gallery Dear Adoption, I Have Questions for Bio-Mom


Dear Adoption, I Have Questions for Bio-Mom

Tell me about your pregnancy thirty years ago. Did he leave you before or after you realized you were late? Did you go to the sonogram alone? Were tears streaming down your face as you heard my heart beat for the first time? Why did you take your prenatal vitamins? Did you figure it out too late?

People always ask if I’ve tried to find you – they never ask if you’ve tried to find me. I wonder about your life, though. I wonder if you cut back on your shifts at the textile factory, went back to school, and found a job in the city where nobody knew you or your secret. I wonder if, on your lunch break, you tapped a stranger on the shoulder to let him know he was next in line. I wonder if he asked you on two years worth of dates before asking you to move in with him. I wonder if you took one of those cheesy photos of yourselves painting a wall for your “we’ve moved” announcement card. I wonder if you cried when he got down on one knee, not hesitating to say yes. I wonder if my screaming body flashed in your brain when the stick turned blue a year from then. I wonder if it was more than a second before you tucked it away with all the other garbage that doesn’t mean shit to you.

Elizabeth from the adoption agency told me every mother who has given their child up for adoption thinks of that child on the day they gave birth. Do you? Did you spend those first few weeks clutching your belly, wondering where I had gone? Did you hold me and take my scent in before the nurses took me away?

I used to think I needed these answers – that the most significant decision of your life has defined all of mine, all of me. I used to think I needed you. But I don’t. I never fucking did.

Lauren J. Sharkey’s debut novel, INCONVENIENT DAUGHTER, is forthcoming from Kaylie Jones Books is 2020 and is based on Sharkey’s own experience of being a Korean American adoptee. Sharkey was adopted from Korea at the age of three months and raised by Irish Catholic parents on Long Island, NY. Connect with Lauren on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



  1. Response form an Elder

    Your statement: “Elizabeth from the adoption agency told me every mother who has given their child up for adoption thinks of that child on the day they gave birth.”

    My question: Aside from the personal and education knowledge that not every mother thinks about her relinquished child that I have, how would ‘Elizabeth’ possibly know what ‘every’ mother thinks or does? And why would you believe her? he is paid to mislead … to keep the procedure known as adoption secret -especially to the adoptee, but also to the relinquishing parent.

    Your statement with one word changed to asterisks : ‘I used to think I needed these answers – that the most significant decision of your life has defined all of mine, all of me. I used to think I needed you. But I don’t. I never ******* did.’

    My question: So if you don’t need the answers, why are you still asking the questions? Of strangers?

    Being separated from one’s mother, no matter how, is a trauma that none of us who have experienced that quite get over. But eventually we all must mature and move on with our lives as adults, not as children. We must adapt in order to survive. This adaption does not mean to disinherit what cannot to be dismissed… that mother you speak of with disdain is your mother with whom you share about 50% DNA, as well as the 50% you share with your father. Whether adoptee or non-adoptee, domestic adoption or international adoption, born in or out of the US, we are all conceived by the two who give us our own genome, with whom we share centimorgans (cMs) Without the DNA that your mother and father have provided, you wouldn’t be alive to voice your hurt and our pain, nor would you be the person that you are today. Be careful not to throw either parent(s) or the baby they conceived out with the bath water.

    Until you know your mother’s story, you should not judge her for what you merely think she did. And even if you know what she did (abandon you), you do not know why, nor do you know her circumstances. Even today unwed pregnancies are viewed negatively in most societies throughout the globe, and just as in the past, many others are forced to relinquish-by their own mothers and their own societies.

    Remember the teachings of Jesus/Issa: He (or she) without sin should cast the first stone. Issa/Jesus speaks also of forgiveness being the most healing balm for humanity, this in your bible and my qur’an.

    If you have not done so, consider having your DNA tested. It may bring you a sibling or two or cousins and if lucky, a parent or two. There are many Korean adoptees in search who have well organized groups available to others in similar circumstances. And you might want to reconsider writing a biography rather than a novel of your life. Adoption itself is deception ..Why would you want to enable the system rather than to disrobe it? It is only truth that sets us or others free. And the first truth must be your truth, not a fairy tale version.

    In any event, best wishes in coming to terms with yourself and for blossoming into a woman who finds herself whole and happy. Vaya con dios.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi gazelledz,

      All adoptees are entitled to their feelings – whether they be love, curiosity, resentment, or anger. Not everyone processes what it means to be adopted the same way. Dear Adoption, is a space that allows adoptees to express their feelings on adoption, not a place where we put the feelings of adoptees on trial.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lauren you’re entitled to feel whatever you’re feeling. Adoption isn’t an easy concept for others to understand. Don’t stiffle your truth. Its your reality therefore no one can speak for you

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gee, If I needed your advice on why this blog is here and what it does I’d check with its originator… Sorry dear one but I’ve been an adoptee far longer than you and have been advocate for equal rights for adoptees over 30 years, with a very broad education and far more experience than you. I, therefore, take your remark with a grain of salt… Your arms are much to short to box with God or with me.

        I speak three languages plus the English I got saddled with and have at least three degrees-plus a military stint in Nam as a nurse… I work with disadvantaged and with adoptees.

        I was reading at age 2 and was enjoying Moses and Monotheism (By A guy named Sigmund Freud) at age five same age at which my male adopter was sexually abusing me, while his wife enabled him. I was beaten for reading and verbally and emotionally abused. At age 12 I was sent to a home for delinquent and incorrigible girls because I continuously ran away from the adopters who abused me…

        You wrote your opinion and I responded. If you can’t take criticism, suggestions or understand that yours is not the only voice of experience around , then don’t write for others to read and to respond.

        Be careful with your lectures-especially when you have the audacity to lecture one older and evidently wiser than yourself.. When I feel the need for one I will attend a good institution like Harvard, Oxford, or other renowned centers of learning. I have a son who is older than you, and had my daughter lived beyond the four months of her short life, she would be older than both of you.

        By the way, Islam prohibits adoption because it steals the child’s identity and inheritance as well as its dignity and heritage.

        My mother is hardly the most favorite person in my life, but it is not for me to judge her for only Allah/God knows her degree of knowledge and her particular circumstances and reasons for abandoning her two daughters in favor of her son. and the truth is that without her and the man she married, three of us would not have been born. I have passed the mtDNA from her which came from her mother, which came from her mother , etc. to my son.. and the maternal haplogroup to go with it… the latter is long and has illustrious persons who share it with us….

        Use your anger to change what is wrong with the world, but don’t take it out on the rest of us. Anger tells us something is wrong in our lives so that we can rectify that wrong. You are hardly the first to be hurt by those who should have protected you, and sadly you probably will not be the last. But there are millions of children and adults who have far worse situations with which to contened than you or I … far more … homeless, stateless, without shelter or food o clothing… people under occupation for decades, and kids in the US who make your life and mine look like an Episode of To the Manor Born.

        Now if you will excuse me, ‘I have promises to keep -and miles to go before I sleep.’ (with thanks to Robert Frost who wrote those lines)

        ‘The fault lies not in the stars, dear Brutus, but within ourselves that we are underlings’ ~Wm Shakespeare

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi gazelledz,

        I’m sorry that you feel your age, experience, and education give your opinion greater weight than the opinions of others. I’m aware my voice doesn’t speak for everyone, are you aware that neither does yours? I also hope you find a way to use your anger to help others, instead of tearing them down and using your accomplishments to invalidate them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. While gazelledz had some wise words to share, I totally agree with your opinion that adoptees are entitled to their feelings, whatever they are. Only by being honest with self, can one try to make sense of the feelings. As one first mother (who was also an adoptee) told me: “Feelings are not right or wrong. They just are.” We feel what we feel, and denying what we feel can be very harmful. Some reunions are nipped in the bud when a found person lashes out at the seeker, due to previously unexpressed anger.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I wonder and wanted her everyday. In my gemey you did know who had her or where she went. I wanted to keep her. My father had other ideas. I thought of her on every Birthday, Holiday. And wondered if she was thinking about me. Did she hate me. As soon as she turn 18 I registered with NYS adoption registry. I searched and search but to no avail. Them by chance was hooked up with a Search Angel and 7 days later was standing in a Pizza Hut parking lot hugging her for the first time in 34 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “I wonder if my screaming body flashed in your brain when the stick turned blue a year from then” Wow, that is everything I feel. Thank you for artcticulating that!


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