and say how it really feels. I really think you are just amazing.

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    3. We were all told that our children would live in two parent affluent stable homes (such as we single Girls could not provide) and they would have University educations and the good life, we were conned and coerced into giving up our Babies and once North American white people caught on to the ways this worked, the adoption rackets moved offshore and into Third World Countries - very few (if any) women give up their Babies willingly, they are conned into believing that this will provide their Child with a better chance in life -

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  9. In her letter to me, my mother said the same type of thing.... we look nothing alike, I have a.... and the thing she mentioned was the first thing I would describe in myself. I guess it is a way to distance and downplay the role that genetics play in our lives from either side.

    But adoptees are placed in the middle, torn between pleasing 2 mothers. Both seem easily hurt by what is said to the other. I was not in that situation, but it must be exhausting.

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    1. Lora: It was exhausting for my daughter, I know. She said that she felt like a magnet sometimes--the closer to got to one mother/family, the more she had to pull away from the other. But she was interested and happy to meet my whole family, and her uncles and cousins, and she invited them all to her (2nd) wedding, and my two brothers came, with their wives, and one brought their two young daughters who hung out with their cousin (first, one removed), my daughter's daughter from her first marriage.

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  10. None of it is pretty, Lorraine. It's an absolute disaster that has destroyed so many lives . Why can't we get the ignorant non-adopted population and the lawmakers to understand this? And things like November being happy, fluffy adoption month certainly don't help.

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    1. Julia Emilyh, you have the power of the written word at your disposal - not everyone can write as clearly and as potently as you. Please don't overlook the power of that.

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    2. Thanks, Cherry. Hopefully my putting all these feelings in writing here will help everyone understand the adoptee's viewpoint. It helps me just to get these feelings out in the open! There are moments when I am extremely angry, and moments when I calm down and try to understand the time and circumstances that forced this decision on my first mother. Adoption is a complicated thing. It bothers me tremendously that it is made out to be a warm, fuzzy solution to a "problem" pregnancy. Because it is not a solution to anything, it just creates different problems.

      I still say we can make it work by being honest. If we stop lying, stop being defensive and possessive, stop being hurtful and accusatory, we can try to get along. The adoptive parents love their child. The first mother always loved her child. The adoptee is in the middle of both....can't we all sit down together and just discuss it honestly and openly. No one can change what happened. Unfortunately, not too many people know how to deal with it.

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  11. stop stealing our children, you hurt them for life. that's not "in the best interest of the child".

    stop promoting adoption, aka child abandonment. stop promoting, forcing, condoning, paying for and praying for child abandonment because that -abandonment- is what HAS to occur before an 'adoption' can take place. it's hurtful=evil. ... to many!

    also a thought on why some mothers refuse contact, it's not necessarily 'shame', it's the I can't have my child stolen from me .... again. because many of us did have our children taken against our will.

    worldly adoption destroys. stop coveting US/OUR children.

    a grieving mother and second generation adoptee.

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  12. I can't really speak to the complications involved in reunions. I do know I would be sad if my daughter treated her other mom in such a way. I can't decide my daughter's feelings, of course, and I can't possibly understand what it is like to be adopted. But I do hope that I am raising her to be open to love from her mom and dad and be open to a relationship with them.

    I do believe that one of the greatest thorns in a reunion is the adopted parents and how they feel and act about the reunion. As parents, I believe it is our main job to support our children. For adoptive parents, this means supporting our children in their relationships with their biological family members. They should never, ever feel any hint of disapprovement from their adoptive parents. Any adoptive parents who are struggling emotionally with their child having a relationship with the biological parents needs to work that out in therapy and make sure they are not letting it impact their child.

    But then, I believe only a selfish motherly love demands such idolization from an adult child that she would require a sacrifice of child's self and wholeness in order to appease her own insecurities.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Tiffany,

      My daughter's adoptive parents were much opposed to our reunion. To my daughter's credit she searched for me anyway. Their opposition, though, compounded other stress in the reunion. I tried to be deferential, to always say respectful things about them. I offered several times to meet them but my daughter always said they didn't want to meet me. They have both passed away.

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    2. I'm sorry, Jane. I am usually able to see from different sides of a situation, but in this, I cannot fathom why adoptive parents act this way. If you truly love your child, you wouldn't try to make her feel wrong/bad/ungrateful/fill in the blank for wanting to know her family of birth. As hard as it was, I am glad for you that she still wanted to find you and have a relationship.

      Also... I wonder in these types of cases where aparents make it so hard on their child to have the relationship they want with their first family, (generally speaking now, not trying to say this specifically about your daughter) if there isn't a sense of relief if the aparents pass away. The thought rather horrifies me. I can't imagine putting my daughter in a position where she might feel a small sense of relief that I was gone simply because I was making her life so much harder. Like I said, to me, it really comes down to selfishness.

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    3. Oh Tiffany, you've just got all of that so right. You are a marvel. I'm so glad you speak out. We must speak out, to change things and to challenge the prevailing view. Thak you so much for doing so.

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    4. Cherry, thank you. I hope if adoptive parents who believe differently (and I know I'm not the only one!) continue to lend our voices for our children, then change can occur.

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  13. The subject of adoption blows my mind. I have tried a million times to wrap my mind around the impact on all parties and just when I feel I have a handle, I realize I’m further away from clarity and resolution. Adoption is a spiraling torrent of emotions. The gamut of opinions ranges from shockingly simplistic to intensely complex.

    Even as a person who ‘gave away’ her child, I still feel entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. I expect my feelings to be considered. I didn’t make a casual or frivolous decision and I’m exhausted by it being cast in that light. It took tremendous contemplation and consideration and I’ve been blanketed in painful resignation ever since. My decision was made out of love and for the benefit of my daughter and a childless couple. I refuse to call it anything other than that. I acknowledge without me starting this chain of events, there would never be THESE events. I take the blame on that count.

    As it stands today, our 5 reunion imploded 2 years ago - not a word has been spoken since. The shadows could be seen on the horizon for at least a year. So, when another in a series of crushing disappointments occurred, I didn’t roll over again. I thought I was kind and compassionate, but that was enough to get me banished. She was dramatic, unsympathetic and unyielding - it killed me.

    My daughter is like me, she looks like me, she acts like me and we like the same things. I was younger (than her adoptive mother), modern and fun – a look-a-like novelty at first. I’m assuming all of this compounded her adoptive mother’s insecurity and anxiety. Her adoptive mother went to tremendous lengths to thwart and undermine our relationship. She started dying her hair to match my daughter’s, replicated anything my daughter and I did together and presented matching gifts. She intercepted mail, maintained lengthy silent treatments and established a bizarre one-sided competition. Her contempt of me was palpable and painful to the point I may never be able to forgive.

    I acknowledge and am sensitive to the fact that my daughter had no hand in my decision, yet her life has been completely altered and likely damaged by it. I understand she was forced to choose sides, even though (I feel) I never made her choose. I was willing to take any scrap I could get, while I watched her adoptive mother wield psychological torture on my daughter.

    I acknowledge, but am astonished by her adoptive mother’s extreme behavior. I never tried to parent, persuade or influence my daughter. I encouraged honesty and transparency. I understand who her mother is. I understand who did all the hard work raising this child, now adult. I accept I am not my daughter’s mother. I respect their relationship and the bond that was been established long before I reentered the picture. I tried a million ways to extend olive branches and all I did was get hit by them.

    I see the hurt and dysfunction adoption perpetuates. I understand why the system exists, but feel massive reform is needed: a) prospective adoptive parents need to be counseled on what it means to parent a child they did not give birth to and that the biological family that doesn’t magically disappear at the point of adoption, 2) birthparents need to understand the full ramification of adoption including pre and post counseling and 3) a safe haven for adoptees that need respite from the chaos they were unceremoniously dropped into through no fault of their own.

    The thought that I am re-abandoning my daughter bothers me tremendously, but I was told to ‘go away’ and asked to honor a no contact policy, so I am. Conversely, the thought of reopening the door on this emotional chaos is a ghastly proposition. If I could take a ‘forget it all’ pill I would. I wish there was a way to have peace, to not look back, to not feel guilt or wonder what I really should be doing to show her I love her, without laying down and reassuming my doormat position.

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    1. Hilary,
      When you wrote, I wish there was a way to have peace, I felt a pang for while the pain dulls it never quite goes away. Now it's a granddaughter (who had been adopted-out) who retreated with a rather snotty email, and I have stayed away. Years have passed. I wish it weren't this way but the thought reopening all the emotions again and feeling that she will probably retreat eventually and leave me bereft once more is enough for me to keep my distance. My daughter's comings and goings left me older, wiser, and less ready to welcome her own daughter, my granddaughter, back with open arms.

      "Once burned, twice shy" suits the situation.

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  14. Facebook is a real minefield for reunited adoptees. I am often hurt by the things i see. It's hard to get glimpses into the lives of the family we were cast out of. I see my mother commenting on a post her kept son made. i see the love she has for his son. I sometimes hear of gatherings that I'm not included in.

    I wish i could stop myself from looking into their lives, but I can't. After looking I'm upset for days. Oh God, how i wish I had never found them.

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    1. Facebook is definitely a minefield. My daughter posted something about me I considered demeaning. I sent her an email telling her this, thinking it was better to open up a discussion than just be hurt and angry. She did not email me back Instead she unfriended me on Facebook.

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    2. Jane, that is not only sad, but disturbing. I think it plays up to the point that our lost--but reunited children look for any excuse to hurt us, because they hurt so much and feel the need to hurt back--even if they do not acknowledge that, even to themselves. I feel that is what my daughter did repeatedly, and why she made up stories about me--to show me how much being given up hurt her.

      Why can't we get this information to the people who push adoption, unnecessary adoptions?

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    3. Adoptomuss, I commisserate. I know it is not the same, but I understand that 'hurt for days' feeling. Coming across a Facebook image which serves as a potent reminder of how adoption has wrecked natural relationships is agonising. Watching my grandson's birthday photos, with me and my family conspicuously absent, really hurts. It is the echo of my son's adoption repeating itself, with the same people - ie. his adoptive mother - benefitting.

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    4. I was in reunion for over 23 years when my son suddenly went ballistic on me and permanently severed our relationship. All I can say is that Facebook is the worst thing that's ever happened in the history of mother-child reunions.

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    5. I to met my daughter after being found on Facebook. It lasted a couple of years and the slowly stopped talking to me and then blocked me. To this day I'm not really sure why other than her adopted mother doesn't want me to have anything to do with her and has said bad things about me to her. The feeling I have is heartache once again.

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    6. Oh, Cindy, we are so sorry--sorry because all of us know what that feels like, because it happens and then it opens up and all is well and then it happens again. There is little I can say to stop the pain, except that if your daughter stays away for a long time, it will lessen if you let it. The people who want to be in your life will be; you don't have to go chasing after people who don't.

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  15. Conversation I once had with my adoptive mother. "did you love your mother?" A-mom, "my mother didn't give me away". "I know that, but did you love her?". "Yes, I did". "Then why do you think I'd be any different?".....

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    1. Good for you adoptomuss. Honoring the truth of your feelings.

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  16. While reading the comments here, I couldn't help but think about how nice it would be to hear about some successful reunions as they do exist. I'm thinking about Amanda from declassified. She's a talented writer and appears to have successfully juggled life with two mothers and an extended families. Additionally, she had the added burden of having a bio father who was a rapist.

    Lorraine, did you ever figure out why you daughter told lies to others about you? I know some adoptees do, and I'm curious about the motive. I'm speculating that it's an attention getting mechanism, but of course I can't be certain about this.

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    1. Why did she lie? It was a way to show her anger and deep deep sense of being abandoned by--her mother. No matter what, how could I have done it? I'll show you that you now mean nothing to me. And I want to hurt you.

      It's not terribly complicated. People who are abused (as in being "abandoned" by their mothers often feel the need to hurt others. I was around; I was the one who let her be adopted; I deserved to be hurt.

      Many first mothers have talked about lies that their grown children tell about them. Maybe making the mother out to be a really terrible person makes them feel better. She's so terrible, what can you expect? She GAVE ME AWAY. She MEANS NOTHING TO ME NOW.

      Until she does.

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    2. I considered my 23-year-long post-reunion relationship with my son very successful. And then it all exploded into smithereens on Facebook. I wish to high heavens that I had never "friended" my son on Facebook -- it destroyed our relationship.

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    3. Trina - here is a story of a successful reunion. My partner has had a reunion and has been part of our daughters life for about 10 years now. He has been welcomed into the family and has a great relationship with her amother, They speak and meet regularly and celebrate occasions together. His mother and sister are all part of this wider family too,so everything is really good there. Cheating a bit I guess as it is the father in contact not the mother, but still good. Maybe a bit easier as our daughters afather passed away when she was 14 and also he has no other children.

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    4. Trina - my reunion with my young adult son has been "successful" over the past few years and I hope it stays that way. What has helped - he is laid back and doesn't get his dander up easily, I have read a ton of reunion books and blogs but know that my counterparts in this reunion have not, so I try not to take offense when insensitive things are said or done; we live close to one another so have been able to spend real time together; his adoptive parents have been supportive of the reunion even though it must be hard at times; we have tried to embrace all parties as "family" which hopefully keeps the best interests of our son at the forefront; my husband is supportive; I have been willing (no matter how hard) to tell my other children, extended family and current friends of the situation even though it was previously unknown. Is it perfect? No. I have had to work at dealing with my own pain in therapy and peer support (Ohio Birthparent Group has been a huge support www.ohiobirthparents.org). We have been lucky.

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    5. You are right Trina. Successful reunions do exist, just like those that have tanked or never got going in the first place. I am a mother who considers my 16 year reunion with my adult child and family to be very successful. I love them all. Unfortunately I've had the experience of speaking positively about my reunion twisted to look like I unequivocally support adoption, which I certainly don't. So I have pretty much clammed up with speaking about my experience on the internet, instead putting that extra energy into my family and talking about adoption reform to people I meet instead. Each to their own, but for me that has been much more rewarding.

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    6. Anonymous, we do long to hear about successful reunions! And I am glad that you took the time to write here. Adoption is such a loaded subject that it is so open to misinterpretation, especially by the the anonymous masses who post read and post a comment quickly.

      Though I have written extensively about the ups and downs that my daughter and I had, I also consider my reunion "successful." It was like life, interrupted. I had a
      successful relationship with my mother, but lordy, that does not mean it was conflict free. Oh contraire.

      I think I feel a post about what "success" in reunion constitutes coming on. As for the outsiders suddenly thinking you are unequivocally pro adoption, that's just too bad. I hope you will continue to speak up; a good reunion doesn't mean that the initial adoption was a good thing. It means people are able to make the best of a bad situation.

      Thanks so much for writing!

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  17. Believe me, adoptive parents are not like Tiffany. All of the adoptive parents I know are insecure, very overbearing, very possessive. They all hijacked any possibility of a successful reunion with the adoptees I know. There are two sets of parents I know that never even told the child they were adopted....which blows my mind. How in the world does one raise a child to adulthood and lie to them every single day? And about something so important? At least my parents told me, I have to give them credit for that. It caused huge problems with my A-grandparents, and there was nothing but fighting all the time, but they told me.

    My parents are extremely insecure. And they were not counseled at all. They swallowed all the "blank slate" nonsense, and still say that if the child is in a good home, nothing else matters. There is no way I can change their thinking at this stage of the game. Even after my cousin committed suicide....nothing was ever said to me. My AP's knew I was close to her. But there was no light bulb moment, no red flags. It never occurred to them that anything could ever be wrong with adoption, or that she and I might have talked about it. If I mention her name now, A-Mom says "let's talk about something different. Change the subject."

    So, the saga continues. All I can do is piece my puzzle together, without involving my a-parents at all. They have no idea that I have acquired so much information. Which is fine....I don't need the hassle.

    What are adoptive parents so afraid of? Without the first mother, there would be no one to adopt. We are all human beings. Why must we be at each other's throats?

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    1. Julia, I'm so sorry that has been your experience with all the adoptive parents in your life, including you own. I don't feel like a unicorn. ;) I do think that my generation of adoptive parents are different from former generations. In a large part, I think this is due to the prevalence of open adoptions. I do not tout open adoption as some sort of magic cure-all, and it certainly has more than it's share of issues (I have already experienced some of them, so I do not claim it is a perfect solution). But I think that it has changed the "blank slate" mindset for many people. Many adoptive parents now willingly recognize, in varying degrees, the impact their children's biological families have on their lives. I'm starting to wonder if the next generation of politicians will reflect this new mindset and make it possible for us to push successfully for open records.

      I can say that it isn't always just the adoption factor, although that absolutely complicates things. I don't have the greatest parents, either, and as a matter of fact, we haven't talked since January. When I do not live my life precisely the way they want me too, down to my political viewpoints and the manner in which I discipline my children, they are upset. This past time, they went too far when they hurt my children with their actions, and we haven't had contact since they refuse to acknowledge that hurt or change their ways. So, sometimes, I think it is the personality of the people involved: if they are too possessive and controlling, adoptive parents or otherwise, they are not able to allow their adult children to live their lives unless it is according to their dictates. When these type of personalities are present in adoptive parents, it can be incredibly restrictive to allowing an adoptee to experience reunion or have any sort of feelings of curiosity about their origins. And that's just so very sad.

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    2. Thanks, Tiffany. Yes, the personalities of the people involved can certainly complicate things. Your parents sound a lot like my husband's parent's. Controlling and domineering. My husband is one of four children who have had to deal with this tyrant of a mother their whole lives. I refuse to deal with her any longer. So, you are right, it is not exclusively an "adoptive parent" trait.

      But I think the adoptive parents have added insecurities. In my parent's case, it probably started with their inability to have a child of their own. Once, in a very rare moment of candor, A-mom told me how "alone" she felt as she was trying to have a baby, and nothing was happening. My jaw dropped....this is not the type of conversation we ever had. But she apparently felt alone, inadequate, had no one to talk, etc. This went on for years, until my parents applied to some organization in Italy for a baby to adopt. They were turned down, I believe because they were considered too old. Then I finally appeared, and the long legal battle ensued to finalize this adoption. By the time this all happened, A-Mom was probably such a wreck there was no way she was going to let me be anything but hers! I was hers, I was going to be Italian, we were never going to mention "the girl" and that was the end of it.

      It is sad. Very sad. Hopefully, as you say, adoptive parents today have a better understanding of the whole thing, and are more in tune with their children's feelings and needs. I certainly hope so.

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    3. ...why must we be at each other's throats...?

      The only person I ever heard my daughter's adoptive mother liked was a sister-in-law of mine. She, of course, was not a blood relation of our daughter's. What kind of message did that send to our daughter?

      Your own stock (mother, uncles)--not so good. They never met my mother, my daughter's grandmother.

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    4. Julia Emily, maybe I didn't phrase it right because that's what I meant- that when you have a controlling personality already in a parent, when they adopt, which brings a whole new set of issues with it, everything is magnified to be that much worse.

      I do try to relate to the infertility issue since it is not something I have personally struggled with. I get that it must be heartbreaking to go through, but at the same time, I struggle with women who do not properly deal with the emotions of infertility before they enter the adoption process. I personally think several mandatory counseling sessions should be a requirement for all PAPs. During these sessions, the counselor should evaluate whether the PAPs have dealt emotionally with any issues, such as child loss or infertility, that can impact any child they adopt. Of course, that would potentially limit the pool of PAPs, so no agency would want to voluntarily do that, right? Still... it seems like they could have sessions to help ensure PAPs work through these issues prior to adoption.

      Lorraine, I so agree!!! I am naturally mama bearish with my children, but it's magnified for my daughter who is adopted. When we brought her home, a few comments were made by family that we borderline regarding her parents. I didn't mince words when I told them that such comments, and any like them, are absolutely unacceptable. Both my husband and I talked before adopting and made sure we were on the same page about how we would protect any child even from our family if necessary. I will not allow any negative, even indirectly negative, comments to be said about our daughter's family. It makes it even harder for me to understand how an adoptive parent could possibly say it themselves! That is where your child comes from, their very origins and roots.

      I don't understand the negativity and can only assume it comes from a place of insecurity, but that is just no excuse.

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  18. Adoptomuss, {{hugs}} across the Internet from me. Though not an adoptee, my intense interest grew out of a far-reaching adoption-caused net of tragedies in my extended family.

    My own bfamily didn't like me, exploited and abused me during the many years I sought scraps of acceptance and, yes, love. I do not have a Facebook page under my legal name because I don't want my family of origin to know about me and the family I have since created. Such info would be used, as in the past, as ammo against me. However, I occasionally visit a bsib's FB page to confirm that my remaining bparent is still alive. The past four deaths in my family of origin came my way via Google Alert, not by e-mail, telephone, or (in the pre-Internet days) by telegram or voicemail.

    Every time I visit that bsib's FB page, I feel soiled for days. The most recent entry celebrated the birthday of this bparent, hooray hooray, whose last contact with me was an e-mail of few words, eight years ago, refusing contact or to answer questions--questions like, "How are you?"

    And then I think, as in your and so many other cases detailed at FMF, how a similar family Gordian knot would be infinitely more tangled had adoption been--in my case--involved! How much harder and more complicated!

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    1. Many hugs from me too. No on deserves that.

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  19. Thanks Lorraine for the explanation. Although it makes sense, it sure does make reunion really, really difficult - especially when the first mother discovers the lies - it's another large layer of pain that is added to an already huge mound.

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  20. I like that Lorraine tries to understand her daughters motives. Many mothers just label their children as cruel and are very judgemental. The psycological damage that being given away does to a person is deep. It affects every aspect of our lives. I know giving up a child is hard, but adoptees know nothing else but pain. We never had a life before we were relinquished.

    I wish my mother was half as kind and understanding, but at the first whiff of pain, she cried foul and headed for the hills, taking my broken heart with her.

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  21. The largest issues that appear to affect the reunion appear to be genetic similarities, lies, and of course the explosion of the truth when reunion occurs. First, the genetic similarities... no offense to anyone intended, but genetics are what they are. You are going to look like the family that should have raised you. Not the family that did raise you. You are going to be a stomper, shouter, whisperer, talented something or other, according to genetics - not who raised you.

    Second, while I believe that nurture has a way of modifying nature, it does just and only that - modify things outwardly, such as lying, using makeup properly, etc. These are LEARNED behaviors. No one comes out of the jar knowing how to put on eyeliner.... nor do they come out of the jar with brown or blue eyes that change because the people that raise them are something different. It is, what it is. To get your panties in a twist because you are told that you look like the horrible abandoner is ridiculous.

    Lies... that is a big one. I have been, according to the lies told my daughter, a prostitute, a hispanic/native american junky, a woman who threw her little girl into a dumpster, someone that beat her, and so many other things it is kind of scary to think she grew up believing this. The truth was so much more simple and much less damaging to my daughter's psyche. I was a teenager that didn't have the family support that I needed, with a social worker who wanted to place my child in a "racially" adequate home that she just happened to know would be perfect..... hmmmm.

    Then, the explosion. That OMG, time when my daughter finally met me - realized not only am I nothing like I was portrayed, but she looked just like me, named her eldest son a family name (seriously - unbelievably so true!)..... it was insane. I was the enemy! I should have died, like her father, or at least been so far gone with AIDS or drugs that she could pity me (at least that is the impression she left me with).

    Either way, honesty and a little bit of compassion on the part of the amother and maybe a little support would have made life so much easier - and the explosion so much smaller.

    How hard is it to see?

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    1. "First, the genetic similarities... no offense to anyone intended, but genetics are what they are. You are going to look like the family that should have raised you. Not the family that did raise you. You are going to be a stomper, shouter, whisperer, talented something or other, according to genetics - not who raised you."

      My husband came out from checking on our youngest last night and he said,"{Daughter} was sleeping and just the way her face was turned and the way the light was hitting her, she looked exactly like {her first mom}." I tend to think she looks a lot like her dad, while my husband thinks she strongly favors her mom. We often say these kinds of things without a second thought. Of course she looks like them! She acts like them too, and I share bits and pieces of her personality and habits with them and ask who they came from. I can't tell you how often my husband and I have remarked to each other when watching a band that we can picture our daughter up there someday, too, just like her dad. I enjoy collecting this genetic history for my daughter. It is a HUGE part of who she is, and we love and embrace it.

      At the same time, she does display traits she picks up from us, too. Nuture plays a part as well. She copies her big sister (who is our daughter biologically) and acts like her sometimes even while other times, it's clear she is her own person. I know adoptees sometimes talk about struggling growing up in a family they did not identify with from a personality and appearance standpoint. It must be hard not to see yourself mirrored back in your own family. I try to be sensitive to that, embrace her genetic roots openly (including her striking and obvious resemblance to her parents), and also celebrate our randomly occurring commonalities. She and I are alike in a lot of ways, which obviously isn't nature, but I do appreciate it all the same.

      I'm sorry, Lori. I cannot begin to imagine how hard it must be to deal with what you are going through.

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    2. You are an exception. Most adoptive parents are so busy trying to make the child into them, they forget that they have influence - nurture does indeed modify the internal - but they are not going to make them into the perfect little clone of them...... I wish my daughter had not been so busy being taught to hate me, but rather learning to love herself.

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    3. I'm so very sorry, Lori. Both for you and your daughter. Filling a heart with hate is such a sad way to live a life, especially hate for a mother reaching out and wanting to love you.

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  22. I was out for a while and look at all the comments! The comments about lies, no matter who is doing the lying, are really amazing. It's true, many so-called adults are just overgrown children.

    Many lies were told to me about my first mother. I think the only true thing I ever heard was that she "took off." The most entertaining lie I was told, when very young, was that she was an airline stewardess who....guess what.....died in a plane crash.

    The thing about this lie is that it was told, by A-mom, to countless extended family members, friends, and neighbors who lived in our building. Why couldn't she just tell these people the truth? Maybe she was trying to arrange it so no one would ever give me the idea to search. Maybe she felt a plane crash was so final that no one would ask her again. She did not know anything about my first mother, and still doesn't. Why the ridiculous need to make up stories?

    And looking on the internet now, you can't imagine how many of us had first mothers who died in plane or car crashes!

    I would love to present A-mom with the true information that I have gathered during this past year. But, again, it's not worth the hassle. Either that or I should present her with some kind of "imaginative fake stories" award.

    How could a mother, adoptive or not, lie to her child? I can't do it. I have always been completely honest with my children, and we have a great relationship. A-mom's lies and stories were ridiculous. She thought they were harmless. But a relationship can not be built upon lies.

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  23. I have a backwards reunion. I am in contact with my aunt, uncle and half brother. None of whom knew I existed until I found them. My mother is in denial i even exist. I recently even met my grandmother who snuck out of the house so grandfather wouldnt find out to meet me for the first time when I was visiting my brother. Nobody in the family will speak to my mother. Up until my aunt told my mother I found her it was the first anybody had tried to speak to her about me or my adoption since I was born 31 years prior. My mother immediately shut down my aunt refusing to hear anymore. No wonder my mother is so shut down. Closed adoption is horrendous.

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    1. Helena your mother may very well be feeling the most horrific betrayal. If her family or even just one member is part or all of the ''reason'' you were surrendered for adoption.. you finding them first, any of them, and having a relationship with them (her ''abandoners/betrayers'') even members who did not know of your existence. It may have been her father that 'knew'... or ......? I've found two weeks ago that the main 'contributor' in my family was even MORE complicit in the loss of my son. I'm still trying to process that blow. It gave me confirmation, in no uncertain terms that I had absolutely NO CHOICE in the matter.... if he had 'found' them first, especially a year or so ago I may have done the same thing. One reason being the rage towards my family/member would have been UNBEARABLE. That betrayal of family, the sneaking around, the refusal to tell the truth, the whole truth.... it messes with a human beings mind to the point where you just have to say ----no---. Another reason would have been I would not have wanted to meet my son with that kind of rage and grief and the pain of the most intense betrayal.. the loss of him by their hand... It may seem selfish but if you understand how many adoptees need to protect themselves from that kind of intensity of feeling... then I hope you can appreciate how a mother... your mother may feel. It means she does love you... and cannot be with you with that raging pain in her heart, in many ways to (it probably doesn't feel like it) protect you from that hard, unhealed pain in her soul. I hope for her healing and for her/your family members to spend some time and consideration in learning about adoption and how it effects mothers. It's truly needed. That way they may be able to support her in healing and support you both in reunion. Re--reading now I'm kind of puzzled that you say, ''Up until my aunt told my mother I found her it was the first anybody had tried to speak to her about me or my adoption since I was born 31 years prior." 1) I thought no-one knew of your existence. 2) If your mother has had to live in unsupported silence of the loss of you..... and now IF a betrayer/s are all ''oh welcome, welcome'' without having supported her in her loss and grief.... wow. Excruciating agony. A mother needs help and support in her loss and grief. If she has not had any, the pain can stay as raw as when our children were taken. It's abandonment of human beings-two... maybe that is some of the reason why so many mothers and adoptees can relate to what the other feels. We were both- abandoned. Yes I know we were older... but not necessarily any less abandoned, we lost our child/you, many of us lost our motherhood, our womanhood, and our worth as human beings. We weren't 'worth' being a mother to our own child.
      I'm sorry that your mother is not able to be there for you. Give her time. I hope she can begin to heal and deal with the reality of now..she needs to mourn the missing your growing up years to be 'present' in the here and now. (~_~) and not come completely unglued. It also helps to at least try to forgive and make ''peace'' with the one/s who took control -if that is what occurred- (but that cannot be forced or even expected). There must be some source of support for your mother for her to be able -to go there-. Yes I'm on speaking terms with... and I do care about my family... it's not all gloomy. It does take awhile to get there.

      Julia Emily, the stories your A-mom told may have ''helped'' her conscience in parenting another mother's child. I.e. if your first mother was dead... you needed a mother. It 'justified' her role in your life and made her legitimate in mothering you.

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  24. Helena, I am so sorry. Your mother must have grieved plenty at the time and decided that the only way she could go on with her life was to deny your existence. Even your reappearance is digging up so much pain she can't face you, possibly because of guilt that she gave you up. I am truly sorry. Adoption is often horrendous.

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  25. I must say again, that I think Lorraines attitude toward her daughter seems to be the right one, in my mind. She never had any other children, because, how could you keep other children after giving one away. it would be much better for me if my mother had not kept my brother. Knowing he got to grow up with her is torture.

    He got everything I was denied. His father wanted him, so my mother kept him. She was married to my father when i was born, but somehow he convinced her to give me up anyway. She could have legally gotten support from him. My brother has 4 siblings from his father's second marriage. I was raised an only child in my adoptive family. I don't know how to stop the feeling of pain and jelousy, despite my advanced age and adult status.

    My mother loves him, and is involved in his life in every way. She wants nothing to do with me or my 4 children. How do I grow up and get over it?

    My father said they were self destructive drug addicts when I was born, so they had to get rid of me, but they are still alive in their 70's. I guess they didn't self destruct after all. How do I stop hurting??

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    1. To answer your last question, A, I don't know.

      Adoption is so full of hurt and pain. Try to focus on the people who do want to be in your life. Remember this: The people who want to be in your life will be. You don't have to go chasing after them.

      Try to find pleasure and acceptance among the people who know you and love you. It sounds like your father was the factor that led to your being given up. And of course, first parents are never told about the heartache that could result for all the parties involved.

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    2. adoptomuss, sadly, I never had any other children.... and the weird part is that I raised a bunch of others.......

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    3. I'm thinking that perhaps your brother demands, either directly or subtly that your mother shut you out. Some siblings react like some adoptive parents when they learn of a reunion -- they demand absolute loyalty. Your mother may fear that if she doesn't give that to your brother, she may lose him as well as you.

      I had three daughters after I gave up my first daughter. After my reunion,my kept daughters were hurt by the amount of time and emotional energy I spent on my lost daughter. Still, they never asked me to cut off contact and I never would have.

      Another thought, when my daughters were growing up, I always felt guilty doing things for them because I hadn't done these things for my lost daughter. One way to cope was to try to shut my lost daughter out of mind which I never was able to do completely. Perhaps your mother too tried to close you off and fears opening up her mind and heart for all the regrets that will gush out.

      Perhaps your parents thought they were protecting you from the drug scene rather than getting rid of you. They may have been encouraged to think by the adoption agency/relatives/pastors/etc this rather then offering help to get off drugs and keep you.

      Everything related to adoption is so complicated. From my experience, we never know why or how. As Lorraine said, try to find pleasure in the things you do have.



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    4. Adoptomuss's story illustrates the absolute primacy of the mother in a person's life. My gut sense is what others have said, that Adoptomuss's mother does not want to, or is unable to, face her guilt and shame over relinquishing A-muss yet keeping her other child.

      But knowing that really doesn't do Adoptomuss any good. Nor does telling her to find her emotional peace and contentment from the people who want to be in her life. If I remember correctly, A-muss is happily married and has 4 children. Yet, none of the people in her immediate family, nor anyone else, can truly substitute for the love one hopes to get from their natural mother. A mother is not replaceable.

      I fear that A-muss got screwed and that the pain will always be there for her to some degree. The best she can hope for, in my humble opinion, is to try to accept the situation and cope with it the best she can.

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    5. Yes, Robin. Thank you

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  26. @adoptomus, I had a second child and also ended up marrying the first father. When we found our first child our son was actually overjoyed and stated that it was better than winning the lottery. Although he was young at the time(age 10) he seemed to understand that his newfound sister was given quite a bit of extra attention plus a lot of what he called "stuff." It was an attempt on our part to make up for lost time, which of course in reality is impossible.

    Your situation sounds pretty dire so I'd do what Jane and Lorraine have suggested which is to focus on the positive things that you do have in your life as it's really the only sane path to take.

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