Friday, December 6, 2013

when adoptees say no to contact with birth mothers

Today I am stepping over the wall I created  almost twenty years ago to tell you my story. In the mid sixties  at age 16, I gave birth to a perfect darling baby girl after spending two months in a  Methodist home for unwed mothers. My parents would have raised her as their own, but I wanted more for my girl. I didn't want her to live the life I had lived with a raging father who lashed out with physical violence and in a home where I never heard the words I love you. I viewed adoption as doing my daughter a great favor, giving her a chance at a good life without abuse or poverty.  And so I handed over my precious baby girl, kissed her and whispered my hopes to her knowing I had given up all rights to ever see her again.  As the years passed I never lost hope that one day she would find me.  She would be so happy to meet her "real mom", and we would go on to have a special bond  not replacing the parents who raised her, the people who were her family but somehow embracing each other as special friends. And so the day came when I found my girl, yes I found her, and I couldn't wait to call her.  That was the day I began the wall.  It wasn't a wall I ever thought I would need to build, but build it I did and strong.  She did not want to know me.  The loving family who adopted my girl were a Christian minister and his wife, yet when I asked her if she hadn't ever wondered about the circumstances under which she had been conceived, she replied, "no, but I know it was bad.".  Bad I thought...what can that mean. I tried to communicate without disrespecting her parents that I had been a young teen in love, that I had wanted her to have a good life, that I had done what I thought was best for her , that I had always loved her and had been searching for her , thinking about her,wondering everything.  She had her own wall , and she wrote me one letter saying she had prayed about it , and God had told her that she should not remain in contact with me.  She said her parents wouldn't understand, that she had never wondered about me or wanted to know anything about me,  she asked me to honor her wish to be left alone.  She didn't care to hear about her birth father.  She granted my request for a photograph of her but sent none of her child, a boy named Eli.  And so I sent a final note saying I would honor her request and thanked her for the photo.  I wanted to say that I too had prayed and that my God had given me hope and permission to build a bond of friendship and love with the baby I had given up to people I trusted.  I know they must have loved her because she had such a loyal bond to them.  But how could these Christian people lead my baby to think  the way she did.  We're they so insecure about her ever meeting me ...I imagined them telling her..she didn't want you...we did.  I went to see the movie Philomena yesterday because my husband wanted to see it.  It was hard not to cry.  Her baby died,  will I die without seeing my girl. Sometimes I think I will just go to the town where she lives, attend a church service, lay eyes on my only grandchildren and see the woman,the girl,the baby who wants to be left alone.  What about what I want. I didn't get an abortion, I didn't force her to live in poverty with no hope of a normal upbringing.  I placed her in the care of people who I was told were a fine God loving financially solvent community leaders.  All I want is a chance to meet her, a few pictures now and then.  I don't want to replace her family, but why can't she see that there are people here who love her I had to build the stupid wall.  To wall in the pain. I can't think of that pain every day,every morning,every night,every time I see a grandmother ,a grandchild, every time I think will I die before I see her.  Anger and pain. But if she ever contacted me again, there would be no mention of it..just to smile at her,to listen to her, to know her, it would be like my wall never existed.  I can't believe you girls have birth mothers who have denied you, and I share your pain,  I don't understand how a mother could do that,  I will pray for you and send you a mothers love.  Thank you for listening.  Marcia in Modesto California

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