' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: It's a blue blue Christmas for some

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's a blue blue Christmas for some

To judge from the phone calls and emails and Facebook messages I've been getting, this Christmas season is unusually grim for many of us--first mothers,adoptees, fellow travelers and here I am bragging about the wonderful time I had with my found daughter's daughter (otherwise known as granddaughter) at the previous post.

But I remember.

The tearful family dinners before I told my family I had a daughter and gave her up for adoption. The ones just as bad when I didn't know where she was. And then, after I found her, the year she wasn't talking to me.

I'm hearing from adoptees who are dying to write once more to their first/birth mothers who haven't responded to an initial letter--maybe it was too oblique, do I have to wait until spring, as I'm hearing from other mothers that I should? I've written six pages and I could go on...my birthday is this week and...

Or: The state of Wisconsin found her, she's in her seventies and doesn't want contact. Not only do I hope to meet her someday, I could really use some medical history...my son has fill-in-the-blanks and it's not from his father's side of the family.

Or: My son/daughter hasn't talked to me for several years and I wonder, do I send a card? Can I call? Send him a message on Facebook?

Or: My daughter (who found me and was thrilled to have done so) walked away six years ago and she stays in contact with my sister (!) the snake, and my sister has taken up the role of  "aunt" to my daughter, who acts as if I'm dead. So that cuts out having Christmas dinner with my sister and her daughter and family and the new baby I'm crazy about her because I just can't stand it, and it's just my husband and me and it gets pretty grim, trying to pretend I'm fine.

Or: You are a first mother celebrating with your family and no one mentions the lost member of the family because--really, it's painful for them too. But as the mother who lost the child, you have the option and even, the right to bring her up. The person who hears you say something may in fact be the individual your lost son or daughter contacts first. You don't want a reunion quashed because you never said anything, and your brother/aunt/sister/cousin/father thinks you don't want to be reminded. The holidays would be a perfect time to bring up a topic long denied.

The list goes on.

I'm sorry for each and everyone who is suffering the wages of adoption in her and his own personal way. And I'm not going to pretend that this rejection doesn't hurt like hell; it does. So I can only tell you what I did those lonely, terrible holiday seasons when the rain never stopped:

I tried to make plans with other people whose families were far flung or absent. You may think it's too late, but really, it's  not if you are reading this tonight. There are other lonely people out there, and by cheering them up, you'll find that you will feel less sad too. If a holiday meal is out of the question, go to the movies--with someone or alone. The theaters are full. Not everyone is celebrating Christmas. I've seen many a movie on Christmas Day. However, DO NOT PICK MOVIES YOU KNOW WILL MAKE YOU CRY.

If you can't find anybody to be with, try to find a place you can volunteer. I just saw "Brooklyn" and on the first holiday the star is in America, she ends up serving at a parish soup kitchen. Someone gets up and sings a haunting Irish song that had the roots of Enya in it. It is a good way to get through the day. A first mother friend of mine has done this for many years.

Even if you don't go to church regularly but feel like it--Go! There is always a first time. Truth be told, me the (mostly) agnostic tries to find a place to celebrate Mass on Christmas morning, no matter where I am. There's likely to be Christmas caroling and the service will be beautiful, and to me it feels familiar, even if I don't know a soul in this particular church. I will beat back tears and turn to the person next to me and behind me and in front of me and shake their hands and say: Peace. Peace be with you.

And most of all, remember this: Christmas is only one day. One day. Surely you can survive that. Put on music you like, cry if you must (been there, done that).  As for the conundrums above, there is no single answer. Send the letter if your heart tells you to. Make the phone call if you really really want to. Send a message. But tell yourself as strongly as possible that there may be no response. We can only control what we do, we can't dictate what others do.

I haven't mentioned her lately but many of you know I have another granddaughter. Since an email telling me to bug off, she was in a good place, and I responded, we have not been in touch. That was several years ago. She's written a rather nasty essay that's on line about white women who give up their babies; I've been attacked by someone who knows her in the comments section after a story about Hole In My Heart. I will admit that after all these years, I am numb about her, and I suspect she is about me. The huge difference is: I did not give her up. She was not in my body. Time and distance has dulled whatever ache I felt initially.

No one gets off easy.

These simple words have been a guide post for me: The people who want to be in your life will be. You don't have to go chasing after them. So, love the people you are with. Love and appreciate your friends and whatever family you have.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you are celebrating. The pagans celebrated the winter solstice, which was yesterday. And that, Dear Reader, is the origin of the "Christmas" tree.

No one can make our troubles magically go away, but let me share with you a song I heard the other night on Nashville that I found particularly poignant.--lorraine


The Adoption Reader: Birth Mothers, Adoptive Mothers, and Adopted Daughters Tell Their Stories
"This compilation of essays - beginning with birth mothers, then adoptive mothers, and finally the adopted daughters - goes above and beyond the usual 'magazine style' articles on the quirks or perils of the adoption process. I was incredibly pleased and impressed by the diversity of Wadia-Ells' collection. Lesbian women, multi-racial families, and a variety of socio-economic backgrounds all lend to this book a wealth of perspectives. The contributors are thoughtful, often in emotional pain, honest about their experiences, and each one is a talented writer.

"The one thing that did emerge most clearly from this work was the overall tone that adoption was an incredibly painful thing for all parties involved. The more positive essays were from the adoptive moms - birth moms and adopted daughters were obviously struggling to make sense out of their experiences. I do not regret for a moment reading this wonderful collection, but at the same time I seriously wonder whether adoption is something I'm able to emotionally tackle after experiencing Wadia-Ells' book."--Courtney L. Lewis on Amazon


  1. My debut book is dedicated to every first mother, first father and baby affected by adoption, it is a story of resilience, mental strength and of finding my son 38 years later. The years in between capture the only other son I had which sadly was a still birth. This is not a book looking for sympathy, it is written to help all of us from hands in e percent of what to do and what not to do when you find your child again. Visit www.jackeeashwin.com for a preview

  2. I am in need of how to publish - any thoughts or advice would be awesome.... It is time to finish my story.

  3. I'll give you another one for the "wages of adoption list"...

    My ten year old son who knows all of his biological family. He goes to stay with paternal grandparents about three times a year. One of those times is Christmas break of course.

    Grandma tells me privately a week or so ago that having him come on the 26th (when his brother and sister will be there!) is "just too hard" because they are living in a smaller place while they have a house built. (Even though she said there's FIVE sets of bunk beds so how small can it be?) That's the excuse this time. There have been other reasons for delaying or shortening a visit. Just fill in the blank.

    He looks forward to it for months. Talked about it as soon as school let out. He asked me two days ago when he was going. I decided to be (gently) honest. I told him "I don't know. I haven't heard from Grandma - here's my phone - call her and see what the plan is." I did say it in a light hearted way though and smiled. But I figured you know what - let her have to tell him what's what. Why should it have to filter through me so that she doesn't have to hear the disappointment in his voice?

    So he called her and she gushed over him. (I wasn't trying to listen but I was nearby and could hear a little and of course hear his responses.) They talked a little bit and he told her goodbye.

    I said "What did Grandma say? When do we need to meet her?" (They live five hours away)

    He said: "She said maybe the 29th. Well...probably the 29th." And blessedly he seemed okay.

    But I was seething. She couldn't even tell him for sure. It was "maybe" and "probably". I'm guessing she's timing it for when the other grandkids are gone.

    My husband basically said what you said Lorraine - we can only do what we're supposed to do and the rest is up to them. I told him I was afraid that our son would feel "postponed" and not high on their priority list...If they want to be in his life they will be. It's just that they used to be SO much more involved. Albeit from a distance. But as you said we can't dictate what others do. I just didn't want him to have to have this epiphany at ten years old - know what I mean???

    If Grandma was elderly it would an entirely different thing. But Grandma is 58 and doesn't work outside the home so...? Basically I want to scream: WHAT THE HELL? THIS LITTLE BOY FREAKING WORSHIPS YOU!! YOU SHOULD BE WANTING HIM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

    I'm starting to cry so I'll quit rambling. I hope it's okay that I weighed in. I'm not a firstmom or adoptee but just wanted to speak out on behalf of an adoptee.

    When you say that open adoption is not a "solution" for the wounds that adoption inflicts, you were so right. Had I only had a clue back then...

    No one gets off easy. Not even ten year olds. Or maybe ESPECIALLY ten year olds. SIGH.

    Thanks as always for your insight. You always seem to know the exact "pulse" of what's going on out here in adoption land...

    1. What! Second Mom What Is Wrong with That Woman? You did the absolute right thing in letting him call her and let her break the news to him herself. You are in a terrible position of not wanting your son/her grandson now to be hurt but she seems oblivious. What could be better for him than to be around his like-age cousins, etc.? Perhaps they don't know about him? Perhaps that would lead to embarrassing questions? But after rereading, that doesn't seem like the scenario. I'm just baffled when a Grandma who is not decrepit would be so cruel. i think it's time for heart to heart with her and tell her, once again, and emphatically, how much the visits to his other family --AND TO HER==mean to him. Scream it out like you say!!!

      After that, there's nothing you can do. An jackass is born every minute.

      And thanks for your kind words.

      Personally, I finally came down with a terrible cold. I am not fit for human company My husband is at the Christmas dinner down the street with friends. We baked the pumpkin pie together, I'll eat when he comes back with a plate. Right now I am going to light the candles and turn on the Christmas music and lie in the semi dark and let the music engulf me.

    2. I just saw on a Facebook a little while ago that you are sick. Sorry to hear that! Imagine my surprise when I see you took the time to reply to me when you are feeling crummy. Thank you! That means more than you can possibly know.

      Grandma called him on Christmas Eve which I thought was nice and they talked yesterday evening too and she told him "definitely" it was the 29th that he was coming. He was very happy to hear that.

      I have tried to talk to her before with very little results. As crazy as it may sound, she has been a very different grandma since surviving breast cancer and Guillain Barre syndrome about five years ago. Maybe that's why I haven't flipped out on her like I want to. I kept thinking "well she's recovering and things will go back to the way they were eventually". Except that they haven't.

      I also tried to approach Grandpa but he defers to Grandma so he doesn't answer my phone calls or texts to his phone. Even though we have always gotten along really well and I like him very much and I think (?) he likes me, he won't rock the boat and disagree with Grandma. Go figure.

      They cancelled the Thanksgiving visit because she had just buried her mom earlier in the month. I was all set to be fully sympathetic to the fact that she was tired and wrung out. Until...I talked to my son's sister's mother who told me that her daughter spent THE WHOLE WEEK with Grandma and Grandpa over Thanksgiving. I really wanted to raise holy hell but decided I'd bide my time and see what went down with the Christmas visit first.

      Ironically, my son's sister's mother is herself an adoptee whose a-mom died a few years ago and she has since connected with her mother and siblings and is enjoying a good relationship with them.

      (Have to break this up into two posts. When I tried to send this it told me it was too many characters...sorry!)

    3. I mention that mainly because her reunion seems to have made her more sympathetic and empathetic to the fact that my son doesn't get to see his siblings and family very often. She checks with me from time to time to see if her kid's visits with the grandparents is going to sync up with my son's visits.

      We would gladly meet the grandparents pretty much whenever they asked for a visit. It's a distance but the change in him is so significant when he sees them that we would be thrilled if they wanted him say once a month instead of "quarterly". But NOPE.

      Summer before last grandma and I were discussing a visit and she said something to the effect of shortening my son's visit because three grandkids was "too much". And I couldn't help myself, I popped off and said "well then send one of the OTHER grandkids home early! They live thirty minutes from you and see you every couple of weeks. Why should it be "J"?!?" She got angry and said she had every right to "look out for myself and my needs". UMMM. OKAY. I believe that was the same summer that she had him come for a visit and then the following weekend took her OTHER grandkids on an out of state vacation to a nice resort. When I called her out on it because she'd posted pics of the vacation on Facebook, she blocked me and it took a while before she would speak to me. And there was never an explanation as to why she and her hubby and my son's father and his wife could take four kids on a vacation but not FIVE. Blessedly my son knows nothing about that trip.

      That gives you an idea of what I've been struggling with for a while. I liken it to a divorce. My parents never spoke ill of each other after they divorced and so I don't speak ill of his family - EVER. Even after the "we went on a vacation and left a grandson out of it" escapade...

      Here I go rambling again. Sorry. I have no one to really talk to. "Civilians" not involved in adoption don't see the problem. They don't understand why we'd want him to be with his family anyway - or why we care. I even have a long time friend of over two decades who is an adoptee who flat out told me to my face this summer that she "doesn't agree" with our open relationship. Love her but didn't ask for her opinion and was surprised when she offered it unsolicited!
      (Needless to say she has never searched for her mom even though I've tried to encourage her to do so...)

      NO ONE in my "real life" has the situation that we do. So thank you for allowing me into this community and to occasionally vent about things no one else around me seems to understand. Or want to understand.

      On a happier note, we had a nice visit with my son's mom and her husband and his two little brothers and brand new baby sister two days before Christmas. Got some great photos!

      Thanks again for your insight, support and validation. They are invaluable to me. I hope you are feeling better very soon!


    4. Like I haven't already written enough...(lol)...but I just thought of something my husband said when the whole vacation with all the grandkids but one happened. My husband said he almost got the feeling that they were trying to push us to the point of severing ties. That way WE could be to blame for the downfall of the relationship. Who knows if that was what they were trying to do, although it was certainly a slap in the face to sign on to Facebook and see pics of a vacation that my son was purposely left out of...

      Either way, I go back to my divorce example. Divorced parents put up with all kinds of grief from one another but still have to deal with each other to an extent because they share a child. That's how I've set my mind about it. No matter WHAT they do, I will always make him available to them. If they don't embrace it, that's their frikkin' loss.

    5. I'm an adult adoptee, raised in a closed adoption. I found my family 5 years ago, and they don't want anything to do with me. A few cousins on Mom's side keep in touch, but absolutely nothing from my father's side. He has 4 siblings, and 2 other, much younger children. i have 10 first cousins on his side.

      Sometimes the birth family does not want the ones they gave up around, reminding everyone of what they have done. This sounds like the situation you are facing. I'm very sorry for your son. Someday he'll realize exactly what's going on.

  4. As always, I find balm in your writings.

  5. It is a very Merry Christmas this year after many years of sad and blue ones. I do know what those were like, and feel for all who are not reunited, or rejected or ignored. It hurts more during the Holidays. Remembering the Christmas when I was pregnant and the years after surrender are still hard and I try not to go there.

    For the first time I was not afraid to call my son for Christmas, not just email, and we will be seeing them next Saturday to bring all the presents for the kids. They are on their way to the other grandma's house today. It is wonderful that we are now a normal part of each other's lives.

    Last night we had an elegant dinner the home of the sister of another son's girlfriend which was just lovely, and so nice to see Son and girlfriend here from Vancouver Canada until next Thursday. Her sister and husband are a biracial family and their little 5 year old boy reminds me of my grandkids, right down to loving football. We will be getting together this evening doing "Jewish Christmas" at a Chinese restaurant! And we hope to see Star Wars this week. My kids were all huge fans. We are all eagerly awaiting the birth of my youngest son's child in Los Angeles in a few weeks. Needless to say they are not traveling now.

    Our choir did Midnight Mass last night which is always beautiful, and this afternoon I put some Christmas greens on my parents' grave. They would have loved to see how happy we all are now. I am very blessed, and wish all my friends had similar blessings. One in particular is having a very hard holiday, the first since one of her sons was killed in a tragic accident last spring. In the good and bad, all we can do is be there for each other. Christmas blessings to all.

  6. Maryanne, I am on the very start of what your journey would have been may years ago. Yesterday I was looking forward to having a phone call with my son on Christmas. As the day went by, a wave of sadness came over me and I wouldn't have been able to talk to him without crying or having my voice crack or maybe being paralyzed into simply silence. So I hoped that I would feel better today, and hope to call him later today. We exchanged Merry Christmas e-mails though yesterday morning. I don't want to upset him, make him sad or make him worry.

    Since reunion (1 year), life seems to be throughout each day, periods of great joy, or great sadness. Both are overwhelming and have no thoughts connected to them. It is more than I can understand. I suppose the sadness is the beginning of the "mourning" period.

    Lorraine and Jane, you have helped so many of us through your efforts and this forum is a great relief and help. Before discovering FMF I thought I was a bad person and unique in not being worth much, as a woman, mother and person. I'm still not sure, but at least I see from this forum it is not totally unique to place a child for adoption, or to be adopted. In fact, I had 2 cousins (older than me) who were adopted by my aunt and uncle. I didn't really know any of them but they were my cousins, unquestionably.

    Second Mom, shame on Grandma! She is treating your son (her daughter's son) as a leftover or an afterthought, and he is left on the outside fringes to pursue his relatives. My family (birth family) did that to me and I know what it's like to want to be part of that idealized group. I wish you the best.

    1. Thank you "new and old"! His paternal family loves him but yes, they do treat him as an after thought from time to time. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it. I just pray that he never sees it. Or at the very least that he not see it until he's an adult. He's super smart though and once he and his sister are old enough to have cell phones and Facebook pages, he's going to realize things he has no knowledge of now. And I've pointed this out to his grandparents and aunts but it falls on deaf ears...

      I'm sorry you can identify with what he is facing. No one should be made to feel like a fringe member of their family. I wish you all the best as well. (((((HUGS)))))

    2. Reunion is a roller coaster. Hang on, you are reunited, you will survive. But it will never "as if" he were not adopted.

    3. Second Mom--I've been thinking about the boy who is caught between two worlds, and the grandmother who doesn't recognize his need to connect with her and his other family. I missed the part, I guess about her being a natural mother, as someone else noted, but if so, that does explain some of the ambivalence. By fully recognizing that he needs "her," in all that means, she has to accept what being given up did to her child. By putting him off, she is unconsciously or consciously stating that he "has another family" and that should be good enough.

      I would suggest a real conversation with her about his desire to be with his natural family--use that word or "other" which implies the same but more subtly. Given what's transpired, you will have to be careful not to sound critical or hectoring, but just being aware of her feelings as a listener will help in that regard. The second thing is, keep on doing what you are doing. Let her be the one who makes and changes the dates and length of the visit. I hope he is still young enough to not hide his feelings, and so she can hear herself his disappointment and desires.

      You are doing the best in a tough situation.

    4. Still quite sick, by the way. Sinus infections are exhausting and not leave quickly. Thank you for noticing. So far I have watched only one dopey film: The Delivery Man. More about that later.

    5. A second mom wrote:" No one should be made to feel like a fringe member of their family."

      But, in most cases, this is exactly what adoption does.

    6. Grandma is not a mother of adoption loss. Maybe the confusion came in when I said that my son's sister's mother is an adoptee and is reunited with HER mother. Sorry if I somehow muddled the waters. I tend to drift - especially when venting. I just mentioned my son's sister's mother because since SHE is an adoptee she's sympathetic to the kids getting to see one another.

      Grandma apparently doesn't think it's as important for the siblings to see each other since all three kids at once is "too hard". Hence the delay in getting him.

      Just one of my many issues with her.

      Lorraine I hope you get better soon so you can ring in 2016 in a fun way instead of from your bed... (((((HUGS)))))

    7. Forgot to say thank you for the advice about approaching her. So far approaching her has not been successful. Maybe if we could actually be in the same room it would help but that probably won't happen for a while due to distance. And parking lots where we meet each other aren't always conducive. Not to mention many times she doesn't do the picking up, it's Grandpa and he clams up if you try and discuss emotions or anything uncomfortable...

  7. Coming up from the sick bed, I just found this on FB (along with a long argument about the use of BM on a page called DNA Detectives). But this will cheer some of us:

    Four years ago my birth mother, Pamela Loveless McRae found me, in part thanks to Facebook.
    Shortly after the New Year, I will be legally changing my name to David Michael McRae Eastbrook, to honor my lineage and heritage.
    Fun facts: I am a direct descendant of both Pocahontas and John Rolfe, but also a survivor (on the American Side) of the Revolutionary War.
    Thank you, Mom, for giving me my heritage, my name, my family tree, my history. To finally know who I am after all these years, to know who YOU are, is the greatest gift a man could ever get, from anyone.
    Thank you, Mom, from the depths of my soul. Thank you for making every New Year the happiest New Year of all time.
    I love you, Mom.

  8. Is anybody else having trouble with the site. Sometimes when I come to it, the page magically goes to something else, which then disappears and there is basically a blank page and I have to start all over again...

  9. Yes! It's like one of those auto ads which SHOULD redirect you back to the site you're on but never does. I thought it was just the mobile site (that's the one I use).

  10. Yes, some kind of full-screen ad pops up with a sign on upper left that says "back to site in 6 seconds", with a countdown - Then an advertisement comes up, and there's nowhere to go, except to close that page and open yours a second time, in a new tab. It happens fairly often when I visit and click on your site.

    The site may have been hacked, with malware that re-directs traffic to your site, to an advertiser. There are a lot of pages online with advice, but it's a little confusing to sift through them, and so I recommend only one.

    Here's an article that might help. I've looked at many, and most of them have a product to sell. This one does also, but the article includes several tips for getting help for free, also (through Google):

    Good luck. Maybe a malware scan on your personal computer to start?

    1. Thank you both. This has been driving me crazy of late. I will check out that site and see if I can clean it up. I will try today but I am still quite under the weather with a sinus infection. They really knock me out, and they are my bete noir.

    2. Hope you feel better soon, Lorraine. Sinus infections are very painful and yes, flat on the back for an extended period of time. ! I hope that each day will be a little better.

    3. Occasionally, when I first click on this site, I get a large pop-up warning me that the site is potentially "dangerous" due to suspected malware. And, yes, a couple times I've been redirected to a totally unconnected site with no way back.

      Just FYI.

    4. Are people still having any trouble with First Mother Forum? I've been getting a strange pop up that leads to a blank page. Yesterday I ran a scan of my computer; running a malware scan right now. Some people say they are having trouble commenting; others have seen the same stupid page I have. Please let me know if you are having any trouble commenting or otherwise.

  11. just call me oscar(ette)December 27, 2015 at 4:26 AM

    Second Mom, If I understand you correctly, you're son's grandmother is a fairly recently reunited natural/first mother? If so, Oh Wow! The emotions and pieces being put back together. It can be terrifying for some of us. The fear of hurting or losing them all over again. Especially if the mother had no choice to begin with. I don't know but that may have some bearing on what is going on. And her grandson was given up for adoption too. Yeah, I been there. Agonizing. Please be patient with her. There may be incredible pressure even if on the visible surface you see no such evidence of same. Add to that the loss of her mother (who may have been instrumental in the loss of her daughter to adoption.) Plus the life threatening health issues, breast cancer. Maybe your son's grandmother is giving everything she's got and then some. There is only so much any person can do and still survive (mentally as well as physically), all the while trying to accommodate everybody and not lose your mind, or lose any relationship. Please have compassion on her and be ever so happy for your son in the joy he takes from spending time and talking with grandma, even though it may not be what you want for him.

    Maybe she is wanting to be able and needs to separate the two adoption (losses for her) situations so she can give each full love and attention. I'd err on that side rather than any type of rejection.

    You're right. No one should be made to feel like a fringe member of their family. Not the mother's, not the father's, not the children.

    1. Hi "just call me Oscar(ette)" :)

      No his grandmother is not a reunited first mom. I think the confusion came in when I mentioned that his sister's mother is an adoptee who's in reunion and so is therefore sympathetic about the kids having time together. Sorry if I confused every one. I was really upset when I was venting.

      Grandma has been a part of his life from the very beginning. They've always lived five hours away so of course it wasn't a daily involvement but we used to go and stay with them and then once he was almost four we switched to just him going alone and staying.

      Then by the time he was a little over five she was diagnosed with breast cancer and then once her surgery and treatment was over, the Guillain Barre hit her and she could barely walk for a while. However she's been healthy for about three years now. But I'm hoping you are right and that she's doing the best she can.

      It's just hard not to feel anger since she spends more time with the grandchildren that live near her and as I said in my earlier vent, was ready to send MY son home early because three kids was "too much" instead of sending home one of the kids who lives nearby and sees her every week or so. UGH!!!

      Just last month she told him he couldn't come for a Thanksgiving visit and then I find out his older sister spent the whole flipping week over there. It's enough to make you bang your head against the wall.

      Thanks for replying. You sound much nicer than I am...lol...I must sound like an intolerant witch. Before the cancer and such we were sooooo close to her. I would have even described her as one of my best friends as odd as that may sound. We just got really close. And even through her health troubles we were close.

      But when I called her out about going on vacation and leaving my son behind,(in August of 2013 - well after her health troubles were behind her) it has never been the same. She didn't like her actions questioned at all. We went from being super close to not speaking and now we speak and it's cordial but it's only about visits and such. No more calling and texting each other "just because". Guess she didn't like that I stood up for him. Which is kind of ironic. They entrusted me to take care of him and then when I went full on "mama bear" about her excluding him, our friendship was over.

      I guess if I were completely, vulnerably honest, I am mourning the loss of the friendship I had with her. We talked about anything and everything and when he was little we talked probably every other day or every other two days. Staying with them when he was a baby/toddler felt so natural. I miss the relationship so much. And I've told her that through text messages. And she's responded "Awwww thanks" and "how sweet" etc. etc. but we've never picked up where we left off.

      But all that aside, I'm willing to be kept at arm's length as long as they don't treat him differently than the other grandkids. And yet they do and I don't know how to fix it. She doesn't see it. If I told her that I knew she had his sister for the whole week of Thanksgiving and couldn't even be bothered to have him come for a couple of days she would go BALLISTIC and we would be back to her not speaking to me.

      I'm sorry for rambling once again. So many pent up emotions. I probably shouldn't even be dumping all this here. But talking to all of you helps so much.

    2. just call me oscar(ette)December 28, 2015 at 12:01 AM

      Hi Second Mom, I see you as a loving mother and friend who would very much like things to be other than what they are with a very important relationship. Oh, family relationships are so very hard. Thank you for clarifying the situation, I do get easily corn-fused. But then, truth was, I was applying my own thoughts and assuming something when I should have asked questions. Hope you (and everyone else)can forgive me.

      I think you are a brave woman for coming into what for some can feel like a lion's den at times, and a gracious lady in your reply.

      Here's hoping that she will come around to seeing the importance of a grandmother's frequent presence in a child's life. Grandmother's are a huge part of who we are (personal biased opinion of course). My adoptive grandmother taught me so many things just by her quiet example. love of wildlife and nature, to make a proper bed with hosp. corners, to make some of the best fudge on the planet, and how to graciously deal with what life presented (well, I'm still working on that last one). My maternal grandmother oh, what didn't she teach me?! One very strong, independent, hard working, self sufficient lady. She had a lot of grit and a lot of faith. I think we do an unkindness when we withhold ourselves from our grandchildren. OUCH. I just gave myself a lecture. Thank you for that too. I have trouble making time to get with mine. See what a wonderful benefit you have brought by being here. I don't think it's rambling at all. It's sharing.

      I do hope that Lorraine will forgive what feels like 'off topic'. I have always liked free flowing conversation myself but this is not my space. Maybe it's time to blog. But then there would be even less available time for family and it's too scarce now.

      Second Mom, I do so hope you can find some relief from the distress you feel about the situation and can find peace in the joy of your son's happiness with the times they do get together. I hope you're friendship can heal too, but if not, like a flower that gives joy and enlivens our spirit for it's season too soon becoming a memory, it also becomes a hope for the future to again bring joy to our hearts, so too with friends who move in and out of our lives. A hope for the future.

      Now who's 'rambling'?

    3. just call me oscar(ette)December 28, 2015 at 12:38 AM

      Second Mom, eek! talk about a reading comprehension problem on my part. You specifically stated, "paternal grandparents" in your first comment. Duh! Sorry. I have trouble in December as it is birth month and loss month of my son and my brain has a lot of trouble focusing and functioning with the wild horses of adoption running through it. Some day I hope to get those ____ things rounded up and quieted a bit.

    4. Don't blame yourself, Oscarette, I could not follow second mom's convoluted story with a guide dog! Too many details and characters. Evidently there is a grandma who wants less contact with the surrendered grandchild. When someone wants out of a relationship, not much the other side can do. Too bad for the child.

    5. Thank you "just call me oscar(ette)" for replying to me, especially when December is a bad month for you. It shows what a kind person you must be to reach out to someone on "the other side" of adoption. I don't get that very much so I really do thank you.

      I hope you have had someone near and dear to help you through this month - as well as coming to this wonderful blog of course.

  12. When I feel the lowest--when I have felt the lowest about my daughter, I have turned to to poem for courage. It doesn't tell you that things will be better tomorrow; it says things are as they appear to be, and so...have courage and face your demons bravely.

    The God forsakes Antony
    When suddenly, at the midnight hour,
    an invisible troupe is heard passing
    with exquisite music, with shouts --
    your fortune that fails you now, your works
    that have failed, the plans of your life
    that have all turned out to be illusions, do not mourn in vain.
    As if long prepared, as if courageous,
    bid her farewell, the Alexandria that is leaving.
    Above all do not be fooled, do not tell yourself
    it was a dream, that your ears deceived you;
    do not stoop to such vain hopes.
    As if long prepared, as if courageous,
    as it becomes you who have been worthy of such a city,
    approach the window with firm step,
    and with emotion, but not
    with the entreaties and complaints of the coward,
    as a last enjoyment listen to the sounds,
    the exquisite instruments of the mystical troupe,
    and bid her farewell, the Alexandria you are losing.

    Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

    1. That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you Lorraine.

  13. Spent the holiday reading, 'hole in my heart'. It was so good! At first I feared it might be triggering, but actually it was healing. Wished I would have read it sooner because so many parallels are happening in my own reunion. I probably would have chalked everything up to my son is just an ass and his aparents just have an overbearing hold on him. But now after reading the deep loyalty issues faced by (some) adoptees I can better understand why he behaves the way he does. A 30 year old going on 16 sums up the maturity that he lacks. But I finally decided I am done being his door mat. Before Christmas he texts me that he is unable to come home (kansas city, mo. to lexington, ky - his aparents live in lexington also). Christmas eve he texts me and says he is coming in tonight (I suspect from the wording he is already at his aparents), and that he would like to get together. I said alright. We make a time and place. I am waiting for him to show up. He is suppose to be there and then he calls to tell me he isn't feeling well. Which if he'd called 20 minutes before this I wouldn't have driven over to the place. I come home in tears, and my husband has been through this before with me. So next morning he texts me to meet him before he has to leave back to kc and I just told him I was to tired to meet up and maybe next time. However, he would like me to mail his christmas gift. About the time I think I'm never going to hear from him again he texts or calls & acts like all is well. He hasn't had any angry outbursts with me yet, but I suspect that is because I seldom see him. He has said some pretty hurtful things, ie: 'I didn't call (person who organized our reunion) to tell her I wanted to meet you' or 'Your just a friend'. I guess knowing this type of behavior is 'normal' for some adoptees toward their natural parents helps me to 'try' to not take it so personally. For the comments and anger that you have taken over the years due to being a natural mother it is amazing that you are still willing to be involved. Thanks again for writing this book, I'm passing it on to another first mom.

    1. Thank you, Sandy.

      Your son's behavior isn't that atypical. I'm glad I could help with the understanding. Sometimes it goes better when we mothers do stop putting up with behavior we wouldn't tolerate in any other relationship.

  14. Thanks Lorraine, I was willing to tolerate it for a couple of reasons, first, I didn't want to reject him for a second time, and secondly,I'm his mother, yet I didn't raise him and it has taken me time to understand he has his known history with other people, and it's always going to be difficult if the aparents aren't for it. So he sees me as 'bad' or rejecting mom and his amom as 'good' or savior mom.

    1. Yep. You understand exactly what I went through with my daughter. Sandy, would you email me at forumfirstmother@gmail.com, please.

    2. SNAFU--I clicked on the gogardenclub.com and then seeing an attractive story about growing melons, clicked on that. Then I get the same blank page--almost! Now there is an ad for adoptions. In my frustration I got rid of it quickly but now I'd like to see what it says. !



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