' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Heart to Heart

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Heart to Heart

I spent the weekend before last in Denver with a charming group of about 30 mothers who came together for a few days to share their stories, their pain, and their hopes. These women met through an online support group, Heart To Heart (hearttwoheart@yahoogroups.com), and have been coming together each year since 2003. Next year H2H, as they refer to it, will meet in Boston.

Many of the women were younger than I; a few young enough to be my daughter. Some had forged strong relationships with their excised child although others had been rejected and one had not been able to find her child. The younger women did not appear to have the same “hang up” about being pregnant “out of wedlock“ that women of my generation had.

Their reasons for surrendering their infants, however, were the same. “Don’t come home with that baby,” they were told. “If you love your child, you will give him away.” “You’re too young to be a mother.” "You’ll forget and get on with your life.”

The H2H agenda was simple: A trip to the mountains with great views of the rocky peaks when the clouds parted; an afternoon ceremony honoring ourselves for the births of our children; and a buffet dinner. We received small mementos including three CDs with songs of motherhood and empowerment. “Lullaby” by the Dixie Chicks; “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan; “Mother and Child Reunion” by Paul Simon; and many others.

It was a sweet and sad day.

Sweet because these women were so supportive; they put aside inevitable personality conflicts to comfort each other.

Sad because their presence was a reminder that the carnage of adoption is continuing. I wish I had known these women before they signed away their children so I could have warned them. Would they have listened to me? I question whether I would have listened to Lorraine or Carol Schaefer or Meredith Hall or Pat Taylor or any of the other mothers who preceded me. I fear that we mothers are modern day Cassandras, doomed to tell the truth but never to be believed.

PS Regarding Linda’s post, I knew another mother whose sister cozied up to her daughter and the two of them cut her out. The sister’s reason may have been jealousy; she never married and had no children. The daughter may have been using the sister to get back at her mother. It was also a way for the daughter to maintain a connection with her birth family without conceding anything.


  1. "you'll forget and get on with your life".
    I hate them for saying that. The Adoption Industry, the Christian(?)clergy. I hate them.

  2. Hi Lorraine,

    I had a similar experience attending the CUB retreat near San Diego. There were women (and men) of all ages getting together to share their adoption experiences which were varied. There is something about an in-person gathering that cannot be replicated on the internet.

    There was one birthmother there old enough to be my mother, with her daughter who is my age, and women young enough to be my daughters. There were 19 adoptees and I think 5 birthfathers as well as lots of mothers. As well as all ages, there were gay and straight, born-again Christians, Jews, atheists,yet everyone got along and learned about shared adoption issues, joys and pains.

    I was happy not to attend the workshop for rejected or stalled reunions this year, but heard it was great and validating for those in disappointing reunions. The workshop I did attend on ongoing relationships was interesting and helpful, as were the panels, and the opportunity to swim in the Pacific was wonderful!

    I think it well worth it for any group that communicates on-line most of the time to get to some in-person meetings as well. There is nothing like it, large or small.

    There will be a CUB retreat on the East Coast next fall, AAC is in Cleveland in March, and I understand the Heart2heart people meet every year as well.



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