I've been reading alot of your stories and I feel compelled to tell all you about my story. I'm not a birth mom, I'm an adoptee. I see many of you that still grieve that decision, many who "drank the kool-aid" so to speak, many who wonder what happened to the child, and many who know what happened and are unhappy with the outcome. I know that it doesn't alway work out the way you want it to. And I'm not trying to downplay anyones experience or feelings. I guess I just want to try to give some of you a little piece of mind that sometimes it's not just kool-aid, sometimes it really works out great, and sometimes the child grows up happy and healthy and still loves you.
My birth mother was 18, my birth father was 35. She showed up, unexpected, at a home for unwed mothers. She told the workers that my birth father was out of the picture (didn't say why or even if he knew about me) and that she didn't have anywhere else to go or the resources to care for me when I came but she didn't want an abortion. She wanted to talk to someone about adoption. I'm not certain, I havn't looked at my file for several years, but I believe she was already pretty far along when she got there and so didn't stay long. Once I was born, it seems she maybe wavered in her decision because my adoptive parents didn't know they were getting me until the day before they picked me up. But she did make the decision and it was only 13 days between my birth and my going home with my new parents. My parents have told me about her my whole life. I don't even remember being "told" i was adopted, I've just always "known". They talked to me about it so early in my life that it has just always been a part of my life. I match my family perfectly. I'm always told I look like my mom and act like my dad. I've had a great life. I've argued with my parents like any kid does, but at the end of the day we still love each other. I truly do feel she made a good decision. I can't imagine my life any other way. My mom has always told me about my birth mother. Has always made sure that I knew that she did not abandon me, but let me go out of love for me. Has always made sure I know its ok to love her too. And I do. I've never met her, and it is unlikely that I ever will, but I do love her, very much. I thank God everyday for her.
OK, let me start all over then, since this this turned into such confusion for me. I've been thinking and trying to put my finger on exactly what i hoped to accomplish with this post. When I originally posted I didn't really think it though, I just did it, because that is what I was feeling a the time. My shrink says it's good for me to express my feelings, so I did. (If you're wondering, I have a shrink because I have anxiety attacks). So as I've thought about, I think I've maybe figured it out. I've never thought my mother abandoned me or didn't love me enough to keep me. I've always believed that she loved me so much that she made the ultimate sacrifice and let me go to someone that could give me the type of life she couldn't at the time. I've never been able to even comprehend how much strenth that would take and how much pain it must have caused. Every year on my birthday, the first thing I think is, "I wonder if she's thinking of me right now too?" And I bet she does, your child's birthday isn't something you ever forget. And since we've never met, she has no way to know if I'm ok, if I'm happy, if I've had a good life. She has no way of knowing that I don't hate her. That I don't belived she hated me. That I truly am grateful to her. But the other side to that is, not only does she not get to hear it, but I don't get to say it. I don't know who to say it to. I don't even have a name. I've been on registries since I was about 19 (I'm 30 now), I even put more info on there than is really advisable hopeing someone would recoginze something in it. If anyone was looking for me, they could've found me. After 10+ years of no response, I've come to the conclusion that no one is looking. I don't know why, but it's possible it's too painful for her to think about, or maybe she is deceased, or maybe she has a family that isn't comfortable with it. I don't know. But I don't want to be the one barges in and disrupts whatever it is. So I realized that when I posted that, it was mostly just to get it out there, to get to say those things somewhere besides my in my head. And I hoped that maybe there was maybe one of you that wanted or needed to hear those things. It wasn't that I think you don't know that some of us are ok. But sometime even thought I "know" something, it's still nice to hear. Like when my son says "love you too" before he crawls in bed, I know he loves me, but it's nice to hear just the same. As I said, my sons story is complicated, so please trust me when I say I know both sides of the coin. The short story is this: I believe his mother probably wanted to keep him. Her giving him up was likely an act of despiration. The only 2 choices she had were to keep him and they both have a life that was difficult at best or give him up and hope he ended up with a better situation. I know 12 years later, she is still in pain, wishing she had had another option. And if I were her, I would be wondering if I made the right choice, if he is ok, if he has a good life now. And if I could, I would go to her, I would tell her what a happy kid he is. How he loves to read. How super smart he is. That he was "student of the week" at his school last week. That he is a wonderful kid, and almost never get in any kind of trouble. I would tell about how he is only one the cat actually likes. How the dogs fuss over who gets to sit in his lap. I would tell her about how even though he is growing up he still likes to sleep in his "cave" made of blankets. All these things that I know about him and she doesn't get to know, that I wish she could. I didn't come here to try to tell anyone how anything is. I came here just tell someone. And not just anyone. Women who have been in a similar place and my and his birthmothers. And in the process of me getting say it, maybe just maybe, it helps someone to hear it.
I didn't need statistics, with my degree in social work and psychology and my own research into adoptions, I have more statistics in my head that anyone should ever have to know. I didn't need someone telling me that my faith and my beliefs were wrong. Faith is, believing without proof, without reason. So I can't say why God wanted this for my life, I just believe in it. I didn't need anyone to question my story, I already know there is some stuff missing, but I've done the best I could with what I had. All I needed was to tell my story. To say the words I've never gotten to say. And now I have.
I'm sorry this is long and rambling, but I'm not always good with words. I also have a "learning disablity" that I work really hard to overcome, but anytime a situation is stressfull, or painful, or in this case, emotional, it's harder to work around. So I hope I'm making sense.
I will also apoligize one more time, this time more specifically. When I wrote what I did, I wrote it with my own story (at least what I know of it) in mind. The story of a girl who just wasn't "ready" and chose adoption instead of parenting. And I wrote it for her and those who share that story. I didn't think about how people with very different stories would also read it and how it would sound to them. For that, I do apoligize.
I don't think you have anything to apologize for because I believe that we all understand that your heart was in the right place. Your post above does make it clearer to me why you posted originally and that's helpful.
You have every right to be in this group and if sharing your feelings about your birth mom was helpful to you, I am very pleased that is the case. The more time one spends in adoption groups, the more we all realize how certain things we say can "trigger" hurt in others whether we intend it or not. As much as we all try to avoid it, sometimes it happens because we don't always understand all the things that trigger others.
I read your original post and felt good about it UNTIL you mentioned thanking birth moms. Many of us are sensitive about being thanked because we feel as though we are being thanked for a decision we now regret or believe was a bad decision.
Or (just ot add one more situation to the list, hope that's okay, SR), when we know that for us personally it was NOT a decision at all. When someone tells me I made a "choice" or a "decision" or implies it, it is intensely retraumatizing for me. Similarly when someone tries to describe it as "placing" my son. It is definitely victim-blaming, which hurts just as much as blaming the victim fo any other trauma/crime. :( I do not want to be thanked for something which was done to me to obtain my baby when I knew it the minute i was allowed to see him that I wanted to keep my baby. When coercion enters the picture, informed freedom-of-choice in decision-making is entirely negated.
Havigs said that, Julie, I hope you stick around in this group. I understand that you did not mean to intentionally hurt anyone, and what you say is what is often commonly believed by the "general public." But I am surprised though that your education in social work and psychology hasn't covered the topic of coerced surrender and reproductive exploitation of women -- the issue is so very important in discussions of adoption practice over the last 60 years -- from Rickie Solinger and Joss Shawyer's feminist analyses of adoption practice, to Mirah Riben and David Smolin's analyses of adoption as a child-selling industry, to writings such as that by Claudia Corrigan D'arcy and others on how the NCFA has researched how to get more mothers to surrender through their "right-brained research" resulting in the "Birthmother, Good Mother" coercion methodology.
Today is the second time I've read this post and the comments...
... And I hoped that maybe there was maybe one of you that wanted or needed to hear those things. ...
I did. I wanted and needed to know. I always wonder what my daughter thinks and feels and what her life is like. I hope she is as happy as you are. And I hope she looks for me when she grows up. I worry about "disrupting" her life by searching, just like you do with your birth mother. My oldest daughter turned 9 this month so I still have a very long wait ahead of me and I will continue to wonder until I hopefully get to reunite with her. I'm also going through some things with another daughter, that I may or may not elaborate on in this group... Sometimes I feel like no one can understand, because even the other mothers in this group who live with the same pain, have not lived my life. Also, I've only known two adoptees in my life and neither ever reunited or got to tell their birth parents about their lives.
(Sorry, I always rant randomly like this.)
I guess I just want you to know that your words helped me today. Thank you.
by smileywomanNovember 13, 2012 at 9:36 AM
Thank you for your post. It is good to know that you were adopted by a loving supportive family and that everything turned out well for you. It's nice to hear that your aparents said positive things about your bmom (that's not always the case).
I wish you well in your future.