' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Why all should have the right to their true identity and kin
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Why all should have the right to their true identity and kin

Lorraine
Jane
Indiana adoptees have made a short but powerful video about the blankness of not knowing one's true identity, and it's our last post of the year.  In a few interviews, it conveys the loss and pain of not knowing one's identity and kin.

May 2015 be the year that New York and other states join the growing list of those that recognize adoptees are people too, people who have an innate right to know the truth of their origins.

For all of you in search, we wish that 2015 be the year of your success. For all of you who have found but have broken relationships, may they be healed this year. For those that is not possible, may 2015 be the year that acceptance is not painful. And may we all have a Happy Healthy Prosperous New Year.--lorraine and jane

28 comments :

  1. And a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to our two bloggers extraordinaire as well. And to all of the readers and commenters at FMF.

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  2. This is a good video. Everything said here is true. But, especially in NY, no one with any power wants to hear it. There's too much corruption. Too much money in the adoption industry. And no one cares about adoptees or first mothers unless they are one. It's an impossible thing to explain to people not affected by it.

    Have a great new year!!

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    1. New York's Legislature has MANY good Honorable representatives period. And many of them are Co-Sponsors of Assemblyman David Weprin and Senator Andrew Lanza's bills that would restore Vital Records access to Adoptees and our progeny.

      New York State Adoptee Equality needs everyone on board to speak the truth about the Tann Lehman Legislative Legacy and why it is time to end it.

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  3. That's true, Cathi. We have great sponsors. We have people giving great testimony at hearings. And we have Weinstein, Silver and Danny O'Donnell. Among others who oppose us. They seem to have all the power. That's what bothers me.

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  4. Wishing everyone a deep sense of being loved.
    Happy New Year everyone.

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  5. Thanks for the lovely video. I hope Indiana adoptees get somewhere with their quest for open records.

    Happy New Year to all here. Mine is starting very happy, we are going to have dinner with my oldest son Mike and his wife tonight. Yay!!!!

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    1. maryanne: Knowing how long you waited for this--Yay! from me too. And Happy New Year everyone!

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  6. Maryanne: ditto what Lorraine said - I'm so happy for you. Lorraine - it's amazing you and I both found our teenage daughters in the 80's without the internet in the awful state of NY!

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    1. Thank, Lorraine and Gail. The meeting went wonderfully. Mike and Kris were gracious as always, and after playing with the pets with the new toys I brought them, they took us out to a fancy restaurant that used to be a church, very quaint and Mike paid for everything. He and my husband discussed yardwork saws, and computer work, and we got to hear about Mike's new job which is much better than where he was, Kris's new job as well.

      Best news adoption related is that Mike has finally been in touch with his biological father! I've stayed out of it except for providing both with contact information, but hoped for years they would reach out. They have emailed a few times and father sent a Christmas gift. Sweet!:-)

      We hope to get together again in the spring when the fields are blooming around their home, they have lovely rural property. I invited them to come here too with the pickup truck and chain saw to get some wood for their wood stove from all the fallen trees in our back woods. It was touching to see things I had sent over the years displayed in their home, as well as ornaments on their tree. I gave them a butterfly this year.

      I can't speak for anyone else, but my reunion is great, and finally feels normal. All is well, at last.

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    2. This is just great news, Maryanne. I'm so happy for you!

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  7. A perfect video and message for the New Year. It's also so nice to read Maryanne's happy news! I wish this community and its two fearless spearheaders, as well as adoption reform, all good things in 2015

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  8. Great video and message. I hope this year I can find my birth parents Mary and James Lombardo Buffalo, NY 1959 was my birth Named Helen Lombardo by Birth parents.you can read about me on facebook search squad. Good luck everyone. This video has given me so much hope now.

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  9. That is awesome from one point of view. However, I know that not all adoptees want to know, care or bother.... my daughter despises me and makes sure I know it every chance she gets.

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    1. Adoption is hard. Equally, but different, on the mother and the adoptee. Reunion often unleashes anger not really buried. I'm sorry, Lori. I'm in the same position with my granddaughter, who was adopted.

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  10. Lori, I am SO sorry that your daughter has chosen--for whatever nutzoid reason--such a hurtful attitude. And one that she clearly isn't keeping to herself, ow ow ow.

    How does that old saying go? When you point at someone, you leave four fingers pointing back at yourself? That's what she's doing. Her actions clearly say far more about her than whatever notions she's harboring about you... not that reading this, knowing this, makes such behavior any easier to tolerate.

    May 2015 be for you, dear, at the very least a year with less daughter-induced pain. And, I hope, a year with more joy wherever you can find it. xxMrsTBB

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    1. Thank you, I am enjoying the presence of others that care for me and I care for them.... people that she has chosen to ignore. It is her sad, not mine. I am just beginning to see me as a person not defined by my "birth mother" status and I refuse to allow her hate and rage force me back into that mold.

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    2. Biological daughters & sons can be just as cruel to their mothers. I have known some!!

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  11. Lori, I too am sorry that your daughter feels the way she does. Perhaps her troubles and feelings of anger extend beyond adoption. It certainly doesn't sound like she has compassion and understanding for you. Earlier today I just read where an adoptee dismisses her first mother's story and no longer "buys the I did what I thought was best for you" statements. With an attitude like this, I suspect the reunion will join the many others that have gone south.

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    1. I no longer believe in reunion at all. I think it merely opens the door to a lot of things that have nothing to do with being a mother or an adopted person - it allows adults to wallow in hate and anger and self-pity, unless they are grown up enough to realize that they have to deal with their own emotions. I have yet to find anyone that has that maturity level when it comes to adoption and the issues surrounding it.... on any side of this insane state of affairs.

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    2. I saw that quote too, Gail, and I really felt for the first mother. To have the profoundest loss and sorrow of one's life treated with such dismissiveness can only damage both her and any relationship they might be building. Only the first mother will know what her thoughts and feelings were at the time and these would have to be respected for any genuine relationship to survive, just as an adoptee's expression of his or her thoughts and feelings need respecting.

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    3. I happen to be one of those adoptees who doesn't buy the "I did what I thought was best for you" statements from my first mother. Why? Because her behavior and lies TODAY trump any kind of compassion and understanding that I felt in the first several years of our reunion. I have read Ann Fessler's work and Betty Jean Lifton's. I get it. Yet this mother of mine still feels it is o.k. to lie to me, to make me believe that I was a product of rape, instead of taking responsibility for the actual relationship she was in and telling me the truth of who my father is. I have no need to be nasty to her, like Lori's daughter (and I can't say I understand that need), but I did walk away.

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  12. Here is a great article from 1988 about Michael Reagan.

    http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20098541,00.html

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  13. Thank you Cherry for your supportive comment for the first mother in question. As a fellow first mother, I always enjoy reading your comments because you "get it." The quote we both saw actually made my stomach turn! With all the literature now available (e.g., Ann Fessler's work), I found it shocking that someone, especially an adoptee, could so callously toss aside her mother's version of events.

    Lori, I have to agree that reunion merely opens the door. Once open, it then becomes a very complex relationship building exercise. Amanda from Declassified seems to have found a way to make it work and I keep hoping that some day she'll share her story.

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    1. Amanda is very private about her own reunion, so I don't even begin to know if she has worked it out. However, I find her to be a mature and understanding individual. She chose a "caring" field of work and this speaks volumes with regard to her ability to feel compassion. I am curious as well, however, I find that adopted persons often have a different perspective of what is going on in their particular reunion than the first mother. Essentially, it is in the perspective of each person. For me, I don't want anything more to do with my daughter. I have done all I can and I choose not to put myself into her crazy, hate filled world.

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    2. @ Gail

      You've really helped me in my understanding Gail. I really appreciate your writings.

      "... With all the literature now available (e.g., Ann Fessler's work), I found it shocking that someone, especially an adoptee, could so callously toss aside her mother's version of events."

      I agree.

      Failing to notice, or refusing to acknowledge or accept, the very obvious political and social pressures governing unmarried mothers of the past is a disastrous mistake. Surely people must ask 'How is it that SO many women of a certain era say the same thing?'

      Before I stumbled upon adoption forums on the internet, I thought my experience was my own. I couldn't believe it when I heard so many other women repeating the same words and phrases and mantras I'd had drummed into me. That told me I was part of a pattern. That what had happened to me had happened to others. There was a social idea and unwittingly I'd got caught in it, like many other women. (I recently found out that every single teenage girl who became pregnant in our street had their baby adopted. 100%.).

      If this social policy isn't acknowledged, it keeps adoption all down to the solely personal. That means someone was faulty - either the mother wasn't a good enough mother, or the baby wasn't a good enough baby. What if the actual truth was that the mother was just like any mother, and the baby was just like any baby, and both were trapped in a time in society that crucified this relationship if it happened outside of marriage?

      Adoption is political.
      It happens to the disempowered, to the benefit of the socially approved.

      But keeping it all personal means that the common adoption narrative can continue unchallenged.

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    3. Thanks for your kind words.

      My reunion is like relationships in general. It's not perfect; it has its ups and downs. But it is homeostatic. We adjust to challenges (I won't list what they are for privacy purposes) and have not experienced a tipping point where one of us is walking away from the other. The energy exchange is positive and mutual. That isn't to say that the energy exchange in our relationship would meet the needs of another adoptee/mom dyad. That's the challenge when we get into comparing reunions to discover what is successful and what's not.

      Where reunions aren't like most other relationships is the underlying trauma. Not many things in life are more stimulating than a person-to-person interaction. Add trauma to this, decades of loss and missed time, and the anticipation anxiety closed adoption and the search process builds and you've got two people who can easily trigger and over-stimulate each other without trying or intending to. Two people that might struggle to be themselves when with each other. Homeostasis in reunion relationships is hard work.

      Because you noted how private I am about my reunion, I'll admit that this is part of our homeostasis :) My mother is a very private person. I started blogging before I met her and having this very public adoption experience was my choice--not hers. I rarely include anyone in my personal/private life into my public blogging experience, unless they ask to be.

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  14. Reunions, yes are fraught, but I knew my daughter for 26 years and I was never ever sorry that I had found her and we reunited. We can never go back and be "as if" we had not given up our children, we can have a relationship--if they want to and are able to. Yes, I had periods of silence and even treachery from my daughter, all of it was a million times better for me than never knowing what became of her.

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    1. Lorraine, "TREACHERY" is the operative word! Perceptions and ability to act as an adult that doesn't have to make mommy happy anymore is essential. The latter seems to be the lack in the adopted adults basic behaviors... always trying to please people. Thus affecting their perceptions and behaviors with regard to their own adult relationship with their first mother. Complex and crazy - and something I am delighted that my daughter has chosen to end.

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