' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Approaching a natural mother without scaring her away

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Approaching a natural mother without scaring her away

Lorraine
Dear First Mother Forum:
I found my natural mother and we are writing to one another--but I am so afraid of offending her, and she seems quite wounded when I bring up my father. My life as an adopted child was not good, and while I don't blame her for that, I'm afraid of telling her about it. Is there a blog post that might be helpful?--Walking On Eggshells

This is a common story, and we hear it from both sides--both natural mothers and found children going into reunion are terribly afraid of saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing--and neither ones of us knows what the trigger points for the other person will be.

We've talked about what natural mothers need to avoid upon reunion before, but never written about what might upset mothers. So here goes.


Natural mothers who have not been waiting, or even expecting, to be found by their children are the most vulnerable because they are likely to have buried the anguish of the pregnancy and birth and relinquishment deeply, and thus found the way they can live without wallowing in their grief.

BURIED ANGUISH COMES TUMBLING OUT
So go forward remembering that your return is opening up a torrent of sad emotions that your mother has had to bury. Society told us we have to keep this terrible thing (pregnancy, birth and baby) a secret. We were tattered with shame. We were not supposed to grieve. All this adds to the awfulness of opening up the past wounds that you in the flesh represent. Even years later your appearance makes that anguish now seem as intact and fresh as it was when it occurred, like an oil deposit that has been found and is gushing. Images of that time, and the feeling of intense pain, may come to her in flashbacks. Now that doesn't help you the adoptee desiring a reunion, and natural mothers must revisit this to have a successful reunion--something every single adoptee is entitled to have. 

Remember that most women who relinquish were damaged in the process. We never get back to square one; we never get back to a life without feeling on some level that no matter what happened, no matter who forced the adoption, no matter what--we were not supposed to give up our babies. And yet we did. The guilt from that is still present, once a mother revisits the pain. Listen to her with an open heart, but for your own sanity, do not take the guilt on yourself. Understand, she isn't blaming you; she is remembering the situation that led to so much grief for her. She probably has no idea how her words may be interpreted or how she is making you feel. If that happens, do tell her how what she is saying is making you feel. 

THE BIRTH FATHER SITUATION MAY BE TRICKY 
The situation of your father is a tricky one. If the mother was assaulted, if you mother was left in the lurch, if your mother felt violated or rejected once she was pregnant, you can imagine that for most women the man who did this will be an incredibly sore subject. His family may not know the truth of what happened. If you contact him or his family, they may have a completely different story. They may not accept their good son or brother did not act honorably. They may not be willing to accept the truth. So while of course you will ask about the father--or she may offer the information without you asking--but if she says nothing (and it is the obvious question for any adoptee to have) be gentle, and you may have to give her time. Let her work through her grief first if necessary. But also remember: you are entitled to know the truth of your paternity. 

In one case I'm aware of, a teenage girl became pregnant with her high school boyfriend. When the girl's parents went to see the boy's parents, they (he) got other members of the football team to say they were also sleeping with her--a total lie. This of course was before DNA testing, and so there was no way to point to the father with outside corroboration. The idea that the child of such an unhappy pregnancy would want to have a relationship with that monster will be incredibly difficult to stomach. This is an extreme case, but there are all kinds of variations where the mere mention of the birth father will bring up a whole host of bad emotions. What you, the child, can do about this is doubtful, except once more to tread carefully. You are still entitled to knowledge of your father--since the original birth certificate may not contain his name, by law--but be aware that this may be the most tender subject the two of you will face. 

And there will be many cases where the father was not even told of your existence. That in itself is a neutral situation; it means nothing other than the father was not told for various reasons. I know one father who suspected but was never told after a casual relationship ended quickly, and only learned the truth when the mother phoned him after reuniting with their college-age son. My friend handled it well, and immediately met his son for lunch and called to tell me how well it went and how elated he was at finding a son--attending the same college he went to, majoring in the same subject, and smoking the same menthol cigarettes.  

FEELINGS THE ADOPTEE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF
While you may be approaching your mother with love and acceptance, do be aware that contact may stir in you, the child relinquished, feelings and anger and abandonment that you did not know you had. When my daughter first visited me at my home, about six months after we first met at her adoptive parents' house, we did a little play acting, and she was directing the action. Within a minute or two she had her hands around my neck screaming at me: Why did you give me up? 

We had a relationship that traversed more than a quarter of a century after that, but I never forgot the fierce look in her eyes at that moment. Her family, her adoption, was not a bad one, and she had deep loyalty to them. 

However, if you have acceptance and love in your heart--and your natural mother is willing to meet you in the middle with an open heart--you will be able to work through this difficult emotional terrain together. What all of us have to remember is that any relationship is a two-way street. I repeat this often because it is so true: The people who want to be in your life will be; you don't have to go chasing after them. Okay, in an mother-and-child reunion, someone has to go "chasing" after the other to find the individual, but after that, it is up to the two people to make it work. Kindness always helps.--lorraine
________________________

TO READ
Birthmothers: Women Who Have Relinquished Babies for Adoption Tell Their Stories
by Merry Bloch Jones
A book from years ago, but still an excellent one.
"Often revealing their experiences for the first time, 72 American mothers who gave up their babies answered questionnaires and participated in in-depth interviews with sociologist Jones for this searching study. Although their ages and backgrounds vary widely, almost all of the mothers, the author notes, share regrets about their decision to relinquish their babies, with a majority reporting troubled marriages. Most traumatized among those interviewed were teenagers too young to have a voice in the decision to surrender the baby, or who felt stigmatized by illegitimacy. Sixty percent of those who gave up a baby to adoption agencies that "seal" records later sought to locate their children. A chapter titled "Finding, Winning and Losing" sums up the obstacles to establishing intimacy after reunion, and discusses relationships between birth parents and adoptive parents."--Publisher's Weekly

This precedes The Girls Who Went Away by decades, but in some ways, I like this book better, and it irritated me when the media kept saying, that The Girls was the "first." 

49 comments :

  1. You have nailed the situation once again Lorraine. I have been in re-union with my son for 14 years, he has never met his father, as they say it is complicated. We were school sweethearts and did so want our child, the adoption was forced and illegal. I was in too much pain to continue the relationship and he was eager to be married with a family. He married 3 years later and took 14 years of grief for he and his wife to finally have a daughter. So for him to admit that he already had a son after all his wife went through was, in his eyes, not an option. My son will not make the first move, so we have the classic Catch 22 with no middle ground. I does sadden me, but it is not mine to fix. I look in my sons face and see his father's eyes.

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    1. Arghh. You are right, it is not yours to fix. Just wondering, have you talked to the father yourself about meeting his son? This is so sad for him.

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  2. I think my mother and I knew each other for a year before she told me the whole story, including that of my father. But I was lucky in that she used her words -- she asked me for time instead of rebuffing me, and it was easier to grant that. No one was willing to approach my natural father with the information that I existed -- my first mother did so obliquely, through his brother, but his brother wouldn't tell him. So I did. It didn't really go so well, but honestly, that isn't on me.

    I've been in reunion for 4 years, and there's still a bit of dancing and trying not to upset one another. This is the weirdest, most tentative in some respects, relationship I've ever known, but it's also one of the most important to me ever.

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    1. Yes, thank you Yan for your viewpoint.

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    2. Walking on eggshells said: '...My life as an adopted child was not good, and while I don't blame her for that, I'm afraid of telling her about it. '

      I have to tell you, my son's experience was not good either but I am SO glad he told me about it. I want to know him, and support him whenever he needs me to - I don't want a fake relationship where the important bits and experiences are hidden. How can I support my son if I don't know he is hurt? It is such an act of trust for him to let me know that he had a terrible time.

      Of course it is a massive shock to find out that the wonderful life I was sure he was going to was an absolute lie, and that he was put immediately into an uncertain and insecure environment. But I shove that shock aside as I simply want to be there for him, and for all of his experience, to support and be there for him now that I can be.

      So I say please be honest if you want a real relationship with your mother. She may be distraught to find out how deeply she was lied to by the authorities, and have a vast turmoil of feelings when she realises how you have suffered, but don't we all need things to be real after so much fakery, so much falsehood?

      I have tucked my feelings about my son's abuse into a place that never gets in the way of me being there for him. It could consume me, how the promise of a wonderful life for him turned out to be quite a hellhole, but then I would not be able to be present for him. So that torment, as his mother, is set aside for now, as we build our relationship, and because I want him to be able to express the truth of his experience to me, and for me to acknowledge and support him as he does.

      Ommitting the important bits never makes for a deep relationship, in my view.

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    3. My first mother had a different reaction. When she realized I hadn't gotten the wonderful family she'd been promised and that my so-called 'better' married parents had divorced when I was still a toddler, she became disinclined to learn more about my upbringing. She would often change the subject. Her guilt seemed to get the best of her.

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    4. Robin, I know my guilt could so easily get the better of me, especially as I know my son suffered deeply and desperately over many years in his adoptive family environment. I know I could sink under the weight of that guilt, knowing that he suffered in that way. So I've stuffed that guilt into a little ball and shoved it into a cubbyhole in my mind. I know that is probably terribly unhealthy, but if I looked at the situation directly, I would be absolutely consumed with guilt, be in agony because of it, and would therefore not be able to be there for my son which is what I want to be more than anything. So I've not dealt with the guilt at all as there is no doubt it would get the best of me. How could it not.

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  3. Yan--It's good you know, that what happened after you approached your father isn't your fault. Yes, the relationship is difficult, but as you say, one of the most important. Thanks for telling your story.

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  4. Lorraine, you are an absolute gem. You manage to say so much, so well, and so compassionately to all concerned. I want to respond to this further but this will have to do for now. Thank you for all your deeply thought-out, deeply felt writing x

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  5. I definitely scared my mother away.

    She says (or said, we haven't spoken in over a year) that i wanted her to relive the worst moments of her life. That I wanted her to crawl through broken glass.

    That's not what i wanted, but i guess that's what i did to her. Anyway, it's no contact anymore, at her request.

    She did tell her sister, who told my husband that she would be open to me contacting her, but that doesn't seem like a genuine desire to see me. I've fallen into her trap before. She can be stunningly cruel.

    Nothing i do is right. I remember her telling me, "no cards or Flowers" when she was having an operation, so she could heal. Cards or flowers from me would actually stop the healing process.

    With friends like her, I don't need enemies.

    The worst part is, i love her with all my heart. I always have.

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    1. Robot girl,

      It sounds like your mother is taking out her anger over the pregnancy and adoption on you. She doesn't know you as a human being, just the symbol of everything that went wrong in her life. Her rejection of cards and flowers suggest a lack of trust.

      Her anger and cynicism are not caused by anything you've done and there's probably little you can do to change her attitude. The passage of time may sooth her wounds. She may come to trust you.

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    2. Do you think you might have said these things (about wanting her to relive the worst moments of her life, or that you wanted her to crawl through broken glass) or anything remotely like them?

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  6. i want to know all i can. i want to know what i missed and where i might be of assistance now. i want to try and make amends, to say again and again I AM SORRY, I WAS WRONG, I SHOULD NEVER HAVE GIVEN YOU AWAY. My daughter, however, does not want to hear anything from me. I don't expect her to forgive me - giving your child away, your helpless infant surrendered to strangers...such a wicked, unnatural act can never be reconciled, that is a sin of which i can never be absolved. and after all these decades, although i found the courage to look for her i never really believed she could forgive me and would not ask her to. but, i want to know - how did she get on? what did she have to do to survive? how is it that she is married with children, educated, successful and a great contributor to her community and society as a whole? i would love to know of her past, her aspirations, her disapointments. i would love to know about the depths, the doubts, the trouble she's overcome. i would love to know HER.
    But, i gave her up for adoption as a newborn baby; i have no right or entitlement to know anything, or even to ask questions. i can't ring her, write to her, facebook her, email her, meet with her, drive past her house, watch her children play soccer on our local sportsfield (they are my grandchildren). i can't contact or comfort her, give or do things for her.
    i am a stranger that she doesn't want to know - and i can't blame her, i am the one who made the dreadful mistake at 16 of thinking ADOPTION WAS RIGHT - NO! ADOPTION IS WRONG. I know that now, i've known that every day for nearly 40 years. Her 3 half sisters know it.
    But does she know it? will my grandaughters know it? My extended family and friends know how bad adoption is for the mothers; i can only imagine how bad it is for my child...

    i wish she could tell me.

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    1. Hyacynth: You were 16 years old, your daughter should understand at that age your parents made the "rules" and you had no say. I am the child of two teenage parents who were too young to take care of themselves much less a child. I was placed for adoption in 1967 and adopted by wonderful loving parents. I searched for my bparents when I was expecting my first child. Today, we have a wonderful relationship because I understood they had no choice ( I don't blame my bgrandparents they were busy raising their other children and it would have been too much). I think the reason why we have a 10+ relationship is because I understood the situation and plus they ( bparents) respect the relationship I have with my parents. I wish you well.

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  7. No, I never wanted my mother to relive her worst moments or crawl through broken glass. She also said I brought back memories of her childhood abuse, and gave her nightmares.

    How could I do that? I don't control peoples dreams or memories. I'm just a regular human being.

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    1. It sounds as if your mother was severely damaged way before you were even a blip on the horizon. May be it would help if you can find a way to grieve the loss of the kind of mother she might have been - and you would have wanted her to be - if her early life had been different.

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    2. Very true anonymous

      My mother was severely damaged, but somehow she manages to have a great, healthy relationship with her son. She would do anything for him. She babysits his young son, quite competently.

      How can you be OK with one child, and not the other? Why are the kept adored, and the abandoned vilified? .

      Maybe the type of woman who would relinquish a newborn is more narcissistic than most. I know, everyone was forced, but guess what? Some were not.

      My mother was married, to my father. He was from a "good" family. They had money, and she was legally entitled to child support, but she relinquished anyway. I ask why, and that's my biggest crime. That, and being born.

      In our relationship, I'm the child. Even though I'm middle aged, I'm still her child. My adult children are still my children. I see them as the little ones I raised and loved.

      Maybe that's another thing adoption takes, the loving relationship between a mother and child. My mother never knew me as a child. I'm just another lady to her. She doesn't care for me the way she does for her son.

      She will never have the unconditional love for me that she does for her son. She can't pretend. It's just not there, and never will be.

      So there's always going to be rage. I lost her. I lost my entire family. I live everyday in pain. And it's no one's fault. Just the way things were back then. It's the system, not the parents who abandoned me.

      That sure seems like bull crap to me. Other women kept their children. Other women are happy to be found.

      My children could NEVER scare me away.

      She doesn't even send my 4 kids a birthday card. She call us, "a united front".

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    3. Maybe deep down she feels guilty, but is unwilling to face up to it. So instead of coming to terms with herself, she blames you instead. As for her positive relationship with your brother, she doesn't have to feel guilty, so she doesn't need to preserve herself by projecting her self loathing onto him.
      I am sorry you found a mother who is such a hard case. She sounds manipulative too. I have also read that people who have grown up in unhealthy families sometimes read abuse into perfectly innocent remarks, as if they need to confirm their status as victims. Perhaps your mother is one of these people.
      Your kids sound great. I am glad you love them like they deserve and wish you'd had the same, but I am sure the feeling of love you have for them is reciprocated.

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  8. My daughter told me, in the last week (after 12 or 13 years of OMG this is reunion?) that she told me all the horrible in her life in the first phone call and wanted to make me hurt the way she did. That she thought I put her with those people to punish her. Okay, cool. I get that. But the game is never ending for me. She punishes me over and over for stuff I had no control over.

    She wished me dead. She has wished me to vanish. She has been so hot and so cold, I no longer react to a lot of things - as if she turned off a switch inside of me - made me distant to everyone and unable to feel empathy where I used to be a very tender hearted person.

    I gave up and was hoping that maybe when I get through school and get my teaching cert that I can move to some out of the way place and just vanish.

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  9. You stated "How not to scare away" mothers... Here's one suggestion list:

    DO NOT:

    Assume that it is all about you. While you are the one that had no choice, most often she didn't either - so it is about TWO not ONE.

    Talk about your adoptive parents in a comparative way - we are not them and they are not us. You would not like it if we started comparing you to a kept child or cousin or other child that had a part in our lives that you can't have.

    Come at us with your rage. We get that you feel abandoned, but we can't fix that and if you don't want our grief, it is a two way street.

    DO:

    Maintain contact or don't contact us at all. A note, an email or a voice mail are good - you don't have to talk to us all the time or anything, just remember that we are people and that we have feelings about and for you. This on again off again crap is for the birds.

    Arrange a face to face in real time without expecting us to wait years and years for a face to face. That is the surest form of a "UP YOURS B" that you can do.

    Remember that we are in as much pain as you are. Sometimes if you can try to empathize, it actually helps.

    For me - this was NOT the way it was and all I want to do now is find a place to NEVER know anything or have anything known about me. I know that is not possible, so I am like the walking wounded and spend most of my time talking myself out of suicide or just moving out onto the streets to hide.

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  10. I have tried to understand how a 35 year old woman could give birth and leave me in a foster facility, not knowing where I would end up. But I can't. There is no justification for it. I would like my medical and ethnic information. I would appreciate some knowledge of my father. But a relationship? No, thanks. Too much damage was done and too many years have passed. I am very angry at being given away and having no control over my life. Very angry. And I have every right to feel this way.

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    1. Julia: Of course we can't know for sure, but it is highly likely your mother did not know that you were not being adopted by a well-off couple that same day she relinquished you. Your case is one of the truly sad ones because you can't find her and DNA yielded no connections. Women who relinquished were lied to on a regular basis and certainly still are today. A good story makes relinquishing easier; we can cling to knowing that at least she will be loved by two good people who will give her more than I can. That was drummed into us by society until we believed it. Unfortunately, it is the same today.

      But I ask you to consider that if your mother were to magically appear you might not feel so rejected as you do, and you might want to meet her, and at least get her side of what happened when you were born and why you were adopted. You have every right to be angry--considering how alone you are with your angst--your husband doesn't understand, your adoptive parents don't either--but you are angry with a phantom. Perhaps a real person would be different.

      When I read your comments I am so sad because it is so clear that you have been asked to bear the huge brunt of the real, terrible cost of being relinquished. If people knew, would they still do this? I want to believe, no.

      Many many hugs on this beautiful day. I know it is beautiful where you are too--since you are not that far from me.

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    2. Thanks, Lorraine. It is quite possible that she was lied to, like many others. I will never know. But, no matter what she was thinking when she left the hospital that day, she eventually DID get some kind of answer. She was tracked down in order to sign whatever affidavit she had to sign, so this thing could be finalized. At that time, at the very least, she was made aware of the fact that a couple was going to raise me. She didn't know them, nor they, her. But she did learn something about what happened to me.

      Almost 60 years later I still know nothing. There is no more isolating, miserable, depressing feeling in the world. If people knew, would they still do this? I would also like to believe they would not, but I think we are wrong. Adoptees are speaking out, first mothers are speaking out, and yet adoption is still marketed and portrayed as such a beautiful, win-win, warm and fuzzy thing and people are buying it. They don't want to know the reality of it. They just want babies.

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  11. Julia, you are wise not to even consider pursuing a relationship given the anger you have. As a first mother, I would advise anyone with anger issues toward their mother to avoid even thinking about a relationship until the anger issues are resolved. Nothing good comes from anger.

    Lori, your advice is sound and I'm sorry for the pain you have.

    Mya, your understanding of the circumstances surrounding your adoption probably contributes greatly to your successful reunion. It's heartwarming to hear about positive outcomes. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Gail, thank you. To me it seems so logical and reasonable to realize we are all in this shitty boat called adoption.

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  12. Thank you all for your constructive advice. I'm just starting on the searching for my birth mother. I want to meet her and find out who she was and who she is now. I personally could not do it before because of the love and respect I have for my adoptive mother and when I found out I was adopted from my a parents they always said that they would help me find her if I wanted them to. But in my heart of hearts I know it would have hurt her deeply. She has passed away now and I have a child of my own and I think it now my time to hopefully meet the lady that gave so much to my adoptive family.

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    1. Taff, do your mother a favor don't ever say "[I wanted to meet] the lady that gave so much to my adoptive family." to her - EVER. That is the most painful thing an adoptee can do - say how wonderful it was that their mother never had a chance to raise them. Sorry - just saying the truth.

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    2. Taff, yes, do your mother a loving kindness (favor) and don't ever say that. Unless you have a desire to completely crush her by stomping and grinding what's left of her very badly broken heart and spirit in the cement. You, nor many of society understands or sees (nor are they often willing to see) the grief that saturates their soul, often for the rest of their lives.

      Our children were not ''gifts'' to any one but us. Other people had different ideas about whom the "gifts" 'belonged' to.

      The grief or potential for grief you see in your adoptive mother is not a patch to what mothers of children lost to adoption have walked and are walking..... even when they keep it out of sight from others (or have been slammed down so many times and disallowed to grieve). Who truly lost their child? Who lost a living child? Who lost a child they wanted desperately? Who lost a child and ........someone else took that child away? Who told that mother they were not worth being a mother? Who told that mother that another mother is the 'real' mother of this child? Who told that MOTHER they were not a ****REAL***** mother? Adoption loss isn't like infertility. It isn't like miscarriage. It isn't like dreaming of and wanting a child desperately. It's like -all- of those and it is ALSO losing a wanted, living, breathing child, a beautiful, perfect, wonderful child....spirited away, and often, a child vanished into the entire world. Where are they? Are they ok? Help! somebody, please tell me ..is my ''baby'' ok.? Where is my baby? Why did you take my baby? Why is it this hard to understand? If a human being can have compassion and empathy upon those whose children are lost or disappear in ANY. OTHER. SITUATION... in the world....or the children don't come to be, due to infertility, why is it so incredibly difficult to comprehend the intensity, the overwhelming magnitude of the loss for many (if not most) mother's who have lost their child to adoption. For many of us- our only child.

      If someone had had the heart and compassion towards your mother.. and you, that you and other adoptees have towards your adoptive mother/parents, none of this would be an issue. For many of us.

      We do realize you love your adoptive parents... that is a beautiful thing. That (even though hard to accept that there are other parents of our -so often feels like stolen-child) is what we hope to find is so, that you have/had a good home and a family that loves/d you. That is how it should be for a much loved child. For all of our children. Missing and found.

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    3. Lori and jayne I take your comments as the constructive criticism they are. This is the problem withe the English language it is such a blunt tool for expressing exactly what you mean........

      I should have said.......

      I may say......

      Sorry I can't find the correct way of putting what I mean across without what I'm saying being misconstrued.................do you then say nothing??

      @ Jayne I don't think of myself a gift. I was trying to express a heart felt gratitude my Amother had that she was able to raise me and my sister as her own children when she couldn't have her own....... Regardless of the circumstances of my birth or my adoption........

      @cindy I as a man will never understand what it is like to feel the first stirings of life in my belly. I will never endure childbirth..I will never hold a baby and know I nurtured it inside me for the last 9months. But I can try and empathise and I mean TRY.
      I have never lost a child to adoption. I will never feel the hurt my mother felt... But I can TRY and empathise.. This is why I am reading and commenting on forums like this so I don't F%(£ up on the day I do meet her.........

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    4. Taff, You are going to do just fine. You are taking the time to read and learn before--but if your mother is waiting for you...it will all go ...as well as it can.

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    5. Taff, I'm pleased this forum is helpful. It's one of our goals.

      It's great to be able to tell your first mother you had a good life with a wonderful family. But stop there. Hearing about your adoptive mother's heart felt gratitude will be painful to her. She may feel that her only value to you was as a child bearer for your adoptive mother.

      Another thing I want to warn your about -- don't tell your first mother you just want information. This is most important -- Let your first mother know she is important to you for herself. In the process, of course, you can ask questions about health history, your father, the circumstances of your adoption, what ever you want to know. Down the road, you can tell her of your adoptive mother's gratitude if you wish but I doubt that that it will have a positive affect on your relationship.

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    6. Thank you Lorraine sometimes its nice just to read that. And also thank for the note of caution at the end (I'm getting better at reading between the lines)

      Jane I didn't say I had a good life..... But I don't want to go into detail of that here of all places.
      Meeting my birth mother isn't about the detail of why I was adopted.... .it isn't about medical records ... It isn't about scratching an itch.... Or abandonment issues
      I work in a job where I meet lots of people everyday I go into their homes and do my job..When I meet women of a certain age (approx my birth mums age) I wonder are you her are you my birth mother. And I can't go the rest of my life not knowing and getting to know her as long as she is willing to meet me.........

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    7. taff, I just meant tell her you had a good life (of you did) rather than tell her how happy she made your adoptive mother or, god forbid, that you're happy you were adopted. What you've written here is the perfect thing to say to her. "I can't go the rest of my life not knowing and getting to know you as long as you are
      willing to meet me........"

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  13. Let me echo what Lori wrote. Please do not think of yourself as a gift from your first mother.

    Here's a couple of posts we wrote on thanking first mothers that you may find helpful. http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2009/07/telling-your-birthmother-she-made-right.html and http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2009/07/thanking-your-birthmother-for-letting.html.

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  14. I wish I had read this before I was cornered into a meeting with my first/birth/biological/natural mother. (And I say cornered because she stated if I did not do a face to face she was going to my college graduation whether I wanted her to or not and sorry, that's MY day, the one I worked toward and I shouldn't have to deal with something this emotional on such an important day but I digress) I wish I would have known more about the inner turmoil, the anger, the rage from her and what not to say. I would have hedged my conversation more, been more vague about certain things. Have you ever written a blog on what not to say to the adoptee on reunion? That might have been helpful to her as well, sigh.

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    1. Mashka: YES. We have written a number of times about what we mothers do wrong upon reunion--I haven't had my coffee yet but Jane directly above lists a couple of previous blogs dealing with just those issues (I think--as I said, just tumbled out of bed...)
      Take a look at: Different expectations upon mother and child reunion

      There are probably other posts that also deal with what not natural mothers ought not to do--Jane and I seem to have done some of them--just think of the words that might suit and search for them in the upper left corner in the blog search function. We have written more than a thousand posts!

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  15. I think something else to keep in mind is that some people are stretched so far, having to deal with difficult current situations in life, that anything more is a terrible burden. Some mothers are not necessarily in pain from giving up a child; yes, some do get over this, but are in pain from other things happening in life, and just don't want to take on anymore, including a child given up years ago, and out of sight, out of mind. My close friend told me, she just can't take on one more thing, and hopes her child given up for adoptions does NOT show up. She's just tired and overwhelmed by life right now. Maybe later.. maybe never. There is not one set way people feel about anything.

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    1. Catherine, one question, not a judgement... Are you a mother?

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    2. Likewise for adoptees: some of us are in situations that are overwhelming without having to deal with a first mother who wants a meeting, or whatever. We are caring for aging a-parents. We are dealing with a-parent's insecurities, and the arguing and stress that goes with it. We have people around us who do not understand and do not help the situation. We have children who are missing half their lives, and who ask questions that we can't answer. And we have the laws and general public against us. Yes, I am very angry, about this whole miserable thing. And the older I get, the angrier I become. There is no room in my life for another person, no matter who she is.

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    3. Catherine: I have the same question as Lori. You really sound... like a social worker at an adoption agency or an adoptive mother. But you are right, there is not one set way all people feel. However, despite everything and anything, all adopted people deserve to know who their natural mothers and fathers are, and at least one face to face.

      Some mothers are not necessarily in pain from giving up a child?

      What planet are you from?

      If such women exist, they are an anomaly. No matter what you have observed.Stay around are read a recent post about How do natural mothers fare?

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    4. Lorraine, her profile is "not available" ie - she is an adopter or a facilitator - and an asshat.

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  16. Thank you! I mostly read blogs and such on my phone, I think the "mobile" version of the site is different from the "desktop". In the mobile version there is no sidebar or search bar so I've made a note to check the site out on a lap top.

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  17. So, how to put this...I was married, had two children...my husband & I split (not friendly at all), it was mostly MY fault the marriage failed. After he left me, I had NO income (late 60's)...his parents offered to take the two children that I alone could not support. I began hitting the bars heavy, I slept with many...I ended up preggers. I told everyone it was my soon to be ex-husbands. I had NO moral support from anyone, until my Mother finally convinced me to allow "Welfare" to help take care of me. I wasn't eating right, most times I wasn't eating at all. The Welfare placed me in a home that I felt abused and looked upon as a slave, mind you I was 22 years old being treated like an under-aged teen. My original plan of course was to KEEP my baby, I saw no other option, wanted nothing else but keeping the baby.

    Then came the time to give birth....I was blessed with a redhaired baby girl! I was so happy! Till my preacher came to visit :( He berated me for being 'selfish' wanting to keep a baby that was born out of wedlock. I found out many years later, he was acting on my own Mothers wishes & words. The hurt was devastating, but still I was determined to keep her. I had to check in with the Welfare dept. about a week later after the birth....the woman there "blathered at me" non-stop till crying I signed the papers. I HAVE REGRETTED IT TO THIS DAY!!

    Once I knew my baby girl was over 18, I hired a private person to find her, which she did and followed advice on writing to make first contact. It did not go well at all. My adopted daughter was angry (which I understood) & combatant and I ended up after one more try giving up till a few years ago now when I tried once more. I received NO reply at all.

    I "get" that some people do not wish to know one side or the other, but being 70 now, I just wanted to see her one time before I passed to try and really explain why 'she' was given up and not the other two who were older. Yes, that was one of her angry retorts to me.

    Not a day goes by that I don't think of her, I admit I have watched her from the sidelines without her knowing that I have her name & address. I'd never intrude without consent.

    How do I even begin to accept this?

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    1. Your last question is the saddest of them all. As they say in text slang and abbreviation: IDK. I don't know. You could write her and tell her the story but there is no way of knowing if she would respond. I know how much this hurts.

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    2. Connie aka "red"May 7, 2015 at 9:31 PM

      Lorraine, thanks for responding! I read after hitting the "send" button that "anonymous" posts may not be posted, so I have just now checked in to see if it had been. I have Facebook to thank for allowing me to see what she looks like now and to see that I also have three beautiful grandchildren. I also know she has a good husband & employment...this makes me happy. But, I no longer 'try' to make contact, I realize she has no desire to know me....she has her life and it is good.

      It's still difficult to accept, but I will continue to love her by not intruding further

      sighs
      anonymous aka Connie

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  18. thank you cindy...

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    1. you're welcome.

      sending lots of hugs your way. and though it takes so very long for -us- to believe it..... we can be forgiven. ..and we -are- forgivable for the 'piece of responsibility pie' that is ours. believe it. have compassion on you and your 16 year old self. you're worth it.. and so is that 16 year old you.

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