Dear Adoption, You Disassembled My Life Unnecessarily
I grew up in an open adoption. My birth mom went to church with my adoptive parents. Christa was 17 when she got pregnant with me and her parents would not let her live in their home and raise me. They didn’t offer her any assistance and pounded into her how much shame she brought on their family.
Christa’s mother approached my adoptive mom and asked if they’d be interested in adopting me. It wasn’t a secret that my adoptive parents had struggled to get pregnant for 7 years.
Christa agreed but she wanted the adoption to be open (an open adoption means she would be able to see me from time to time).
I always knew Christa. I never called her mom.
Christa never felt like my mom even though we looked a lot alike. As a kid I didn’t really understand who she was. I think I always had an abstract concept of her being my mom but nobody really told me until I was 11. I was told God put me in Christa’s tummy to grow for my adoptive parents. Even as a kid I thought that sounded pretty stupid.
Christa and I have remained in contact. She was at my wedding and my kids call her Grandma Christa. We have never really hit a very comfortable stride. I can tell she’s afraid of me. She was told she was the vessel and not the mother so I understand her distance.
My family life has always been good. My time with Christa has always been awkward. As a father myself now I just don’t understand why my adoptive parents, Christa’s parents or anybody else at their church didn’t just help her so we could have stayed together and so the most awkward relationship in my life wasn’t with my biological mother.
They could have helped her but they didn’t because they wanted a baby. They found a vessel and got their baby.
I found a box of paperwork and letters exchanged between my adoptive parents and Christa from before I was born. I was snooping around and my adoptive parents still don’t know I read everything.
This is part of a letter from Christa to my adoptive mom and my adoptive mom’s response:
Christa: I wanted to name him Josh. It isn’t the father’s name or anything but I always loved that name and I just wanted to ask you if I could give him his name or maybe just a middle name.
Adoptive Mother: Christa it’s important that we name our son because he is our son. We believe God is using you to deliver a healthy son who will become ours. We know this is a lot for you sweetie. We have agreed to keep an open adoption and we have and will continue to help you but you need to begin readying yourself to release him to us because sweetie we are his parents.
They could have helped her but they all chose not to.
Today, I don’t consider myself anyone’s son. I’m not the son of my adoptive parents no matter how territorial are. And Christa and I were robbed of a mother and son relationship that we can’t get back.
Adoption is the pathway that was taken by a lot of people in my life to disassemble something that didn’t need to be disassembled. This was unnecessary, Adoption. You know it and I know it.
Dear anonymous male.
Your poignant narrative highlights so very well just why adoption is so very wrong-unethical and archaic-but most of all WRONG, destroying natural ties, stealing identities, separating siblings, and family, and causing untold hurt, stress, anxiety and confusion.
Your children at least call your mother Christa their grandmother and justifiably so because she IS their grandmother as she IS your mother. You share at least 50% of Christa’s genes, just as you share 50% +/- of your father’s whoever he is. Your adoptive parents share not one centimorgan (cM is a measurement for DNA material) and those who do share their with yours were meant and are y our parents. Your mother was no more a surrogate for your at God’s wish than I am was meant to be abused, abandoned and abused again by parents and adopters and/or the society with his permission. Why would the creator have an unwed mother, a grave disobedience to the laws of society, be your mother when there were many couples in wedlock who could have been ‘picked’-including the adopters? Adn how are the adopters YOUR parents when they were not, nor are not?
Christa IS your mother despite what society tried to convince her otherwise. She was forced to relinquish you and the agents on hand manipulated her to think that ” open ‘ adoption would allow you to have contact with your son knowing full well that in most states open adoption agreements in most states allowing them are unenforceable give full weight to the adopters and none to the birth mother. The ultimate victim was and still is you, with your own mother left without her son and with the guilt her own society heaped upon her to mar any meaningful relationship between you U*NLESS you yourself fight to keep it and to nourish it and her.
Although you cannot go back to being infant to mother, you and your mother can forge an adult relationship between mother and son. It will be great effort on both sides, but a thing worth having is a thing wrought with effort and teamwork. Make a vow to forge this bond now. Don’t let the ‘system’ work. Make reality victorious. As your children have their grandmother, you need to fight to have your mother. Do it for your grandchildren and the generations that follow. Start a family tree beginning with your own mother (and father if you know who that is) and find your own roots and your ancestors. Not all of us have the opportunity that you do. But I am positive that many of us wish you well and hope you can reconstruct the reality of who you are and who your mother is so that y ou r children and grandchildren will never have to wonder who they are or who thier ancestors are.
Oh yes, and one more thing, do a DNA test for all of you: yourself, your mother, your children.. and your father (again if you know who he is..) Contact your state of adoption to obtain your original birth certificate if you have not already done that; if the state s restricted or partially so, jo9in advocacy groups (or start one) to change the laws. Or maybe you will be lucky enough to have been adopted in on e of the 9 states that have unrestricted access to your birth certificate.
Above all, take courage and be kind to yourself. Best wishes as you unravel this ugly and very tangled know called ‘adoption”. Good luck. Vaya con dios.
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I can totally sympathize with this adoptee. Adoption tears an invividual from ever being and individual. I declared an idenity of myself until my 1st son was born, then that identity I lived with all those years died, along with the birthmom I never had a chance to meet.
I encourage this guy to be the initiator in making the relationship with his Bmom work . One thing I tried to do when trying to connect with my birthmom on the phone, was to be understanding of her guilt,loss and heartache she carried with her all those years. I will never have the chance to know her, he needs to take the opportunity while she’s still alive.
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God does not make mistakes. God does not put babies in the wrong womb. Delusional people ‘playing God’ do that.
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My adopted friends, you’re always dragged into the other side of the equation. Over and over. This post just really broke me up. Because I think no one is telling the mother the truth. They don’t know the truth they can’t handle the truth they think it’s all good because obviously the culture is saying -like my cousin just said recently “a 15-year-old can’t be a mother you have to have the baby adopted.”.
It makes me very sorry for everyone. And then this adopted mother talking about how this woman was really just a vessel so she could have her son. No wonder he is effed up.
if anyone heard Catriona Palmer on Haley’s podcast I also heard her interviewed on the Diane rehm show. it was all so interesting.
so many things strike me, but one was when Catriona says when she first met her mother her mother was this sobbing mess crying uncontrollably and Catriona felt very cool and unmoved and just done.
She felt differently the second time. But I remember first meeting My daughter-when she was 35, and feeling like a flatliner. And on the way home driving for three hours my husband said to me “that must’ve been very hard.”
And I said it wasn’t hard it wasn’t hard at all, what was hard was the first 35 years. But I wasn’t a weeping mess, and – I think our emotions are constantly protecting our injured selves. I did so much crying for so long, but always in private always alone always with no one to share it with. That probably would have helped -a tender ear- and even now just the thought, is flashback, and truly I don’t know that I was so missing my child as I was feeling so burdened by my experience. It never occurred to me that My daughter would want to know me. Everyone said she had her own parents now. It’s just so ridiculous.
I was v concerned with keeping the secret shame of pregnancy.
Looking now at what is going on in the news etc. It truly was a time of brainwashing. You have all of the people with all of the money and the power and the social status and they are brainwashed and then by definition they brainwash their child-either the young terrified mother or the adopted person . It took a lot of guts for a woman to say back them “no we’re not giving her baby away.”
I’m sorry for this author, and plenty of people have bio parents that they grow away from, but I hope you have people in your life that you truly love and that you can feel that care from others.
I feel v differently about my daughter than she feels about me. I can feel it. But I’m not going anywhere ever. I did have a good relationship with her mom, but fact is, she is my daughter and nothing will ever ever change that. I would never ever abandon her again. Ever.
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I am adopted too. This is hard to read, and I understand. Your adoptive mother’s words to your natural mother are so hardhearted and cruel! And this is the woman you had to call mother. How can our adoptive mothers claim to love us, and cruelly rip us from our dear mother’s arms? That is what I can never understand.
I have my own family now too so I finally know what family feels like. My kids saved me.
Keep speaking out, society needs to know newborns and their mothers should not be separated.
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Society also needs to know that it is not just newborns who are relinquished shortly after birth that are adopted. It is also children abandoned by parents who are separated from their siblings -a double trauma. the first to be flung out from the home and the family one knows by the very ones who should protect the child-his/her parents. then to be torn asunder from siblings and to be forever separated. Separation anxiety isn’t a mental illness, it is a real life event in which a child or children is/are ripped form their DNA moorings and flung out into a void to be given without consent to strangers in a strange land.
My children were the first sentient beings to share some of my physicality-the first humans who were part of me in a very visceral and psychological way. It was many years after their births (and my daughter’s death) that I learned who I had been born to, and much, much later that I knew what my parents looked like, and some of what their life was, and could have photos of them and my brother and sister. My parents dies before I could locate them, as did my brother. All those from whom I am descendant are dead … Had the society not encouraged adoption, perhaps I could have known my own family-close and extended.
I have located and even met some family members, but being the skeleton finally free from the close in which she was kept for decades, most wan little to nothing to do with me. I have Almost 3000 people in my tree of ancestors now-names I was never supposed to know. Despite what my parents did to their children -reprehensible and unacceptable -without them I would not be alive, nor would I have discovered the rich tapestry of my ancestry and why I am the person I am. #DNA_R_Us and is every fibre of our being. All is nature, never nurture, unlike someone wrote earlier. For the adoptee who was cursed and told she would amount to nothing -the child no one wanted, I have learned much and discovered the strength which has helped me to survive came from a long line of strong ancestors, the strongest from my maternal lineage, and some interesting ancestors from my paternal side.
I will never know why my sister and I were abandoned, and will never understand how any one would want to deny a child their own identity, or how a judge can think the what he/she does is in the best interest of the child is beyond my ken.
To the young man f the original post and any one else, I would say like Dylan Thomas, the Welsh Poet, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night…rage! rage against the dying of the light …’ Fight against what is injustice, and help others to fight it as well.
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Many of these comments are not constructive. Adoption is not bad. I am a birth mother involved in an open adoption and I wholly disagree that children should never be separated from their birth parents. I think it’s bullsh*t how this birth mom was treated, but to make blanket statements like that is unrealistic and honestly just as cruel as the unwillingness of anyone to help this birth mom. Your blanket statements make me feel less than as a birth mother who loves her adoption, and is relieved that I was given the opportunity to continue school and get my degree, start a job, and get my feet under me to start a life for myself— all while getting to see my daughter grow up and have a relationship with her. while this specific situation is real, it’s hard, and is a tragic example of open adoption… adoption is NOT bad. It is a CHOICE that a woman brave enough to set aside not just 9 months of her life, but her entire life, to grow, care for, and foster the relationship her and her child can have should be praised and not shamed. Stop being bullies.
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Anonymous 1:22 PM,
Would you tell your daughter the same thing if she felt this way? Would you dismiss her as being cruel if she were to ever say what the adoptees here have said?
It’s hard to separate the people IN adoption, from the practice OF adoption. What I mean is, it’s not calling the people involved ‘bad’, it’s the –practice– and the –way– it is all too often done that is ‘bad’. It’s not in the very best interests of an infant or child. Not the way it is currently done.
Does your daughter feel free to share her deepest feelings with you and her adoptive parents? Or is she so much like so many other adoptees who are walking a tightrope over an abyss when they even think of saying what they really feel about being surrendered and adopted and the hard challenges they face?
Why is it so hard for any of the parents to hear what –they– (the ones who were involuntarily separated and placed with those who are often strangers [at the time]) have to say?
So many mothers are given a snow job about adoption and how beautiful and wonderful it all is without being told of all the known potential detriments or lifelong issues that come with it (especially for our children). That is one of the bad practices that need to be changed/stopped.
If it is truly to be for the “best interest of the children”………….the adoptees need to be heard.
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Adoption: Birth mothers like you make life a hell for people like me … Only in the West is adoption aceptable … and only very recently was it even available as an option..
What is not constructive my dear is that you think it fine to take another’s child, change its name, take away its culture, religion,. family, heritage and inheritance, and then tell the kid that ‘God’ chose you to be its mother. You and the state collude to strip us of our DNA relatives, deprive us of our siblings and call us ingrates for wanting to know who we really are… and where we really came form and who our ancestors are..
You have the greatest of audacity to talk of CHOICE when we who were and are adopted were not given CHOICE or even consulted. (And minors who birth children are forced by agents of the state, the churches, the social service professionals and private lawyers to give their child away in the name of ‘giving it a better life’-all con jobs -even from the child’s natural grandparents.)
You need to become educated about what happens to those children you and others relinquished at your convenience.. so you could do this, that, or the other ..whether to continue school or to sit around and twiddle your thumbs…You chose YOUR desires over the needs of your child! You and others like you are heartless, selfish B*t****s ! I hope you choke on that degree you traded your child for…. as for your open adoption-bull****! You stand on the outside as if your child were an animal at a petting zoo… visitations TBA. How is it you explain to your daughter that she does not live with you? What charming excuse do you use?
You, woman, are delusional and dangerous-even more so than those who abandoned (like I was) their children or those who relinquished outright. At least we adoptees of closed and sealed adoptons know that we are estranged from parents and others , and probably will not be reunited. Why? Because you are the epitome of a hedonist… the epitome of the 21st ‘American’ woman who is all about herself and none other. Your anthem is Me! Me! Me! I’m in Love with Me! Me! Me!
You should bone up on what really happens to the child who suffers life-long trauma due to separation from mother, father, siblings, etc. You need to know these things when your open-adoption daughter is older and aware that her life is NOT like the others ‘she is associated with. She will have many questions, and I hope they make you squirm and fidget and ashamed for ruining her life. You are like the barker at a carnival, teasing prospective dupes with pretty promises and seduction via fakery. Your daughter is even more flummoxed than are we who are totally estranged from our parents, etc. because you arrive only to disappear again.
Ever see the movie Groundhog Day when the man relives the same day over and ove again… take that scenario and imagine being abandoned over and over and over again …. that is what your daughter endures… think about it Ms. Birth Mother with the College Degree.. which you received at your daughter’s expense.. TRISTE.
(BTW, I have a university degree, and a Masters’ Degree.. and a BSN… and military service , the first acquired before marriage, the rest acquired while being mother to my own children… one who is 44 years of age, and my daughter who only lived four months-both as an abandoned wife… to the man who was the father of my children…)
I usually don’t use such strong language in public, but this woman plucked my last nerve of the day with her audacity to say that adoption is NOT BAD… and that it was/is a CHOICE… a buggy whip would benefit her immensely.
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I feel so sad for your daughter. Someday she may read the words you’ve written and realize you were glad you gave her to someone else to raise so you could be all about you. Giving her away gave YOU opportunities, gave YOU a degree, gave YOU a start for your life. And in the process what did you give her? Separation from the one person in the world who is supposed to be there for her.
I’m also a mother. I’m not a “birth”mother because I’m not a walking vessel. I’m my daughter’s first mother and the last thing I would want her to read is that I chose this for her for my own good. I didn’t make a choice. She was taken from me in a forced adoption. And even if not forced, there’s nothing brave about it. Surrending your own child for adoption is an act of desperation. Were you informed of the trauma your child would experience? Were you informed of the lifelong grief a mother goes through? Were you offered support to keep your baby? Were you given legal representation not paid for by the agency? If you had support in place would you have made the same decision?
Please sit and think about what you’re saying. Think about what your words will mean to your daughter. She’s the only one in this scenario who had zero choices. Think about HER. There’s a very good chance that she won’t love adoption as much as you do.
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Wow. Strong feelings expressed here. I was relinquished for adoption at birth 68 years ago in a state that still refuses all access to birth records. But never mind; the magic of DNA matching is revolutionizing the search for birth families!
I search because I was denied a coherent story of why I was surrendered. Because my adoptive mother was a narcissist in search of narcissistic supply, terrorized me in childhood and adulthood. Because the adoption industry placed me with an unfit parent, and made thousands of dollars by “selling” me. I search because I deserve to know the reason for being separated from my families of origin.
But the DNA does not lie. Here’s the interesting truth: I am advised not to disclose I am an adoptee when contacting a close DNA match. I might “offend” someone, or surface the birth parents’ identity no one knew before! Their anonymity is protected these decades later, and the abandoned child now grown still carries the stigma of being unwanted and dumped into the baby pool.
Even adoptees placed in loving homes are haunted by the trauma of infancy and childhood spent with strangers. Denied the truth about our origins is itself traumatic. As long as adoptees are denied knowledge of their origins, the adoption process is forever corrupt.
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I thought this story was heartbreaking. I was a 17 year old girl when I gave birth to my son in 1964. I was given no choice but to relinquish my son to adoption. I left him when he was 6 days old. I was devastated and I never felt at peace with that decision. I always wondered where he was, what he looked like and was he happy. I reunited with my son after 50 years. We hit it off immediately.
What I came to find out from my son and his adoptive sister was that their mother physically and emotionally abused my son until she deserted them when he was a young teen. So much for the adoption agency’s screening of prospective parents.
I know that my life was never the same. I lived with that loss for 50 years. My pain is nothing compared to what my son endured. As a mother knowing that will always hurt.
My son and I had a beautiful relationship. We loved being together. We found his birth father and he got to know his half sisters. It was a joy fo me to see them together. We learned a great deal about adoption by attending groups that bring adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents together.
Last year my son passed away. I am heartbroken but I am forever grateful that we reunited.
I urge this gentleman and his birth mother to try to work through their differences. Life is so short. Nothing surpasses love.
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Reblogged this on One Woman's Choice.
[…] “closed” secretive past filled with shame where women went into hiding, to a postmodern ““open” adoption era where women are posing as social media “poster” birth moms, we have seen a shift […]