Watched “Searching for…” for the first time

21 Mar
One story was a man who grew up with his mother as a single parent and wanted to search for his father after his mother passed away. Good story and a happy ending.
The other story was about twins adopted at birth and the ending wasn’t so nice. What they did right was to bring to light several key points.
*that their parents had adoption papers that had their names at birth listed that they did not know about until after their parents were gone.
*that they could have been separated at birth and adopted out separately if their parents only wanted one of the babies.
*that they could go and get a copy of their original birth certificate because Maine had recently changed the laws.
*they showed the emotions the twins felt looking at their birth certificates for the very first time, finding out which was the older twin, seeing the name of their mother, finding out how old she was and where she was from.
Small bits of info that mean so very much when you have absolutely nothing. To find out even what state your family is from, seems so small and unimportant to most but it is huge when you have nothing.
I did wince when they wrote a letter to their mother and thanked her for making an adoption plan for them.  Something about that makes me think it would be more of a kick in the stomach than make their mother feel good, although I am sure that is different for each individual.
But watching and listening to the words they spoke about searching for medical history for them and their kids.  Note one had a boy with CF that was obviously a shock to find out and I know they did want to search for that because the lack of it had slammed them personally, but they wanted more, at least one meeting.  And I would expect they also had the hope that the relationship would develop into something deeper, at least that is what I saw.
I was really disappointed at their mothers reaction, they obviously were too and you could see it on their faces.  They were upset that she could not take even 10 minutes to provide some medical history.  That all the times they had talked about her that they did not expect her to be like that, to the point of denying them even their medical history.  That feeling I know all to well having experienced it originally on my mother’s side of the family (although that changed) and again with my father.  I still after all these years cannot understand why someone cannot take the time to have one conversation with their child.
Both stories were about people in their 40’s and it brought up the thoughts again on how we go through different life stages in defining who we are.  And at each stage of our lives how unimportant or important knowing who were are is.
Looking back it seems like each decade of my life had different priorities and as a really rough and superficial estimate I think at:
*0-10 I was just a kid with the task of figuring out what adoption was and sad feelings and good times intermixed;
*11-20 there definitely was some real angst, feelings of disconnect, questions that needed to be answered, and deep sadness as I realized I would never know;
*21-30 I was all over the board trying to come to terms knowing I would never know, but mostly too involved in my own little world of spreading my wings, and the crashing of my world when my son passed away;
*31 – 40 the age of the internet was dawning, the questions and sadness were coming forward more and more in waves that really impacted me;
*41+ my mortality slapped me in the face literally, but even if it hadn’t I think that would have been the decade of intense frustration of needing to know and not having answers or success
I would be interested to know how others perceived identity and being adopted by decade – anyone else want to share?


Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Watched “Searching for…” for the first time

  1. Von

    March 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Early life I was compliant and accepting.From the mid teens on a string of abusive relationships as a result of adoption and it’s effects.Plenty of angst.
    I met my mother at 50, that was the decade of learning about mothers and appreciating their feelings and motivation.The 60’s have been coming out of the fog, leaving behind the good, grateful adoptee I always was and coming to what adoption really did to me and what it has meant in my’s not pretty but it’s real and it’s my life.Once the blinkers are off you never see the same way again and have some hope of becoming a survivor.


  2. The adopted ones

    March 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks Von,
    How our perceptions change over time always amazes me – in some things I look back at how I felt and can’t comprehend. When my son passed away I started to really understand the types of feelings our mothers must have felt.


  3. cb

    March 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

    It is interesting reading all your perceptions. In my own case, in early childhood (0-12), I was an extraordinarily awful child (I remember myself how contrary I was, also my sister says I was whiny). I was so whiny apparently that when I broke my arm at the age of 5, no-one believed me so I didn’t go to doctor for 2 days – I must have been like the boy who cried wolf – whined too many times so no-one believed me. So, the point of that is that I realised from a young age that I was never going to be taken seriously (not that I had anyone else but myself to blame for that of course) and so during that period in my life, I remember feeling that being relinquished was quite understandable lol. In teens, I realised the best thing to do was to behave. I don’t know that I thought that much about my bmother then except for realising that if we girls stepped out of line, it would be blamed on genes (mother made sure we went to an all girls school and we hardly ever dated – no doubt she thought we would get ourselves pregnant at the first opportunity lol). In 20’s, got OBC, didn’t want to disturb bmums life so left any looking up to her (assumed she had her own life to lead) and never really thought that much about it until 40s when out of boredom googled her name and found she had passed away. At the time, just felt mild disappointment. Now that I am getting to know more about her and the rest of extended bfamily, it is hitting home a lot more now. Also, reading so many blogs/forums etc about adoption from all angles has really opened my eyes. Though it has been a rollercoaster of feelings, I have no regrets contacting bfamily, I have learnt a lot about myself in the past year and have met some lovely people (not just bfamily) through the journey. I have also got to know some lovely people online as well :).

    Re: the twins in article.
    “I did wince when they wrote a letter to their mother and thanked her for making an adoption plan for them.”
    I agree with you there. I’ve always thought the best thing to say would be something like “I would just like to reassure you that I had a good life” rather than “you did the right thing” etc.

    I did feel sad for them though that their birthmother couldn’t find time to speak to them. I do sometimes think it is worth trying again. I also think a lot depends on the initial contact – if going through a CI, I would choose one who is a birthmother herself.


  4. Amanda

    March 23, 2011 at 1:11 am

    I went from thinking I was the most ridiculously special thing in the world (0-7), to ambivalent feelings (7-teens), to internalizing and accepting stereotypes as fact in place of real information (teens-20’s) to realizing the mother-child bond and that roots are real and matter to me when I gave birth to my first when I was 23. Reuniting and allowing myself to work out ambivalent feelings is where I am at now.


  5. The adopted ones

    March 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks Guys,

    It’s fascinating to me how our feelings about adoption evolve. I think people need to realize this with their children and hopefully they do. My concern is they assume a young child who says everything is grand about being an adoptee will stop talking assuming the child is “healed” of their grief…kwim?



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