Here is Jeannie's story of her reunion with her daughter. Her daughter appeared on her front porch one fateful Sunday afternoon. It is also her story of relinquishment. The story is about all of that and the road to reunion. It is usually bumpy road. I thought it was beautiful and very poignant. What I wouldn't give to have something like this. I am hoping that my birthmother is lurking out there in the blogworld. I hope she reads this one and the many birthmother blogs out there as well.
My belief ws/is that I signed away my rights to my child. To me this meant that I did not have the right to know her or to ever search for her. I believed that I did not have the right to interfere in her life EVER, no matter how old she was. However, I never believed that she did not have the right to search for me, to know me, and to ask me any questions and get honest answers. I signed away my rights, my baby, my child, my daughter signed nothing! I did not believe that I had anonymity nor did I even care if I did. I always believed and still believe that the adoptive parents were the ones with anonymity... to protect them from me. Having said this I can tell you that the adoptive parents knew my name, first and last , from the day they adopted my baby. My name was boldly printed on this adoption decree which they gave to my daught at some point in her life. My baby went home with them the same day that I left the hosptial. This was a private adoption handled through my OB/GYN and some lawyer.
My daughter was born when I was 19. I became pregnant after having sex with a guy that I knew casually. I had sex with him once. I never told him that I was pregnant. I did not want to marry him and I thought if I told my parents who the guy was they would try to involve him and/or push for marriage. I never told my parents who the guy was. On a Sunday afternoon, my doorbell rang. First of all I am not home that often because I own a business and have another job too. My neighborhood has no sidewalks so it is not the kind of place where people walk up to your door. I don't know my neighbors well, so they would not come over. Anyone that I know would call before they came. So it was unusual for my doorbell to ring and unusual for me to be at home on a Sunday afternoon. But I guess it was meant to be because I was home for this most fateful day.
I opened my door to an attractive young woman and a very pretty little girl. I remember thinking what? are they late trick or treaters?, selling magazines or what? so I opened the storm door and said "Can I help you?" The woman seemed to look at me, heistate just a second and the said "Can I talk to you?" I said sure go ahead. Again she hesitate and looked at me quizically And so I said, " Do you mean inside?" and she said,"Yes." So I said, "Well I don't know you so I'll come outside and talk to you." I stepped out on the porch and said, "Okay what can I do for you?" She said,"Well, I don't know how to say this., so I just will,. Di you have a baby on ***, at *** Hospital ? I think I immediately fell into a state of shock. I said, "yes", but it probably came out like a squeek. And she said, " Well, I think I am her." I reached for her, wrapping my arms around her, with tears inmy eyes, and said "I've prayed for this day. " And then I said, "Yes, come in, come in." My daughter was 35-1/2 at this time, and my granddaughter was *. My daughter and granddaughter came into the front hall and I went running to hind my husband who had been working in the garage, he was just coming into the kitchen. I was crying now and in a state of disbelief. I said,"Oh, you won't believe it, you just can't believe, my child, my baby, she's heare!" At that point, I realized that I left them in the hall and went back to get them and bring them into the family room. At this point, I still thought that I was the only one hurt by lsoing my baby. It did not occur to me that my baby had been hurt because everyone said " everyone acted like a baby was just a blank state and all the baby needed was a nother and a father to love them. "
At the time of my daughter's birth, I never saw her and did not know her sex. I played right into their hands as that's just what they wanted, no problems. I thought (wrongly so) that if I didn't know if I had a boy or a girl then I would never be able to attach a person to my loss and that it would be easier to forget. It wasn't. Lossing my baby, literally, broke my heart. I have spent years being depressed, suicidal, and behaving in dangerous ways. I have suffered severe headaches, early hypertension, and irritable bowel syndrome among other things. But I can honestly say I have never been happier than I am today. , knowing my daughter and my granddaughter. It has not been easy. In four and half years we have had two to three years of silence on the part of my daughter. During her nonresponsive period, I kept in contadct through cards and letters via U.S. Mail. I also spent time finding support groups and attending conferences like CUB and AAC as well as online groups and local meetings with birthmothers. I read lots and lots, even B.J. Lifton's "Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter on never ending quest to try to understand the adopted person. I think I succeeded to some degree. I went through all of the states of grief that were denied to me for thirty-five plus years. Knowing my daughter is a dream come true, a gift that I never envisioned having.
I guess I am doing the same thing through all my birthmother friends. Through them I find love and healing. Stay tuned for the next birthmother story.