A Strange Burden


Dear Ms. Feferfew:

At lunch today, I had that conversation again with a well meaning person who loves me a great deal. It usually starts up when I am wondering about you/us or just pontificating about adoption practices in general.  It generally proceeds as follows.

Well meaning person who loves me a great deal: You know M., Ms. Feverfew is going to come back into your life someday and you guys are going to be the best of friends.

Me: That is not helping me (even though I secretly long for it to actually happen, just like the well meaning person describes).

Well meaning person who loves me a great deal: No, really!!! And I am going to be the first person to say “Told you so!” and I will be so happy about it too.

Me: No. Really. That is not helping me.

Well meaning person who loves me a great deal: Oh, come on. Once she meets you and sees how much you have in common, she won’t be able to not fall in love with you, just like everyone else you meet. I mean – look at the two of you! You are like identical twins!!!! You don’t think that she is going to be as excited about meeting you as you are about meeting her?

Me: No. Clearly. This is not helping me. Did I mention that?

Well meaning person who loves me a great deal: So…this isn’t helping you, is it?

Me: No. And  would you please not say things like that again in the future?I know you mean well, but they are not helping me.

I know too much…I have learned too much about reunion to hold on to those fantasies any more. Those kinds of comments just perpetuate the myth of adoption reunion being a bed of roses where everyone forgives each other, families are able to integrate seamlessly into one big happy whole, and every one is best friends. It does not happen like that. It is much harder than that…and best of friends…I don’t even know if that is possible. How can you be best friends with the woman who gave you to strangers? I guess it might be possible, but only through divine intervention and frankly, I am not holding out hope. I know too much.

And knowing is its own strange burden.

Much love,

M.

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34 thoughts on “A Strange Burden

  1. About a year and a half ago I felt the exact same way. It was October 2009 and my husband was asking me if I would contact my daughter on her 18th birthday. After all how could she not want me in her life, we had been exchanging letters through LSFS for several years. We had so much in common. We were cut of the same cloth. I told him I couldn’t take that step. I couldn’t invade her privacy. I had too many expectations for her and myself. Only another natural mom can truly understand the anguish and burden. I still don’t understand why my daughter wants a relationship with me after all I abandoned her to strangers.

    • Hi there Jeannette – I have been thinking so much about you and your daughter’s story. One of the things I am really wrestling with is knowing that I have made contact twice since she turned 18 and still…silence.I feel like emailing her and saying, “Yell and scream at me, call me names, just let me know you are alive and know that I am alive too.” The yelling I could handle. It’s the absolute silence that is so hard on me. On the upside, she hasn’t deleted her FB account or blocked me completely from contacting her through it so it isn’t a complete nuclear winter, you know? Just a…just a Siberian one.

      Hope all is well with you –

      M.

      • Your daughter might be a lot like her natural mom, a very loving smart person but a pleaser. Someone that is so caring about everyone that they put others feelings infront of their own.

        She might want you to continue to write her and know you love her but she doesn’t want to upset her adoptive parents by responding to you. If I remember right her siblings are also adopted. Have they searched for their natural family? She might be afraid to be the first one. She might not know how to respond to you either. She might be afraid that you would want too much of a relationship from her.

        My daughter is like me if there is a line in the sand and we are told don’t cross the line we will jump across as fast as we can. She knew her aparents didn’t aprove of us to be in contact but that pushed her towards me.

        But I do understand the fear of silence not knowing what the silence means. Always wondering did you phrase something wrong? Should you have waited to send the message? Was the timing wrong? I do understand all of those questions. I wish I could make it easier on you.

        How bout our next invention is a time machine. I’m sure we would both just be moms and not natural moms if we could have just one do over.

        I’m thinking of you alot. Hopefully one day soon you will hear from her. You will be able to slowly build your relationship. It won’t be perfect, it won’t be a mother-daughter but it will be cherished. She might not be ready until she has children of her own.

        Hugs,
        Jeannette

      • She might not be ready until she has children of her own.

        Many people have told me this. There is something about becoming a mother that does something to our hearts and makes them squishy in places we didn’t know existed. Maybe it will happen then, but I am honestly prepared for it to not be. She has a tremendous amount of cultural gravity to overcome….

        I will keep praying for her and her continued success in life. After all, its what we mothers do best. Pray for our children and ask God to protect them on whatever paths life takes them.

        M.

  2. Yes, the “myths of adoption reunion” are just that. Myths. How my heart wishes that they were true though. I do consider myself lucky that we at least have a “cyber” relationship, although the heart can’t help but want so much more…

  3. “Those kinds of comments just perpetuate the myth of adoption reunion being a bed of roses where everyone forgives each other, families are able to integrate seamlessly into one big happy whole, and every one is best friends.”

    … that is absurd.

    • Absurd, but it is what a lot of people who don’t know any better believe. 😦 I am not saying it can’t happen, I am just saying that for the vast majority of us, adoption “reunion” doesn’t follow the Hollywood plot line of happily-ever after. I certainly wish upon every adoptee and first family searching for each other the Hollywood ending…I just know it isn’t probable (and as a pointy-headed social science researcher, it’s all about the probability).

      M.

  4. I have seen my daughter twice now and I fear that even though we do have quite a few things in common. I fear it’s not enough to keep us seeing each other. Even though I love her like crazy, we don’t have the years together that created memories that would hold us together. I can only hope for the best and I hope for the same thing for you too!

  5. I love the way you write.

    This post, and others like it, are so helpful for us folks who wouldn’t normally have the first mother perspective.

    Although I’ve never considered reunion to be all roses and sunshine, I think from the outside we want to be encouraging? Perhaps? This helps me know what not to say. Although I never consciously thought ‘Hey, I should tell natural mom that everything will be a-OK’ you never know until you are smack dab in the middle of a conversation like that.

    Also, (and this is more to your adoptee readers than you) what should I (general I) say when people are talking about their natural parents? Is there language that is supporting and not condescending? I know more adoptee’s than natural parents. I did try to press my ex-husband into finding out his medical history. That was a short discussion. (Ah, two new things about me – divorced and he and his siblings were adopted)

    • I think from the outside we want to be encouraging? Perhaps?

      Yes, this is what I am thinking. And most of us don’t know what adoption reunion really entails, especially after all the cameras are turned off and the Oprah crowd has all gone on to the next story. It’s hard work. And sometimes, it turns into a bona fide train wreck of an experience for whatever reason. I guess what would be most helpful for me to hear is something along the lines of “I am sorry this hurts so badly right now. Hopefully things will turn out well. If they do, then I will rejoice with you. If not, then I will mourn with you.”

      I am really interested to hear what some of my adoptee readers have to say as well and think you asked a good question. I am guessing he is a member of the church as well – this can confounds and compounds many of the struggles adoptees face in life as we tell them over and over and over and OVER again how grateful they should be for the miracle and blessing of adoption, ignoring the fact that this miracle is built on the ashes of their natural family. We tell them their mothers loved them so much they gave them away and that GOD planned it that way. Ugh. As hard as it is to be a first mother in this culture, I cannot even fathom what adoptees have to deal with as they attempt to process their adoption experience.

      M.

      P.S. You too, Jen? Aren’t ex-husbands so….delightful? Mine never ceases to help me grow, even all these years later. (Cough-cough. I failed that lesson today though when I hung up on him. I got a wee bit tired of him telling me I am a bad parent because for the first time EVER our son brought home a bad grade on ONE test in ONE class. It happens to be Spanish, which my ex learned to speak on his mission. He feels he could be doing a far better job of helping him with “school” if our son lived with him. I was like, “Uh…what about the seven other subjects?”)

  6. We all know there’s more to marriage than “happily ever after”, so why do we insist that reunion be “all we ever wanted” and anything less is seen as not worth the effort?

    No, it’s NOT a bed of roses and neither is marriage. It’s hard work. Unlike marriage, reunion is uncharted territory. We’ve all grown up learning from the marriages we’ve seen – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, acquaintances – so we have SOME idea of what’s involved on a day-to-day basis. Not everyone gets it right, but few people approach the day-to-day of marriage with the feeling of “I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do”.

    That is what reunion is like. There are no rules, no guidelines, no “How to be a better…”. We certainly didn’t learn by observation. You try to approach it like any other family relationship but it’s not. There’s too much unspoken history.

    Add an unsupportive society and unsupportive adoptive parents into the mix and it’s a wonder that reunions work out as often as they do.

    • Uncharted territory…that is definitely what reunion is!!!! I marvel at those who have figured out how to navigate it, regardless of whether it was a “good” or a “bad” outcome.

      M.

  7. M. I understand why what she was saying is not helpful to you. It is easy for someone who has not been through it to tell someone else everything will be fine. They don’t know the apprehension that there is and how being told everything will be great just builds more anxiety rather than helps you be more comforted about something. The reality is, lots of adoptees live their lives being convinced that nature and nurture combined is for everyone else but them, they’re not entitled to it, they’re not allowed to care about it, they’re being disrespectful to their APs if they do care about it, and so, they convince themselves they don’t care. It is not something they do on purpose. I believe it is a phenomina of closed adoption–they don’t know anything different and to try to integrate something new can be scary. This, as you know, is called “the fog,” where 98% of non-adopted society has educated the adopted person on what adoption is and how they should feel about it and they know no different.

    Jen, every adoptee is different. I think it is important to engage people, any person, on the topic of adoption. It’s always important for people to let the adoptee say how they feel; too often we are told how to feel by what those around us “can imagine.” No one can imagine what it’s like to be adopted, except the adopted person. I don’t encourage adoptees to search who are not ready or who do not want to because (1) there’s no guarantee the reunion will be perfect and it may be more emotionally for them than they are ready for and (2) there’s a First Family that deserves consideration. An adoptee should really make sure they are ready and ready to hear another point of view before they embark on the journey of reunion that can be emotional for every one involved.

    But, I do ask them to consider some things. Like, what is wrong with wanting to know who you are and where you come from? What is wrong with having two mothers and a relationship with your natural one? What is wrong with having access to medical history and knowing answers about yourself pre-adoption? If adoption is about children, why do adopted children have to leave so much of themselves behind and forget, in order to be accepted into the adoptive family? Is that fair? Adult Adoptees often are the only ones with the remote power to unseal records. If they don’t want info or to reunite, is that fair to their children and children’s children? I encourage people to read books like “The Girls Who Went Aaway” by Fessler, “Wake Up Little Susie” by Solinger, “Being Adopted, the Lifelong Search for Self” by Brodzinsky et. al. “The Primal Wound” by Verrier. and any of the books by Betty Jean Lifton. So often Adult Adoptees do not realize the thoughts and feelings they may have had are unique to them in the adoption situation and that it’s OK to feel that way. Validation is important.

    In a search and reunion, it is important to have realistic expectations. You can’t rely on another person to heal your pain (not at all saying any one here would do that). They may search and find nothing, or a grave, or a “no.” Many Adult Adoptees who search/reunite feel like they may be betraying their Adoptive Families. They may fear being doubly-rejected; rejection is very painful for adoptees. It is important for them to know that those in their lives will support and accept them no matter what, unconditionally.

    • Amanda – Oh, how I love your thoughtful responses! Thank you so much for those book references. I haven’t read the Brodzinsky one yet – maybe I will read that one next.

      Much love –

      M.

  8. I am also an adoptee.

    I agree with what Gaye and Amanda have said. There is no map for this. I read all the books and talked with many adoptees and first moms during my search and initial steps into reunion. Everyone had different advice. “Say this, say that, never say that, you must do this, definitely don’t do this, phrase the letter this way, tell her you love her, absolutely don’t tell her you love her, give her more time, show up on her doorstep, give up…”

    The more I listened to what other people told me, the less honest I was with myself. I felt happiest when I asked for advice, took some, discarded some, and did what I felt was right for me, at any particular moment.

    My first mom was definitely NOT welcoming for the first 11 years I tried to reach out to her. I ended up approaching my brother, whom she had kept and raised. Some people would never go to a sibling without the approval of their fmom. It felt right for me. It worked–for a while–I was tossed back out to the dogs at fmom’s bequest. I didn’t give up, kept trying family members until everyone knew (it’s a pretty small family) and finally my fmom called me. She was angry that I had kept trying, but then over the next months, she melted. She said that the burden was gone, she was relieved not to keep her secret anymore, and her extended family had been supportive in ways that she hadn’t expected. She told me that she doesn’t think of me as her daughter, but as an acquaintance she met in a grocery store and would be interested in pursuing a friendship with. While this isn’t quite what I had hoped for, it’s very much better than the first 11 years of Siberian silence.

    My brother and I are trying to rebuild our relationship, but it’s very difficult because of our lack of shared history. We have met exactly once, have spoken on the phone about 10 times, and shared letters and e-mail (he was posted to Afghanistan last year). He has planned to come see me at the end of February, nearly 15 months after we first met.

    My fmom has said that I can call her anytime on weekdays, but I cannot leave messages on her voicemail because although her husband knows about me, he is not happy to have me back in the picture (definitely a complicating factor). We have had four telephone conversations in total, the last two of which were pleasant. I haven’t spoken with her in a month, although I want to try to call her tomorrow, now that the holidays are past.

    My aparents have been very supportive through this whole process, although I know it’s hard for my amom sometimes to hear about my fmom and my desire to know her better. She is very politically correct in what she says to me, but I can read her emotions like a book. I love her with all my heart and do try to protect her feelings by not burdening her too much with all of this. I try to keep it matter-of-fact and light. She does have real concerns, as my adad does, that my first family has the capacity to hurt me intensely. I am glad when they check in with me to make sure I am okay, but they’re not my go-to people for this.

    If I were in your shoes, I would definitely open up a supportive conversation about reunion and searching and let your daughter drive it. If she wants to talk about it, great. If not, respect her boundaries and try again some other time.

    I know that I only wanted to be loved; I didn’t want to be judged or told how to do things or to feel that I was hurting my parents by searching. I ended up waiting until I was 27 to get my non-identifying information, which required a notarized permission slip from my aparents, and until I was 31 to make my first attempt at contact. I had to be an adult, standing on my own, because I knew that doing anything under the auspices of my parents would hurt my amom. And for many years of my searching and rejection, she would leave the room when my adad asked how things were going on that front.

    She’s did a 180 about a year ago when I almost died from lack of medical information and she was so annoyed at my fmom for denying me and my doctors what they needed to treat me. She was willing to talk openly and supportively about C, my fmom, anytime. But now that C has been more open to contact, my amom has backed off again and leaves the room when my adad asks about how things are going with my relationship with C. I can’t win.

    It’s definitely complicated. I love my aparents so much, and the only thing I believe they could have done better was for my amom not to burden me with her own feelings about my reunion. I get that it’s hard to be faced with the truth that I am not her biological child. But she knew that when she signed up, and nothing is going to change my DNA. I get that she mourns the children she didn’t bear. I get that none of this is easy for her. So much that is unspoken can be so poisonous.

    I wish you all the best, Jen.

    • Kara –

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! I hope that things continue to improve with your natural family and that you amom will realize how much you still love her.

      Take care of yourself!

      M.

  9. “Also, (and this is more to your adoptee readers than you) what should I (general I) say when people are talking about their natural parents? Is there language that is supporting and not condescending?”

    For me, and “most” of the adoptees I know, using “birth” as a prefix is rather insulting. We (“Most” of us) prefer “first” or “natural” parents, because, well, they were first, and they are natural…meaning from nature, so thanks for not using the “b” word, lol.

    Some ap’s are offended by the term “natural”, because it implies adoption is not natural. It ISN’T. Adoption is a legal process, birth is a natural process. There is nothing natural about being raised by strangers.

    “Birth” mother/father/parent/family is a term coined by the adoption industry to create separation.

    Reunion is an intensely private and personal journey. In MY opinion, and in “most” adoptees I know, it should NOT include the adoptee’s adoptive family. Reunion is between a person who was adopted and their first family, and no one else.

    Many adoptees do not include their adoptive families in any part of their reunion- because of the attitudes of their adoptive family. Guilt, and a sense of ownership many ap’s have are just too much for an adoptee to handle and are valid reasons for keeping the details of their reunion from their ap’s and extended a family.

    A families and friends of adoptees need to remember this- adoptees were placed with strangers and grew to love them. It is normal for adoptees to love their first families, too. Adoptees have four “REAL” parents. If they did not, two of those parents would not exist. Many of our parents (first and adoptive) have more than one child, and they love all of their children. Why is it wrong to so many when an adoptee loves all of their parents?

    As Kara and other adoptees here have stated, adoption will never change our DNA. We have another family, and that family tie will never be broken- not by an adoption decree, and certainly not by societal brainwashing that “Adoption was God’s plan” (which it is NOT) or that we were “born in someone’s heart” (not a physical possibility and a ridiculous notion for most adoptees) or that we were “chosen”.

    People need to realize that adoptees suffered a “primal wound” as soon as they were taken from their first Mothers. Babies are meant to be with their first Mothers and the rest of their natural families. Separation from their mothers and being raised by strangers cause trauma in “most” adoptees.

    That damage is compounded by adoptive families and others who deny a child’s trauma and/or grief due to that separation. It is also made worse by the guilt a families and society place on them for wanting what is natural- to know their family of origin. Reunion is not about adoptive parents. It is about an adoptee and their first family.

    If adoption must happen, it should be open (not just pictures, but regular visitation) it should be ethical (no coercive pre-birth matching, and no money made….shame on ALL adoption brokers such as LDS) and every adoptee should have their original birth certificate, with no strings attached.

    The books Amanda listed are excellent resources, and in my opinion, should be mandatory reading for paps and ap’s.

    • If adoption must happen, it should be open (not just pictures, but regular visitation) it should be ethical (no coercive pre-birth matching, and no money made….shame on ALL adoption brokers such as LDS) and every adoptee should have their original birth certificate, with no strings attached.

      Could not have said it better, Linda. While I know the LDSFS don’t make a pile of money off of their fees (and the fees are partially subsidized by tithes and offerings from the church membership at large – ugh), they do engage in coercive practices such as pre-birth matching & encouraging single expectant parents to refer to themselves as “birthmothers” and the match adoptive parents as “the parents.” 😦

      I had never thought about reunion as being just between the adoptee and the natural families – I have always tiptoed around trying to figure out how to keep my daughters adoptive parents happy so that they might possibly, maybe, hopefully, “allow” her permission to build a relationship with me. After thinking about it, I believe you are right. As always, your thoughts and comments make me think – really think – about why things are they way they are.

      Much love –

      M.

  10. Part of the adoption myth is that when we reunite all our dreams will come true.They don’t, we have too much baggage, too many expectations, hopes and dreams and we often take it too fast.
    It is sometimes hard for adoptees to love a mother when our attachment to her was deliberately broken and lost.No mother is without pain and suffering over her loss and it is never straighforward or simple.
    Evelyn Burns Johnson has writen some very helpful books on reunion.You can order them over the net,everyone hoping for reunion should read them.
    Good wishes and good luck.

    • Reading those books by Evelyn Burns Johnson (upon your recommendation) have been so helpful to me, Von! Thank you once again for letting others know about them –

      M.

  11. Another good rule of thumb I have found with respectful language is to evaluate commonly used terms and think about how it would make you feel if it were used towards you. How would one feel if they were an adult and called a “child” all the time (as adoptees often are)? How would one feel if they were a mother to a child and were not allowed to be called mother without “birth” in front of it as if they needed a qualifier? How would it feel to be constantly asked about stereotypes e.g. “you must be so grateful,” “you were almost aborted,” so on and so forth?

    None of it feels good; yet so many adoptees have had no choice but to accept these things as truth and reality and repeat it about themselves. We can liberate adoptees from oppressive concepts when we evaluate the language we use and use neutral language that gives people room to think and breathe.

    “Birth” and “biological” tend to be offensive towards mother (and all women) in this day and age. Many prefer “natural” but it can open a can of worms. “First” or “Original” tend to be the most respectful terms when talking about ones natural family without having to use agency and industry terms that are belittling (e.g. “birth”).

    • Amanda – I love what you said, “We can liberate adoptees from oppressive concepts when we evaluate the language we use and use neutral language that gives people room to think and breathe.” Excellent, excellent, excellent.

      Much love,

      M.

  12. OMG, I can’t believe that I was such a horrible copyeditor that I actually published “She’s did.” Argh. I meant “She did” of course.

    I am in the hospital on massive amounts of narcotics. I blame the drugs.

  13. Well everyone before me has stated everything so well and accurately. The only thing I can think to add is that as adoptees we are constantly being told who we are, how we should feel, and what we should do about it. It is the one thing that aggravates me the most. The only thing I would add is that the truth is always best. And, the truth is that adoption situations may be similar in the quest to find where we came from and who we really are, but each circumstance and reaction can be different for adoptees and biological family members.

    For whatever reasons we decide to search one issue clearly is at the forefront and that is truth. And, most importantly to be able to be truthful about how we feel about our adoption experiences be they good, bad, or somewhere in between. We don’t need to be denied, or stifled, or told how to act or react. It IS an intensely personal journey only we can truly understand no one needs to dictate to us about it that hasn’t worn our shoes.

    What helped me was getting into adoption support groups, reading, and finally being able to speak about how I felt about my adopted life I had not understood until I began to search for my biological family. So many good suggestions here on books that are extremely helpful regarding adoptees and reunion. I have since learned how to put up healthy boundaries with others, and stand up for what I will and will not allow in regards to my adoption experiences. I am so very thankful it has made me the stronger more well rounded person I am today. Good Luck to you!

    The truth is always best.

    • Karen –

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and advice. A quick question – what is the best way to go about finding adoption support groups in a face to face setting? I have put together a good support group through friends here on the internet but wonder if finding a face2face group would help as well.

      M.

  14. Oh my, ladies. (Many tears here tonight). I cannot tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of your comments!!! I feel so privileged to know such a group of articulate, passionate women (narcotic induced editing included, Kara). Thank you for taking the time to respond to Jen’s question – I think it will go a long way in helping her (and others) how to talk with and support adoptees who may be considering or are on their own reunion journey.

    Much love and belief in *all* of you –

    M.

  15. I am an adoptee who is in active reunion with parts of my natural family. It has not been an easy road, and truth be told, it nearly killed me. I had my highest highs and lowest lows of my life, but it enabled me to connect my past to my present and finally give me a hope for a future. When you grow up rootless, you find it hard to ever imagine growing and thriving. The ability I had to finally meet my natural parents, see where I get my physical traits and personality, as well as my big toothy grin? It was like I had looked in a blank mirror my entire life, but now, I could finally see my own reflection. And best of all? The things I hated most about myself suddenly became humorous. Because they weren’t just *my* weird quirks and oddities. They were from my family members. And when you aren’t alone in your weirdness, well, you just feel a bit less weird. 🙂
    Sadly, it wasn’t a journey that I was able to share with my adoptive family. We were not doing well before it began, and my choice to find my roots shattered my relationships. It makes me sad, because I think that anyone who loved me would want me to be the most ME I could be. But it was a bitter pill to swallow, and it was perceived as a lack of loyalty.
    If I could give any advice, I would say to remember that cheesy poem- if you love something, let it free. Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. In my case, my mother was not able to take care of me, and I accept that. But it seems unfair to spend my entire life not knowing who I came from, or what my birth story was. Reunion at least gives us a chance to make some of the wrongs right. It doesn’t change who we are now, how we got here. And it does not diminish the roles that people in our lives have played so far. Reunion may seem like a loss to members of the adopted family, but it’s actually a huge gain. Because it gives the adoptee a chance to connect the dots, find ourselves and eventually, there is more of us to love.
    My 2 cents. Thanks for asking for input. Always nice to feel like we have a voice. Hugs to you.

    • Amanda – Thanks for sharing your story. I am sorry to hear about your adoptive family. Hopefully they will come around and realize that you are still a part of them and they are still a part of you.

      Much love –

      M.

  16. Just like to note that reunion is for consenting adults only, in my view.It has to be an adoptee’s choice not that of adopters nor should adopters be ‘tiptoed round’. When a baby becomes an adoptee they become an orphan raised by strangers in closed adoption.It takes a great deal of goodwill, courage and patience to overcome the damage.Adoptees had no choice, let them at least have choice about reunion.

    • I agree with this entirely, which is why I am letting my daughter set the pace entirely with whatever amount of contact she wants which at this point is nothing. I will continue to send her a very brief birthday message and Christmas message but other than that, I do not contact her.

      When I made the comment about “tiptoeing around” her parents, I meant it in the context of “acting very cautiously about something; avoiding speaking about a painful or controversial issue” because I haven’t wanted to hurt their feelings/make them feel uncomfortable/give them reason to be scare or frightened of me. I have always tried to uphold, respect, and honor their role as her parents. I have tried to never convey my deep sense of loss or the fact I am still hurting all these years later because I didn’t want that to negatively color what they told my daughter about me. All they have known of me is the happy-happy version of M. Maybe it was a mistake to be so considerate of their feelings and to spend so much time tiptoeing around their needs….who knows at this point. They still stopped responding to my letters and things still remain as they are now.

  17. Oh my gosh – thank you SO much! I appreciate you all so much for so thoughtfully taking the time to answer my question.

    I wanted to pop on and let you know that I am reading your responses. I want to give each of them the time they deserve so it is a slow process of digesting the information.

    Thank you again!

  18. It is so very tragic for mothers who have to reign in their feelings, their distress and hide their suffering.Adoption is such a loose/loose situation for mothers and adoptees.I hope it will eventually work out for you, it sometimes takes adoptees a long time to get through the adoption fog and see through ‘the beaty’ of adoption.Good wishes to you.

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