Thursday, November 16, 2006


I originally posted this in April of 2006. I posted it just like I received it from Katrina. Even though I recommend Katrina highly and very positively, I still believe the call should have been made by me.

Another friend of mine, Mia, brought up some points about my inability to immediately share this with my adoptive mother. I very honestly didn't want to hurt my mom. To have someone speak with such disrespect about her daughter would have hurt her. When I finally did read all of this to her, it did hurt her. I did this only after showing this blog with my sisters. It angered them. My husband and my mom both have a great deal of faith in her. They think it will be the granddaughters that bring her to me. They also believe that she can't resist her daughter. As I said previously, I don't hold much hope on it. I hope now she is cruising through the first mom blogs. I hope that she has read Ann Fessler's book. I hope that she is beginning to realize that she does indeed has support. That is where I do hope. If she is anything like me, once she comes out of that closet, she won't go back in and she will be very vocal.

The question still remains. How come I never shared my feelings about my own adoption with my adoptive mother? It was hard for me to even define them or even put words to them. I just know at times that it hurt. I had guilt feelings that I could not even begin to explain where they come from. Its funny I don't feel those feelings now. I don't like being discounted as an angry adoptee. I don't like being considered a radical. All I ever ask of my readers is that they think, listen, read, and consider. Realize that this thing called adoption needs changes. Although I may not have been born to my adoptive mother she is my mother. Although I was born to my first mother, I am still her daughter. Nothing can change these facts. Might as well accept them, be open and honest about it, and deal with the emotions of it as they come up. Don't hide them. Let them be out in the open.

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.MEDICAL: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...

but don't HER kids deserve to know they have a sister? Aren't they your blood too? That's pretty selfish of her really. I know it's all about her pain and fear right now but still.

Amyadoptee said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Her decision affects five people in this mess. Indiana law unfortuntely supports her choice

elizabeth said...

Those comments your mother made are very painful to read. I'm sorry, and I'm sending you big hugs.

Mia said...

Reading this makes me feel physically ill. I am serious Amy I could puke right now. It is almost a blow by blow of my own mother's response to being found. It hurts like hell to read. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I know how bad it hurts.

I get why you didn't want to share this with your mom. My mom at 83 would have tracked my first mother like a hound dog and given her a smackdown if she read something like this. I too was careful what I shared now that I think about it. I still am.

Anonymous said...

This is not what you want to hear. I have friends who are birthmothers, adoptive parents, and adoptees. For some, I'm the only one who knows about it in our circle. Every situation is different. There are valid reasons for both open and closed adoptions - most from the birthmother's perspective.

I've worked in mental health and some of the things that happen make it very difficult - even traumatic - for it to be brought up again. From reading between the lines, those circumstances are there.

I do agree that adoption, as it stands now, cannot be left as is. At the minimum, all children should have access to a dossier of cultural, genetic, and health information about their birth heritage.

I also have friends in social work and they see kids who if they had had parental rights severed earlier they would be in much better shape. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that the state takes kids away on minimal proof. It is more likely that the state will leave children in very abusive situations rather than get them into a caring foster, or, preferably, adoptive situation.

There are also very open adoptions where a parent, aunt, uncle, etc. adopted a younger relative's child as their own. (This was much more common than widely known.) In many cases the child was never told - now, that was wrong, but if you find out your sister is really your mother?

I really cannot believe there is a one size fits all for adoption any more than there is a one size fits all for anything else.



suz said...

wow. rough. i found myself defensive of both of you. she sounds massively seriously confused and conflicted and ashamed and embarassed and worried and on and on. yet, i got angry for you and even embarassed to be a first could any mother deny her child? clearly, given my own situation, i just dont understand.

personally, it was so odd for me to read as that is so not me, if anything its my daughter. that denial of contact goes both ways.