An anonymous commenter left this comment. I want to address her questions.
"Hi. I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks, so I don't know a lot about your story. This line really caught my interest:
"Yes she feels blessed that I came into her life. She is however concerned that it might have been done either illegally, coercively, or unethically."
I'd love to hear more about how your mother broached that topic with you. I find it to be a very complicated thing to address - hindsight vision that shows a different picture than the one you imagined going in. I haven't heard any adoptees talk about discussing that with their parents.
Thanks for sharing what you do here. It's hard to read, no doubt, as there is just so much to be done to make adoption ethical, but it is important to hear it, and hear it, and hear it. "
My adoptive mom is an amazing woman. I don't really remember the first time that I was told that I was adopted. I know that I had two fears growing up. One of which was ambulances and sirens. They would send me into screaming fits. My poor mother could not find the reason why and could not figure out a way to console me. Escalators sent me also into a freak mode. One of these will be explained. The other I still don't know. I am nervous around escalators. Something about them worries me that these things will suck me into the darkness.
Any way, the commenter wanted to know how my mother handled my adoption and my subsequent search.
I think God has been guiding me to this road for a long time. He has left me little clues and shoves into this direction all of my life. The most memorable was when I was thirteen or fourteen. I have mentioned a family friend and her daughter a few times.
D was my mother's best friend for years. Her daughter M got preggers around that time. She had met a Lebanese young man. I don't know all the real details but they got romantically involved. She loved to go to the beach. Yep she got preggers from fun in the sun on the dunes of South Padre.
Well that started a firestorm. I think it really upset my mother. She denies some of this memory. I got both talks at the same time. You know what I am talking about. If you want to have sex, let me know so that I can get you on some protection. If you want to search, let me know and I will help you find.
Well my only fantasy of my original family was an older brother or father coming to rescue me. My adoptive mother never spoke negatively about my natural mother. So I have no idea where this came from.
It was until I was 22 that I realized that adoption actually hurt. I had heard Michelle Wright's son, "He Would Be Sixteen." That song shook me to my core. I cried a river of tears. I was also dating a fellow adoptee. It wasn't until after we broke up that we discussed adoption. He was the first person outside of my family that I discussed my feelings about it. I had a hard time discussing my feelings on adoption inside my family. I shoved it pretty deep inside. When I was in Alanon, I had a sponsor who discussed this with me. She wanted me to express how I felt about adoption. I also found out that I had a high school classmate that got pregnant and placed. She was in an open adoption at the time. So here is a shout out to Fonda. If you read blogs, honey, its me. I would love to hear from you.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, the discussion to search came up. My adoptive mother encouraged me to do so. After the birth of my oldest daughter, I had my first natural mother experience. Sandy was the city treasurer for the city that I worked for. I had mentioned my adoption to her. I had wanted to understand a little about the birth certificates and original birth certificates in Texas. I read the laws on them then. While in the hospital, Sandy came to visit. She told me that she was a natural mom. She had asked me if I had searched. I told her no because of costs and knowing how to do it. When I asked her the same question, she told me that she felt that she didn't have the right to search. I told my adoptive mother about the experience. For a moment in time, I was her child and she was my mother. Two weeks after that, I found out that the original doctor that was supposed to deliver my oldest was arrested on charges stemming from black market baby dealing and drugs. I thank God was watching over me and my family at that time.
It was then my adoptive mother starting pushing me into searching. So I contacted the state and the agency. At that time, Catrina Carlisle was not in charge of the CI program at that agency. From what I have read on the IRS Form 990s, she wasn't even working for the agency. I got considerable information on both of my natural parents. So I knew some information going into my active search in 2006.
In 2002, my adoptive father died. It was incredibly hard for me losing him. He was only 55 at the time of his death. His death damn near killed me emotionally and mentally. Shortly after his death, my adoptive mother stepped up the pressure to search even more so. She wanted us to be young enough to appreciate each other. She even initiated a search herself.
She has walked this road with me a majority of the time. It took me months to show her and my sisters the transcripts. I was so worried that it would hurt them. Now of course I have reason to doubt them. Months later my mother called Catrina Carlisle demanding that she tell me who my father was. When she got the reply message from the CI, she called me asking how I handle it. Its a tough road. Its one that I never wanted my own adoptive mother to hurt on. It really hurt me that she discovered how badly I hurt inside. It was a combination of her and a few great natural mothers that kept me sane in a not so sane frame of the adoptee mind. It was this combination that taught me compassion, love and respect for my natural mother. I understand why she would not want contact especially through the agency.
My advise to adoptive parents is this:
1. Get that OBC for your child. Keep all the records.
2. If you are in an open adoption, stick to it and work at it. It is for the benefit of your child.
3. No matter what you feel about your child's natural parents, always always respect them in front of your child. Your child is a part of them. Without those parents, you would not be a parent.
4. If your child does eventually search, it is no reflection on your parenting skills or the love your child feels for you. Don't deny your child his/her heritage. Keep in mind you have yours and its something that is probably commonplace for you. Your child doesn't have that.