' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Mothers take no pride in giving up their babies

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Mothers take no pride in giving up their babies

Jane
"Justine, I am an adoptee (Nov, 1983). I am looking for my birth family so I may not only thank them, but to somehow express my deepest admiration and pride for their completely selfish act" wrote Lacy in response to a comment by a natural mother on a post we wrote about Texas-based Gladney Center for Adoption. After suppressing a scream, I continued reading:
"I've always held a special place in my heart not only for my birth parents, but [for] every single birth mom and dad out there and had never, not even for a moment, doubted their love for me. There are very few people in this world that have enough strength,
character and pure love in their heart to look beyond themselves and love their child enough to give them a chance at a better life. I am here only because they loved me enough and went the more difficult route. It's my hope and prayer that you as well as every other person on this and every sight [sic] find who they are looking for, but don't be afraid because she knows your love and breathes it every day of her life. You are an unsung hero and should have nothing but pride for being a rare gem in a world full of stones. I love you and couldn't be more proud."
My first thought was that the Gladney PR department wrote the comment. The language sounds like a script they might write, but I'm assuming someone would have proofed it for errors. Even with the minor mistakes, I'm not fully convinced that is not the case.

The comment by Anonymous was left in response to Justine, a natural mother who wrote this at a 2009 post about Gladney:
Justine rosser dawsonApril 2, 2015 at 3:55 AMI gave birth at edna gladney in April the 19th 1979 I had to change my name ,my daughter's crib Name was Tacha lynn,15 hrs ago edna gladney contacted me on Jan.1 2000 and said my daughter wanted medical information so I gave them what I knew,I was so excited I thought finally I can find her but all they'd tell me is she's happy has 3 kids went to college and is divorced I asked them to tell her I've been looking for her and I love her I always have they said they'd pass on my message,I never heard anything its been 15 years shell be 36 in less then 2 weeks I'm so afraid I will never get to tell her I love and that I've always loved her before I die (if you where born 4/19/1979 weighed 7lbs 12 oz at 8 44 pm on a thursday I'm looking for you)
However, giving Lacy the benefit of the doubt that she thought her words would comfort Justine, her comment deserves a thoughtful response, if for no other reason than such statements are likely to irreparably damage any chance of a positive reunion with her natural parents.

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF--AND YOUR NATURAL MOTHER
If my daughter, Rebecca, had said these things to me that Lacy left in response to Justine in our first conversation, I would have shouted: "You don't have a clue about me. Yet you're thanking me, assuming that I'm inferior to your adoptive parents, that you believe your life was better because I gave you up, that my only value was giving birth to you and letting you go, then why the f... are you bothering me? If your purpose in finding me is to spew this nonsense, then leave me alone."

Lacy, all this language about adoption being heroic and loving shows how clever marketing can overcome our most basic natural instincts, to nurture the children we bring into the world. The industry twists acts motivated by fear and helplessness into loving and falsely heroic acts. The industry tells mothers they are making a plan for their baby, leading them to believe they are in control. The truth is that mothers do not give up babies because they love them, just as they don't keep them because they hate them. Mothers give up babies in spite of loving them.

ALWAYS AN ACT OF DESPERATION
Giving up a baby is always an act of desperation, of ignorance, of selfishness, of cowardice, of not having a real choice. I've never met a natural mother who considered herself heroic or wanted to be thought of heroic. Many mothers in my generation gave up babies because that's the way it was for white single women. Today, mothers give them up because they are seduced by adoption-industry propaganda or religious authorities or because circumstances give them no alternative.

Just sign the papers and you're done, freed from the expense and bother of a child to do what you want to do, and your child is in better hands. That's the best way, the easiest way, Or so I and many mothers believed. I was not prepared for the sorrow, living two lives, a real one with my family and an imaginary one, looking back on the road not taken, trying to change the past, my child, not lost but a member of my real family. A gem of a mother fights for her child, protects her child from the adversities of life, nurtures her child to become a loving responsible human being. She doesn't surrender her child.

Lacy, when you find your mother, tell her why you really wanted to find her, to learn about her, your father, why you were given up, medical history, whatever. Thanking her should have no place in the conversation.

Put aside your fantasies and read about some real first mothers. Lorraine's memoirs, Birthmark and Hole in My Heart (to be published this month) would be good places to start--jane 
____________________________
Gladney Center for Adoption

FROM FMF:
The Worst Adoption Agency in the World
Giving up your baby for adoption is a 'courageous decision.' NOT!
"Thanking" your birthmother for letting you be adopted
Telling your Birthmother She Made the Right Decision is Wrong

THANK YOU FOR ORDERING ANYTHING FROM AMAZON THROUGH FIRST MOTHER FORUM. Click on any of the books or titles listed to get to Amazon.

139 comments :

  1. Way to go Sandy! You told it like it is here, and it is the absolute truth! Powerful post! Thank you!

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  2. So right, Jane, there is no glory in going so violently against nature as to separate a newborn and mother. It is inexcusable. And mothers should not feel heroic at all, only heartbreak and trauma, as the infant/child/adult adoptee does, too.
    I do think most adoptees who spew the garbage Lacy did are not malicious. They are attempting to be kind, forgiving, understanding of their own and other first mothers. They have been trained to be good little Stepford children who are only allowed to see the 'Good' in their situation, which is gratefulness and fairy tale "everything happens for a reason" endings. It's all sick, really. Coming out of the fog and seeing reality is a brash awakening for many.

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  3. Before I reunited with my son I was secretly proud that I brought a man into the world. I was not proud that I surrendered him to strangers. I was backed into a corner and adoption was a last resort. When his a/parents "thanked me," I told them they should thank his natural father who abandoned me. If he had been responsible, they would never have obtained my son.

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    1. Why don't you try ASKING an adopted kid their opinion on the whole situation hmmm?
      My parents gave me up and yet they kept my two sisters. When my Birth Parents tried to contact me I said. "You can be someone I am familiar with...but that little strand of DNA don't mean shit." I determine who my family is. And you. You're the one who gave up on your son, You all preach about how fucked up the adoption system was you were dumb enough to get pregnant by an irresponsible man and you're not even the slightest bit thankful other people took him in to raise him?
      Get over yourself.

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  4. It does not help anyone's understanding of the act of surrendering a child to characterize all surrendering parents as either selfless heroes or cowardly villains. There are as many reasons for giving up a child, good and bad, as there are parents who surrender. Stacy's sentimental vision of her natural parents as special saints who sacrificed their own needs for hers may have nothing to do with the reality of own mother's particular situation, and it was good to point that out to her. It is also dishonest for the adoption industry to push this stereotype of the noble birth mother and ignore the dark side of adoption.

    On the other hand to characterize every surrender as " always an act of desperation, of ignorance, of selfishness, of cowardice, of not having a real choice" does not show the whole picture either. Adoption is complex, and the people involved in adoption come from a wide variety of circumstances, backgrounds, and perceptions of their own actions and the results.
    Some mothers do freely choose to surrender, and not out of cowardice or desperation, but out of a realistic view of their own limitations, goals in life, and circumstances.

    Surrendering a child is neither something to be proud of nor something to be ashamed of, and nobody should be pushing either pride nor shame on other women who deserve to define their own actions and feelings. No, let's not glorify adoption, there is way too much of that out there already, but lets not demonize it either. People cope with a difficult choice, sometimes with no choice, in the best way they can at the time, then have to live with it. Everyone who has had this experience deserves to speak for herself from her own heart, but cannot really speak for "all" who share that experience as either all positive or all negative.

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  5. I have to hope these words are not really from an adoptee. This is why the public's view of adoption is so twisted. And why adoption reform
    Is going nowhere.

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  6. Is there a reason this is being brought up now? Just curious, thanks.

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    1. Lacy's comment came in only a couple of days ago although it was to an old post. When we read a glorification of adoption ,we feel compelled to respond.

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    2. The original post is from November--2009.

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  7. The adoptee's comments above sound like what an adoptive parent has written for their loyal, indoctrinated daughter. Same thinking is commonly found in blog comments of adoptive mothers. Unwavering adoptee gratefulness and loyalty are (selfish) needs that many adoptive parents ensure are met through conditioning and manipulation. (Ironically, more by products of the deceptive adoption industry itself). Through conditioning while growing up, the grateful and happy adoptee becomes absolutely convinced that the fake parents who created a fake identity are just the best thing ever (but they don't know any difference). It's all they have heard their entire life. Their adoptive parent's script has become engrained as their own script. If the adoptee did in fact write her own comments, then she is simply parroting what she has heard many times like a obedient, loyal child. Adoptee has been brainwashed that she was better off with strangers than she would have been with her own flesh-and-blood real mother. The adoptee mentioned above, if 22, is still young. There is hope that she will begin to emerge from the deceptive adoptive fog once out of the clutches of her adopters. There is hope that HER TRUTH will eventually open her eyes and set her free.

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    1. A bit late in this discussion, but she sounds JUST LIKE my daughter...
      she has loved me her whole life, and had a great childhood, wanting for nothing, but unfortunately, she is not ready to meet with me, or even keep in contact! And she is 46! Definitely loyalty to her amother and afather. But I wait... and hope she will come out of her adoptive fog too!

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  8. Lacy's clueless and insensitive comment may or may not be from Gladney, but why haven't you included it as a comment in response to Justine on the original thread, the one that follows The Worst Adoption Agency n the World?
    It's confusing to read it here and not find it there.

    Also I don't think "their completely selfish act" is a minor mistake. It is more like a Freudian slip.

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    1. We did not include it at the original Gladney site because it was hard for either of us to swallow. Jane and I had the same visceral and negative reaction.

      The original post is several YEARS old. We do not like to put comments at posts that are old, particularly when they are in total opposition to the original post, as that requires a response and invites more discussion. Life is short. We try to answer everything that needs answering and we hope that Anonymous finds this answer.

      Perhaps this is Anonymous above, and perhaps she or he really is a Gladney operator who really really wants the comment at the original post which is headlined: The Worst Adoption Agency in the World.

      We left Justine's because she was hoping to find her child adopted through Gladney.

      And finally, we choose what to publish, what not to publish.

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    2. And for the record: Both the original anonymous comment and this one above appear to come from the home state of Gladney: Texas. Which adds to our suspicions about who originated the comment.

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    3. Why would Gladney criticize its own comment by calling it "clueless and insensitive"? That's odd.

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  9. Coda: everything you say is true. My AP's did all of this brainwashing to me, while hating my first mother tremendously and making it known. "The girl" was useless and they were my salvation.

    This adoptee is young. I was almost 50 when my fog lifted. But when an adoptee finally realizes the truth, there is no returning to the "happy adoptee" mindset. Once I woke up, and acknowledged how angry I am about this whole mess, my attitude changed forever.

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    1. "Once I woke up, and acknowledged how angry I am about this whole mess, my attitude changed forever. "

      That's absolutely true. There's no turning back once you see the truth about adoption. You can't put the genie back in the bottle.

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  10. I understand the reactions, Jane and Lorraine, but I also understand the over-the-top adoptee response. That script, though a much less florid and flowery version (we're midwestern, not southern), was what was sold to my adoptive parents and then to us, the adopted kids. It is a HARD script to break out of because I think, instinctively, we are aware that it shatters -- your world, your feelings, your family, your life. As Julia Emily said, everything changes, there is no going back.

    Assuming that comment is from an actual adoptee, not some PR person, I would cut the writer a bolt of slack -- you absorb the myths you are raised on because you survive by adapting to the culture of the family you are in. Shucking them off to become a new person is a metamorphosis that takes strength or cataclysm or both.

    While I don't have the strength to talk for very long with adoptees in that cloud of myth, I can't deny their reality; I was there once. We were set on a hard path, and I'm glad there are more of us speaking out today than when I was younger. Finding others who had already found their voices helped me find mine.

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    1. Yan--Actually we decided that we would give the adoptee a bit of slack--by writing the post the way Jane did! So she talks about how, as natural mothers who gave up our daughters, upon hearing that agency-infused BS we would mentally react.

      I don't think I would have screamed at my daughter but I would have thought, Yow, this is awful and probably we are never going to have a relationship if that is how she feels and is talking. The agency pap that has become the linga franca of adoption today is driving a lot of the trouble between adoptees and natural mothers. You know, those desperate, broken, sad women who disappeared when saintly, heroic, courageous birth mothers were born.

      I did have the same reaction you did, that maybe she such the perfect adoptee that that is what she or he has been told they should feel and say. And that is what needs changing.

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    2. I can well understand why mothers would not want to be thanked by their child for giving them up. I would not have liked it either, but had my son ever said anything like that, it would not preclude having a relationship, nor would I ever scream at my adult son for anything he said or did.I think most of us have a goal of an eventual relationship with our kids. We have to meet them where they are, not where we want them to be, and for some of us, like Stacy's mother if she ever connects with her, that means accepting the daughter's feelings as genuine and a product of her upbringing, not an intentional insult or attempt to hurt her natural mother. Several adoptees have stated they were raised to feel gratitude to their mother for surrendering them. They may have only the best intentions in conveying this sentiment to her when they meet. While it may hurt to hear it, especially those of us who never wanted to surrender in the first place, we have to realize it is not meant personally and not react out of anger, certainly not to assume there can be no relationship. It can take years for either side to clearly convey a different view of the same event to the other person, as always, love not hate, patience, not jumping to conclusions is the key. How one feels on being thanked by one's child cannot be helped, but how we react can and should be controlled.

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  11. A big "Amen" to this post. I am not heroic, strong, brave, selfless, whatever spin you want to put on it. Truth is, and I've always said this, I was weak, petrified, numb, naive. Don't tell me I didn't "give up" my child...that I made "an adoption plan." I most certainly DID give up, gave in, waved the white flag, surrendered to the pressures. My daughter has never, ever thanked me, and I don't think she's at all grateful for being given up. If she was, she sure has a weird way of showing it. She's very angry at me, and at the present time doesn't speak to me. This is our vicious cycle.

    I would be horrified if she thanked me, or told me I was some kind of angelic saint for "making an adoption plan." At least I don't have to deal with that on top of everything else.

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    1. I was also a weak, naïve scared girl backed into a corner. I finally found my daughter, we had one meeting where she did thank me. It was like a dagger in the heart. I almost wish she was angry with me. Instead she's cold. I don't think we'll ever enter a cycle. As painful as the cycle is to you, I envy you it. I have nothing. She graduated from college and I wasn't invited. I watched a streaming version of it on the internet because she told me flatly that I was not welcome. I don't know how to "thaw" her out. I'm hovering at the edges of her life waiting for some sign that she recognizes me as her mother and lets me in. Anger would at least give me something to hold on to, that she considers me at all instead of some interfering stranger trying to complicate her life, which is what she said to me. I'm heartbroken this Memorial Day weekend, knowing it's another holiday without my daughter who is still so deep in the adoption "fog" I don't know that she'll ever come out.

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    2. Lizzy, don't be freaked out over not being invited to the college graduation. She is dealing iwth parents who aren't comfortable with your presence! and the whole event will be monstrously uncomfortable for her if you are there--who does she react with/to. We went to my step-sons graduation, but he had to see us at different times, we sat far from each other, we did not talk to him after the actual graduation, only the night before, when we had dinner and his mother was with the other child.

      I knew my daughter for more than a quarter of a century but never spent Christmas with her, or many holidays as she lived in another state. Give up the holiday thing as that important, and realize that she is navigating between two opposing bodies. No one knows if she will "thaw" but for now, tell her you never forgot her, that you keep her in your heart, that you will always love her as a mother, and let her have some space for now.

      As a friend --a birth and natural mother--once said to me: We lost them when we gave them up.

      Understand, both she and I were reunited with our daughters for decades.

      Be sad for a while, but come to accept what is and move on with your life. I say this not to be cruel, but because I have walked in those very shoes myself.

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    3. Good advice, in my opinion, Lorraine. For adoptees too. Each person in the adoptive "triangle" has to make their own choices, of course, but those choices are bound to come with unwanted repercussions, it is inevitable - and those might be painful or uncomfortable but that is just a fact of adoption. I have felt/been aware of this division of loyalty, fear, jealousy, blame, for the situation ever since I can remember; at first from 2 parents then later from 4-5 and more relatives, throw into that mix some well-meaning but religious and opinionated in-laws.

      For me, holidays? forget them. I spend them with my husband and phone my parents and relatives, send gifts or cards. Sometimes stop by the nearby nieces and nephews during that special week between Christmas and New Year's. But more than likely I will go somewhere with just my husband or stay in with just him. We invite friends but more often than not, friends who have kids (as most of them do) have their own family obligations, before most of our friends had kids we did have a few cool get-togethers on several different holidays with them.

      Our wedding - we eloped so that we didn't have to invite my family and deal with that - and so that they didn't have to deal with each other - and so that my in-laws didn't have to either. I went to my high school graduation and caught hell for it later from my first mom, not because i didn't invite her (I hadn't met her yet, but had learned of her interest in meeting) but because she didn't get to attend hers or mine, because of me. Neither my husband or me went to our college graduations because we didn't want to deal with family attending (we graduated at the same time from the same college.)

      We moved across the country immediately after graduating college and the distance is both a hurt and a help. Being adopted, knowing that my mother had to give me up because she couldnt afford me, made me leery of having kids too soon and when we did have the financial stability we had many problems, including some interference from many parents, and now it is too late - i don't know that adoption was the cause of our not having kids but i do know it and the continuing actions of our parents added to our obstacles. Having no family network to celebrate holidays with over the years, having no kids of our own, losing our 'friends' to others who also have kids or to their own families - it has been a lonely road. I'm lucky that my husband has been with me through it all, obviously, he didn't have to, and the repercussions have injured his life as well as mine.

      But on the bright side, things gradually change, and as my adoptive parents become older and less in touch with what i do with my time and my first parents mellow out a bit - and my in-laws put less pressure on me to 'not abandon' my adoptive parents - i see the possibility of some happy get-togethers in the future. They can't be built on a common history - with any of our parents, as we have been lost by time and distance from them all by our choice to move away 23 years ago. I feel a bond with each of them and I think they do with me, for the most part. It's not what i would have dreamed but it's what i know, it's just how it is. I cannot change it by myself, though, i definitely need any one of my parents' help if they want to make changes.

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  12. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I decided to happily take all the accolades and throw them back if anyone gives me grief. Much easier this way, not to mention that it's not my job to educate every asshole on the planet.

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  13. My dear mother said I was given up because of "ignorance and stupidity".

    I try and understand how that separated me from my family forever. It's hard to understand why she can't see me now though.

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  14. Lizzy: the daughter you relinquished may never thaw.

    First, as in my situation and others mentioned here, her adoptive parents are threatened by you. She is most likely somewhat brainwashed, somewhat loyal to them, and stuck in the middle of a mess she can't navigate. I often think it was a good thing my first mother never looked for or found me: there would have been hell to pay. I would have been stuck in the middle, and I never had the energy for it.
    Second, she may be angry. I am angry, which is a pretty recent development. Your daughter may not want to argue, and she comes across as "cold."

    The adoptee is in a very difficult position. As Lorraine said, don't get your hopes up for holidays and the like. She did not grow up with you, and what was lost is possible to get back.

    Again .... this is why a lot of adoptees wait until their AP's are gone before they have any communication with their bio-family. For a lot of us, there is no way to navigate this.

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  15. Of course I meant " what was lost is impossible to get back." Sorry.

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  16. Does it bother anybody--adoptees or mothers--to walk unsuspectingly into a social gathering and discover that someone there is showing off the new baby from--poor country [or maybe China, which is no longer technically "poor"] of your choice? Yesterday I was too tired to pop down to a neighbor's house for a drink before dinner with another neighbor...so my husband went by himself. The weekend guests were showing off their new baby from some Asian country.

    So glad I wasn't there.

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    1. What I envision is not so much a casual cocktail party but an ethical and emotional minefield. The question is worthy of its own post for exploration. Can you imagine a Letterman-inspired post of "Top Ten No-Holds-Barred Remarks an Adoptee or Parent Would Like to Deliver to a New Adoptive Parent at a Cocktail Party"? Fortunately, the booze would be flowing.

      Fortunately. Now there's a word. Along with "unfortunate." Some woman has found herself in unfortunate circumstances, whether by accident of country, era, or choice of partner or birth control. Someone (or a couple) far more "fortunate" has now stepped in to purchase their desire: a child. A child who may have been seen as inheriting its parents misfortune is now, just by transference to another person's arms (and legal ownership), basking in social adoration. Talk about a human shell game. Same child, but transmuted into someone different, helped along by an exchange of money.

      In the Victorian era, polite society was afraid of being "touched" by scandal. They thought it contagious. If one knew a person who was scandalous, polite society dictated no contact. Sometimes even being in contact with someone who knew someone involved in a scandal was enough to put a stop to the calling cards. No one wanted to invite what were regarded as the misfortunes of poverty, disease, and illicit conduct into their world.

      Well, some would like to engage in illicit conduct and not be caught in it. There's that chronicler of Victorian social conditions, Charles Dickens, exploring this very thing in "Bleak House" through the "unfortunate" past of his main character, Lady Dedlock. The fact of an illegitimate daughter ultimately brings about her ruin. And then, there's Dickens himself, in the flesh. He threw out his wife and enjoyed a long-term affair with a much younger mistress. They probably had a child or two together. Probably. Dickens, who wrote about virtually everything, was mum on that. He kept it all hidden from public view. Even Dickens, who rivaled Queen Victoria in popularity and relied upon public approval for his wealth, couldn't afford to acknowledge his involvement in such a situation. There wasn't enough good "fortune" in the world to shield him from the backlash from such a scandal.

      I don't think of "poor" in exclusively economic terms, but also consider it in terms of fortune. It would make a fascinating conversation at the cocktail hour. If anyone is interested in Dickens and his mistress, Nelly Ternan, there is a 1990 book by Claire Tomalin, "The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens," along with a 2013 movie based on the book. Ralph Fiennes directed and starred as Dickens in the film. I've included links to a film review and information on Ternan below.

      I am imagining such a cocktail party, thirst quenched and tongues wagging. Mouths agape at things said. I am bothered by the disparity, why a baby can be viewed completely differently, depending upon the arms in which it is held. Same goes for the person holding the baby. Not even Dickens could make much sense out of that.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/25/movies/the-invisible-woman-about-charles-dickenss-mistress.html?_r=0

      http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/dickens-secret-affair-19632069/?no-ist

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    2. Muggery, well said! I knew the story of Dickens before the movie--did they include the part about him bricking up the door or fireplace that was in the home he shared with his wife, after ... the affair began? I'm sure that master of English literature was revered and had groupies just as ...the men of fame and letters are today.

      Your comment about the disparity of how a baby is viewed differently depending on whose arms it is in is right on the mark. No matter what anyone says.

      The other day I learned something about an adoptive grandmother whom I happen to know...at a dinner party at which I was not present...she was bemoaning that their Russian grandchild turned out to be retarded or have alcohol fetal syndrome...and you can't return "it." My friend said she used..."it."

      Lots of my friends are at least dubious about what I say about adoption, and then they discover that...what I say is right, and come back to tell me how what I said was confirmed.

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    3. Muggery Pope, I am fascinated with your choice of moniker. I wonder if you know the art of Eric Ravilious who made wonderful pictures of the Sussex Downs. if you are from that part of the world I think you would like them.

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    4. Yes, Lorraine, "The Invisible Woman" did show Dickens having the doorway to his wife's adjoining bedroom suite bricked up (before she left the home entirely). Literal compartmentalization. Fiennes, who deserved an acting nomination last year for "The Grand Budapest Hotel," crafted a thoughtful and sensitive film. It also captures the quiet and slower pace of that time. Felicity Jones of "The Theory of Everything" played Nelly Ternan. It can be ordered through Netflix.

      Anonymous, I am not from that part of the world, but I love the art of Eric Ravilious, his wife Tirzah Garwood, and friend, Peggy Angus.

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    5. I did see the movie on the tube last year when I was recovering from an ankle replacement, but I didn't remember the bricking up. You are obviously a movie buff, and a Dickens fan, or possibly both.

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  17. There was no pride in my situation, only heartbreak for me and heartbreak later for my child. What mother just willfully and happily hands over her newborn baby to strangers? Many unwed pregnant girls of the Baby Scoop Era (BSE) did not voluntarily give up their babies. Many of us had no choice, no option, no power, no say in our "crisis", which wouldn't have necessarily been considered a "crisis" had we been married, regardless of age. The relinquishment was determined by others to be the solution (those others being primarily the girls's father or mother) and the decision was usually non-negotiable. Relinquishment was overwhelmingly mandated and endorsed by my church, recommended by the OB doctor, and relinquishment was approved and praised by the same society that had been so quick to disapprove and revile. Society that was so quick to condemn and punish me was also inflicting a double punishment by robbing my child of his first mother, origins, identity, DNA, and genealogy. Societal thinking was that getting pregnant before being married was bad enough to have to relinquish a baby over. That was the dualistic thinking of the BSE. It was black or white, nature versus nurture, no in-between....sex before marriage was wrong; sex after marriage was fine...

    Our babies were taken to satisfy the demands of married childless couples who were deemed more worthy and more fit. The love of a single mother wasn't enough, but their's was. The tactics used in the hospitals were cruel, illegal, and despicable. I, for one, was heavily sedated before, during, and after delivery to ensure unconsciousness and to make it easier to secure a signature. I never gave either valid or informed consent for the drugs that were administered and which included the barbiturate Seconal, the Twilight Sleep Scopolamine, and Anectine (that was administered in multiple doses during General Anesthesia). General Anesthesia was not necessary for (according to my medical records) a non-complicated, routine vaginal delivery; and, in addition, it put me at great risk for aspiration and maternal morbidity, not to mention the risks posed to the baby. I have often wondered, were the powers at be hoping for maternal morbidity? or were they just wanting to make it easier to snatch my baby off the delivery table while I was unconscious?

    While in the hospital, I was treated like a piece of chit, and they would not tell me the gender of my baby and would not let me see, touch, hold, or give my baby a name. A few hours after delivery, while still heavily sedated, surrender papers were placed on my hospital bed pillow for me to sign. I wasn't old enough to vote, get married, get a credit card, or join the military, but I could, while heavily sedated, sign my baby's rights away at the age of 16. Then I got to try to move forward with my life loaded down with shame, guilt, silence, sadness, and the ever-present phouking secrecy. At the same time, my baby had to try to adapt to a new environment without their first mother and were no doubt forever traumatized as a result. There was no pride in that.

    The BSE of lies, secrets, shame, deception, coercion, manipulation, and victimization needs to be repeatedly told and remembered, lest history keep repeating itself. Pretty soon, the BSE mothers will all be gone, and their voices will be forever silenced. From the moment I lost my baby, my heart has ached, and I have never stopped missing or loving my child. For the last four decades, there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him at least several times a day. Our babies weren't gifts to complete strangers. Our babies were taken from us. Mine was taken right off the delivery table while I was unconscious. Are we proud? No ! Are we angry? Yes!

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    1. Heartbroken, I'm so sorry. Being drugged while they take your child is the most hopeless, helpless, defenseless, desperate, can't protect your child, save your child and yourself , can't control or stop the horror experience. What they did to you and your child is a perfect example of -wrong-.

      They completely or close to completely, incapacitated so many of us and there was not a damn thing we could do to stop them. I too have often wondered and felt that they -felt that they wanted me dead or hoped I had died. It felt like attempted murder. It felt like kidnapping. It felt like some horrific medical experiment in removing body parts.. our hearts (our babies)... and seeing if or how long we would live. I think we ought to live forever and shock the pants off of all of them. They don't understand the horror, helplessness and ocean of grief they laid upon us -and our children. Nor do they understand the lifelong struggle to cope and function. I would that they had eyes and hearts to see. For someday...I will hope.

      Pride? Most emphatically, No! There is no pride in this. Only a lifetime of trying to heal and rebuild a perfectly lovely human being, a girl, a woman, a daughter, a mother... slowly the pieces get picked up from where they were thrown and put together again.. whole. Someday.

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  18. Heartbroken, I had the same medical experience as you giving birth to my firstborn, and the same drugs which resulted in a forceps delivery. I found this out years later when I got my medical records, also learned why I was moved to the psychiatric floor 24 hours after giving birth. Some idiot doctor who had seen me at the clinic decided I was suicidal (I was not) and left an order to move me. Nobody explained, they just put me in with the ranting mental patients and would not let me see my child for the remaining 5 days I was in the hospital. I kept trying to sneak to the nursery to see him, confirming their idea that I was a nutter.

    I did see my son for a brief time when I finally came out of all that anesthetic, and he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. "The first time every I saw your face/I thought the sun rose in your eyes...."And I still think that when I see him. My child was just going into foster care at the time, as I refused to sign adoption papers, but I was never treated as his mother.
    First fatal mistake I made was agreeing to foster care rather than just taking my baby and running home.

    I was a clinic patient at an inner city hospital, one of the few white girls there. I have since learned that the barbaric medical treatment I got in labor was standard there for all clinic moms, married or not, as it was in many places in the 50s and 60s. I wasn't targeted as an unwed mother medically, but of course emotionally it was a different story, being a Catholic hospital with a dark, scary chapel with glowing red candlelight and old-school nuns roaming the corridors. The whole experience was a surreal nightmare I will never get over. None of it was necessary in my case, not even the awful medical care in labor and delivery. I had three more babies in a nice suburban hospital with minimal or no medication, my husband right there for the last two and just outside for the first, and I felt fine and hungry and wanted food which I made my husband find after each delivery. I'm one of those ladies who could have got up and plowed the field after giving birth, strong peasant woman:-) My first awful birth experience made me determined to never let anyone do that to me again.But I did fear my babies would die, as that was what I deserved, and was delighted that they had rooming in when I had my last child in 1980.

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    1. maryanne, thanks for sharing your story. :( sad as it is. Everything I read from mothers on this website is insightful even if difficult to read.

      I'm glad that your next 3 birth experiences were so much better. Nobody deserves what you all went through. I'm thankful for the positive changes even if there is long way to go yet.

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    2. Thanks Kaisa, it was awful but is long in the past.I was super mommy with the kids I got to raise, all breastfed for at least two years, mostly homemade baby food, PTA Mom etc and they were never left with anyone but my parents or aunt if we went out. I was lucky that they were and are very healthy guys. But Mike turned out fine too, despite his less than caring upbringing from his adoptive mother. His adoptive dad, while far from perfect, loved and supported him in doing what he wanted to do, like getting a home computer when Mike was 12 in the early 80s when nobody had them, and it was not something his Dad knew anything about. Ironically, we also had the earliest home computers because it was my husband's job. I am very fortunate in the men my boys have become, the 3 sons I raised and the 1 I did not get to raise. "and in the end, the love you take/is equal to the love you make..."---The Beatles

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    3. Kaisa said: '...Nobody deserves what you all went through.'

      Thank you Kaisa. That really means a lot and I don't think I've ever heard anyone ever say that.

      Really, thank you.

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  19. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the adoptive parents. I have cut off whatever contact my birth mother has tried to initiate because of her. I have had to sit through well meaning lectures from my (adoptive) mom to give her a chance, things like that. However....my birth mother and I have nothing in common. I do not feel a connection to her. So I have put her in that section of the family that I don't choose to deal with. And we all have those relatives. The overly religious aunt, the bragging uncle, the way too perky cousin...the ones that when we live with our parents we have to deal with but when we're adults we can CHOOSE to taper off contact. For a moment I thought Lizzy was my birth mother under a pseudonym but my birth mother was far more pushy and in your face, to the point of tracking me down during final exams to try and force a meeting (which is just what someone needs during finals, right?). Sometimes reunions don't work or don't happen not because of "brainwashing" from the adoptive parents but because the adoptee just does not want it. I don't have a problem with being adopted, I'm not damaged, and my birth mother did give me medical information on her side and whatever information she had on my birth father's side. Whatever problems and damage she has sustained from her choice to give me up is something she has to solve on her own. She's an adult like me and cannot expect someone else to solve her problems because she regrets her decision. I just want the adoptive parent blaming to stop, or at least come down a notch. Some adoptive parents are horrible. Just like some parents who keep their children are horrible. Some of both categories are fine and some are outstanding! My adoptive parents did not steal me, I was in foster care for three months after birth, there were no adoptive parents lined up to steal me off the delivery table. Sometimes, the adoptee makes the first choice they can when it comes to reunion and that is not to. Not through spite but because we plain just do not want to. I realize this is painful to birth parents, but we're all adults now and we live with our own decisions. Guilt ("you have to meet me, I've missed you so much!"), near stalking ("I won't go away just because you want me to, you owe me a meeting because I gave birth to you") and harassment (35 calls and texts in three days to a cell number I had to change) don't change that fact.

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    1. Mashka, I'm an adoptee too. I'm curious - do you have (adopted) siblings? Do you have any biological siblings? Do you ever want to meet your biological father? Have you met any other biological relatives? Thanks in advance.

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    2. Hi Kaisa! I have an awesome older brother (adopted) by five years, who got married two years ago giving me a sister in law and a niece that is the absolute light of my life. The birth mother told me I have two biological sisters that I have no interest in. Of course she said this before she told me that if she knew I would turn out to be such a little b*tch she would have aborted me and that my biological father is a dou*heb*g. This all came out when I told her that our one meeting (that she coerced) was our last meeting and that no, I was not going to her big family reunion as a show pony. That didn't stop her from texting me constantly telling me that now that I met her I owed the rest of her family and I owed these "sisters" of mine and that any kids of mine (which I don't have by the way) had a human right to be subjected to her craziness (the last four words are mine). So no, all I've met was her. I managed to avoid a meeting during finals because she had already approached my roommate with her sob story and Beks gave me a heads up so I took an alternate exit. However she was waiting by my car (which her search angel nicely provided a description of down to the license plate!) when I was headed out for the weekend. If she's an example of the rest of her family, I'm much better off keeping the idea of them in my rear view. I already have a schizophrenic aunt in my real family, I don't want or need this is my life as well.

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    3. Mashka, I'm thinking that perhaps your first mother has shown you her worst side. Her unpleasant behavior may come from anxiety, rather than nuttiness. Mothers may become anxious when they meet their lost child, a meeting they've been dreaming about since their child was born. Due to anxiety they become pushy, demanding, argumentative. insulting.

      She may have invited you to her family reunion thinking you would be pleased to know she cares for you and wants you to feel a part of the family. It may not have occurred to her that you would feel as if you were on stage.

      Perhaps you can find it in yourself to have a little patience. Set clear boundaries with her but be willing to engage with her on occasion. This is not only a humane thing to do but it may have benefits for you in the future. At some point you may want to know more about your family history, your father is, why were you given up, and so on. In other words, close the door but don't lock it. Crack open a window occasionally.

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    4. I do not see the kind of aggressive nasty stalking behavior Mashka has described as anxiety. That is really a stretch to try to excuse the inexcusable. I have not seen anyone become "pushy, demanding, argumentative or insulting" due to anxiety in any circumstance, certainly not in meeting someone you have been dreaming about for years and want to make a good impression upon. Something much darker and more disturbed than anxiety is clearly at work here.

      If you "crack a window" with a person like the one described, they will push it open the rest of the way and climb in through it, even though they have been told repeatedly to stay away. Give an inch and they will indeed take a mile.

      Setting boundaries does not work for this type of person because the whole concept of boundaries is meaningless to them. There is no dealing with the obsessed and delusional, except to firmly cut them loose as Mashka has done. Sometimes you have to cut relatives out of your life for your own protection and sanity, and this looks to me like one of those times.

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    5. Oh Jane, I wish you were my birth mother if I had to deal with one! I had the patience, like I promised when I first posted for advice. I set the boundaries, she ignored them and bulldozed through. I have had to change my cell number, shut down my Facebook page, my boyfriend has had to shut his down as well. She knows where my parents live, where I was going to stay for the summer as I job hunt and finish my internship. Instead I'm staying with my brother, which adds a half hour to my commute and pray she doesn't show up there. I tried to show the kindness you advised me to have in the first place, but with her it seems you give her an inch and she takes a mile. There are a few things birth mothers need to realize. The first is that we were not waiting for you in stasis, if we were waiting at all. We've lived lives, had experiences separate from you. Not all adoptive parents are bad. If your surrendered child was lucky enough to be raised by parents like mine (and it is a crapshoot, like it is with kept children) that is something to be happy about. For whatever reason, coerced, tricked or not, you did not raise us. Someone else did. If we turned out not so bad, that's NOT a bad thing! If our adoptive parents and families accepted us as one of their own and we were not raised to think we were different or less, that's also NOT a bad thing. You convinced yourselves you were giving us up for a "better" life. If we didn't have a bad life, that's NOT a bad thing. You placed us in the hope that we would be adopted into a family that loves us. Some of us have found that. All these decisions were made with the best of intentions though they appear to have cost you dearly. I have learned a lot about adoption and life from you ladies, but my birth mother whether anxiety ridden or nutty (Jane's words, not mine before I get jumped on :) ) she needs more patience than a saint has, and I am no saint to begin with. When she discovers my new cell phone number (and I have no doubt she will) I'll direct her to this forum and wish her luck.

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    6. Mashka, Adoption is some crazy-making stuff for all involved, for sure....sounds as if First Mom is reacting out of desperation, which is what losing a child will do. As Jane suggested, cut her some slack and keep the door ajar. You might give her a second chance in the future, if she is still living. I wouldn't cut my nose to spite my face. Adoption is so complicated, and if you don't seem to know her full story, you might not fully understand where she is coming from. Also, just curious, if you feel the way you do, why the interest and active participation on a FIRST MOTHER Forum? No insult intended, but there is something obviously there that you wish to explore for you to be as actively involved as you are on this site....just curious, and I wish you and your First Mother the best.

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    7. Sorry, there are no excuses for telling your reunited child you wish you had aborted them. It severs any obligations that might have been.

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    8. Everybody reading this, please really listen to what Mashka is saying instead of making assumptions about the innocence of her biological mother just because she is "one of us." I wish I had read something like this before contacting my son all those years ago, my head full of fantasies about how he "needed" me, when in reality one more complication in his life was the last thing he needed at that time.

      Mashka's story is a clear-cut case of stalking and abuse.If Maska wished to do so, she would have no trouble getting a restraining order if she went to the police. If the tables were turned and it was an adoptee treating her first mother this way, turning up all over the place, calling so often after being told not to that Facebook pages had to be taken down and phone numbers repeatedly changed? These are not the actions of a loving mother. There is no way to twist things to make them so. It does not matter what her motivations are, her actions speak loud enough that she does not care how she hurts her daughter.

      Yes, many of us have botched a first contact, out of ignorance and need. But the difference between Mashka's mother and someone like me is that a sane person realizes they have made a mistake, is sorry, and does not do it again when asked to back off. To those of us who actually are loving mothers with enough empathy to see the adoptee's point of view, "no means no" it does not mean continue on with stalking, harassing behavior no matter what the adoptee says. Maska's words are just as valuable for First Mothers to read as those of adoptees who are searching or delighted to be found. They are certainly helping me understand my son's viewpoint for many years when he was wary of me. Also, her words about not always blaming the adoptive parents are spot on. I have adoptive parent friends who are open and wonderful parents in every way. That my son had lousy adoptive parents. or at least a lousy mother, does not define all adoptive parents for me, and should not for anyone else either. People are people, there are good and bad in all groups.

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    9. I trust Mashka's story... she knows her situation best, and further, it's her life. She chooses who she has contact with or not. I do feel a bit of sadness that the actions of one person has turned her off from the rest of that family, that is a shame. I understand cutting losses - trying to deal with one family is enough sometimes ! If I had any advice, which i don't, only theory... it would be to keep the door unlocked towards other relatives. But she doesn't owe any of them anything.

      And certainly, threatening remarks about future children ! and how she owes it to her blood relatives to reconnect if and when she has a child ! That sends up red flags - I understand that reaction. One of my biggest fears upon my rocky reunion was that my first mother or someone from that family would try to take my child ! That's me, not Mashka, but oh boy, i could write a book on that topic.

      Good luck to you Mashka, i'm really glad to know you have a good family, a good brother and his family too. I hope you have a good summer and find a good job and enjoy :)

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    10. Mashka:
      I understand what Jane meant in her comment. I feel very sorry for your mother, having lost you. However, she cannot turn back the clock and cannot control this situation, or you - It sounds like that's what she is trying to do. How sad!

      The behavior which has been described is certainly abuse, and also invasion of privacy, trespassing and disturbing the peace! It sounds like she has been trying to "take charge", but it's a little late - much too late. I

      t's a very rough roller-coaster being a first mother, and before my reunion with my son, I was actually afraid that I would blurt out something hurtful, on purpose, just because it is so easy to do! He would be so vulnerable! I talked to my therapist about it. It sounds like your mother is panicky and doing every single thing wrong, forgetting all about common sense and compassion - and most of all - kindness.

      What is our main job as first mothers? We are already under suspicion for having low morals and character, since we "gave up" - or lost - our children. So our first job is, if nothing else, to be kind! And just show that we are a nice person. Sadly your mother did not do this, and failed her audition miserably. It could have been so different if she had approached you with some sensitivity and not in a selfish manner.

      Knowing a birth mother can add to an adopted person's life, and benefit them - A bmom may be intelligent, accomplished, and if nothing else, a mother-figure who could give advice if asked, and generally help to ease some of the mysteries of life, with explanations about why she did what she did. Having said that though, it sounds like your mother may be troubled beyond anything you could help with, and must have professional counseling or therapy, there may be other issues involved for her that have nothing to do with you (it sounds like it.)

      It sounds like you are a very together young lady, and your aparents are good, fair people. For that I am so grateful for you! As to your mother, don't allow her to impose on you any more. If you must call campus security or the police to escort her off the premises, don't feel bad - for some people, that's the only thing that gets the message through, that what they are doing is destructive, wrong, and the law protects you from this behavior. Sadly (for her) she has NO legal right to annoy or disturb you. Luckily for you, it sounds like.

      As for keeping the window open, I don't think that's a bad idea in theory, and it doesn't have to be right now or in the near future. Her daughters may be very nice people, even if she is crazy! And in a few years your perspective may be different, or you may be curious about your relatives. I know that my perspective is different than yours, since I am a bmom. BUT!! There is NO excuse for what she has been doing. It's most important that you protect yourself! If you need to get the authorities involved, maybe your aparents can give you some guidance. FMF can help a little bit, but your mother really needs serious treatment in therapy.

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    11. Double standardsMay 30, 2015 at 9:53 AM

      I always hear about the natural mother behaving "erratically", "stalking" and other bizarre behavior before, during and after the "reunion".

      What about the behavior of adopters who are courting a mother for her infant? What about how they are so fake and phony, promising her the moon, lunches, dinners, trips to buy clothes and the like; "(until they procure her infant that is). Funny how the tables turn... Funny indeed.

      Free pass, anyone?

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    12. Nobody gets a free pass for their bad behavior towards others, not natural mothers, not adoptees, not adoptive parents nor prospective adopters. It is dishonest and wrong for prospective adopters to wine and dine an expectant mom, promise an open adoption, and then dump her once they have the child. They do not get any free pass, and there is no excuse for such manipulative, lying, cruel behavior.

      That has nothing to do with the fact that some reunited mothers and some adoptees stalk, behave bizarrely, make unreasonable demands, and generally treat the other party as an object rather than as a person. That too is inexcusable behavior. One instance of bad behavior does not excuse more bad behavior in retaliation. Two wrongs never make a right. I don't know who you think should get a free pass, but the fair answer is "neither one." Bad behavior by any party is wrong and deserves to be condemned.

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  20. Heartbroken,
    your story was my story. Son lost in 1966

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  21. Mashka is right. There is no dealing with this first mother. There are some people who are so toxic that all you can do is cut all ties. The woman is not cutting Mashka any slack.... she is stalking her and overstepping all boundaries. Enough.

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  22. Mashka said (and my snip!):
    There are a few things birth mothers need to realize. The first is that we were not waiting for you in stasis, if we were waiting at all. We've lived lives, had experiences separate from you. Not all adoptive parents are bad. If your surrendered child was lucky enough to be raised by parents like mine (and it is a crapshoot, like it is with kept children) that is something to be happy about. For whatever reason, coerced, tricked or not, you did not raise us. Someone else did. If we turned out not so bad, that's NOT a bad thing! If our adoptive parents and families accepted us as one of their own and we were not raised to think we were different or less, that's also NOT a bad thing. You convinced yourselves you were giving us up for a "better" life. If we didn't have a bad life, that's NOT a bad thing. You placed us in the hope that we would be adopted into a family that loves us. Some of us have found that. All these decisions were made with the best of intentions though they appear to have cost you dearly. I have learned a lot about adoption and life from you ladies, but my birth mother whether anxiety ridden or nutty (Jane's words, not mine before I get jumped on :) ) she needs more patience than a saint has, and I am no saint to begin with. When she discovers my new cell phone number (and I have no doubt she will) I'll direct her to this forum and wish her luck.

    re the first bold - yes definitely raised differently than I would have. My daughter has lived her life with her aparents, who were and ARE wonderful people. (that's for 2nd bold!) I talked to her amom on the phone and she did fill me in on my daughter's childhood, where they lived, etc.
    on 3rd bold - yes, they raised her as the own and always had an open discussion of her adoption; telling her her nationality, and that she could possible have twins.
    4th bold - yes, I wish I had found this site before I contacted my surrendered daughter...
    and the 5th bold - yes, send your mother here - I'm pretty sure she will learn a lot about "reunion" and giving someone space!
    And that's what I'm doing - giving my daughter space...

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  23. Kaisa,
    I really don't think any of us mom's here think you should subject yourself to any type of abuse. Your first mom may had had those issues before reunion. Reunion can bring out the best and worst of all humans. No one knows how they will react until they are in that situation. Reunion, as I have learned is fraught with problems. Feelings, regressions, loss, overwhelming love, connection, not connecting all these situations and human emotions come to surface.
    One suggestion to you is I would leave it as it is you backing out not wanting contact because of bad behavior. I do think this is a learning moment for you. She is your mom, your blood, maybe you inherited some of these conditions which haven't surfaced yet. I am not saying you are a stalker or abuser but these are issues your "mom" has which you would have never known. Take some good things from this you know what you know and are aware.
    When I found my son he was in mist of divorce. He had been married twice with a child. His a mom begged him not to take his daughter from her. Hello, he wasn't intending any such thing. She said mean and horrible things about me. About him the person she had raised as her own child. Just letting you know bad behavior comes on both sides. Especially, from the side that thinks they are losing.

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  24. Oops, Mother, it is Mashka who has the stalker mother, not Kaisa. Wrong adoptee. Easy names to mix up. Certainly, bad behavior can come from either side; a small number of adoptees as well as a small number of mothers and fathers behave badly in reunion. I think this comes from not seeing the other person as a human being with their own life and feelings, but as a goal to be won or something that one is entitled to; a lost object found rather than as another autonomous human being. Some people have personality disorders or other mental illnesses, some are just narcissists who think the world revolves around them and their need. Being blood related is not everything and does not oblige a person to have relationships that are destructive and abusive. Sometimes the healthy thing to do is cut that person off as Mashka has done. Sometimes mothers have to cut off abusive adult children too.

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  25. @Maryanne, (off topic)

    I know that you and your oldest son are huge cat lovers, so I wanted to recommend a couple of books. The first in the series is called "A street cat named Bob" and the second is "The world according to Bob". The author is James Bowen. I'm sure any other animal lovers, especially cat lovers, would enjoy them as well.

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  26. Thanks Robin, I will take a look at those books:-) Nice of you to point them out. It is not just me and Mike who are cat people, but also my late Mom,my husband, Dan, the son who lives with us, my brother, my nieces, one of my nephews and my cute little great-nephew. My niece had a cup made with little Oliver and his big cat Patches looking out a window.

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    1. There is also a children's book called "My name is Bob". Growing up in my a-family, dogs were #1. I was the family member who insisted that we always have a cat (or cats). When I found my n-mother she loved cats just as much as I do, especially redheaded kitties. The moggy (the story takes place in London) in the book is a ginger tom.

      https://www.facebook.com/StreetCatBob

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  27. I am a dog lover to my very core. My a-parents are not, so it must be in the genes. We had a small dog when I was a child. A-mom hated him and he lasted 6 months and was sold to a pet store. The explanation was that he was destroying the apartment. I came home from school one day and he was gone. No warning... he was just gone.

    I like cats, but I'm allergic. I love horses. And right now I have the greatest little dog in the world as my best friend.

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  28. Working, working working on the page proofs to Hole in My Heart and have no time no time...for anything else. Please understand. I am making it as good-looking and as well-written as I can!

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    1. Lorraine, can't wait for you to finish! Wish I had more time to comment on all the great recent posts in the blog - but at least I do get to read them :)

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  29. I just ordered "A Street Cat Named Bob". Thanks again, Robin:-) Julia Emily, that is horrible what your adoptive parents did with your dog. People like that do not deserve pets or children.I do think that loving animals is genetic, and while I am a crazy old cat lady, I like dogs too, but know I don't have the skill or patience to train one correctly, and that is really important.Horses are awesome too, recently got to ride on one in CA and it was great! My son Mike has two dogs as well as two cats, both rescue dogs and both sent to doggie school. They are great! My Irish grandpa took care of horses on a big estate, my other grandpa had a small farm and when he was old, a mutt named Brownie who was his best friend and went everywhere with him.My youngest son and wife want to get a dog when they get a house, as she is not a cat person. All animals are wonderful and deserve to be treated with love and care, and yes, they do so much to enhance the lives of those who love them.

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    1. You're right. This happened over 45 years ago, and I still get upset thinking about it. Even today, A-mom tells me I am "nuts" for loving my present dog the way I do. I love animals. I have rescued animals and I have volunteered in our local shelter. I wish I could do so now, but my time is not my own. I find that being around dogs, cats, or any animal instantly relaxes me and makes me feel better. It has to be a trait that is inherited, because it obviously came from somewhere. The most problematic thing about it, as with other personality traits, talents or interests that I have, is that when A-mom doesn't share it, she dismisses it. Either it has to be something she enjoys or understands, or it's "nuts." There is no in-between.

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    2. Julia Emily I still get upset thinking about kitties I lost years ago. That your mother did this to you is inexcusable. It must be hell taking care of that nasty old lady; I feel bad for you. I cared for an aunt and my parents in old age but was fortunate they were good, kind people. I think I would have walked away from a nasty parent.

      Good for you rescuing animals and volunteering at the shelter. I give them money, as does Mike, but could not volunteer because I would want to bring all the kitties home with me:-) Also can't stand hearing about animal abuse, which should be a death penalty crime in my book.

      One of the things my son told me about his adoptive dad that redeemed him in my eyes is that he let him be himself, and encouraged those talents he did not understand and knew came from elsewhere, like getting my son a home computer as a 12 year old in the 80s when few people had them. His adoptive parents did not understand the animal thing, though. He said they had daschunds but never trained them right or paid them enough attention so they were not nice or happy dogs. Adoptive parents need to be sensitive to who their kids really are, not the clones they may want, as do bio parents with children who are different from the family norm.

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    3. Maryanne,
      Reading you latest comment, I feel you will be moved by the story of James and his feline companion, Bob. It's a story of the human/animal bond, and how the love of an animal turned around the life of a man who had hit rock bottom. Very compelling reading, imo.

      Whether or not a love of animals is inherited is a fascinating topic. I believe it is. As I mentioned previously, my a-family are all animal lovers, but it wasn't until I found my n-mother that I discovered where my love for orange cats came from. I don't think our shared passion is a coincidence.

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    4. Dachshunds a very demanding breed and very hard to train. They require a lot of attention!

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  30. I like dogs. But I prefer cats.

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  31. I come from a family of animal lovers--but mostly dogs. I have a quite active cat allergy and consequently they are not my cuppa.We had dogs growing up and I've had dogs since but right now we are without a pet. We've had a white German shepherd, a husky/chow mix, a small lab and when I lived in NYC I had a Miniature Schnauzer, which I would love to have again. But it's not in the cards for us right now.

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  32. Are there no dog lovers out there? I feel quite alone here.

    Hey Robin and Maryanne, what are the names of the authors of these books you are praising to high heaven? Let's give the writers...er, some credit.

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    1. The author's name is James Bowen. His first book was on the NYT bestseller list and on the top of the British bestseller list for at least a year. He is from London. I had named him in a previous comment and included a link to his fb page. I agree we should give the writer credit.

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  33. Lorraine: there is no bigger dog lover than I !! I would stand in front of a moving train for my dog. She has a chronic condition and I am
    At the vet with her for an injection every 25 days, without fail. Anything this dog needs she gets. And in return I get unconditional love! My AP's never understood this and never will. Just another area in which we are completely different.

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  34. Never fear, Lo, Julia Emily is a dog person! James Bowen is the author of "A Street Cat Named Bob" which you can see by going to Amazon or other booksellers. It looks like a nice upbeat story.

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  35. Cat lovers, if you want a treat, google Edward Bawden cats, and go to images. Edward Bawden was one of the great cat artists, and an influential member of the same circle of artists as the afore-mentioned (earlier on in this thread) Eric Ravilious.

    Also worthy of mention, the wonderful children books written and gloriously illustrated by Kathleen Hale about Orlando the Marmalade Cat (A red haired cat for you, Robin!).
    Of course, Louis Wain, the famous cat artist whose work became increasingly kaleidoscopic as his schizophrenia progressed. And Kliban with his round eyed tabbies.

    Cat poems there are aplenty, including T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. But I think my favorite of all is "My Cat Jeoffrey" by Christopher Smart, which you can read at this link, together with some information about Smart himself, as well as the conditions under which he wrote the poem:
    Christopher Smart's extremely spiritual poem about his cat.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/poem/2009/10/in_nomine_patris_et_felis.html

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    1. Anonymous, Kathleen Hale was a genius. I have several of the Orlando books. A contemporary gem that incorporates Kathleen Hale's art as well as that of William Blake is "Horace Walpole's Cat" by Christopher Frayling.
      Thanks for the link to the Christopher Smart article.

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  36. I don't know about "adopters" courting a natural mother. It's not what my parents did and my bio mom confirmed that. She had me at 20 in between college years, put me up for adoption without any contact with potential parents, just a social worker. 3 months later I was adopted by my parents. So no, in this case there is no double standard. My father has never met my bio mom. My mom did, because she's a soft hearted idealist who tries to make everything wonderful (and I do love that about her) and she had my bio mom over for lunch, just her and bio mom (mother to mother is how she put it) and tried to have a nice sit down with get, showing her pictures of me growing up, things like that. Bio mom want very receptive but my mom did try to smooth things over. But yes, she told my mom they stole me from her and if she could call the cops and arrest them or sue them she would. My mother tried to ask about mental health history (all she disclosed to me was Parkinsons oh her side) and bio mom stormed out. So Mom did try, bio mom wouldn't meet her halfway and I'm done. (I only had to change my number once so far). I come to this lovely forum to educate myself, I started coming when bio mom first contacted me through a search angel and wasn't playing along with my boundaries for advice and I received wonderful advice from you ladies.

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    1. Mashka. it sounds like your mom really tried, but bio mom was behaving in her usual awful fashion. It is sad to say but if she worked with a "search angel" she may have been getting bad advice that encouraged and condoned her bad behavior. Search angels and online adoption search and support groups vary a lot, and some of them are quite extreme in excusing anything a searcher does as her "right". They are irresponsible in encouraging the bad actions of mentally ill and narcissistic individuals as ok because the person suffered as a surrendering mother or adoptee.
      Some search angels will help anyone search and do not look too carefully at the potential for harm from some individuals like your bio mom.

      The scenario of the prospective adopters courting the pregnant mom is something fairly new, not something that would have happened when you were born or when most of us surrendered. This happens today where pregnant women and prospective adopters are hooked up early in the woman's pregnancy, often via the internet; they meet, gifts are given, expenses paid, and the mother feels beholden to give them the child when it is born no matter how she really feels. They promise open adoption, then shut it once the child is legally theirs. They may have given the mom a phone number they then disconnect, and may even move away if she knows where they live. There are many ethical open adoptions that work for years because everyone is honest, but there is also this underside of open adoption that many mothers have been lured into and tricked. It is a real problem.

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  37. Husky Chows are great dogs ! I have always wanted one... I love dogs and cats but i'm allergic to cats and horses... there is a cat every now and then that i'm ok with, luckily my inlaws have one, not sure the breed but it has a short tail, it's big, and it sometimes acts like a dog - it comes when called. I was blessed with a great dog who was an Eskimo/Collie mix... now have a non-pure Eskimo - 30-35 pounds is about all i can handle.

    Dog lovers - check out the (children's) book "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech. Great short book, made my father-in-law cry when he read it aloud to the kids in the family. It's really a long poem.

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  38. Anon. I love "My Cat Jeoffrey"! Here is another cat poem, about a monk and his cat written in the 9th century and translated from the Irish," Pangur Ban". "Ban" means white in Irish, so it is about a white kitty;
    https://www.ling.upenn.edu/~beatrice/pangur-ban.html

    For dog lovers, the old folk song, "Had A Dog and His Name Was Blue" as sung by Joan Baez and others. Look it up!

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  39. I am a big fan of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. They are beautiful animals.

    http://www.gsmdca.org/

    Siberian Huskies are pretty cool too.

    Basically I like the sled dogs.

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  40. I can't believe we are talking about cats and dogs here, but what the hell? Why Not--a welcome relief from subjects more painful.

    I adore Siberian Huskies--and true to that part of our dog Jack's heritage, he had one brown eye and one half blue/half brown, which is not unusual in huskies and does not affect vision. He had a magnificent tail that shot upward and curled like a feather on a hat in a marching band--one French lady said, upon coming upon him in the park, that he had panache. He was so striking looking that when we walked him downtown, with his summer haircut trimmed lion style (a ruff and of course that tail) people always stopped us to ask him what breed he was. Jack took it all in stride.

    For a couple of years I wrote a column for the local paper as if Jack had written it--about his adventures (and he had plenty as he was allowed to roam freely in the neighborhood and had his own set of friends and acquaintances) and observations of the human species. Jack wrote in free verse, by the way.

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    1. LOL. I never dreamed my one off topic comment to Maryanne would lead to a whole new thread in the comment section. But it is nice now and again to switch things around and discuss something more cheerful. And for the record, I love dogs too, but cats are my #1.

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    2. Thanks for asking Robin:-) This has been great, so many wonderful cat and dog stories. I too prefer cats as my pets, but I love my friends' dogs and horses too, just find kitties more compatible to live with me as they are quiet and undemanding. I like wild animals too, to observe in nature and at the nice zoos they have today. I have to admit I do not trust people who actively dislike animals. Maybe that is hereditary too.

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  41. That reminds me, one of our greatest adoption reform animal lovers, Betty Jean Lifton, wrote some essays as if her standard poodle Basket were writing them. BJ always had dogs, cats, birds, and an iguana in her apartment in NYC and her summer home on Cape Cod. Basket came to many open records demonstrations with BJ. BJ developed an allergy to cats, but in her last years had a cat named Maui who was a special breed she could tolerate. Maui was with her all the time, and I had the honor of meeting Maui at the reception at BJ's home after her memorial service in Boston. Her husband Bob let me into BJ's study where Maui was staying away from the crowds at the wake. Basket of course was all over and greeted everyone. BJ's kids and grandkids are all animal lovers too, and one grandson looks exactly like BJ when she was young. It was a comfort to meet them all.

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  42. I love Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, ANyhow I have been grieving over my now 50 year old son given up when I was 16 and I am now 67. We had a very lovely reunion, and the d ay after the reunion wrote me a card and said, once again really nice meeting you, I knew then that was a sign that he did not want a relationship, we did agree to send a xmas card every year, but I started sending bday cards hand his wife and I became friendly through cards, She entered big time political races in florida, and all of a sudden the cards stopped after 11 years, I have been crushed, absolutely, even feeling suicidal, I had written a letter about 6 months before the cards stopped telling him time was passing by, he kept telling me at the reunion that he could not see me until his amom died, I guess I was disrespectful in not honoring his wish that we only exchange cards, I have never ever called in in the 15 years since we met and I only sent a few extra cards; I have almost been suicidal over this, wondering why I was cut off just like after 11 years, I have 2 grandchildren 15 and 17 I have never met, however, after reading all these posts, maybe the problem is me, I have gotten into counseling, she suggested writing and sending the tapae the Girls Who
    Went Away, but I did not do that either, I did email my d aughter in law and told her I had 2 malignant melanomas removed in the last month, but thought that was medical history thy needed to know. Maska, thank you in particular for your very mature comments for such young lady, I think I need to reexamine my overwhelming need for my son, thanks to all ,

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  43. Bob really is one heck of a special cat. He even brought peace to the comment section at FMF. :-)

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  44. Hello, I am a adoptee looking for some insight from moms. I have read many of the remarks from mothers having no choice about the fate of their babies, but what about the ones who were aware? The moms who actually held their baby and named them, then surrendered them for adoption. Are there any moms here that did that?

    I was conceived in the summer of 1969, born in a Catholic home for unwed mothers and stayed with the woman who gave birth to me for a week. During this time, she fed me, held me, and legally named me. After 7 days I was taken home by my parents.

    At 25 years old, I found her and called her. She was nice on the phone but 2 days later sent a letter that broke my heart. Sent me pictures of her and the three kids she had after me and said there was no further need for contact. Then I got a rotten letter from HER mother (my grandmother) stating this was not what they were promised and on and on. All of it was heartbreaking and I was devastated. Why was I forsaken? It haunted me.

    Forward to my 32nd birthday and who should surprise me with a phone call - my grandfather! He wanted to meet me. His statement to me was he didn't have a choice about me when I was born, or when I contacted his daughter while his wife was alive. His wife died a year before he called me. We met, had lunch, talked for hours. He even pinched my cheeks - said he did it to all the grandkids.
    He wanted to thank my parents for raising me - so we ALL went out to eat. Mom, Dad, me & boyfriend and our son who was 7 years old. He told both of his daughters about it.

    Directly after that he asked me to promise him that when my little sister turned 32 I would call her as he did me. My job was to tell her who I was and prove it, then "let it be". So I did in January of this year. She was surprised to say the least. Then she called her mom and dad who were in Florida for the winter. Then both brothers. All 3 of them had a hard time that it was mom who had another child. Their father had a problem because "nobody told him" that grampa met me 7 years before that.

    Anyway, a couple weeks later the oldest brother and the sister met me for lunch. The brother who is the "strong" one cried when he laid eyes on me in person. (my oldest son looks so much like him it's just creepy) The sister - little miss chatterbox was stunned into silence. Other than hair color and eye color, I am the spitting image of "our" mother, she looks like her father.
    From that point there were a couple text messages, then "I wont deny you exist but I cant process this". That was at the beginning of March. So I politely said goodbye and told her my door was open if she wanted to explore this at a later time. In May, her parents came home from Florida. This would be the first time they see each other face to face since I "dropped the bomb".
    (At the time of my conception, my mother was 18 and having an affair with her married boss who was 43. She brought him home to meet her parents and discuss my fate.)
    An added little funny - the brother and sister both have kids, all girls (I had boys) and the youngest one was given the name my mother named me at birth!

    Do I feel guilty about keeping a promise to my grandfather? No I don't, however I do feel like a pawn in a nasty chess game that has no winners. Doing harm to anyone is not my intention. My poor sister feels lied to by her parents (because she was), and I am the biggest "truth" ever to them.

    Any advise?

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    1. Juliet: Heart-breaking synopsis to read, and it sounds like your grandmother is part of the problem. I hope that you can have a relationship with your brother and sister, and maybe they will bring your natural mother around. I know this is painful and impossible to understand, but adoption does so much damage to so many people. Your mother included.

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    2. The fact that your natural mother named you, held you, and fed you doesn't mean that she had a choice. I named my daughter, born in 1966, held her and fed her. Then I walked out of the hospital without her. In 1969 when you were born in a Catholic Home for unwed mothers, it's unlikely that your 18 year old mother had any choice. The Home may have had a policy of having the "girls" care for their babies until the agency found a couple to adopt or the adoptive parents were ready to take the baby. There was a shortage of adoptive homes at that time which accounted for delays. Sometimes the baby wasn't placed for several months to assure that it wasn't defective. Some adoptive parents didn't want the responsibility of a new born. Some facilities thought it best for the child to stay with the mother for a period of time. Philomena in the movie by that name cared for her son for over three years. These delays didn't mean the mothers had a choice.

      When agencies began noticing that adopted children had behavioral problems they started moving the children to their adoptive homes sooner, thinking it would increase the likelihood of bonding and reduce problems.

      Once the adoption plan was made as in your case, with the grandmother's insistence, the adoption was going to go forward regardless of what the mother was permitted to do in the hospital.

      Before giving advice some clarification is necessary. It's unclear what happened after you met your siblings. Was it your mother or your sister who said she couldn't process this? Whose parents came from Florida? Why do you feel like a pawn? What do you want from these relationships?

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    3. It is my sister who said she couldn't process it. She was very sure she wanted to meet me. I asked her the day before if she really wanted to, because it changes everything. Obviously she had no idea the impact it would have.

      At our lunch, I showed them pictures and gave them some. The three of us took a "selfie" which was passed on to our mother by her. They showed me a few as well. It was nice. The brother "strong and silent" was very talkative and friendly. He and his wife named their youngest daughter after her grandmother, and it was the same name given to me at birth. (odd)
      The sister who is very chatty by text message could barely manage small talk in person. Poor thing was just stunned to look at me face to face.

      The brother and sister live in the same town, I live the next town over. We shop at the same stores, know some of the same people in different capacities, go to the same restaurants ect. I've known this for a long time and purposely avoided them in public, even though they had no idea who I was. To carry that secret was enormous and not even my secret!

      I have never met my mother, and to make this a little easier I will call her Sue. Sue lives in northern New England and like many goes to Florida for the winter and comes back in the summer - "snowbirds" She lives 45 minutes away when she is in this state.
      I feel like a pawn because I kept a promise to a sweet old man who knew he would be dead when I contacted her (sister). He KNEW she would want a sister and I believe his intentions were good for her. However, I also believe it was a big poke in the eye to Sue and her husband, and it was probably deserved. My grandfather was a Chaplain in the Air Force.
      Sue's husband was also in the Air Force and I was told by the sister he is a classic "adult child of an alcoholic". (I was born May 1970, they met in January 1972 and married in June 1972. Still married, 3 kids, 5 grand daughters) Two years after I met my grandfather, Sue and her husband moved in with him to take care of him. My contact ended. He died 2 days before my 40th birthday. The husband is furious that nobody told him grand father had contact with me. He knew about me before he married my mother, he knew Sue spoke to me on the phone 20 years ago. He did not know I spoke to Sue's sister and husband a few times also (who also lied about contact with my sister as she questioned everyone)

      What I wanted to explore is an adult relationship with my siblings. I feel terrible for my sister as she is discovering the depth of lies she was force fed. She said it was "just not natural" to even think she had a sister.
      I'm not sure how my brother feels because our only contact was that lunch. Apparently all correspondence goes through the sister.
      From my end, I have been rejected 4 times by the women in that family - grandmother, sister, and mother twice!
      As I am trying to honestly address these feelings is why I am inquiring here.

      One more thing, I was the second child adopted by my parents, my brother was born in 1967 and adopted through the same place. We had nuns come to our house and check on us until we were about 8 years old. This was to "make sure we were normal". It was certainly not a secret we were adopted, in fact it was painfully clear. We were allowed to talk about it, just didn't understand everything that came with it. Still don't.

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    4. Juliet, I'm confused about why you haven't met your natural mother. She may be offended if you contacted your siblings before attempting to contact her.

      I don't think you've been a pawn at all. I don't see that you've been used. You followed your grandfather's rather strange suggestion about contacting your sister when she turned 32. Your siblings just need to get used to the idea that they have a sister they didn't know.about. Unless your motrher told them flat out she had no more children, she didn't lie to them

      I didn't tell my raised daughters about their lost sister. They learned about her after she contacted me and we had been emailing for a month. Like your siblings, they needed time to absorb the information.

      Give your siblings some time. Write them and tell them you'd like to have a relationship but you understand this is all a shock.

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    5. Hi Jane. I did contact my mother 20 years ago and she did not want anything to do with me, and had no intentions of ever telling her kids about me. So I left it alone for several years. That was in 1995.
      In 2002 her father (my grandfather) called me to meet him, so I did. We went out to eat a few times and talked on the phone quite often for about a year. When he became weaker his daughter and husband moved in and contact with me was done. I believe he tried to get her to at least meet me, but she wouldn't.
      In 2011 I called her sister as I was in need of medical information (anything). This was not the first time we talked either.
      When Sue was first confronted with the question by her daughter (my sister) she did flat out deny me. The next day she was sent a picture of the signed surrender and release papers (same daughter) and had no choice but to tell the truth.

      Quite honestly I don't care if she is offended. I'm offended she could deny my existence! In fact that killed what little bit of respect I had left for her.

      Is it wrong to have an opportunity to meet my siblings? I don't have to meet Sue, and really don't want to at this point.

      Relinquishing a child is something that would absolutely break my heart and I don't know how any woman could without being forced. I can tell you I am 45 years old and the bond is still there - odd but there.

      I have left the door open to the siblings, they can contact me when and if they are ready. I will no longer make it a point to hide in the grocery store when I see them though. I will smile and keep walking---

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    6. I'm now understanding your situation better. Yes, smile and keep walking.

      Although this is not an excuse for your mother's behavior, it does point to the fact that ignorance about adoption is wide-spread. Mothers were told that an adopted child would be part of the adoptive family as if born to them. Mothers were told they could walk away and get on with their lives. When the adopted child appears, mothers may be frightened. I know I was, also thrilled. Mothers may be told that an adoptee who searches is unbalanced, a trouble-maker. An acquaintance whom I told about my daughter shortly after my daughter contacted me said "that girl should be ashamed of herself." This woman's son had an adopted daughter.

      The truth about adoption has not penetrated much of the country. That's one reason Lorraine and I write this blog.

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    7. Thank you for writing this blog!
      Your saying the same words that my mother told my sister " she is trouble, stay away from her. All she wants to do is hurt you because she is an unstable person"

      First of all - how would she even begin to know what kind of person I am?

      Second - if an adoptee is searching, it has not been entered into lightly. This is a very painful truth and only honesty will do from who we make contact with. We have been manipulated enough and we want the truth - whatever it is.

      I think my siblings will come around eventually. Until then I will give them space.

      As far as my mother - I'm trying to understand but I don't appreciate her making judgments about me to justify my beginning. The only thing I have from her is a "genetic code, a DNA blueprint" so if I'm unstable perhaps it came from her......just sayin'.

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  45. Julia Emily!!!
    I'm reading "Wake Up Little Suzie" by Rickie Solinger and there is a passage in this book that I'd like you to know about the 1950s adoptions. I'm "assuming" you are about 50 or so??

    A white unmarried mother from Pittsburg described her payment and her resulting social status this way:
    I am an unwed mother who kept her child. And I fear no hell after death, for I've had mine here on earth. Let no man or girl deceive herself-hell hath no punishment like the treatment people give a "fallen woman." The heartache, tortured thoughts, recriminations, fear, loneliness could not be put on paper. Neither can the scorn, insult and actual hat of self-righteous and ignorant people.

    Just saying, maybe this is "why" your mother, age 35, gave you up for adoption. They (society) back then was VERY "social status", including putting women in mental institutions if they thought of even keeping their babies.

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    1. The parents of actress Julie Mannix placed her in a state mental hospital when she became pregnant out of wedlock in 1963 and refused to have an abortion. She was confined in the state hospital for 6 months until she gave birth, and was forced to surrender the child for adoption. You can read more about the story in Redbook magazine at the link below.

      http://www.redbookmag.com/life/mom-kids/advice/a13113/adopted-daughter-found/

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    2. Lee: I am almost 60, and , yes, I know all about society in those miserable days.

      You just don't give away human beings. Sorry.

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    3. Ah, but Julia Emily, most of us who read and write here did just that, because of circumstances many of us have explained. Are we all condemned, or are you speaking just of your natural mother? You have a right to be angry at her, but you really do not know why she did what she did. The anger will probably never even touch her, but look at what it is doing to you, taking the joy out of your family life.

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    4. Many of us DID give away our babies, J.E.
      More often than not under compulsion, which is the point Robin is making.
      Sorry if it flew past your head.

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    5. Julia Emily, it is comments like that of yours that keeps many mothers from seeking reunion and hiding in the closet. Sorry.

      Just because you can't find a trace of your mother doesn't mean she doesn't think of you (if she's alive), or that all mothers are terrible people which you seem to think.

      Sorry? I think if your mother appeared out of the blue you might hang up on her. Just because your adoptive parents are jerks doesn't mean we are too. Sorry? Sorry for who? Sorry for what? For knocking all mothers who gave up their children? No matter what?

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    6. Julia Emily:
      I have been thinking about you. Did you say in another post that you do know your mother's name? I was not adopted (I'm a b-mother), but my family's heritage is a mystery, and my mother had a lot of stories, most of which were not true (she tended to be a fantasist). I knew nothing about my grandparents on either side. Anyway, I often do searches hoping to turn up something and I ran across a website that has US Census records, and found my mother's family when she was a girl.
      I was able to see the names of her mother & father (which I didn't know), and where they were born (which I didn't know). The census only goes to 1930, but perhaps you can find out about your mother's parents and siblings, and make more progress going around that way in your search. It may not be of much help, but it did help me. My parents were both born in the 'teens and I found both sets of grandparents and siblings! It sounds like your mother would fit into that time-frame.

      http://us-census.mooseroots.com/

      their front page has a few samples of what a search would look like. I was able to see the info for free. I imagine for more comprehensive info they must have some payment requirements, but nothing required to read the census ledger, see the names and places of birth for grandparents and my parents' siblings.

      Hope this can be of some help. Even a little help might be encouraging.

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    7. Thanks, but I have visited this site. I have visited dozens of other sites. I have used search angels and petitioned the court. I have done DNA. All in a quest for information that belongs to me, but I am not allowed to have.

      I do not want a relationship with anyone. I am not going to turn anyone's life upside down, or blackmail anyone. I am not interested in anyone's inheritance. I want to see the documents that outline the beginning of my life. That is all I want. But, it seems, I will eventually die without ever having the chance to see them..

      If adoption, complete with lies, deceit, manipulation and corruption, had set out to destroy me, it has succeeded. But thanks anyway.

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  46. Whether or not your natural mother named and held you was likely not her choice and does not indicate anything but the policy of the home and agency and hospital she was dealing with. Some never let the mother even know the sex of the child, others insisted that the mother hold and name the child. The mothers had very little choice either way. Don't put too much weight on the fact that your mother named and held you either as a positive or negative indication of her feelings at the time of surrender. Some very loving mothers were not allowed to see their babies, some who were fairly indifferent held and named the child. It really was seldom the mom's choice either way, we just did what we were told to do for the most part.

    What matters more is how she is reacting now, and the complicated situation with the rest of the family. No advice there, just sympathy that it has all become such a mess. I hope you can work something out with your brother and sister, mom might be a lost cause with so many lies in the background and the evil grandma situation. You are not at fault here, it is clear you did the best you could.

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  47. Thank you Maryanne.
    Both of the grandparents have passed away now (2001 & 2010), and my adoptive parents both passed away in 2012. I also think mom is a lost cause.

    I feel bad for her because everything about me is painful to her, my whole life has caused her despair. My wish is for her to face the 800lb gorilla in the room and show it the door. I don't know if she has it in her to do it but I would think it would be easier than carrying it. Painful yes, worth it to let go of it - YES! Why not just be honest with everyone who cares now? That is the part I don't understand. Life is too short, why be so sad through all of it? That is not living, that is existing to spread your misery on others forever. It doesn't have to be that way.

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    1. Hi Juliet - I got to name my baby and see her before I left the home for unwed mothers; this was in 1969. She was born May 14th, I signed papers June 4th, and she was adopted June 29th. In between her birth and my signing papers the doctors found out she had a hole in her heart; and moved her to the "special needs" list for adoption. I had thought I would keep her, but than her medical condition came up and with no money, I "knew" I couldn't keep her. I was 20 when I had her.

      I too don't understand "why" my daughter doesn't want contact... so I can see why you are asking that about your mother. I know that when I first found my daughter, SO MANY memories from that time back than came swooshing back. Unbelievable how that worked! So, I guess what I'm trying to say, maybe your mother really didn't want to give you up, but had no other choice and all those memories came back when you first contacted her.
      I wish you luck! I have now waited about 7 years since last contact with my daughter! I still have hope!

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    2. Hi Lee - Did you contact your daughter or did she contact you? How did your first meeting go - did you see her? Did she stay in the system because of her medical condition?

      I can give you a bit of perspective from this end if you wish. This is just my feelings and I truly don't mean any offense by what I say, just trying to help gain understanding from both ends.

      There is a lot of resentment, and an enormous amount of anger about many things in life. The resentment is not all you (mother) but the only thing that will take it away is you. The anger is ever present and sometimes overwhelming. I don't mean "I'm upset boo hoo go away", I mean " get the hell out of my sight before I knock your teeth down your throat" kind of angry. Not directly at you (mother) but certainly at anyone else who dare judge this kind of pain(everyone). It is unresolved grief and it is powerful. You (mother) are the only thing that can take it away, but only when I am ready to accept that you want to take it away for me AND for you. No matter how angry I seem all contact from you(mother) needs to be gentle as everything about you is painful beyond measure. I don't want to be heartbroken over you forever, I want you to love me even if we are not in each others life. I don't want to feel like the "forsaken bastard child" but I deeply do. Unaccepted and full of rage. Does not matter how many other people love me in my world, I want my mom and nothing else will do. Bull in a china shop, use extreme caution!

      Lee if I could offer some advise - send her a birthday card every year. Birthday's are terrible and that would offer a bright ray of sunshine. (By terrible I mean anxiety attacks, heartburn, serious depression, isolation and heavy drinking)
      Since her birthday is close to Mother's day (also terrible) like mine it is a double whammy in May. It sucks as I'm sure it does for you as well. She wants to know you, she is just afraid if she does you will go away again and she can't deal with that twice in a lifetime. That would throw her over the edge.

      Did you ever wake up have something go wrong first thing and your whole day is miserable? That is kind of what it is like, but it's your whole life not just one day. Don't give up on her. Send her a Christmas card too. I know it sounds so simple, but just to know she is on your mind will do her broken heart good. Small steps, and God bless you for trying now. She deeply loves you, she is just afraid of discovering how much.

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    3. About the advice to keep sending cards for Christmas and birthdays...I did it because my son never replied but never told me not to nor sent anything back. If he had done that, I would have stopped. I don't think we can assume to know how another person thinks or reacts to contact.If Lee's daughter secretly wants to hear from her and be reassured that she is loved, that can be positive, but if she really wants to be left alone, a birthday or Christmas card can be a scary and upsetting reminder that the stalker is still out there and has not given up. Think about being looked up by an old boyfriend who you broke up with suddenly sending you unwanted cards and love notes. That does not make your day, it ruins it. Not all adoptees deeply love their natural mothers, some really just want to be left alone. The really hard part is not knowing which your child is. Lee, if you decide to send a card or email or letter, do it once and wait for the response. If there is no response, you might do it again next year. But if it comes back or your daughter asks you to leave her alone, that is what you have to do.

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    4. Juliet wrote:"She deeply loves you, she is just afraid of discovering how much."

      This may be true,or it may not. I think it is dangerous to give a first mom false hope that her relinquished child is pining away for her but is just too brainwashed, traumatized, scared, whatever, to show it. That's the same as saying that EVERY first mother was devastated at the loss of her child and is eager to reunite. Given the number of rejections I've heard of, I don't believe that.

      I recall from Lee's previous comments that her daughter made it clear that she doesn't want any contact. If that is in fact correct then I think Lee has to respect her daughter's wishes and not contact her. When someone violates our boundaries it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to ever trust them. As long as Lee's daughter has Lee's contact information, I think Lee should wait to hear from her. If Lee's daughter feels that she cannot trust Lee to respect her wants and wishes that could put a damper on any possible future relationship, should her daughter ever change her mind.

      Just my .02

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    5. Just to clarify - I'm not trying to give false hope. If your afraid of discovering something perhaps you wont try. Not pining away by any means, just always aware of the loss and what it will take to address it.
      I deeply love my mother, doesn't mean I want to meet her.
      I did not see Lee's previous comments.

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  48. Juliet, you and I have a lot in common. My advice: Be honest and go for what you want. Don't be afraid if what you want changes, or if what others want changes. With these relationships, enjoy what you can in the moment, each moment, now and in the future whenever possible. You have so much to deal with - your own feelings about everyone you are meeting. You cannot take responsibility for their feelings too. Even your sister. You can love her and want a relationship with her and if she wants to talk to you about any of it, you can be there for her. But the stage was not set by you or her, you are not doing anything to her. And it sounds to me that you are making your own decisions, not being a pawn. These are normal family dynamics at any rate.

    It's really hard, i have a sister and am in a very similar situation - i have an older adopted bro (1965 and i am 1968) and my bio-maternal grandparents held completely opposite views as to my existence, too, grandmother against me, grandfather in favor of me. Very strange!

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    1. Hi Kaisa - trying to be honest but it feels like I'm the only one trying. I guess I just need to talk about it with those who can understand it.

      I can certainly not bother any of them again if that is their wish, but we live in fairly close proximity so they may see me when they least expect it. And since we know some of the same people - can you imagine if someone else told you about your lost sibling?
      It is really hard. Not sure what any of them think at this point as there is no communication.
      Perhaps the women in the family are threatened by other women. Grandfathers and brothers are special. I have an older adopted brother also (1967) who has no interest in searching. Never has.
      Hope it all works out for you.

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    2. Thanks, and you too Juliet ! If you ever wanna compare notes and trade emails about this subject just me and you, let me know, i would welcome it. I already type so much here about my situation i feel very indulged - it may not seem like it at times but i do try to keep in mind that this forum is for first mothers and not me personally. So if you wanna chat let me know ! I'm a good listener :)

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    3. I would love that, thank you.

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    4. Juliet, you can contact me at an email account that i set up just for this purpose:
      kaisa.jgj at gmail.com. Don't forget the period between the kaisa and the jgj. Look forward to chatting with you ! :)

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  49. About sending cards when you hear nothing in response: My advice is somewhat different because my daughter and I had a relationship that would be very close and then she would pull back and there would be no communication--actually this didn't start until I knew her for more than a decade--her mid twenties, thirties--and I found her when she was 15. There was only one year when I did not contact her on her birthday--she fell off the planet it appeared to me--would never answer her phone etc, told her daughter that there were never going to be in touch with me again (my granddaughter rolled her eyes at that one when she told me). So one year I did not call or send anything. After so many years of closeness, I was not willing to be the doormat that sent her a card and said by its very arrival said, Oh, treat me like shit, I get it, that's okay....

    Everyone has to decide if they can handle sending a card that is never acknowledged. Maryanne did, and did it for years, but I think I might have gotten fed up--because I would have always hoped for a response. Not going there, not sending a card, is kinda like the adoptees who have it drummed into them that they are not supposed to contact their birth/natural mothers because they are "nothing" to them, the adopted. And then they put thoughts of doing that away, like putting a hat box on a top shelf in the closet and forgetting about it.

    If it is really going to kill you if you send a card and it is not acknowledged, I wouldn't do it. How much punishment are we expected to take?

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    1. Of course, everyone has a different tolerance for being ignored, and nobody should do anything that makes them feel worse. I happen to be a very patient person, and I never thought that my son meant me ill even when he ignored me. I always put my kids first as much as I could, and tried to treat them as I would want to be treated. Sending anything in the situation where there has been no response requires getting into the mindset that a response is not expected nor required. It is part of the nearly impossible task of getting rid of expectations and focusing on what you feel right doing without resentment and expectation of payback. Not for everybody and certainly not right in every situation. Some rejections are never going to turn around, and after many years it may be better to just let it go than pursue a lost cause. Each person must decide for themselves when enough is enough.

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    2. Cards - I hate the fishing. it ruins holidays for me.

      Growing up, holidays & birthdays were always about my amother, whatever she wanted. She threw fits & manipulated everyone in our nuclear family and anyone in the larger family that showed up. I couldnt do anything right, buy the right thing or the best thing & of course I never showed the proper gratitude for whatever I got. They are still unpleasant days even though I'm 2000 miles away. Christmas season, forgettaboutit.

      With my first mother, and father, I started with the cards, as I was young & stupid & good, or trying to be good. Later I moved across the country, I had a job & was making more (any) money & could afford to send flowers for mother's day, I sent my mother a nice bouquet, & never got a response. I spoke with her on the phone a week later, & at the end of the conversation, her having never brought it up, I asked her about the flowers. Did you get them? Did you like them? She said, oh yes, I just figured you assumed that. Well why didn't you say anything about them? Oh holidays & cards & stuff arent important in my family.

      Bingo ! I'm off the hook. I had never considered such a philosophy. Immediately I bought into it. (I now think that it was complete bs - that the flowers were some sort of trigger for her, but I didn't know that then. She has forgotten all about that philosophy now.)

      But I live by it. Even now, when a gift or card or email or text or voicemail or FB comment is sent - the clock begins to tick. How long before I reply? it is some sort of test or indication of how I feel. To this I say - BS !

      If you wanna send something, great. If you wanna know my response, call me !
      Don't measure the time between the UPS timestamp & my reply - all the while noticing that something stupid that I posted on Facebook has a timestamp in between ! I feel that ALL my parents use this send-and-wait tactic as an attempt to manipulate me & test me & I fail miserably every time. Sometimes on purpose - because I'm so sick of it ! Why don't I call? Because i'm angry that you have had nothing to say to me, too busy to talk when I call, for the past however many weeks, but the instant I get a card in the mail or a gift, I'm supposed to drop everything & get a hold of you ! I don't enjoy being angry, I don't want you to hear it in my voice, but I'm not that good at hiding it. So the delay could be just that - I'm cooling off until I can put on a pretty face & say thank you !! My aparents are experts at sending overtly passively aggressive messages in their cards and gifts so I am usually cooling down from that before I call too - it is a stupid little game but I don't see a way out. I have decided to deal with it the best I can & they can do the same.


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    3. On the flip side, I never send cards in the mail anymore. I may hand you a card in person in lieu of a gift or with a gift. If I have been on chatty terms with someone, I will send a text or an email to say Happy Birthday or I might send it out of the blue but only if I feel with some certainty that the recipient will not feel compelled to reply, certainly not on a deadline. But I prefer to just call ! I never go fishing. My gift purchasing and sending with adults is random - no matter what i do it will be wrong so I might as well do what I want. If I find something I think is great - then I grab it & send it. If I don't find anything, better luck next holiday. But I prefer to give gifts on non-holidays quite frankly.

      I feel as adults we shouldn't view gifts & greetings as compulsory, & should be able to enjoy the little surprises along the way - but I know I'm in the minority on this. I figure most adults have plenty of kids to keep track of & don't need to be tracking all of the special days in the lives of every adult they know. So, if my best friend or even my husband forgets the occasion, I'm not keeping score. My husband rarely to never buys me anything & I love it.

      The only gifts or cards with money I send like clockwork are for the nieces, nephews and godkids, and if I get a reply, great, but usually I'm on the phone within a few days' window of time learning about how their day went anyway. Nowadays with national coverage I figure there is no excuse to wait.

      I know some of you are thinking who knew this would be Kaisa's snapping point but it really is ! hahaha

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    4. Re. snapping point.
      I think adoptees and first mothers should feel able to snap at some point.
      It's what enables us to snap back into shape :)

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    5. It is so easy for sending/not sending gifts or cards to devolve into passive/aggressive manipulation in many families, and especially in reunion. From both sides, we tend to read too much into what may be just different attitudes towards holidays and gifts, not a personal affront. Sometimes, as Freud said, "a cigar is just a cigar", not something to read deep arcane hidden meaning into, even in reunion relationships where we are always second guessing what the other person is thinking or feeling and often can't ask.

      My mom's family was big on birthdays, my dads was not. This was a constant source of friction.I had to explain to the girlfriend of one of my sons that his being quiet and undemonstrative does not mean he does not love her, but that he shows his love in other ways. My husband, like yours,Kaisa, rarely gives gifts to anyone including me, and I have learned to accept that. The kids I raised sometimes send something, sometimes call, sometimes do nothing. I like sending gifts but also prefer to just pick something up I know a friend or family member will like, and always feel pressured at holidays.

      Mike has sent me some amazing gifts and homemade cards for Christmas, but not every year. The things he has sent are thoughtful and I love them and I know he does not feel he has to do anything, nor do my other kids.I like sending gifts so I do, but hate it when it becomes a chore or obligation. A good thing to remember for anyone in reunion is to never do anything to elicit a response. That is manipulation and easily seen for what it is, and for the most part does not work.

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  50. Juliet said:
    Hi Lee - Did you contact your daughter or did she contact you? How did your first meeting go - did you see her? Did she stay in the system because of her medical condition?

    I can give you a bit of perspective from this end if you wish. This is just my feelings and I truly don't mean any offense by what I say, just trying to help gain understanding from both ends.

    I searched for her. And no, no meeting at all. Just exchanged a couple of letters. She went from the unwed mothers' hospital to foster care for 18 days, and than when I signed the adoption papers on June 4th, she was adopted June 29th. So she didn't stay in the system for very long.

    continuing Juliet:
    You (mother) are the only thing that can take it away, but only when I am ready to accept that you want to take it away for me AND for you. No matter how angry I seem all contact from you(mother) needs to be gentle as everything about you is painful beyond measure. I don't want to be heartbroken over you forever, I want you to love me even if we are not in each others life. I don't want to feel like the "forsaken bastard child" but I deeply do. Unaccepted and full of rage. Does not matter how many other people love me in my world, I want my mom and nothing else will do. Bull in a china shop, use extreme caution!

    When I wrote the 10-page letter to her, she had already told me she did not need another mother, and I told her I just wanted to be her "friend", not another mother to her, as she has a mother. She did say she has loved me for all her life.

    Lee if I could offer some advise - send her a birthday card every year. Birthday's are terrible and that would offer a bright ray of sunshine. (By terrible I mean anxiety attacks, heartburn, serious depression, isolation and heavy drinking)
    Since her birthday is close to Mother's day (also terrible) like mine it is a double whammy in May. It sucks as I'm sure it does for you as well. She wants to know you, she is just afraid if she does you will go away again and she can't deal with that twice in a lifetime. That would throw her over the edge.


    No, I won't be sending her any cards for her birthday or Christmas; she has made that very clear to me to NOT contact her until she decides to contact me. It could be next year or never - her words. So I'm not going to do that. I'm now leaving it up to her. She has my address (where I have lived for the past 25 years and have no intention of moving in the near future), my phone # and my email address. She has lots of ways to contact me - I'm leaving it up to her!
    Thank you for your words thought Juliet!

    Robin said:
    I recall from Lee's previous comments that her daughter made it clear that she doesn't want any contact. If that is in fact correct then I think Lee has to respect her daughter's wishes and not contact her. When someone violates our boundaries it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to ever trust them. As long as Lee's daughter has Lee's contact information, I think Lee should wait to hear from her. If Lee's daughter feels that she cannot trust Lee to respect her wants and wishes that could put a damper on any possible future relationship, should her daughter ever change her mind.

    Exactly! Thanks for your 2 cents worth!

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  51. Lee I didn't know, I'm sorry. At least she said she loved you all her life - that is a plus. Be patient.

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    1. Oh I am Juliet - patient! LOL! Shoot - it's been 7 years already...

      and that last line to you should have said - Thank you for your thoughtful words, Juliet! My brain was running ahead of my fingers!

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    2. Lee - as you know certain life events make you look at things differently.
      I honestly don't know what I would have done had I been in your shoes at the time, all I can offer is perspective from this end.

      A broken heart is a broken heart no matter which end your on. One tries to mend it and the other end is trying to protect it from being broken any further. You and I are both at the mending stage and our "others" are in protective mode.

      My adoptive parents both died from cancer in 2012 - 94 days apart. Different cancers - but both gone within 6 months of their diagnosis. Talk about heartbroken and alone - wow. My point is - my view of mothers has now changed again.

      Some adoptees are oozing with resentment over being placed for adoption. I was for a very long time. I have to assume your daughter's silence is your punishment for her heartache. It is really a test to see if you will still be there when SHE is ready. It's about control. We never had a choice or a chance - but now we do. What she doesn't accept is that maybe you never had a choice or a chance - she can't see that past her resentment. But she will in time.

      Remember that we feel rejected and abandoned by the woman who gave us life. It's a terrible feeling and it makes us rather odd to everyone who knows us. We are not warm and fuzzy, we are cold and rigid "unlovable control freaks". Not capable of bonding or sympathizing with others at times because we are violent rage monsters. Only she can put that to rest not you. You have to wait until she is ready to move on.
      I will say it again - she is afraid of discovering how much you mean to her. She may never have the personality you want her to have, but she is your child. There is no greater love in this world than the love of a mother, however there is no greater loss either. Her silence is the trauma talking.

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    3. Juliet wrote:" We are not warm and fuzzy, we are cold and rigid "unlovable control freaks". Not capable of bonding or sympathizing with others at times because we are violent rage monsters."

      Juliet, I am fine with you describing yourself that way, but please do not generalize and say this is the way all adoptees are. People who know me IRL most often describe me as kind and caring. I find it insulting that you stereotype adoptees in such a negative way.

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    4. Juliet said above:
      Some adoptees are oozing with resentment over being placed for adoption. I was for a very long time. I have to assume your daughter's silence is your punishment for her heartache. It is really a test to see if you will still be there when SHE is ready. It's about control. We never had a choice or a chance - but now we do. What she doesn't accept is that maybe you never had a choice or a chance - she can't see that past her resentment. But she will in time.

      Remember that we feel rejected and abandoned by the woman who gave us life. It's a terrible feeling and it makes us rather odd to everyone who knows us. We are not warm and fuzzy, we are cold and rigid "unlovable control freaks". Not capable of bonding or sympathizing with others at times because we are violent rage monsters. Only she can put that to rest not you. You have to wait until she is ready to move on.
      I will say it again - she is afraid of discovering how much you mean to her.
      She may never have the personality you want her to have, but she is your child. There is no greater love in this world than the love of a mother, however there is no greater loss either. Her silence is the trauma talking.


      Have to put this letter in context - I had confused my daughter's "step-mother" from her "amom" and I sent a letter to the step-mother first, until I did a deeper search (not me, but a search angel), and then I sent the same (almost!) letter to the a-mom and my daughter - separate letter enclosed for her. I received first a letter from her amom saying "her daughter had received the letter from me and has shared it with her and adad, and it's up to her what happens next. I ask that you giver her some time to process this, as it has disturbed her immensely; and that you will not pursue your search any further until you hear from her." This was in October and hadn't heard anything in December and sent a Christmas card to her mother/dad, just because I thought it would be nice to do that.

      Here's an excerpt from bdaughter's first letter to me:
      "This is a very difficult letter to write. I am actually very angry with you for contacting my family so persistently. I did not want to respond to any of your letters, and was hoping that by ignoring them you would leave us alone, but you continued to send letters, and a Christmas card after my mother asked you not to contact us again, so here I am pleading with you to not contact me or ANY of my family again."
      Me: at the time I had only send the 2 letters (to stepmom & amom & the Christmas card; so I don't "think" that was persistent - ?? anyway...

      oops - I have to continue on another post, as it says I have to many characters, I think! ?? LOL!

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    5. her letter continued:
      "Please know that I am truly grateful for that you gave me up for adoption. And I am sure that was never an easy decision for you. However, you made a decision 37 years ago that you were not going to be a mother. You made an agreement that you would not have contact with your birth child. And now you have gone against that agreement. You are really complicating our lives."
      Me: I did explain to her in my 10-page letter that I NEVER signed any kind of agreement to not search or have contact with my adult child. I told her I could send a copy of this "agreement" to her; I only surrendered my "parental rights" to her.
      continuing her letter:
      "I never had any choice in the matter. But now that I am an adult, my decision is to not to have contact with you at this time. I have always been very happy with my parents, and they have always made me feel very special. The adoption was never a secret in our live-I have always known. They were also very instrumental in my knowing about my >>> heritage (I'll leave this blank-to personal). We also went to several >>> festivals throughout my childhood. I plan to visit >>> someday.
      As I stated in the paragraph above, I do not wish to have contact with you at this time. Perhaps that will change as I get older, or have children of my own. However, I am very fortunate to have wonderful parents, and at this time, I do not wish to have more parents. I am sorry if this hurts your feelings. But please understand that this is my wish. I have never tried to find you because I am very comfortable with who I am, and I have always felt like I have all the information I needed to know about you (except medical). Your letters only made me angry and upset, because you went against the agreement."
      I did give her medical info in my 10-page letter, plus her birth, etc. BUT I did NOT go against ANY agreement!! Gaah!!
      So as you can tell - she is a happy adoptee and doesn't need me... maybe some day she will change her mind!
      Thanks again for your words, Juliet

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    6. To Robin - it was not my intention to insult you.
      Most people say I am very kind and gentle as well. The reality is I am ALMOST as sensitive as you, but I was speaking about me not everyone in general.

      The "unlovable rage monster" was a description for others to understand that side of us. Don't know if you admit to having that anger, and I am not trying to stereotype everyone as we are all different. One more thing, I came to this blog to talk with birth mothers and gain perspective, not to justify my responses to you.

      At Lee - I wish I could give you a hug, you hang in there sweetheart.

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    7. Lee, my instincts tell me, she is walking the tightrope with her parents due to their divorce. she said she has all the parents she can handle right now. i believe that. i also think that her parents or at least some of them read the letter she wrote before she sent it to you and that is why her verbage about how she is upset with you, without being specific, is so stilted ("you went against the agreement" is very stuffy language imho. also the admission that she was always told she was adopted - another clue imho) she says outright that you are complicating OUR lives - i have to assume, parents, and possibly siblings and who knows who else in the family. she is having difficulty maneuvering stormy weather.

      she says she is sorry if it hurts your feelings and i take that as a plea to you to be patient. she does not sound like a 'happy' adoptee to me. A happy, healthy adoptee at peace with the decision to never look up her first mom would not mind to talk with you on the phone, since you did contact her, and just say hi, i'm ok, everything worked out, but i've gotta tell ya i'm just not big into being in contact with you at this point in my life.

      i agree with Juliet's instinct on this point: she may be afraid of discovering how much you could mean to her. that could complicate her life. i'm not crazy about Juliet's description about adoptees in that section but i agree with the point about control, too. but not the punishment. saying no contact is an element of control she has over her whole situation, the situation of how to deal with multiple parents. even if you will not be playing the role of a mother, you are still her parent in her heart. the drive to protect and respect mom (you) could be operating.

      i remember at one point in my reunion a bio family member mentioned the fact that i was an optional family member. this was news to me.. but i was pretty green to all of it at the time. i realized that my mother and many members of that family thought of building a relationship with me as something optional, bonus, it was their option and right to do so but also to put on hold at any time their lives got too busy. as if that had been the meaning of my adoption, to just make me optional and not like a real member. they seemed surprised when i was a bit upset about that ! and i remember one of them was downright amused that i didn't feel the same way about them, that i didn't see them as optional ! but the point i'm trying to make is, maybe your daughter sees putting you on hold as a legitimate option, due to the nature of your relationship so far. i don't say that to be mean, i'm just exploring. but, i don't think that is the same as trying to punish you.

      i could be right or wrong about the putting on hold but there could be so many other reasons equally understandable that she could need to put you on hold and to ask you to understand that, and i really read that into her words, but i don't read animosity or the wish to punish you.

      just my take. good luck i really wish you well and i hope that she will contact you in the future, Lee <3

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    8. Juliet wrote:"One more thing, I came to this blog to talk with birth mothers and gain perspective, not to justify my responses to you."

      And I have been welcomed at this blog by both Jane and Lorraine and can leave responses to other commenters as I see fit. I do disagree with a lot of what you say and I will continue to put in my two cents when I feel I have a worthwhile pov on a topic. Responding to each other, adding to, agreeing and disagreeing is pretty much what FMF's comment section is all about. It is up to our bloggers to decide whether or not they will publish any comments that are sent to them for moderation.

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    9. Lee, in reading the letter your daughter sent you, I'm reminded of letters other mothers have shared with us. I'm wondering if there is a template out there which adoption agencies give to adoptees or adoptive parents. Fill in the blanks and send it off.

      Your daughter's over re-action -- one letter and a Christmas card do not persistence make -- and insistence you agreed to no contact suggests others things going on. She wants to deny she is a bastard, something several adoptees have confided makes them feel ashamed. Wants to deny she is not a "real" member of her adoptive family. Convinced without knowing anything about her natural family that they are low down scum and adoption washed herself clean of them..Afraid contact with you would destroy her relationship with the adoptive family. Fear that it would cost her her inheritance. Afraid to be her own person.

      I grieve for you and other rejected natural mothers. It's so sad and so unnecessary. Not much you can do now but force yourself to put aside thoughts of her lest they take over too much of your life.

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  52. Dear Cindy, Mary Ann and Heartbroken: One of you remarked that we BSE moms will soon be gone from the face of the earth. I remember being on that delivery table experiencing a precipitous birth and just asking God to let me die, I remember an aide walking by with a needle in her hand and I just grabbed for her and told her I could not stand it any longer, At that point people in the delivery room realized that my baby was being born after only 2 hours so they shoved a gas mask in my face and I thought I was suffocating, After they got through with me they had sewed me up so lopsided I had to sit around for 2 weeks in the Florence Crittenden home with a horrible infection and unrelenting pain, I remember one of the ladies on the "Four Birthmothers" video saying" I have to cherish the memory of that young 16 year old girl who had absolutely nobody to stand up for her, and so now I honor her strength for what she was able to endure", I sob buckets whenever I watch that, we need to honour our souls and beings for what we did endure, we survive through one another's stories."

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    1. Oh Marsha, your experience was so terrible. Mine was pretty bad but nothing like yours. I can't watch that Four Birthmothers video either without tearing up immediately. Honor yourself for what you went through, and try to find joy in the small moments of life. Make the decision to be happy, or at least at peace. many mental hugs today.

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  53. Thank you Marsha, your experience was also worse than mine, but none of us were treated very well in labor and delivery back in the day. Yes, we did endure and survive, one way or another, and that is worth something. I do not think I could even watch that video, so depressing. I'd rather look forward than back.

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