gallery Dear Adoption, You Erased Me

 

IMG_9981

Dear Adoption, You Erased Me

I am not part of my family anymore.  I am not my mother and father’s child.  My birth certificate was altered, and the person that I was born to be was erased from history, forever.  You took my name, and my home.

You took my mother.  Maybe she went along with it, but the result was she was gone.  It’s as if I was photo shopped onto another family portrait.

I think about you every day.  Some think that you should be part of my past, but you are not.  You are part of everyday.  I’m not able to put you behind me, and forget you.  You are there every time I look in the mirror, and see my mother.  You are there when I see my adoptive mother.  You are there when I look at my children, and when I try and sleep at night.  You torture me.

You allowed my father to erase me.  You let him off the hook.  He is happy with his choice, because it was all for the best.  He could not possibly have kept me, so he told his parents that I died, just in case they wanted to help me stay with my family.  Dad did not want that to happen, and adoption, you gave him the perfect way out.

His entire family has agreed that it’s best not to have any contact with me, or my children.  I was given away twice, once at 5 days old, and again when I found my family.  I was declared too vile to even speak to.  Thanks, adoption.

I was not allowed to talk about you as a child.  I did not even know that you were the cause of my sorrow, until I found my mother.  I waited until I was 48 to search.  I was so afraid of what would happen.

Turns out, my fears were valid.  My mother was mentally ill, and behaved in some very bizarre and hurtful ways.  I was angry, and longed for unconditional acceptance.  I was a stranger to my own parents, and they did not want to know me.  There was so much fear and guilt.  We never connected as parents and child.  Adoption, you took my entire family.

I loved my dear mother so much!  The depth of my feelings surprises me.  I did not know that would happen.  I would have been happy to just sit and stare at her all day, the way a baby does.  But I couldn’t.  She did not want my adoration.  I could never be the person that she wanted me to be.

I never really cared for my adoptive mother.  She is a selfish woman.  She was offered a little boy, about one year before she got me.  She did not take him, because he was too old.  She wanted newborn only, and was willing to wait until the right baby came her way.  Unfortunately, that was me.  I always wished she had taken him, instead, and left me for the next mother on the list.  My adoptive mother did not want anyone to know her business.  She did not want anyone to know I was adopted.  I tried hard to love her, but could not.  I always felt that was my fault.

When I was little, I used to think it was a good thing that adoption happened to me, instead of some other good, nice kid.  It was OK that it happened to me, because I did not deserve any better.  I used to cry for the girl who was left all alone, not able to face the truth, that girl was really me.

Adoption, you were always there, even when I did not know it.  You were at my wedding, when I was surrounded by my adoptive parent’s family, and my husband’s family, but I was all alone.  I did not know why I was so sad and angry on that day, but I do now.

My eyes were opened when I found my family.  All the pain came rushing in, and it was hard, but I survived.

My dear mother did not.  She died 4 years, 9 months, and 18 days after I found her.  We did not speak for over a year before I found out she was in the hospital dying.  My mother did not want me to know.  My half-brother did not tell me.  I’m not sure how many times I saw her in my life, but it was few.  I never really knew her at all.  Near the end, she said she would only see me if I went to her place, only in person.  I went once, then did not go back.  I could not live with those rules.  It was not how I thought a mother/daughter relationship should be.

I went to the hospital many times, near the end.  She did not send me away, but I was still a stranger to the woman in the bed.  We looked so much alike.  I could see it in the eyes of the nurses who tended my mother.  We had the kind of resemblance that turns heads.  I really loved that. I brought my children to see her.  I wanted them to know their grandmother, and understand the sorrow of losing her.  It was horrible, but important.  They lost my whole family too.  My children look like me.  My mother’s genes are strong.

On my mother’s last day, I went to the hospital.  Mom was in hospice.  My half-brother came in sobbing.  He left briefly, and texted my aunt, “when do I get to be alone with my mother?’  I guess his whole life was not enough.  I guess she was just his mother, not mine.  I left the hospital.  Mom died the next morning.  I never saw her, or my half-brother again.  I did not go to the memorial service.  Mom was cremated, and I think my half-brother keeps her ashes in his house.

Adoption, you took even these last moments with my mother from me.  I cannot forgive you.  You took so much more from me than you could ever give.

Jamie Smith was given up for adoption by her parents at 5 days old.  She was placed at one month and officially adopted at 18 months.  She has been happily married for 33 years and has 4 adult children.

14 comments

  1. Very well described adoption for most adoptees, whether that admit it or even know it. I’m 77 and started searching at 36. Found only an uncle who was wonderful. He tried to get my birth mother to write or call me but again she didn’t want me and was still embarrassed by me. Now at this advanced age I am just starting to deal with all the “problems” adoption has caused me throughout my life in the choices I made. The only thing I’m looking for now is my fathers name but she may have not put it on the birth certificate and Ohio just opened their “closed” files on adoption birth certificates. I’m hesitant to even try because of the disappointment if his name is not there. So many unanswered questions. Oh how I would love to feel whole instead of just a half a person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Barbara,

      I was asuper young when I held my birth certificate (or what I thought was a birth certificate) up to the light because names were whited out and much to my parents dismay, I saw my birthmoms name and my name. This also makes me wonder what that document was as I have not been able to get my parents to give it to me let alone admit what I saw. (Weird) So, long story short, I found my birth mom, my birth father (who was deceased and he wasn’t on that mystery document), and all half siblings because, I’ll admit, I’m a really good detective. 🙂 If you ever want help or where to begin, I would love to help. If this is what you want….

      Liked by 1 person

    • As a first mom, I can tell you my experience with Catholic Charities in Illinois. My social worker refused to put the name of the sperm donor on the birth certificate. Years later, I learned that “Unknown” was the father of all babies at Catholic Charities. My anger at the system caused me to write my feelings in a book.

      Like

  2. Thank you Jamie. I am such a wreck but this is so helpful at the same time. This is healing even though it hurts…thank you. Like all adoptee stories, you say the words I could never in a million years say myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jamie, I am a first mother who lost my first born son. Your first mother lost you, her child. Like most first mothers, she always felt the pain of loss, whether she could verbalize it or not. Reunion helps to alleviate the pain of loss, although toxic memories of relinquishment can take months, often years, to work through. For many, perhaps most, first mothers reunion is the first step toward dealing with the trauma of relinquishment. The circumstances that caused your first mom to relinquish played a major role in your mom’s life (and probably contributed to mental health issues).

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s