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Similarities Ive never really noticed...

Ever since I gave birth to V I have always been fascinated by genetics and how much of our personalities and temperaments are inherited. Even adoptees in closed adoptions who eventually reunite with their lost family can have striking similarities that are not just physical but personality quirks the are so much like their first families.

When my daughter was growing up her adoptive Mom use to tell me the V had this certain expression that looked just like me and would tell her that when she did it. Growing up I never knew my Dad and my Mom would tell me the same thing. Once I had my second child I noticed he had a certain expression that I realized looked just like one my Dad was then I made a connection, we all had an inherited expression that we received from my Dad. I thought it was an amazing testament to genetics and how even the littlest things can be passed on by genes!

In my recent visit with my lost daughter there were mannerisms I had never noticed her doing before that I know I do as well. I think because I noticed them it made the trip a better one for me because I've felt so disconnected from her and realized that just because she doesn't really look like me doesn't mean she didn't get some big things from me.

One of the biggest things things I had noticed before but didn't realize I also did it was when talking with someone is that we initially will make eye contact but then our eyes wander...almost like its too uncomfortable for us to continue eye contact. For me its not that the eye contact is painful I think sometimes I am so deep in my thought of a conversation that I'm trying to concentrate. So as we talk we tend to look down and to the side a little bit. I've known she has always done this but didn't make this connection that bot of us do until now.

A little thing we also do I find amusing is when we eat, we put our food or utensil down in between bites. I didn't bring attention to these little things because I feel like she doesn't like references to similarities connecting her to us. I know, I know. I shouldn't assume what someone else thinks or feels without asking them outright. This is the next thing my therapist and I will be working on for my trip out after the baby is born, actually talking to her about my side of her adoption and how she feels about it.


Forced, coerced?

One of the things I've been working on in therapy is forgiving that young girl who didn't know any better, who trusted the adults to do what was right. To not judge her for things she didn't know about the world or her innocence and naiveness.

Tonight I just want to scream. I want to be heard. I want to be validated. I don't want people telling me I didn't have a gun held to my head to sign those papers...hell I didn't even know I was signing TPR when I signed it! I was young and just did what I was told to do because I had made a huge mistake and needed to redeem myself and lift the shame on my family. I didn't KNOW any better! How could I have? I lived in a very religious and sheltered household. I didn't go to public school until 8th grade and even then I was restricted from having friends at school and was so scared of the evils that could happen to me that I really didn't make but a few friends anyway. No wonder I finally rebelled at 17 and had sex...without knowing how to prevent pregnancy because those things weren't talked about in our house...and became pregnant.

I know all these things so why is it so hard for me to own them? Why do I still blame myself for things I think I should have known better about but didn't?

I find it amazing that I could go from feeling like I was in a place where I could start moving forward again back to this in one day over one thing someone I dont even know said to me.

The Baby Shower...

Well it wasn't as horrific as I thought it would be!! The wedding (pt. 2) had hit me like a brick and blindsided me that I assumed the baby shower would do the same. But it didn't. Between gearing up for it with my therapist, some inner work and support from my incredible first Mom friends (you know who you are!) I sailed through it.

Of course there were a few difficult the talk about what they are naming the baby and others comparing pregnancy notes, the rest wasn't too bad. I walked in like it was just an ordinary day, hugged her adoptive Mom and the conversation between her, her friends and I just flowed. When the pregnancy and childbirth came up, at first I began to clam up, but then I realized...hey this is reality sitting right here! I gave birth to her and I'm not hiding or pretending that I didn't!! So I joined into the conversation a little bit! It was quite empowering and no one gave me any looks.

My fear of facing her mother in law again was high on the list and that went well too. When she approached our table my back was to her and I think I took her by surprise when I turned around and said in a cheerful voice like I was happy to see her and a smile, held out my hand and said oh hi!!! No dirty look this time or looking me up and down.

Also as I was walking past one of her mother in law sisters she stopped me and asked (nicely of course) who I was. When I told her she got a huge smile and hugged me saying something to the effect of..oohhh really??? She was very glad to have met me!

So overall it was an incredible trip. V and I totally reconnected with each other again and I hope this is the start of a new relationship with her.

I wonder if because over the years of being a first Mom we automatically revert back to when things were the most painful then expect to feel that way when put in a situation like this.


What bond?

Something I've been pondering lately...A bond is something that implies that there are two parties involved in the act. When people say they have a bond with their child that will never break, what does that really mean? Mothers bond with their babies when they are born, but when they are separated by adoption it is my belief that the mother child bond IS becomes one sided. It is the Mother who feels the pulling of her soul for her child, the child eventually "forgets" it's Mother and the bond they once shared.

Even though infants who lose their Mothers also have their grief, it's the Mother who continues to feel bonded to a child that won't feel the same about her once they meet again...she virtually become a stranger to her child.

A Mother will always love her child more than the child will ever know.


How could I not have known.

I haven't posted in a while. Although I have quite a few drafts I've started, I've not been able to complete a thought process on any of them. In the last few months I've found an excellent therapist who deals with loss and we have actually been coming quite a distance in this short time.

I've discovered in our sessions that I blame myself for not knowing better and trusting the adults in my life and giving my child to strangers. I was a naive 17 year old yet somewhere along the way I began telling myself I should have known all that I know now of life after adoption. This was a profound realization for me and I think it's the area I need to figure out how to forgive myself for. I believe this is where some of my shame is from.

But how does one forgive themselves for something so horrendous? How can I get to a place where I understand that the 17 year old me could never had known what my life would be like from that one single signature? And yet I blame her every day for this incredibly painful life I've lived.


Signing the TPR

When V was a little over a year old, a social worker called me. I don't remember the phone call or the conversation. All I remember was having a meeting with her in an old building used for public services. My step Mom has recently told me that her and my Dad drove me there but I don't remember any of it. I have a vague vision on being in a parking lot with them but I'm not sure if that's where we were.

I had no idea what I was signing was the termination of parental rights. I know it had to do with the adoption but I just didn't realize they were THE papers. I recently had married my husband and I remember going on about it and making a big deal about my name change. The social worker kept having a look of confusion or concern on her face and looking back now I realize she was trying to make me understand what was happening and making sure I knew what I was signing. But I had no clue...until a little while later in a phone conversation with V's adoptive Mom.

A few months later V's adoptive Mom and I were on the phone when I brought up the court date. For some reason I thought I would be there with them and at that time was when I would sign papers, she would become theirs and we would all share tears of happiness. I don't know where I got this idea from so when I asked her about when we were going to court she said they had already gone. I heart dropped. She must have sensed it because I remember her voice going soft and questing me gently about my meeting with the social worker. The rest of the conversation is a blur with the exception of us setting up a was the first time I had seen her since our parting at the hospital.

Was I just blocking it all out or being naive to what was going on around me? I was still in the mind set that I was beginning my happily ever after life and that things would work out beautifully. I still believed in the things I was told, that by giving her up I would find a respectable man to marry me and life would go on as if the deep pain of my sacrifice was in the past and didn't matter. Boy was I wrong.


Great. Im an angry birth Mom.

This is a little rambling as I am trying to sift through a few things and let them all fall into place...

This past weekend I attended a birth Mom retreat. I was so looking forward to meeting friends I have made over the past year online and maybe learn a new thing or two. What I experienced has shaken up something in me that I didn't realize I've been trying to suppress.

There were three guest speakers, an adoptive mom, birth Mom and an adult adoptee. Each was to share their experience in adoption, which is fine. The adoptive mom went first. I wont get into the details of what she said but I will just say she was using adoption language that was insulting and hurtful while trying to tell her "happy sunshine" story. Not to mention she kept bringing God into it and that can be a huge trigger for me. As she was talking I kept feeling myself begin to seethe with much that I felt my face heat up. I was texting my husband what was going on and told him I wanted to walk out. All I needed were the two little words from him...he said then do. I felt my eyes fill with tears and I stood up, walked towards the back door and out into the hallway.

As I opened the door I felt a rage fill me. I became so angry at all the people in this world who are like this woman. In the name of God they think they have rights to other peoples children and have no qualms about taking them away from women who would most likely have been awesome Mothers. They praise God for "their" little blessing. It was people like this who made me feel so shameful and told me I wasnt good enough for my own baby...because it was a "sin" to be an unwed Mom.

One of my friends came out to check on me and as we walked towards the parking garage to get some air she began crying. Once outside I just kept railing on about the things the adoptive Mom had said. I was so pissed! When I calmed down a bit my friend was still crying and it was then that it hit me. I am angry. Really really angry. I see my birth Mom friends cry and on one hand wish I could cry like that and have that release and on the other hand it makes me angry that if I let go and let loose I am some how weak and have let people who put me in this situation have power over me again. Like if I let myself cry it would mean I don't have a handle on this thing that has cursed my whole adult life. I'm angry that at this point in my life I am still feeling all these intense feelings. It was people like that adoptive mom who caused this to happen to me...and all in the name of God. I'm pissed that these people are still the cause of so much hurt in my life!

I've realized through one of the sessions that I have put a LOT of weight on the deal making I had been doing with myself over adoption all these years. I have tried to think time and time again if I had ever gone through the part of grieving where you bargain with God and I realized that I had made bargains with myself. My biggest deal I made was that I live my life a certain way and be a perfect Mom to my other two kids, have a certain kind of house, drive a certain kind of car, basically live a fairy tale, well what would look like a fairy tale to outsiders, then her and I would have a wonderful relationship when she was an adult. That she would admire me instead of resent me.

Her side of Mother/child bond was severed the minute I walked away from her at the hospital. The reality is that for most adult adoptees and their first Moms that bond does not repair when they reunite or when the child grows up. There are instances when this isn't true and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that wouldn't be us. I thought I had some sort of guarantee because it was an open adoption and I tried my best to live up to the deals I made, to be perfect so she would love me and not be angry that I abandoned her.

I feel like I have nailed down a few things I need to work on finally. Thankfully I have a therapy appointment on Wed!



Its the story every adoptee is told. Almost none of them have an original reason as to why they were separated from their original families. "I was young, poor, unmarried and thought you deserved more than what I could have given you." So banal.

 It breaks my heart that I have no special circumstances or fairy tale ending to make her different than other adoptees. I'm sad that all I have to offer her are cliches that everyone else hears. I want to give her something more. I want her to feel that her life isn't one shuffled into the category of... "my Mom couldn't take care of me so she found someone who could." I want the story of her beginnings to be unique not some overused slogan tossed around by the adoption industry. I want there to be more as to why I gave her up. I wish it were more meaningful than the same old story and threadbare generalizations that are given to those severed from their first families.

But I cant do that. I bought the story that was sold to me and now this is her reality.


This says so much!

I wish you’d just tell me

by teradanielle

If there are things that need saying, why not just say them?
Do you think I’m going to turn away and leave you?
That’s not going to happen.
Do you think if you are angry I’m going to fall apart?
Do you think you need to protect my feelings too?
No, I just want the truth.
No need to be mean, no need to be harsh
I do have a heart, although it’s not what it once was 
Be gentle if you can
But even anger is better than nothing
Don’t you know I love you just as you are?
No need for perfection
Please no more silences, don’t leave me to guess.
Each door that slams in my face
feels like another death
If you are angry, I say “you should be”
If you’re not, that’s okay too
Is it alright that I am?  
Would you think less of me then?
 All I want is to bridge this gap
You are my family, my heart
Tell me what do you need, what can I do?
If I could I’d heal this wound
for me and for you

Thank you so much  terradanielle for sharing this with the world.


I don't want to do this anymore.

The last few weeks I've noticed I am beginning to feel like myself again. I hate to admit this but for a little over a year I've been self medicating with alcohol, sleeping pills and anxiety meds whenever I needed to numb out...which was every weekend getting drunk and taking prescription meds the rest of the week. I'm trying really hard to tell myself that I'm not going through another stage of grief but I am. I don't want to. I want my life back.

I don't know why my daughter is acting the way she is. She has no idea how deep this pain is and I will never tell her. I would hate for her to think this is her fault.

There will be a big event coming up soon and I am now debating whether or not I should attend. Her adoptive Mom wants me there but I dont know if V does. I get the feeling from her that I am shameful to her and she would rather I not be around. That I'm that psycho birth Mom stalking her or my feelings are ridiculous and I need to just shut up and be superficial.

So tonight I want to self medicate. I want to scream. I want to take that piece of my brain out...that part of my heart that is hers I want to reclaim.

I want to go back to my hole where things were ok and I was just living life.


Feeling like a fraud

I am a Mother, but I am not. I have other children but I feel like its all just a facade and someone will find me out, that I had this other child who really isn't mine. I had to give her up because I sinned. I had to redeem myself from my huge mistake to remove the shame of what I did, the shame I brought upon my family...but that didn't happen. If anything I felt even more shame. I was a Mom but I wasn't.

But they said I would go on and have a beautiful life. They said giving her to a couple more deserving would enable me to have a perfect family later on. They said this wasn't a secret, this other baby, but was made to feel that I shouldn't talk about her.

When I went on to have other children I thought that would cover the dark spot inside. I could hide that other Motherhood in these children I was raising. Now I could pretend it didn't happen and finally claim Motherhood. Inevitably I would slip and the truth would come out that this vision I was trying to create was false. I was a marked woman. What I had wasn't all innocence and truth, I had a shadow on my soul.  This perfect picture I tried to paint of a Mom, Dad, 2.5 kids, a dog and picket fence shatters. I was just pretending to be a Mom with children with the man I married but because the other didnt belong to him it canceled out the authenticity of the Motherhood I claimed to any others who came after. I wasn't good enough for her and still not good enough for the children I have now.

Sometimes when she was with us I could say in my mind that we really were all a family. When we went on outings together, with all my children, I could pretend to the outside world that I was a real Mom because I had all my children together. Then we would have to take her home. Then the reality that I really am not her Mother was staring me in the face.

I still struggle with this feeling that I am really not a Mother, even though I have raised the others and they are all grown. Even though I have Mothered them and still do. When people find out I have another child that really isn't mine I feel shameful and embarrassed and feel it cancels out all the other familial accomplishments I have made... I'm still not a real Mom. It wasn't suppose to be like other people who make mistakes as in divorce and blended families. Surrendering her was suppose to wipe the slate clean. I married and stayed married and had the prescribed number of children. I did it "right". It didn't  I didn't hide the fact that I had another child with someone other than my husband. Im not fooling anyone.


The Wedding Part 2

Although I was already feeling out of place and a bit awkward the morning of the wedding was great! We all had our make up done and took some great photos. I think because it was just us girls on her side of the family I felt more at home. More like just one of the family members.

Her adoptive Mom was so nervous and excited. When we arrived at the venue she made sure I knew I was sitting next to her. It ended up her adoptive Dad was able to walk her down the isle. We all were seated and her adoptive Mom took a hold of my hand and didn't let go!

I was feeling so out of place though. I knew there were members of her adoptive family and their friends there who didnt approve of not only my being there but me being in their lives at all. Ever. I knew they were sitting behind us and I felt like to them I had no right to be there let alone sitting next to the "real" Mother of the bride. Through the whole ceremony her adoptive Mom held my hand and has tears rolling down her face. I know this was a moment she had looked forward to since V was little. She would say things to me ARE going to be right next to me crying the day she gets married!! You are her Mom too. 

I was so distracted by everything else I couldn't be in the moment. All the things said and implied when I was that scared pregnant teen, the shame I felt and still did, was creeping in and I didn't know it. I WANTED to be happy! I WANTED this to be an incredible day! Instead I kept sinking and I couldn't stop it even though I was trying to keep a hold on it. Trying to stay above water. 

There ceremony was over and a family member of mine who knew her now husbands parents grabbed me as I walked by while they were talking to introduce me, not knowing we already had been. I thought, oh good now they will hear who I am because we aren't in a noisy room. I was sure the reaction I got the first time was because they didn't understand. Nope. Same reaction. "Yeah we met" then turned back to their conversation with the family member.

We all moved to a spot to take the formal after the wedding photos and stood together for the group shot. I stepped over to the side waiting for all the other small groups to be photographed and talked with my husband and kids. My back was sort of to where the photos were being taken so I wasn't paying too much attention, I was just waiting to be called back for the shots of her side of the family. Then I heard...ok I think that's all of them. I was never called back. I turned to my family and tried desperately to stop the tears. I said I wanted to leave...NOW! My family is so incredible. The all "huddled" around me and my son asked if I wanted to take a walk with him. Somehow my step Mom saw this and called the photographers attention to get shots with my family. Looking back now I'm embarrassed because it was like...a photo with us wasn't wanted and here we were on display...the teenager who had loose morals and her pretend family. 

I made it through the rest of the reception with the help of a few margaritas and the love of my family (even with one of their friend opposed to my presence sitting across from me at our table and giving me looks..never saying a word to me).I still feel like I am processing all that happened. It has affected the relationship I have with V and her family, at least on my part. I am more withdrawn than I use to be with them. I really want to go back to the place I was before the wedding. I want to feel like the other people don't matter and the only thing is that they love me. That all that matters is what they think. That is where I want to be by the time their baby is born.


The Wedding Part 1

A few months after they announced their engagement I got a call from her adoptive Mom. My daughters adoptive Dad has had issues with his leg from an infection he had the year before and really couldn't walk well. Someone came up with the idea that her adoptive Mom and I walk her down the isle instead, if her adoptive Dad couldn't.  I was sooo honored I was crying. That I was considered to be this included was way more than I ever dreamed in my life!

So imagine my shock when things began to develop the week of the wedding. 

I arrived a little bit before so that I could help her with any last minute things that needed to be done. A few days before the wedding her friend came by to pick up the centerpieces and V went over the seating arrangements.  She told  her friend to make sure that the special covered chairs for the parents were in the front...two on each side. That stung a little.

Several times in the previous months I clarified with her what my role was in this. She always reassured me that I was "one of the mothers of the bride". I didn't want to go there and make a fool of myself like I thought I was more than I am to her. I didn't want to seem presumptuous.

The night of the rehearsal dinner I was a little nervous. I would be meeting his family and I didn't have a clue as to what they thought of their soon to be daughter in law's birth Mother having such a prominent spot in her wedding. I thought I would get the same reaction we/I got from most people..saying how wonderful and unique it was that we are all together like that. Well I found out pretty quickly that isn't how they feel. When I was introduced there were no smiles, not even a nice to meet you, I don't even think they shook my hand. They both looked at me and said-oh hi...and turned to someone nearby to talk to. It was noisy in the room so I thought maybe they didn't hear who I was and that's why I was brushed off. 

The dinner continued and when the toasts were made by her adoptive Dad and his Dad I was never mentioned like the other two moms and family were. I just wanted to disappear. I felt like a fraud.

To be continued...



I debated on writing about this but I think it's an important thing to get out there. There are so many things about open adoption that hasnt been figured out yet because most adoptees of open adoption are still kids or teens. 

My daughter is pregnant. I feel wrong to to have the feelings Im experiencing. Of course as I mentioned before I knew they were trying. I knew this was coming. But when I was told it kind of hit me in a weird way. 

One thing that came to mind was that I almost, for the first time ever, wished that the adoption would have been closed. Now before anyone scoffs at that let me tell you why. For a lot of closed adoptions reunions dont happen when the adoptee turns 18...they are after the adoptee has had their children. Coming into a relationship with your lost child after they have had their children is different than having to watch it all happen from the shadows. Yes even as open as our adoption is/was I am still watching from the shadows. Her adoptive mom is receiving the congratulations on FB and from elsewhere...I am not even a blip on the radar. So I am being relegated to the back. 

I really am trying to be ok with this. I will be attending the baby shower and will have to put on my happy face...happy to be the Mom who wasnt, and still isnt, good enough to keep her daughter with her. Smile as I watch friends and family make a big deal about this grandbaby... who is mine...but not really... I will go see them once the baby arrives and will have to pretend this is such an awesome thing...and thats just it, I dont want to have to pretend.  I truly want to be ok with it. I guess thats one of the reasons it takes nine months for a baby to everyone can adjust to the changes.

Before anyone says anything about closed vs. open adoptions I just have to say that of course I know having them in my life is a blessing and Im lucky to not just have known where she was and safe but to be active in their lives. I know that. I just couldnt help feeling like wishing I didnt have to play a role in this...from the sidelines...again.

Waiting to see what the next 6 months will bring.


Open adoption

Something has been rumbling around in my head for a while now.

What is a open adoption to us birth moms? For those of us who's adoptions are truly that. It's a chance to be someone real to our children as they grow up. It's knowing they are safe and loved. It means not worrying and wondering where they are.

But I think it can also mean confusion in separating our joy at knowing our children and our sorrow for having lost something so very dear to us. How can we have such deep grief if we havent totally lost our children to the unknown?

I can imagine that a lot of birth Moms in this age could feel they have no right to feel the full brunt of their pain because they at least dont have it as bad as Moms from the closed era. I see it sometimes with young birth Moms and how they cling so tightly to feeling that because they have such a great relationship with their childs adoptive family they deny the pain that runs so deep. It truly saddens me because I can imagine what is in store for them in the long years to come.

So it makes me wonder. What if they go on and never deal with this pain? Do they become bitter old women? Are they really ok with all of this and that makes the rest of us somehow inferior?

That is exactly what it makes me feel like. A birth Mom who never got over it and is bitter and angry. That so isnt the case though. It makes me feel that I am seen angry and bitter because I will never reconcile the fact that I was forced to walk out of that hospital alone and the shock waves it caused with the happiness I have with having had an open adoption. Im not angry. Im not bitter. I am regretful and have negative opinions of adoption but why does that make me seen as an angry person?

And since this open adoption business is such a new thing Im sure it will be years before any of this is figured out. Look how long it took the Moms from the closed era!


Something lost...

I was keeping an anxiety attack at bay lat light. We have a small fireproof safe about the size of two shoe boxes to keep important, and some replaceable, papers as safe as we can. In this safe is a package with the adoption papers I signed and memorabilia from my daughter V's birth...along with her original birth certificate (OBC), the one that is sealed away for eternity, the ONLY copy that exists on the planet.

I had to go into this safe last night to retrieve something for my younger daughter so I thought I would take a walk down memory lane and look at my precious items from my oldest daughters arrival on the planet. One thing I was feeling I especially wanted to look at was her OBC...well it was not in the package. I tore that safe apart three times thinking, wishing, that maybe I slipped it in with some other pack of papers. Nothing. It WAS NOT in there!!!! My irreplaceable connection that said to the world that she was mine for a moment! I never realized just how much I treasured this piece of paper until it was gone!!

Trying to hold back tears I went downstairs to where I keep scrapbooks of all my children. I opened the small pink one of V's hoping maybe I put it in there, even though I distinctly remember not doing that because I didn't want to use any kind of adhesive on it. I looked through and behind every page and nothing. As I went to set it down a stuffed full envelope fell out with photos in it and the little hat they put on her right after birth. I had forgotten I put those there because they were things that I either didn't want to attach permanently that included photos that weren't all that great. Looking in I found the envelope for the OBC!!! BUT when I took out the thick card in there it was detached, or what I thought was attached. I started bawling and took the envelope to my room to at least have that and put it in the safe...then a this slip of paper fell out. THE OBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until this experience I had NO idea how precious of a thing this little piece of paper this is. There are so many birth Moms and adoptees who don't have the privilege of obtaining or even looking at this seemingly insignificant piece of paper. It is a visual link between us that has been secreted away to pretend there was never a relationship between the two of us. So in that short span of time I had an insight to how thousands...millions of people feel at not having this privileged. I am even more enthusiastic to do the little part that I do in helping two very important friends of mine is giving adoptees open access to their OBC's.


What is love?

I was reading comments to a post on FB and this post got me to thinking...

"It is a really awful message to send that if you love someone you have to abandon them... That isn't what love is about. Why is it in the world outside of adoption, love is fighting for the person you love and doing anything you can to keep them with you but in adoption that message is completely contradicted and mothers are told if they love their kids they will hand them to total strangers? Why can no one see how wrong that is? I don't doubt women who are vulnerable will fall for that as pregnancy is a time of great vulnerability as hormones are way up the pole and so the love for our children is used against us - if you love him/her you will give them up which sends the message that if you do the normal thing mothers are supposed to do, you don't love your child. What a head job for both mother and child. Only in adoption do we see these messages; an institution that contradicts everything we are taught from birth..."
J Blackwell

I have never before hear it stated so perfectly. When you love someone as fiercely as a Mother loves her child, you fight to the death to keep them with you. You are told or it is implied all your life that this is what loving someone is. So how is it that I love my baby if I am leaving my baby behind? I think this is something I am still struggling with. 
And then there is the opposite...
My next pregnancy after relinquishment I was so conflicted in all the feelings and emotions running through my head. I was still somewhat in a state of shock about all that had happened so I wasnt able to voice any of it to begin to heal. How could I be a good Mother to this child I was carrying if love meant giving him away...but I wasnt. I was keeping him.  Of course at the time these thoughts werent as clear as they are now looking back but I believe it had something to do with why I held back from bonding with him. I was a horrible mother 


Trapping the innocent.

I recently encountered a young expectant mom who was fairly early on in her pregnancy. She is gung ho about relinquishing her baby for adoption before even having felt it move inside her. She has contacted an agency and they have already given her family profiles, one of which she has already chosen to raise her baby.

Situations like this leave me feeling so helpless. I want to scream to her to make her see how these adults in her life are trapping her into handing her flesh and blood over to strangers. Of course by the time the baby is born these people wont be "strangers" to her anymore, but they will be to her baby, genetically and otherwise. This is how the industry insures that the business continues and the paychecks keep coming in. Throwing an expectant Mom in with hopeful adoptive parents and fostering a relationship between them will ensure the goods are delivered. If the Mom wants to change her mind, how can she without breaking the hearts of these people who have invested so much in her child? She is cornered.

I understand the thought behind behind pre-birth matching-that the baby and adoptive parents can bond as early as possible. Why not wait? There is a lifetime for decisions to be made, why does it have to be before the Mom really knows what is happening to her and her child? What difference does a few months make? Well I know of one, if a Mother holds her child and without outside influences, there is no way she would be able to hand that baby over to another woman.

My situation was a little different. I chose friends of our family to raise my daughter. Even though they (her adoptive parents) didnt put a lot of pressure on me, they did ask me on more than one occasion if I was going to change my mind. My family and church community reinforced this by telling me that I needed to be responsible and not go back on my word, it would break the adoptive parents hearts. So I was trapped and not given any other options.


The day before she was born.

The day before I went into labor an incredible thing happened. As I was two weeks overdue and my parents had planned a trip out of town to visit my grandma, I went to stay with some friends of the family. They lived in a beautiful house at the top of a steep hill overlooking a stunning valley.

As I was waiting for their daughter, who was about my age, to get home from school, I went and sat on a three seater swing they had that faced the beautiful valley below. As I was sitting there enjoying the cool spring breeze and the beautiful view I had a rush of feelings come over me…like my baby was reaching out to bond with me. For most of the pregnancy I had somewhat tried to disconnect myself from her because I knew she wouldn't be mine. But in those moments the love I had for her flowed through my veins. It was an amazing moment. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED being pregnant. I loved to feel her moving around in there. I loved at doctor appointments listening to her heart beating. Even though I relished those things I knew I couldn't keep her, that she wouldn't be mine, so I kept my heart at a distance. But in that moment it was like she was trying to say..hey I'm here! It was such a rush of love for her that I had been trying to keep at bay. I loved my baby more than I knew I did and that love, just a day before she was born, was beginning to seep into my soul.


My adult adoptee daughter

Does she have feelings of rejection? Does she need to hear things from me that I haven't said? Is her need for perfection just a part of who she is or is it because she feels she will be rejected if she isn't? Does she feel anger at watching me raise her half siblings and them having more financially? Does she think sometimes, unconsciously or not, if she kept them why didnt she keep me? Does she fiercely protect her adoptive parents out of fear of being abandoned?  Is she really just a well adjusted young adult that my family members insist she is? Do those family member even know or understand the issues of an adoptee? If she does have these issues will she ever talk with me about them? 

I would love to open the door but don't know how. I am afraid if I bring up any of these issues she will be insulted, reject me and be angry with me and shut me out of her life more than she already does. There are things I have observed from my distance that I see are little signs that she does have some of the issues a lot of adoptees have to deal with. I wonder though if because we had/have such an open adoption and we were very much in her life growing up that she doesn't feel she has permission to explore these things.

There are so many thing I was told over the years that haven't rung true. There are many things I thought would be that aren't and it is breaking my heart.