' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Be thankful for the people with you

Friday, November 27, 2015

Be thankful for the people with you

Thanksgiving 2014 at Lorraine's house --Lorraine's brother Tom (next to her), wife Judy, and daughters Sasha (front left, and Adrienne, right of Lorraine)
This morning, the morning after turkey and all the rest, take a moment and be thankful for the people in your life--the ones who know you and cherish you for who you are and what you mean to them. For a time, at least, do not focus on who was missing at your family table, but the people in front of you.

If there are some far away, give them a call and say hello, thinking about you, if yesterday you were too busy.

I know full well what it is like to go through holidays with someone missing out there. Adoptees wonder if their mothers are thinking about them, and mothers who relinquished their children are thinking if they ever think about them. I certainly always thought about my daughter when she wasn't there. We got to share too few holidays together. But that is the reality of adoption for birth parents and relinquished children. We can hope that they are loved in the bosom of their new families and are having a good holiday with them.

I spent yesterday morning baking pies (killer apple and pumpkin, home made crust of course!), dressing and turkey. Cranberry sauce with lime and orange had been made ahead of time. A friend who was joining us brought sweet potatoes, some white potatoes he called "sliding potatoes (they were oven roasted--in his oven), and the best Brussels sprouts I have ever had--sliced thin, lightly sauteed with with lots of lemon, lemon zest and cumin.

Yesterday my husband and I spent the day with his daughter and family. Somehow the photo didn't get taken at dinner but the one below was taken on Friday morning. This was taken on delay with the camera propped up on the baffle on the big feeder. The shot above was taken by my sister-in-law's Judy's son, who would be sitting where that extra dinner plate is.

Yes, of couse I miss my daughter. My granddauther Britt and I spoke on the phone in the morning (she's about to graduate with a degree in art education), as she was about to bake a pumpkin pie herself. I sent her my mother's recipe. And I spoke to my friend Jennifer in Michigan also (the daughter of the young man I almost married)* and my brothers, also in Michigan...and enjoyed with day with the family and friends in front of me. Focus on what you have, not who you are missing.--lorraine

The day after Thanksgiving with Tony and his daughter and family.
*Letters Lead to an Alternative Universe Daughter


Hole In My Heart: memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption
By Lorraine Dusky

"A wonderful book! Through this memoir Lorraine Dusky does an amazing job weaving not only her life story but an impressive history of adoption reform and the political climate impacting it. Highly recommended".--Betsie Norris, Adoptee in Ohio who led the movement to change the law and let almost all adoptees in the state gain their original birth certificates. 

thank you for ordering from amazon through the first mother forum portal! 


  1. And if we are making any progress at all, even just within ourselves, not involving other people, I think we can be thankful. After 1 year in reunion, I can say that it has been one long panic attack for me, and the last few weeks have been particularly bad. There is a wild pendulum swinging back and forth between extreme joy and extreme dread. I wish this situation were easier, and that there were something in between.

    However, today I went to Baby Gap and bought a birthday gift for my grandson (birthday coming up shortly). Last year I tried to do the same, and felt faint and like I was going to pass out, and had to leave the store abruptly. This year, I felt like a stranger in a strange land - clothes for small children? I avoid babies and small children if I can, I don't even hold them if someone shows me their baby, and I didn't pick up my grandson at all or touch him, until close to the end of our visit last Spring. I was afraid to, and they did not ask me to (thank goodness). I also did not hug my son, although we hadn't seen each other in 35 years, and he didn't hug me. I hugged him once as we said goodbye.

    A few weeks ago my son and his wife came to visit my husband and me. There was some hugging, kissing and we both were a little more relaxed (my son and I). The day after they left, I couldn't get out of bed, I cried for 4 hours and couldn't speak to my son. This might be the "mourning" that my husband says I never went through. It's been very sad since, and I've generally been jumpy, nervous and panicky.

    But I looked at everything today at Baby Gap, chose some things, put them back, and finally decided on something that I felt would be good. I wanted to bolt, and started to - but did not.

    Something from "Grandma" - I'm not sure I'm completely comfortable with this role, but it will make my son and his wife happy. As for me - time will tell. But I think today was a step in the right direction. I got a very cute birthday card for him too - With an image of an animal he may recognize (a visitor to their yard). In any event it, will make his father, my son, smile. That's important to me.

    My older son, who wants nothing to do with me - at least I know he is healthy, and has a wife and family who make him happy, and lives in region that he loves and has been good to him. That means a lot, also, and I am thankful for that. Peace of mind is elusive, so if it's possible to have "a little" peace of mind, that is good.

  2. Oh! New and Old, I understand exactly! After I met my daughter, I got very very sick and stayed in bed for a couple of days, taking heavy does of antihistamines and sleeping and weeping. And your reactions to babies mirrors mine. No, I don't want to hold your baby. No, I don't want to see ten pictures of your adorable infant grandchildren. I have basically avoided to some degree little girls and boys too, but it's really infants who rattle my cage. Even if I don't consciously think about it, I realize now that is exactly what is happening.

    It sounds like you are making progress, however, so keep it up. I was always able to hug my daughter even if at first she was stiff--in front of her adoptive father! Hole In My ♥ goes over this in detail if you want to understand better how you are not alone in your reactions. Just keep plugging away at it. Peace of mind, yes, is so elusive.



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