Dear Adoption, What Can I Do?
I picked these words because they are how I feel about being adopted and about my birth family. I don’t understand why I didn’t get to stay with them. I have half brothers who got to stay.
Lost – If you are born in one family I think you are supposed to be there but I got lost in a different family.
Confused – Am I supposed to find my family when I’m grown up so I can join the family again? Do I only have to stay away while I’m a kid? I don’t know how long I have to stay away.
Worried – I am worried about if I can find them and if they want me to find them. I am worried they want me to stay away except I’m also worried they don’t want me to. I feel bad that I can’t stop feeling worried and that they are worried about me too.
Guilty – I love my family a lot except I feel guilty that I think about my old family so much. I keep this a secret because it will hurt their feelings and make them feel bad. I wasn’t good for my old family and now I am no good for my new family. If I try to not think about them I feel guilty too in case they are thinking about me.
Upset – Talking about this makes me upset and I don’t want to. I will hurt the people who love me and take care of me. I am gonna be upset guilty worried confused and lost forever. Nobody gave me a choice. What can I do?
Reblogged this on Gazelle's Scirocco Winds and commented:
This is what happens when a child is taken from or given by one set of parents to another set… and the society that applauds having stripped of his own identity … reas it ad weep …
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TRISTE! When does this stop-this pretense that gives so much pain and confusion to a child?
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I am a birth mother and I let my little girl be with another family so she wouldn’t have to grow up in poverty, not have a good dad, and never want for anything. It broke my heart into a million pieces when we had to part. I hope that she can forgive me because it takes great love to say goodbye.
I truly think it takes more love to keep your baby, and work hard to give them a better life.
Loving your child should not mean giving them to strangers! If that’s love, I wish my own mother loved me a little less…
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I was only 16, I had no family, no support, and an abusive mother. Should I bring up a child in that?
Mothers (and fathers) who love their children don’t give them up … not ever! They move heaven and earth to keep that child with them and to protect them as well as any human is able to do so.
Your statement is as shallow and as hollow as your excuse for allowing what is of your DNA and that of your ancestors to be taken by someone else.. Did you skip school to watch Stella Dallas a million times to come up with this, or did some agency help you excuse your relinquishment?
You were given a gift of a child-one that so many others never had or have lost to wars, famines, economic disasters, natural disasters or tragic accidents. Your love madame is the lie you tell yourself!
In the meantime, your daughter lives with strangers who share no DNA with her, and who deny her the right to live amongst her own kit and kin-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings if you had other children after you insisted she leave your care. Your daughter now wonders what she did to be shoved out of the family that is hers … and why she wasn’t wanted. And every woman she meets she asks -if only silently -are you my mother? There are far worse things in life than impoverishment Ms. Braun! You and too many others like you are examples of the worst of things done to a child.
But thank you for reminding me, an abandoned child, that there are parents far worse than my own who abused me and may be even my younger sister and abandoned us many, nay years ago … At least they were honest with themselves and with us-‘We don’t want out girls’ they said to the agent with whom we were left as they drove off with their son-our brother- never to be seen again. My adoptive parents were no better than my own parents, and maybe even worse.
The road to hell is indeed paved with so-called good intentions!
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Amy, I am sorry you received so many heartless replies. Only you can understand the conditions you were under at such a young age. Unfortunately not all mothers have sufficient financial and family support to raise a child that they wanted to keep. I wish you and your daughter well.
I am an adoptive mother of two daughters. I have always loved their birthmothers and grieved for their losses and my children’s loss of their birthmothers. They were just not in a place where they could raise them as they wanted to. It takes a mother’s love to do what is best for your child, so I believe they did mother my children in that way. I believe my girls have two mothers in that way. My daughters have both met their birthmothers and I am happy for all of them that this has happened. Blessings to you, my dear. I honor you completely for what you did.
Cindy, I wish you wouldn’t spell birth mothers as one word. The proper terminology is “birth mother” or “first mother.”
Out of idle curiosity… who died and left you boss or pedant or procurator of descriptions used?
Do allow us to use our own terms in our own narratives via our own perceptions in our own time and space! And by the way, there is only ONE mother per child-the one who shares the child’s maternal DNA! As infants aren\’t hatched, we all come by birth in the usual way…. the person who births us (unless surrogate -which is another kettle of fish, as is IVF) is the child’s MOTHER. Period. No court can change our DNA or take our identity from us … we each belong to specific groupings and categories via our mother, father and grandparents whose sum is greater than what we can possibly grasp. DNA provides us with who we are and why we are the way we are.
There are first -time mothers, but unless the spouse of a president or prime minister, there is no first mother , or 2nd or 3 rd. Just as a child can only be said to have a step-parent IF the widow or widower remarries after the death of their fist spouse, and only if the child is a minor. There are however, 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. wives… some in the same household to the same man simultaneously, others via a procedure known as divorce-or death of the first wife.
It is a very sad age when nothing is natural anymore…. Please don’t add to the confusion-there is far to much of it as is!
Leave the social babble and psycho-babble out of your responses to any of us. We are not minors in need of caretakers nor are we subservient to those fortunate enough never to have ben made a ward of the court or involuntarily handed to some people who ARE NOT our parents and who bear no resemblance to us in any way.
And… birthmother IS an acceptable spelling!
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I will add something to the discussion of describing parents.
On my adoption papers (1956) my father was my father. No qualifier.
The couple who were adopting me were “husband and wife”. They did not become “adoptive parents” (a social term, not a legal one) until after the legal decree of adoption was signed by the judge, finalizing the adoption. My father was still my father, no qualifiers in the signed relinquishment, nor any other paper that required him to be in court. He was given the respect and dignity from the court, and my adopters, to be recognized as my father.
My mother, though deceased, was also recognized as my mother in court documents that stated her name and her death as being the cause of my adoption.
My four older siblings were also recognized by the court as being my siblings and were named, along with their ages.
In the 1970s, I saw court documents from other adopted persons. Their papers stated “natural parents” and “adopting parents”.
When adoptees began using these terms to distinguish between the two sets of parents, adopters became angry, saying that they are parents and that there was nothing “unnatural” about their place in their legal children’s lives. To accommodate adopters, courts began to stop using the word “natural” to describe the actual parents of the child relinquished to adoption. The adoption industry began using the term “birth parents” (separate words or joined together). Society accepted adoptive parents as parents. Society began to denigrate the child’s actual parents.
For me, personally, I don’t like the terms “birth mother” or “birth father” or “first parents” because of reasons already stated Gazelledz.
I prefer to acknowledge reality. The truth is, my father is my father, and my mother is my mother. I wasn’t around when my father married his 2nd wife; she was my siblings’ step mother. But I knew and loved my father’s 3rd wife, our step mother.
I loved my adopters and addressed them as Mom and Dad, because they raised me. And when my reunion was very new and progressed, I addressed both of my fathers as “Dad” and both my adoptive mother and step mother as “Mom”.
My siblings are still my full-blood siblings, even though they are not recognized as such by law. They are not my “birth siblings”. Not only does that sound ridiculous, but this continual use of the term “birth” to describe someone who shares our DNA, or who actually birthed us, is negating who they really are. We are blood kin. Period. The only people who need a descriptor preceding the terms “mother”, father”, “parents”, “sister”, “brother” are the people who are legally appointed by the court as the legal parents.
This splitting is what causes all the problems.
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Ah, the mystery of why you chose your pseudonym is now apparent…sort of 🙂
You are very fortunate to have your parents listed on your birth certificate. It is the right thing to have been done. As you and I have already mentioned -me a gazillion times: Parents are those who gave us life and with whom we share long strands of cMs from the 50% each of DNA given to us when we were conceived.
I like your term of ‘adopters’! It is succinct and unambiguous by severing the false term ‘parent’ -currently ascribed to them -from the ‘adoptee/adopted’. However, I will never accept that a court has the right to list a non-parent as one (or 2). The surname of the sire/father should ber kept intact… or better yet a hyphenated mother-father surname given to the child, thus keeping the child’s familial and DNA identity intact.
The great shame is when Guardianship was overshadowed by ‘ adoption’ in the early 20th century.
The other identifying information which needs to be on the birth certificate is the correct location (city, county, state). Not all children who are relinquished or abandoned were born in the state in which they were involuntarily handed over to adopters. Without this very vital information, one cannot have a passport-not only in the US but anywhere else on this planet. One will also not be able to retrieve a birth certificate from a state in which they were not born, no matter the more recent petitions to a court that are now available in some states. available,,,. It is not usual to cart birth certificates when traveling-not yours or a child’s. (My adoptee certificate said ‘born in the continental limits of the United Sates’ … It took me 32 years to retrieve my own certificate of birth (without any of this modern technology -some of which provides information which should not be on an index as it belongs to a living person.)
I will always be grateful to Ohio’s Dept. of Vital Statistics who, in 1982, went beyond its regulations to provide me with my true birth information. I had to make phone calls to 47 states to retrieve information that was mine. It took a week of daily calls to OH to set the process of retrieval of that information … I only had a surname and a date of birth as identifying information. Al hemdoulillah (thank God!) the woman who understood reason over legality and coached me to obtain the information needed to procure what society and agents were so certain I would never have.
The only legal parentage is the two who conceived the child in question-it takes two-a male for his sperm and a female for her egg. No court in the world can mess with mother nature or with the ultimate reality and purpose of procreation-the survival of a lineage stretching from us back to the origin of our first ancestors, millennia of years ago.
For those who were born in the 1950s or before, like me, should be aware that states purge documents and not all digitalize or microfiche records. And be aware that in some cases more than one court was or is involved in the adoption process.
And do remember that whether you are for or against adoption and fostering or not, we who are conscripts of this archaic legalized procedure most likely have siblings (or half-siblings) in addition to close and extended family from whom we have been severed.
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The easiest way to answer you is by quoting your lines and then I respond.
You said: “Ah, the mystery of why you chose your pseudonym is now apparent…sort of”
My screenname, Legitimatebastard, does, indeed, come from the fact that I was born the 5th child to a mother and father who were married for 10 years. My mother died when I was 3 months old and my siblings were 9, 8, 6, and 3 years of age. My father became a widower and my four older siblings and I became half orphaned when our mother died. I have also used the screenname of “halforphan56”.
You said, “You are very fortunate to have your parents listed on your birth certificate. It is the right thing to have been done.”
No, my situation is not what you think.
This is what happened to me (and this is what happens to all adopted people, born within a marriage or not, different time frames for each relinquishment and adoption):
My birth certificate was intact from birth. When I was 4 months old, my father signed relinquishment papers. My adoption became final when I was 1 year and 1 week old, and my birth certificate was revoked by New York State 3 months later when I was 15 months old. New York State Health Department used information gleaned from the final order of adoption to create a false birth certificate for me, replacing my parents’ names with that of my adopters and replacing my name with the new name chosen by my adopters.
No, I am not supposed to own a certified copy of my still-sealed birth certificate, no adoptee is supposed to have such a document. But my father gave it to my adopters in 1956 when he gave me to them. My adopters, in turn, kept my real birth certificate in a safety deposit box and gave it to me in 1974 when I was found by my siblings.
This is identity theft sanctioned by my home state of New York and by each state in the United States, and by many other countries as well. Not all, but many.
I would like to direct readers to a blog post I wrote about my two different birth certificates. You can see both online at my website: https://forbiddenfamily.com/2017/03/24/presenting-my-sealed-birth-certificate-and-falsified-one-as-evidence-of-new-york-state-fraud-revoking-sealing-and-falsifying-adoptees-birth-certificates-is-unconstitutional/
You said: “As you and I have already mentioned -me a gazillion times: Parents are those who gave us life and with whom we share long strands of cMs from the 50% each of DNA given to us when we were conceived.”
Yes, our parents can be verified via DNA testing.
Please explain “cMs” – I should know, but don’t.
You said, “I like your term of ‘adopters’! It is succinct and unambiguous by severing the false term ‘parent’ -currently ascribed to them -from the ‘adoptee/adopted’. However, I will never accept that a court has the right to list a non-parent as one (or 2). The surname of the sire/father should ber kept intact… or better yet a hyphenated mother-father surname given to the child, thus keeping the child’s familial and DNA identity intact.”
Agreed. I didn’t invent the term “adopters”. I use it because other adoptees use it. It is descriptive. We can still love the people who raised us. “Adopters” is a descriptive term and is not meant to insult anyone.
Unfortunately, adoption laws were written with the adopters in mind, not us, the adopted ones. Our acceptance of these laws is not required. It is precisely because adoptees DO NOT ACCEPT the laws that bind us that we have been rising up in protest since the beginnings of the American adoptee rights movement in 1953 by adoptee Jean Paton.
Since adoption is a legal process, adoption ought to be legalized with an adoption certificate, not a birth certificate. (Better yet, adoption should be abolished). And no child should be renamed and no parentage should be falsified. Legal guardianship protects the child’s rights to the truth. If a child needs protection against abusive parents, laws are in place for that.
A child is normally named at birth. The mother fills out the birth certificate information in the hospital. The attending physician signs the medical record of live birth because he verifies the facts of the birth.
You said, “The great shame is when Guardianship was overshadowed by ‘ adoption’ in the early 20th century.”
Yes. Legal Guardianship recognizes the child for the person she or he is and who the parents are. Adoption gives no recognition of the facts. Adoption overrides the facts.
You said, “The other identifying information which needs to be on the birth certificate is the correct location (city, county, state). Not all children who are relinquished or abandoned were born in the state in which they were involuntarily handed over to adopters. Without this very vital information, one cannot have a passport-not only in the US but anywhere else on this planet. One will also not be able to retrieve a birth certificate from a state in which they were not born, no matter the more recent petitions to a court that are now available in some states. available,,,. It is not usual to cart birth certificates when traveling-not yours or a child’s. (My adoptee certificate said ‘born in the continental limits of the United Sates’ … It took me 32 years to retrieve my own certificate of birth (without any of this modern technology -some of which provides information which should not be on an index as it belongs to a living person.)
Yes, very often information cannot be verified and for older adopted people, our information may not have been recorded correctly due to stigma against being born a bastard. Again, I am not insulting anyone, I am simply stating facts. Laws were written to designate between the legitimately born and the illegitimately born.
You said, “I will always be grateful to Ohio’s Dept. of Vital Statistics who, in 1982, went beyond its regulations to provide me with my true birth information. I had to make phone calls to 47 states to retrieve information that was mine. It took a week of daily calls to OH to set the process of retrieval of that information … I only had a surname and a date of birth as identifying information. Al hemdoulillah (thank God!) the woman who understood reason over legality and coached me to obtain the information needed to procure what society and agents were so certain I would never have.”
It sounds as if you were able to obtain information on your birth, but not your actual birth certificate.
You said, “The only legal parentage is the two who conceived the child in question-it takes two-a male for his sperm and a female for her egg. No court in the world can mess with mother nature or with the ultimate reality and purpose of procreation-the survival of a lineage stretching from us back to the origin of our first ancestors, millennia of years ago.”
I agree with you that “the only legal parentage SHOULD be the two who conceived the child. Unfortunately, lawyers and registrars of vital statistics deemed themselves legally able to change our (adopted people’s) facts of birth.
Here is a link to the beginnings of the national trend to falsify birth records of adopted people in the United States in 1930: https://forbiddenfamily.com/1930-birth-records-of-illegitimates-and-of-adopted-children/
You said, “For those who were born in the 1950s or before, like me, should be aware that states purge documents and not all digitalize or microfiche records. And be aware that in some cases more than one court was or is involved in the adoption process.”
Yes, very true. We may never be able to obtain the true facts of our births. But we can fight to the very end of our lives to change the laws so that newer adoptees will not be forced into identity theft at the hands of our government.
You said, “And do remember that whether you are for or against adoption and fostering or not, we who are conscripts of this archaic legalized procedure most likely have siblings (or half-siblings) in addition to close and extended family from whom we have been severed.”
Yes. No adopted person is completely void of blood relatives. The law and our adopters do not want this to be true, but it is very true.
Gazelle, perhaps I should have worded my post differently. Or maybe not posted it at all. But let me clarify something. You seem to believe that I am on the pro-adoption side of the argument. I am actually supportive of first families and dedicated to family preservation. I would like the see the system reformed and the number of adoptions dramatically curtailed.
The editors of First Mother Forum have expressed displeasure with the use of birth mother as one word. I believed, perhaps mistakenly, that this was a common position in the adoption reform community. We don’t refer to adoptive parents, after all, as an adoptiveparent. That’s one way I have heard the point phrased. In any event, maybe I am not the right person to advocate that point.
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Hi Ms. Braun- greetings from an adoptee. To me it sounds like the decision you made back then was the right one in that moment. Personally, I am not upset with my bio mom, but uoset that I cannot find out who she is as there is no paperwork. I was adopted from abroad though. Most adoptees, I gather from an online group, just want to know their bio moms and are no angry at them at all. Wishing you all the best and God willing you will meet again one day. Best, Diana
I wish society would acknowledge these feelings. Being given away is not a good thing for children.
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Yes, society ought to acknowledge the feelings of adoptees. This 11 year old girl who wrote this post has real feelings. She is expressing herself clearly at a young age. As she grows older, her feelings will change as her awareness changes.
We older adoptees are slapped down by non-adopted people with comments such as “I’m sorry you had a bad experience” and “I know many adoptees who are happy and well-adjusted and you are so angry”. No, life itself is a mix of experiences. It is the condition of being adopted that creates these feelings inside. Even “happy” and “well-adjusted” adoptees question where they came from and who their parents are. If they don’t, then they are drinking the cool-aid and are in denial.
Since the author of this piece is only 11, I hope that society wakes up to the realization that it is cruel to put children in this position to feel this way.
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Spot on, Legitimate Woman 🙂
Unfortunately since we adoptees make up only 2% of the total global population and have not found a leader strong enough to pull us together as a team to focus on how we can effect real and much needed change and then act upon making that happen children like this 11 year old- who could easily in age be my grandchild- must suffer in silence … or write out her emotions, just as we adults have learned to do. She is already caught in the trap of feeling guilty about her own feelings, and that may get worse over time if someone does not help her to understand that she has no fault in her abnormal upbringing.
No society or individual can empathize with what they have not experienced, nor are most humans willing to change their habits or their world views. Societies only know what is customary and normal for them; as adoption, IVF, abortion, gratuitous sex and violence is the norm people are accustomed to it therefore believes all are ‘good’ for the society at large. And, as the Quran reminds, men (and women) can always find ways to justify their harmful deeds.
I was born in 1945 and by 1947 was abandoned by my own parents, and by 1950 was conscripted to become the child of a couple who were ‘ unable to have children’. Classic story of adoption is that the adoptee becomes the perfume which produces the, until then,e heretofore conception which becomes the child they couldn’t have…The child was a son who was put in my face every second as ‘my’ brother… the problem was that I already had my own brother-who somehow disappeared from my life along with parents and sister … I was so traumatized by the events which had already shaped my young life that I literally became invisible to all -as much as I was able to do so.
Things never got any better-in fact they got much, much worse…Cinderella had a far better life than I did… I never got presents from a Fairy Godmother–not even wee mice who could cheer me… I did get sent to a home for incorrigible girls for two years after I ran away from an intolerable environment… and then filled full of Valium and bi-weekly visits to a shrink and a psychologist, neither of which would I speak with other than the courtesy greeting and the courtesy leave-taking. Pets had far better lives than I did. I was the ingrate adoptee whom everyone took great pleasure in reminding deserved nothing better…
(In Islam we believe that we have 2 angels -one on the right shoulder and the other on the left-to record our life’s deeds and misdeeds. The first angel transcribes the good; the other one keeps track of the misdeeds. My angel of the Left will be very happy when I slip the surly bounds of earth so that he won’t have writer’s cramp anymore. May they both have easier charges the next time around! )
It has only been recently that the trauma of all adoptees is prevalent and harmful … some to a much greater degree than others-from attachment issues to abandonment issues to the ‘ why me followed by “What did I do to make my mother/parents not want me?” . And the ignorant wonder I how and others could possibly be so angry… to this day. Anger is a sign that something is amiss. It is a good thing. And I have a right to it, as do many others. To paraphrase a line in the song You Don’t Own Me… Don’t tell me what to say … Dont’ tell me what to do… and Don’t tell me what to feel… I’ll feel as I need to do! Repressing anger is one of the most damaging acts a human can do to themselves… Over time that anger may well turn to rage … Murder-suicide is not a pretty picture!
I cannot change my life, but I can work heaven and earth to ensure that others do not have to live in the atmosphere I did. Children have the right to know who they are and where they came from and who their mother is (and father, too) Interestingly enough, young adoptees seldom enquire about their fathers, but even if only in their mind, they ask each women they encounter ‘Are YOU my mother?’ From the happiest to the most miserable child. DNA_R_Us! Adn unlike the umbilical cord, it cannot be separated from ourselves or our parents and ancestors.
For you non-adoptees or relinquishing mothers or just plain ignoramuses, don’t dare sing the happy songs and insist we do the same. I prefer Puccini or Verdi or Mozart and other opera composers for their reality on things painful to your Island Calypso melodies … My favorite operatic aria? Vincéro! (Pavarotti’s signature aria ) Your denial is poison and your cool-aide a breeding ground for diabetes
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This how my daughter explained it when I found her 35 years after I placed her for Adoption.
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Mothers who want to find their children do so…. many spend years searching for their relinquished children… and have purposely stated how much they regretted what caused the separation.
Your sentences show no feeling … no heart… no depth … no tenderness …. and worse you cared to respond to the anguish of an 11 year old’s cri de coeur… in this way … The 11 year old, your daughter, me, my siblings and millions of others did not ask to be born, but we deserved protection and love and care -not from strangers, but from our kith and kin.
Blood is stronger than water and binds us with DNA from generations before and after us.
You, Ms. Braun, are still under the delusion that this is all about you…. when in fact you are a small part of a much greater whole.
Somewhere I hear the voice of Jacob Marley s’ ghost asking about … orphanages, adoption agencies, foster care, and the relinquishing parents …. and the other family members who refused to be guardians of a vulnerable child who was their responsibility as it was everyone else’s.
Your own society failed you and your daughter and you to this day accept that it did so with no effort to fight back.. You aren’t 16 any more!
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Don’t feel bad, Amy Braun. You did the best you could at the time. Blood isn’t everything. I should know. I’m not adopted and I can’t stand my mother. I wish I hadn’t been born to her. She and I would have been much happier if she had had a different daughter and I a different mother. But none of us get to choose who we are born too or the children we get if we get pregnant and keep the baby. All any of us can do is the best we can with what we have at any given time. Sure we will always be judged by people who aren’t us but that doesn’t make us terrible people. So, just be who you are and don’t worry about what others think. They aren’t you and they didn’t live your life.
Just a piece of advice, Mary Rose:
We may not have lived Ms. Braun’s life, but we have lived the lives of any child who was abandoned, relinquished, or any other term one can apply to a child who never asked to be born and who deserved the love and care from parents, or at least close family -not strangers who a court gives us to be ‘theirs’ instead of ourselves.
What a cop out- to say ‘we just do the best with what we have…at any given time’ as if that makes every thing hunky dory as we at served with a warm piece apple pie slathered with vanilla ice cream while the powers that be give the old wink-wink-nod-nod, pat us on the head and tell us to go and sin no more! Balderdash!
Way before the age of 16 we know where babies come from…. and we used to know the rules and something about the consequences for thinking we didn’t have to abide by them.
Many, many 16 year olds who were forced or coerced to relinquish their infants fought th systems and have eventually found that child. No one helped them just as no one helps us-the abandoned children. But if we are determined and make a great deal of effort and beat down doors if we must, our efforts come to some resolve-if only to know that yes YOU at my mother and that we have cousins and close family and those who share our DNA-which my dear is stronger than anything we humans will ever have on our sides.
The mother you hate is the mother most of us would swim an ocean to find-or better to have. You dare berate us? You dare rat out your own mother and think that is OK? Your statements at juvenile-“My mommy didn’t give me instant gratification so I’m going to eat worms! I wish I had never been born … to her.” Be careful what you wish for… you may get it, and may well rue the day you do….
Your words are pure Hollywood… I can picture a myriad of child brats of celluloid saying lines just like yours… pouting and crying because poor dears didn’t get a Thunderbird for their 16th birthday …. or a pony for their 10th…
That mother you berate allowed you to live; she gave you 50% of those genes that you ignorantly deny has any part in who and what you are. You and she share a Haplogroup as do any female siblings you have, this from a long line of grandmothers who are you direct ancestors way back to the original mother who is she who started with her mate that which is your lineage.
You are correct-we don’t get to choose our parents or the genetics they pass on to us as we pas them and ours on to the next generation, but we do get to choose what kind of person we want to live our own lives-from benefactor to destroyer of lives. We choose whether to create harmony or discord; whether to be the chronic complainer or the becalmed; to be bountiful or niggardly; to shelter our fellows or to ‘let them eat cake’!
I leave you with this as food for thought: At least your mother -and presumably your father-didn’t drive a thousand miles to abandon you and a sibling in a dog pound. And you know who your family is and who looks like whom. In comparison to many others my dear, you had a wonderful life!
Reblogged this on FORBIDDEN FAMILY and commented:
Re-blogged at Forbidden Family… My comment:
While these sad words of an 11 year old girl are painful, I’m glad that she was able to be a part of an adoptee-centric workshop. Something like this was not available to me or my adoptive family when I was 11 back in the 1960s. I had similar feelings to that of this 11 year old author, but could not express them.
I was told at a young age that I was adopted, but was given no information, other than my mother died. Forbidden to talk about my adoption or to ask questions, I had no choice but to stuff my feelings down. I was raised an only child and loved being a part of my large adopted family. (My adoptive father had 9 other siblings who each had spouses and children. My adoptive mother had 4 siblings.)
My adoptive parents bought into the secrecy and shame surrounding adoption, and so did my aunts, uncles and cousins. As a child, I could sense the fear, anger, and suspicion directed at me because I might find out the terrible secret someday. I heard adults in the kitchen talking loudly, throwing out names of people I didn’t know. When I came in the room, the adults stopped talking, glared at me with their heads down. Something was wrong.
When I was found by my 4 older siblings at my age of 18, it all made sense. The names I heard as a child were the names of my natural mother’s brothers and sister. My extended adoptive family spent an incredible amount of energy preventing me from knowing anything about my family of origin, yet, these adults deemed themselves worthy to socialize with my own blood kin. My adoptive parents were not the ones who regularly visited with my natural mother’s family, but they knew what was going on. When the truth came out, I felt my adoptive parents and my adopted aunts and uncles and cousins betrayed me. Some aunts and uncles and cousins were empathetic to me, but they kept quiet, bowing to the others who believed the myth that “adoptees should never know”. All except one adoptive aunt who told me 10 years into my reunion that she advocated for me to know the truth, but my adoptive mother took the defensive, “No, she’s mine!” attitude.
The deep dark secret I was never supposed to know? My 4 older siblings and our father lived just a few miles away. Our deceased mother’s grave was across town.
I’m tired of people telling me that mine is not the stereotypical teenage mother and unknown father scenario. So what? That does not negate my feelings.
I hope that this 11 year old child is encouraged to further explore her feelings, to continue to be a part of the larger adoptee-rights movement in which she can express herself without being judged. I hope, when the time is right, she can move into a search and reunion with her natural family with maturity and guidance from her adoptive parents and relatives in a loving and caring manner.
The feelings expressed by this 11 year old adoptee should never be a burden on any child. Coping with this during childhood is not a childhood. Waiting to grow up to be able to deal with these unresolved feelings and issues is mental and emotional cruelty; it is abuse.
Search and reunion should not be the goal. What do I mean by this? Children should never be permanently separated from their blood kin, nor should our identities be stolen by our state governments and federal governments. These are immense burdens to place upon a newborn or an older child who learns to cope by stuffing their feelings inside, even when an adoptee seems to be “happy”. When is society going to realize that adoptees are not free to make their own choices?
How to prevent a child from suffering adoption trauma? By preventing adoption in the first place; help parents keep their children. Help the father whose wife died leaving behind five children. Give him the tools and resources needed to keep his family intact by not insisting that “the baby needs two parents” and that a married couple “needs” his child because they have been childless for 18 years (my natural father’s and adoptive parents’ situations). Help the 16 year old girl to improve her own self-image. Give her the tools and resources needed to acknowledge and sustain her own motherhood. This is Family Preservation.
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Dear legitimatebastard, thank you for your beautiful comment. It’s a voice of reason in a sea of adoption madness. I wonder if the core problem is that we live in a society which believes that everything is negotiable, that everyone and everything is a commodity – even the most personal, most sacred human bonds, like, between a human being and their line of ancestors. And the invisible hand of the market (or God, for that matter) will guide us all. Indigenous cultures appear to be much smarter in that regard. They know what’s at stake.
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Yes, Natasha, the buying and selling of children is a global problem. It is also a woman’s issue, but not recognized as one. Wealthy women buy the children of the poor. And yes, indigenous people are definitely more smarter in recognizing the importance of place in family and honoring ancestors.
“I’m not adopted…” If you are writing that, then you need to stop typing. Move away from the keyboard. Instead, just read and learn from people who actually are adopted. Because I can tell you, it’s very hard to explain how it feels. There really aren’t sufficient words to explain it. Maybe if you read enough of these pieces, you’ll get a clue. But you need to stop talking about yourself for a minute and just listen.
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All adoptee voices count. The happy, as well as the not so happy. Another adoptees happiness does not mean that my sadness is wrong.
My anger at losing my mother, and entire family is not my fault.
What happened to us was wrong. Someone should have helped our families. Taking a woman’s newborn from her is not help. Even if you wanted that newborn, very, very much.
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Well said, maryleee!
Natasha, I’d like to add a thought to the core problem you suggest. Is part of it, that so much of the world wants to live in a land of make believe and not deal with reality?
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Cindy, yes, living in reality would mean that adopters would not be given a new birth certificate for the child legally adopted. Adopters’ names do not belong on a birth certificate. Their names should not replace the names of the father who sired the child and the mother who conceived and birthed the child. The adoptee should never be renamed to suit the desires of the adopters.
We need laws to mandate that the child’s medical record of live birth – the birth certificate – should be left intact for the protection of the very individual whose birth was recorded. This recognition of the facts of life itself might change how people approach adoption.
Reality-based documentation should replace fantasy-based documentation of legal parentage.
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Reblogged this on D.E. Cantor.