I was always sent away for the summer. Mom and Dad had to work. There was no one to take care of me, so I had to go. It was so scary living with other families. I never knew what to expect.
I was 6 the first time, sent to Mom’s sister’s house. I remember the fear. What would my cousins do to me? Why was I alone, with no one to love me? What did I do to deserve this?
I never said a word. Next year, back to Aunties. I guess i finally said something, because the next years, off to Dad’s sister’s. That was better. The cousins there were not cruel. Still living with a strange family, but a lot less fear.
Eventually I was sent to summer camp, for 4 summers. I know summer camp is supposed to be fun, but I hated it. Hated sports. It was a kosher camp, with Friday night services, and I wasn’t Jewish. I had trouble fitting in.
It was 50 years ago, but I still feel for that little girl. I don’t know why they bothered to adopt.
So much big stuff has happened. It took me awhile to sort it all out.
First, the pandemic. Everyone is all scared and upset, but for me, it’s been like a little slice of heaven. Best of all, I didn’t have to go to work, for 73 days. I got my full pay for all of them. I work for the state. My husband worked from home for much of that time. I deep cleaned the entire house. I planted a garden. I loved being home so much. I’ve had the deep blues since I’ve had to go back.
My adult daughters, who live at home have been getting unemployment. It’s more than they’ve ever made in their lives.
I had a granddaughter. My first. It’s so powerful to see my line carrying on. This little girl will be alive long after I’m gone. It’s a very comforting thing for me to know this.
The bad part of the pandemic, for me, was not being able to be with my daughter during her labor and delivery, and not being allowed to visit my granddaughter in the hospital at all. My DD suffered a great deal. She had a long and hard labor, and maybe I could have made it a bit easier for her. My knowledge could have helped her.
But, mother and baby are home, and doing well. I haven’t told anyone in my father’s family, because, why should I? They never share anything with me. It’s pretty clear to me they do not care at all about me, or my children, or grandchildren. I’m tired of trying to matter. It’s never going to work. Dad’s going to be 80 this month. Maybe he’ll have a party. Who knows?
A-mom fell. She lives with us, and we heard a crash. We went in and Hubby found her lying on the floor. She had been walking around holding onto the furniture for awhile. We told her, over and over again that it wasn’t safe. We begged her to use her walker, but she wouldn’t listen. She tried to get up from the sofa using a rickety folding table, and it toppled over. SHe was dazed and bleeding on her arm. Hubby got her up, and gave her her walker and she toddled off to the bathroom.
She didn’t come out for awhile, and I finally went in and saw she had soiled herself, and the whole room. It was very bad. I cleaned her, and we let her lie down for awhile, hoping she was just in shock, and would feel better with some rest.
She woke up a few hours later, and couldn’t get out of bed, so we called the ambulance. She didn’t want to go with them, but the EMT talked her into it. As they were wheeling her away she said, “I guess you want to get rid of me”, and “I guess I won’t be seeing any of you again”.
It’s all true. I’m very happy that she’s gone. I haven’t seen her again. There is no visiting in the hospital, or the nursing home where she’s gone to recover from her fractured shoulder. When she fell, her walker and other assistive devices were only a few feet away, but she choose not to use them.
We cleaned her whole apartment, and it was very dirty. I’m so happy that she’s not here, and dread the day she comes back. I even think of moving away, and not telling the home. I feel guilty for these thoughts.
I was adopted to do a job. I am supposed to be a loving daughter. If I’m not, there is something wrong with me. It is not supposed to matter that she’s not really my mother. I’m not supposed to even notice that.
I hope she never comes back, but I don’t think I’m strong enough to keep her away. I know I’ll cave in and take her back, and I’ll hate every minute of it. Non adopted people don’t understand. They tell me she’s my mother, but I know she’s not. I’ve been trying to escape for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never been able to.
I finally got my original birth certifate. This is a BIG DEAL to adopted people. I truly thought I would not live to see this day. I was taught that who I was, and who I was born to was none of my business. I was taught wrong.
There were no big surprises. I know who my parents are, I know how old they were, I know where I was born. The surprises were small, little jolts that hit like soft punches to the gut.
The certificates are so similar, but so different. On the amended, false one there is no mention of the ages of the “parents” at the time of my birth. The OBC has 15 fields, but the false one only has 11. So many details were omitted, I suppose to make the new “parents” forget that I was born to another woman. It’s labeled a Certificate of Birth, but there is little mention of birth on the certificate.
One big surprise was the OBC was mailed to my mother’s address at the time of my birth. I never knew where she lived when I was born. My mother’s sister was 4 when I was born, and she remembers the apartment. She said it was a basement apartment, very dark. My parents were hiding out, growing a baby they were planning to get rid of. They were hiding the pregnancy, even though they were married, so they didn’t have to explain to anyone why they didn’t have a baby.
My oldest daughter is due to have a baby girl in 2 months. I’m very, very happy. I love babies, and can’t wait to meet my little granddaughter.
Of course, this wonderful news brings up feelings about my birth, and adoption. I’m estranged from my father’s family. I don’t think they know anything about my daughter’s pregnancy, unless they somehow heard through social media, or from someone in the neighborhood. My half brother, Mom’s son lives in the same area as many of my father’s relatives. He owns a house with his half brother (same dad, different mom). My cousin E rents an apartment in that house. E is my late mother’s half sisters son. I invited E’s preteen daughter to my daughter K’s baby shower, and she said she will attend. She will be the only blood relative of mine that will be there, aside from my 3 daughters. The only member of my adoptive family that will be there is my adoptive mother.
Luckily, my husband has a big family, so my daughter will have blood cousins and aunts there. Only my side will be lacking. I have a sister, sister in law and many female cousins and aunts, but they are not part of my life, and I don’t think they ever will be. My father will be a great grandfather, but I have no idea if he would care about that. My mother did not live to see her great granddaughter. My half brother will be a great uncle. My Dad’s kids, will also be a great aunt and uncle. They are 31 and 24 years old.
I don’t know if my cousin, who lives in the house my brother owns told my brother about the baby.
I want to tell everyone, so much. I want them to all come to the shower. I want my granddaughter to be marveled over. I want my family to say who she looks like. I want us all to be part of their lives. I don’t want to be treated like a monster. I don’t want to be hated and feared.
But, what I want doesn’t matter. I’ll love my granddaughter. I love my children.
I still wish we could be part of my family, though.
Everyone has an origin story. All the superheros do. Even supervillans do. I have a few.
According to Mom (I consider my mother to be my natural mother)
Mom was a tortured soul. She was sexually abused from before she could speak. Her first memory was of her mother, holding a shotgun on her grandfather, after catching him molesting Mom while he held Mom on his lap. Later on, when she was 5, Grandma sent Mom to live with her father. He put her in informal foster care, with a pedophile who molested her for the 6 years Mom lived with him.
Mom returned home to her mother. Grandma had had a bunch of other kids while Mom was away, and their care often fell to Mom. Mom was poor and ragged. She was ashamed to go to school. Dad was a rich guy from the neighborhood. Grandma told Mom to “go for him”. Grandma thought he would be a good catch. She didn’t sleep with him right away, and this kept him interested. Eventually she did, and she became pregnant.
Dad arranged for an abortion, using the same abortionist Grandma used. Mom was 16, and abortion was still illegal. It was another traumatizing experience for Mom. Mom and Dad continued to bang. Mom got pregnant again. This time, Dad offered to marry her. They got married, and were going to live in an apartment off his parents big house, when something happened.
Mom saw a sign outside a church, offering help with unexpected pregnancies. She went in and asked about it, and was introduced to the idea of adoption. She went home and told Dad, thinking he would reject the idea, but instead he embraced it. They moved a few towns away, and Mom waited out her pregnancy away from the family. Dad worked on her every day as her belly grew, telling her I would have a terrible life if they kept me. A life even worse than hers. She didn’t want to give me up, but she began to believe him, and agreed to the adoption.
I was born. No one was told. Mom took care of me in the hospital and held me on the ride to the agency. I stared at her the whole way. She cried at the agency. She cried for days afterward. She cried everyday for 10 years. It would overtake her suddenly. While on line at the bank, when buying groceries. Then she stopped crying. She waited for me to find her. She didn’t want to look for me, because she thought my adoption might be a secret to me, and she didn’t want to be the one to tell me.
According to Dad
Mom got pregnant. They had relationship problems. They liked group sex and drugs, and Mom wouldn’t give those things up, so Dad decided the only solution was to give me away, so I could have a better life.
According to A-Mom
My parents were too poor to keep me. Mom had to raise her younger siblings and didn’t want to raise any more kids. My parents told their parents that I died at birth. My parents were married, and A-mom could not understand how a married woman could give her baby away. No one held a gun to her head. She was a cold heartless woman who did not want me. A-mom knew my name at birth, but would only tell me the first name. A-mom lived in terror that I would be taken away.
The holidays are upon us again. It’s a time of joy, but also a time for sadness for many. All of the positive images of family and love can make people long for what they don’t have. I’m one of those people.
I have a wonderful family. Husband and 4 grown children. My eldest daughter is expecting a daughter in April. This makes me so happy! I cannot wait to meet the little one. K, my daughter is 32, and not married to the father. In fact, she only knew him for 4 moths before she fell pregnant. In the old days, she’d be a great candidate for adoption. Not in my house though. Never, never ever. We will love that baby, and my daughter and do everything we can to help and support them. Granddaughter! What a beautiful word.
I was born November 13, and relinquished on November 18. This is always a trying time of year for me. I was in a foster home, somewhere for my first Thanksgiving. I don’t know who I was with, or what name they called me. Was I Marylee, what my mother named me, or did they just call me another name they made up?
I arrived at my adoptive parents house on December 13. Just in time for my first, terrifying Christmas. Why terrifying? I didn’t know these people, and my A-mom was always rather terrifying to me.
I have no idea what my natural family does for the holidays. Do they still gather as a large group, or do my aunts and uncles celebrate with their own growing families of children and grandchildren? I will never know, because I will never be allowed into that family. They say it’s because of the way I behave, but I think it’s because I was relinquished. I think they can forgive one of their own, if they behave badly, but I must be shunned if I do. And, the extent of my bad behavior has been my anguish over my adoption.
Every holiday, I still foolishly hope I’ll get something from my family. I never do. I never will.
Nate Berkus and his partner have commissioned another child. They paid another woman, or women, if a separate egg donor was used, to sell her body in order for them to raise another child. They purposefully, and willfully separated a human being from their mother, and half of their natural family, simply to satisfy their own desires.
And the world loves it! So progressive! How brave, you deserve it. Don’t the children these men are raising deserve to know their own mother? How can anyone deny a child that, and then say they love that child? Are these men so blinded by their wants that they cannot see what they have done?
I guess the answer is yes. And most of society seems to agree. “Biology means nothing”, they cry. “Love makes a family”. But not their family. They want their own children, and their own parents, thank you very much. Biology matters to them, it just isn’t supposed to matter to those created to fulfill desire. Or those bought to create a family. We are the exceptions to the rule.
If biology really didn’t matter, why do they bother to identify babies born in the hospital? Why not just mix em up, and hand them out to parents randomly. It really shouldn’t matter, right?
I’ll bet it would matter a lot. As it should. Buying or selling human beings, or the materials used to create human beings is wrong. It is wrong because it dishonors the child. It takes something from the child that should never be taken. It takes the child’s parent and heritage, and the child is powerless to stop it.
Say anything against this and you’ll be called old fashioned, misogynistic and anti LGBT. How else can these people raise a family? Maybe, sometimes, they can’t. Or, they have to find a way that honors the child’s heritage, and includes all of their biological family in the child’s life. It’s the least you can do, for a child you love so much.
Spinabifida, cleft lip, or other specific condition
Has disability or is physically challenged
Normal or grade level
Separated from parents or rejected
Deserted or abandoned
Is taking Ritalin
I can’t stand positive adoption language, or PAL.
It is a tool used by the adoption industry to normalize the act of giving you child away to strangers. That sounds horrible, because it is!
How much nicer to think a loving mother made an adoption plan, and lovingly placed her newborn in another’s arms, then went on to live a happy, carefree life, sans baby. What could be better?
Who want to hear of a desperate woman, convinced she will never be good enough for her own child. Who wants to hear her cries as she walks away from her newborn, breasts still leaking milk, body still battered by childbirth? The months and years of grief, for both mother and baby?
Much better to use PAL. No pain in that story! Whitewashed by new, better language.
How about changing murder to involuntary termination of respiration? Rape: Unplanned sexual intercourse. We can make anything palatable, if the language is right.
I was given away, surrendered, relinquished. It was cruel, brutal and very ugly. My language reflects that. Real adoption language reflects the truth. The horror.
Last night, I woke in the middle of the night, and I felt such fear and dread. I sought the root of the feeling, and could not find it. I remembered that I have always felt this, and that the feeling has no name. I also remembered that it will pass. It will return, and it will go away again. I think we all have these feelings. It’s the human condition.
When I think back on my childhood, I cannot find any happy memories. None. The whole thing is colored a dark grey, by my adoption. Losing my mother, and never being allowed to even speak of it, colored my life.
No family. No one. Nothing. Every day, all day.
I could not wait to escape from my adoptive parents house. I met my husband when I was 16. Someone who could save me, and make me whole.
“But, your adoptive parents loved you. They did not abuse you! They raised you!”.
I know. I was there. They tried, but I was so hurt. I could not feel their love. Their love was spoiled for me, because it came at the expense of my real family. I should not have been put in such an impossible position. I could not accept the love of the ones who I felt were responsible for my loss.
Did they really love me? I suppose so. I was a good enough child. But, I was not, and could never be their child. They had to maintain the illusion that I was. They did not tell anyone that I was adopted. It was a hidden family secret, one that I dared not speak of.
How I hated the phrase, “when we got you”. Got me? I wanted “when you were born”. I wanted my mother to tell the story, of my birth, not the story of these strangers who somehow, “got me”.
Even as a young child, I felt this way.
It was a lost cause, from the start. I was broken, unable to be fixed. On my own, from the start. I had to turn my heart to stone.
I remember, being at my Auntie Irene’s house, during the long hot summers when I was 6 & 7. There were 4 older kids there, my adoptive cousins. They did not like me much. The feeling was mutual, but I was at a disadvantage. I was all alone, and they had each other, as well as their real parents, and I was an unwelcome guest in their home. My adoptive parents sent me there so they could both work full time during the summer.
I used to lie awake in my borrowed bed, listening to my adoptive uncle’s snores and will my heart to be hard, like a stone so I would not feel the pain of being left alone, again. I locked my self in the bathroom, and said every curse word I knew.
I went home on weekends, and never told my adoptive mother any of it. I never told her the sex games my cousins would play either. I finally told her when I was an adult, and she said, “why didn’t you tell me”. Sigh.
Would I have sadness if I hadn’t been adopted? I’m sure. My real mother had issues. I still loved and needed her.
My father’s sister did 23 and me, and guess who popped up on her DNA family page, little ole me!
She was listed as my half sister, which would either mean her father, is my father too, or my father, her brother is her father too. I don’t think either is the case, with DNA relatives, they come close, but the exact relationship isn’t always certain. But I kinda liked the idea that my dad slept with his mother. Then finally his family would see he wasn’t a great guy. I thought it was kinda funny.
So, I contacted her, on the 23 and me website. We shared our DNA profiles. It was nice. Then we started emailing. I shared my huge Ancestry.com tree with her. She asked if I wanted to meet for dinner sometime, me and hubby with her and her hubby.
I did not want to do that. I told her about the shunning, and she said my cousin, the one who told me about the shunning had it wrong. There was no decision to shun me. I guess it was not official, but everyone did it anyway?
Strangely, I have no desire to see my Aunt. She does not mean much to me. She told me that she loves my father, “warts and all” and cannot speak about his decisions. Fair enough. I can, and his decisions hurt a lot of people. He’s a scumbag. As long as I feel this way, I don’t think I can ever get along well with my aunt. We can’t have a casual going out to dinner kind of relationship. Especially after all those years of silence.
And…still no word about my mother. No acknowledgement of her death. No I’m sorry, nothing. why would I want to be near this woman? Well, I don’t.
Auntie said she’d be there if I ever wanted to get to know her. Does that sound like a loving invitation? It does not to me. I know enough to stay away from this one…