Saturday, April 29, 2006


This was written down by Catrina, my adoption search specialist. She spoke to her and I didn't.

She's been raised by another family all of her life.

I always wondered if I would get a call like this some day.

I have a family and they don't know.

Its not a lack of concern. What I did was the best thing I could do.

There's no reason to tear my family apart. I don't think its selfish of me.

I have to think about my family.

My husband knows but my kids don't. But we have never talked about it over the years.

I just don't think its a good idea. She's old enough now and mature enough to deal with this. She has her own family. She has a good family.

As much as my curiosity is peaked, this would be too disruptive. I don't want to have to tell my kids.

This girl already has parents.

My youngest son is an athlete and a medical student. He was a valedictorian. Both my boys are extremely intelligent.

I'm glad she is doing well. I think I did the right thing.

I always wonder, I always think about her. It is not a lack of concern. But i have to balance that with concern for my kids and how this would affect them. My husband would have a fit.

She has a family. Biology is just an accident. I don't think this is a good idea.

I guess I could talk to my husband about this. No, I'm not doing this. I am not going to open all of this up.


Her dad died at age 82 from pneumonia.

Her mom is still alive but suffers from kidney failure as a result of her arthritis medicine. She also has high blood pressure.

Birthmother has high cholesterol and takes meds for it. She began taking the meds in 1999.

Her sibs and her children are all in good health.


Birthmom called again. She said:

How confidential is all of this. Is she going to come knocking on my door?

This is just too painful. This was 40 years ago, excuse me!

Its too late. I thought about getting her letter but it is just too painful.

It was painful to begin with. It took me 3-4 years to get my life straightened back out. It was not a fun experience. I don't want to revisit it.

I'm sad in a way. I am not being calloused.

It would be too difficult to bring her into my life. It would be too painful to my family. They might accept it but why even go through all of that?

It would bring a lot of grief.

I never heard from the father ever again. He never paid any of my expenses. He took advantage of me and then walked away. I was a big fool. I know he wanted to raise the baby but that would have never worked out. He lived in the same town as my parents. I think he is probably dead. I tried looking for him once and couldn't find him. He must be dead.

My parents were always concerned with their public image, not their private one.

My dad was a terrible man. He was selfish and evil and did things I can't even talk about. My husband doesn't even want our sons to know what he did. He was physically abusive and other things.

My mom was a mouse around my dad. My mom believed every word he said and he never had anything good to say about any of us.

I have only been able to put all of that behind me since my dad died and now this has dredged all of this new stuff up.

I do her housework, yard work, and get her to the doctors. We have to go to the cemetery 6 times a year. I choke on it, but I go. She lives alone. My brothers want her to be able to stay out of a nursing home as long as possible.

I'm deciding I am not going to do this and I won't change my mind. Curiosity is not good enough reason to tear my family apart. What would be the point of me getting that letter except to make me cry.

I did the right thing. I couldn't take care of a baby and my folks would not help me.

I can't think of any more medical information for her. There are no genetic disorders. My mom has osteoporosis, but I don't. But, I exercise and eat right to stay healthy. I am allergic to cats and seafood.

Tell her I am sorry. I am glad she's fine but I can't do this.

I should hang up, I'm rambling.

My biggest concern right now is can I keep this out of my life. How can I be sure she won't hire a private investigator and show up some day. I don't want to tell the boys. I know they are her half brothers but I am not going to tell them. I haven't told my husband that you called. I am not going to. I don't need to turn their lives upside down. I could give them a choice but they don't need to have this choice. They don't need to know every mistake their mother has made. They think I am this good person.

I just wanted to make sure that this would stay private. I don't want to have to sit my husband down and say this girl has found me.

It is a comfort to know she is okay.

There wasn't anything else I could do. My parents kicked all of us out of the house at one time or another. I was on a real downer back then. I don't know what I was thinking. I dropped out of college.

I have a lot of baggage and I don't want to deal with it. My dad did horrible things. That I can't talk about. I don't want to dredge this all up. Since dad has been dead I have shut the door on it. I have been a nervous wreck since you called me.

Hope you all find this interesting and somewhat cold as I did.


Anonymous said...

Well, I knew some of this, but actually reading what your birthmother said and thinks was appalling to me. She is obviously SO into herself! She is trying to maintain a false image of who she is to her other children and being false to them and herself is not a good thing. As a birth mother who opened my heart and life to my daughter who found me, I find this birth mother's reasoning unfathomable. Reunion is healing and the honesty of it all is very redemptive. Yes, there are tough places to go emotionally, but in the end, there is such freedom and lightness. So naturally, I feel your birth mother is totally wrong in her approach. She is missing out on a wonderful relationship which can only add love and a sense of peace to her life. I've been reunited for over 11 1/2 years and I absolutely cannot imagine my life without my daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law. I feel sorry for your birth mother Amy, but I also feel anger and disappointment in her.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like your birthmother has a lot of shame and guilt STILL about giving you away. She doesn't want to deal with those feelings. I understand where she is coming from, but it is a selfish attitude. She's not taking responsibility for her own decision to have you, to give you life, to give you up, and fully knowing, somewhere along the line, you might want to know who she is. Biology is not just an accident.

Senior Mom said...

Amy - I hear such pain and such ambivilance. I hear a very frightened woman. I hear an abused woman who was abused by her father yet still feels she has to visit his grave though it upsets her. She cannot stand up for herself. She seems to have never had any therapy to deal with any of these issues in her life. Instead she married and gets all of her identity as a respectable "good person", mother and WIFE. She is very afraid to rock that boat, and loose the life she built on lies. She expresses being afriad of her husband, or what he'd think...I see a reptition pattern of marrying her father, to some degree. She has not evolved to see herself as an autonomous being.

I can only feel extreme pity for her pain and ambiguity...She knows she is being cold and calous - selfish - and keeps trying to convince herself otherwise.

I do see hope though she protests so much that she will NOT change her mind. That door has opened a crack and she can never close it back again. If she has any sense, she will relaize that the possibility of her greatest fear that you will knock on her door is very real and that it makes much more sense for her to tell her sons and husband then to have them find out. She even admits it may not even be an issue for them.

Very sad...

Now, this is all an objective read...for you, it must be terribly painful to read. Try to focus on the parts where she repeats that she is glad you have a good life and she is sorry to be so selfish.

Anonymous said...

Amy- reading her responses upset me. As you know my own BM didn't wish contact for almost the same reasons as yours. I was told that her husband knew about her situation and her daughter was aware of it but her son- had no clue and that was one of the reasons that she never wanted "me to be in contact". I realize that these bm's from the 60's and earlier had a rough time. Alot of them have issues with the decisions they made so long ago. I was lucky to have also found her youngest sister who shares news and updates me on the family stuff. I completely accept and respect my birth mothers decision I will guard her privacy as well as i can BUT had I recieved a detailed conversation such as yours... I cant say that I would feel the same. I can understand her cold attitude, it is probably just a wall of protection that she has built. I know this sounds mean but what makes her think that you (i am putting myself and my situation in your shoes) are going to try to push your way into her "precious and secure" life. Why cant she (or my own bmom) understand that by not knowing them or at least meeting them once to talk will always leave us (not our fault) curious and feeling that all the "strings have not been tied". My own children have been born into this "black hole" and I feel responsible for them not knowing all of their genetic info.. family history's... accurate ancestry ect .. (when they are old enough to care). I am glad that I was not given word for word the attitude of my own birhtmom. If I had- it may have made me not so protective of her privacy. I still hope that one day (its been 7 yrs now that I have known where she lives, works, phone number, husbands info, her kids (my half sibs) info) she will trust me enough to meet with me and talk. If I wasn't afraid of hurting her emotionally, I would just contact her outright and ask her who the heck is my bfather! Jeeze- I dont know why people dont understand that when an adoptee says they are "curious" it is not a curiousity that can be supressed and forgotten. It is a curiousity that can be satisfied by only one thing. The Truth. and that would be it. Just answer our questions. You know they (Bparents) went through a traumatic experience- I respect that, they did what was best for us. I am greatful, but they didn't finish. We were given a new life and for myself it was a pretty good one, the only thing was they should have realized that it doesn't end with simply giving a baby away and getting over it. That baby will someday grow up to an adult. One that feels alone and different and not anchored to anything from their past. By just taking their decision a step further-- by doing a follow up-- let us know who we came from (just info) we dont need relationships, most uf us have a lifetime of relationships already. AAAAGh now i am rambling. I feel strongly about this subject. Sometimes i think i must take after my bdad- whoever he is because if i were a birth mom with a child seeking a reunion I would not deny them any info. It would be my responsibility to give them any information they were lacking.
LOL- infact I often question my baunt on the possibility that i am not related to their family. We laugh about this because all my little "oddities" fit right in with theirs (this is comforting to know because my "mom" (adoptive) has ask me... "what planet do you come from? you are weird" LOL she is not very tactful but I love her!

Anonymous said...

your mother is in PAIN, she has never dealt with the pain of losing you, the pain of not having her families support, the pain of not being able to share her grief, the pain of being frightened and abused by her father, the apin of being abandoned by your father. Your mother is in so much pain she is frightened she will be consumed by it.
the door has been opened, she is starting to recognise the fear and the pain she feels. YOur mother didnt "give you away", she wanted you to have a good life and she didnt think she could give you that, was probably told she couldnt give you that. From what I have read she is still that frightened young lady who loved her baby, who was abandoned and used by others with power looking to provide babies to paying customers,and from this trauma she has never recovered. The only way women cope is to numb themselves and "fit in" which is what she has done.
Give her time, dont hurry her, she lost her baby, she needs time to see that she can cope with all of the pain from that time and move on. Are you aware that many mothers take their own lives because they cant cope with the pain!
Maybe write her a letter, send a picture.Acknowledge her losses and grief may be the first to do that for her - and remember she is probably very frightened she will be hurt again.

Amyadoptee said...

This was all done on January 26,2006. She has had some time. I also wrote her a letter which she has refused to pick up to this date. I also sent her pictures. I do acknowledge her losses and her pain.

WI Catholic said...

I am watching my own second child go through something very similar, but with no response other than a signature on a postal card, all the while seeing her older sister in a fairly good reunion with her bmother and a rather shaky one with her bfather (on my daughter's part, not on his).

I am working right now with a lot of abused women, sexually and physically, emotionally and verbally abused women. Almost all on psychotropic meds, and all in a prison, most for alcohol and other drug abuse/dependency.

I hear FEAR, Amy, not coldness. I hear fear of all the long buried 'secrets', pain. I hear a longing that has been buried so deep that she cannot allow it to completely surface, for if it does, that 'mobile' she has been desparately trying to keep balanced will fall apart forever.

The ambivalence and fear is so apparent to me. And it isn't just because her pregnancy was forty years ago when families exerted pressure with threats to the 'unwed mother'... but is also evident in many young sexually abused women in prison due to self medication with street drugs (usually crack cocaine). I have been seeing this for four weeks now, about ten to thirteen inmates a day, forty hours per week.

It seems like a long time to you, Amy, but it isn't to someone coming out of denial/repression. While you may hear 'cold' as you read this trascript... I hear, as I said... fear. Terror. She is paralyzed. She is trying to hold that 'mobile' in a balanced state, and from now on, it isn't going to be an easy job to manage. You have added an entire otehr section to the family dynamics ('mobile'), and it will not ever balance easily again.

Give her time... even if it means years, as it has for my second daughter.

Sorry that this has happened...

Mia said...

Amy I am sitting here trying to figure out what I can say to you. Here's what I am coming up with, if I were with you right now;

First I want to hug you. Then I want to scream with you, at the top of our lungs till' we are both horse and lauging.

Then I want to sit quietly and cry with you.

I don't want to make excuses for her. I don't want us to spend time this minute thinking about how she is afraid or in pain or in denial. You and I both know we have and will continue to be plenty understanding but this moment we are just going to feel what we feel.

Maybe after that we don't need to say anything at all. Mabye we just sit together quietly understanding one another. Maybe some tea?

THIS is what I want to say to our birth mothers. It's an Invitation;

But until the day we can give them the Invitation we have each other. Siblings of circumstance.

Amyadoptee said...

Amen and many thank yous to all of you

Anonymous said...

The transcript was interesting. I have just recently located and contacted my Bio-Mom (80 years old) and siblings (47 and 48). The certified letter I sent on March 3rd. was picked up by my older sibling - brother- on April 4th. There has been no response. Although I know that at least one of my immediate birth relatives surely read the letter I didn't have to experience the type of "in your face" rejection that comes with the commentary of a conversation. I don't know you, but know where you are coming from. And in a strange way, I understand where she is coming from. I don't agree with it, it makes me sad - for you and for me but what else do you do? I'm sorry that it has been painful for you. Perhaps someday she will turn around or possibly one of your sibs will find a clue and contact you and things will be as they should be.

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, that read like a list of different things that different first moms have said at different times, all put together into one document to make it look like the counselor spent a lot of time on the phone with her.

I don't buy it.

As you've pointed out on AAAFC, the wording isn't right. Not just anachronisms such as "baggage", but also the sentence structure changes too much from one line to the next.