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Adoptive Mom Asks for Advice

13 Apr

An adoption question was sent to an advice columnist. The usual happened, the adoption community weighed in. The background: Adoptive mom found out her daughter (age 17) has been talking to her mother by birth online, and now, her daughter wants to meet her mother by birth and asked her mom to go with her. Adoptive mother writes to the advice columnist for advice because *she* did a closed adoption and now this *woman* has appeared in her daughter’s life because her daughter searched for her other mother. This is not what she wants. 

I’m Devastated My Daughter Secretly Contacted Her Birth Mother

The adoption happened in this century, a century where the internet already existed, adoption forums existed. A time when adoption research was pointing to openness, a time where some version of open adoptions in private (DIA) adoptions became the norm, not just because the mother by birth wanted it, but because openness in adoption had research saying it is better for the one adopted. 

But she wanted her adoption closed, to be the only mom, her family to be her childs only family. Adoption has never worked that way, at least not for the one adopted. It’s important to also note that it was already common knowledge when she adopted that there were adoptees who searched for their family, an era where many adoptees had started blogs, started posting messages of their search, some even posted picture boards on FB asking for info on their search. And we can’t forget the adoption search/reunion databases, nor the legislative actions going on to give adoptees their right to their info. None of this was a secret, searching had gone on for decades by then, just google Florence Fisher.

We will always have another father, mother, an entire family out there – whether we ever know who they are, or not. They exist, we exist because of them. Even if we never meet, we’ll think about them, wonder, maybe even worry about them from time to time. When we look into the mirror some of us might wonder if we look like anyone else. When we excel in something, we might wonder which side of the family that gift came from, if it did at all. So much of who we are is tied to who we came from, and not knowing can be hell on earth for some. It’s hard being an only when everyone around you isn’t. If you can’t deal with your child having another family, don’t adopt.

Lori has a post on this topic, you can read her take. How to Avoid Being Gobsmacked by your 18 Year-Old Adoptee

“I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father and his father and all our fathers, and in front to see my son and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond. And their eyes were my eyes. As I felt so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid for I was in a long line that had no beginning and no end. And the hand of his father grasped my father’s hand and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand and all, up and down the line that stretched from time that was to time that is not yet, raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, made in the image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the Eternal Father. ”

~ Robert Llewellyn ~

 
20 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2021 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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20 responses to “Adoptive Mom Asks for Advice

  1. Lori Lavender Luz

    April 14, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Excellent point that this thinking is going on during THIS CENTURY. This is the problem with adoption professionals adding in Contact and calling it an open adoption — but not adding in actual Openness. One definition I have of Openness is when adoptive parents can acknowledge and deal with What Is, which is the tragic flaw this letter writer has — no ability to deal with What Is whatsoever. As you point out, that would be the incontrovertible fact that another mother exists.

    So much work left to do.

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • TAO

      April 14, 2021 at 4:37 pm

      That’s why I offer no grace to her letter, this century she adopted, plus she can’t even write the word mother for her daughter’s mother by birth, simply woman.

      Liked by 2 people

       
      • Laksh

        April 14, 2021 at 7:22 pm

        I think that is the part that bothered me so much about the letter, the absolute inability to accord the other mother with the respect due to her.

        Like

         
        • TAO

          April 14, 2021 at 7:35 pm

          Yes, it turned me right off, her sheer lack of acknowledgement. I remember when mom would speak of any of our mothers the tears that roll down her face just thinking of what they went through.

          Like

           
          • Laksh

            April 14, 2021 at 7:48 pm

            I tear up when I think of my children’s mom too. I think going through pregnancy emphasized how connected mother and child are.

            Liked by 1 person

             
            • TAO

              April 14, 2021 at 11:54 pm

              Thank you for this.

              Like

               
            • beth62

              April 15, 2021 at 3:06 am

              I think this mom must know of that connection. And obviously fearful of it. Or believe she has that same mother/child connection with her daughter, or should, due to the magic of closed adoption. I hope she figures out both mother connections can be strong, and both irreplaceable.

              Liked by 2 people

               
              • Cindy

                May 3, 2021 at 8:53 pm

                “I hope she figures out both mother connections can be strong, and both irreplaceable.”

                I understand the sentiment and the hope. However, from lived experience and the practice itself I think, how can that be? One mother -was- replaced (and often erased) with another mother and little to no thought given to the aftermath. So how can both be irreplaceable? Just sayin’. It doesn’t add up without a LOT of work. Look at it from all positions of adoption how that statement simply does not ring true… for many.

                I have a grandchild (not yet 20) who did not learn they were adopted until their mid-teens. How does that fit in with ‘irreplaceable’ mothers?

                Maybe if we (society) start with the basics, that (biological) mothers and fathers are really irreplaceable and go from there, we can change the narrative and the cognitive dissonance.

                Liked by 1 person

                 
                • beth62

                  May 10, 2021 at 1:35 pm

                  You’re right, I guess it can depend on how you think on it.
                  I was thinkin on it like this. And I have to confess, It probably did take me decades of work to get here.

                  My adopted mom can’t replace my mother of origin.
                  She can be my adopted mom, my childhood mommy, my mother, my mom, my kids’ grandmother, my grandkids great grandmother, but she can never be my genetic mother, nor my mother of birth.
                  Not even with a vital document stating that she is.

                  I searched for and found my mother twenty years ago – because she is absolutely irreplaceable to Me.
                  It is what it is now, for us, no matter what or who we can blame for our separation. Today, my mother can’t replace my adopted mother. She can be my mother, my mom, my momma, great and grandmother to mine, but she can’t replace my adopted mom of nearly sixty years now, or be my childhood mommy. That we lost, and any chances of it were taken, with time.

                  My stepmom can’t replace either, and doesn’t need to replace anybody, to be a mom of mine.

                  As far as the strength of any connection… I guess it just depends on the individuals and situations.
                  Even with additional adopted, step, or other parents added – still Mother is Mother and Father is Father. Regardless of anything IMO.
                  Unless of course there is a genetic mother/father and a birth mother to further complicate the puzzle 🙂 Then I just give up, because I don’t know, can’t decide how I would fall on that division, if I had to. I imagine fairly equally, but I’m still thinking on it and waiting to hear from many many more people who do have two or more mothers of origin.

                  In a post like this, which I read as about the difficulties of a young woman wanting and attempting to know her mother, and not ditch her other mother – the sentiment that having more than one irreplaceable mother is entirely possible, seems fitting. I think most adult adoptees know it’s possible somehow, at least deep down. It’s our mothers that often have even more difficulty with it. Like the one who wrote of her motherly woes in the post. Why or whatever happened to make it happen with any parent, with time, sometimes becomes slightly beside the point of living present day and managing connections with others. Because it is what it is now for many of us, all we can do is try to deal with it as adults, make peace with it, there’s no going back to make decisions for ourselves.
                  There are improvements that can be made, better beliefs that can be formed within Adoption. No Adoptee needs to be a spoke-person for all involved, I’ve tried, I believe it’s impossible.
                  There is a point when working on self, relationships and connections, where the business of Adoption, why and how, the issues of all, needed justice, reform, and all that becomes beside the goal. Not always what it’s about in the moment of strengthening personal connections in the present and hopefully for the future.

                  One belief that I have tried to spread and backup is that our mothers’ of origin will always be our mothers’ of origin. And I like to hope for much more. Mother will always be mother, where ever she may be, even after we’re all dead. It’s a fact. For many reasons it’s very important not to loose that connection whenever at all possible, however possible.
                  That connection was stolen and kept from me and my mother.
                  And that should be a crime for all who take part in it.

                  Like

                   
                • beth62

                  May 10, 2021 at 1:54 pm

                  “I have a grandchild (not yet 20) who did not learn they were adopted until their mid-teens. How does that fit in with ‘irreplaceable’ mothers?”

                  That really sucks, it’s very sad to hear that. It should absolutely be a crime.
                  Would it fit if your grandchild now knows/believes that people, including his Adopted parent/s, attempted to erase and completely replace his irreplaceable mother?

                  Like

                   
    • beth62

      April 15, 2021 at 10:03 pm

      So much left to do. Closed Adoption. In this Century, too. It just burns my britches!
      I guess this daughter is supposed to be grateful that her mom had her mothers’ name filed away on a document for her to find?
      Which leads me to believe mom chose “no contact”, not so much a “closed adoption”. Big difference. Maybe it sounds nicer saying closed adoption? (since it’s still an ugly issue in Adoption, in this century of freedom and equal rights.) Sounds better than saying, “I want no contact with this woman.”? Oh, I guess she doesn’t really have a problem saying that, except to her daughter.
      Who’s really been the sneaky behind the back one?

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • beth62

        April 19, 2021 at 10:52 pm

        I’m replying to myself 🙂
        Just remember, we are always teaching our children.

        I have to ask, what did this mother teach her daughter about their Adoption situation?
        By her own words and actions while “talking about her Adoption” all along, as she said?
        Looks to me like her daughter listened, and knew which parts weren’t something to share, until she got busted 🙂
        I think she’s one brave and mature daughter to fess up like she did, if you ask me.

        Liked by 1 person

         
  2. Tiffany

    April 21, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    I wonder why so many parents think of their children as objects they own. I know this AP would probably be horrified and say “I don’t think that!” but she clearly at least unconsciously does. All of this is about centering her and her own feelings and emotions.

    Every human being has agency. I would never, ever think that I could decide life for either of my daughters. I definitely have no place making decisions for our daughter how is adopted around how she views her own family. It’s really appalling that in our society, APs are given the leeway to overtake the agency of another human well into adulthood and sometimes beyond simply because of a legal document making them the parent of record. It’s even more pronounced in adoption. Imagine if this letter was a mom writing and complaining that her 17 year old daughter was close with her grandmother in spite of the mom not wanting them to be connected even though there is no reason to deny the connection besides the mom’s jealousy. No one would let that fly. But for some reason, if the child is adopted, they must forever deny their own roots to appease the emotions of the parents.

    It’s honestly sickening.

    Like

     
    • beth62

      April 22, 2021 at 1:14 am

      It is that.
      I don’t understand how anyone could believe that any other human wouldn’t want to know about their origins. No matter what. It’s seriously baffling to me.
      With Adoption it often seems like there is some kind of unspoken deal made somehow. I guess it’s not always so unspoken either.
      If I were wiser when I was young, I would have demanded much more compensation for that expected and forced deal. Just getting adopted and raised wouldn’t cover it. No Deal.

      Like

       
      • Tiffany

        April 26, 2021 at 8:56 pm

        I can understand why someone else may not want to know about their origins if it is their choice, but I cannot understand someone else deciding for that person what they should and shouldn’t want to know. It baffles me- the total and complete dominance some APs want to exert.

        And adoptees never even agreed to any of this. That’s the worst part.

        Liked by 2 people

         
        • TAO

          April 27, 2021 at 3:10 am

          Me too Tiffany, also didn’t make sense to mom either.

          Liked by 1 person

           
    • TAO

      April 22, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      You always offer wisdom, so grateful to have met you on the forum years ago. Object is an apt description for some AP’s, the analogy with child and grandparent prove the difference.

      Liked by 2 people

       
      • Tiffany

        April 26, 2021 at 8:57 pm

        I am so glad I found you! I love reading your thoughts and appreciate you so very much.

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • TAO

          April 27, 2021 at 3:09 am

          Right back at you – you’ve enriched the lives of many adoptees – wish you could bottle it and give whatever *it* is to others.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • Tiffany

            April 28, 2021 at 10:14 pm

            I guess I just still can’t understand so many APs stance. I love our daughter so damn much… my heart breaks for her. I’d give anything to have her life feel whole even if it meant my heart breaking. That’s love, to me. I don’t make myself feel how I feel- I just do. A lot of it is education and listening to adoptees so I have the right words and can understand from you how it feels. But honestly, your words and adoptees’ words resonate intuitively with me because it just makes sense that you would feel how you feel. I’m not blown away when adoptees say “I feel abandoned” or “I feel a loss of connection with my heritage and my family” or “I feel like a stranger in my adoptive family.” I mean… it all makes sense, doesn’t it? They all seem like very natural emotions to me given the circumstances.

            I just don’t get what is so unusual about upholding your child’s feelings and allowing them space to be and exist and hurt from a deep loss. Almost ten years later, I am still baffled by APs.

            Liked by 1 person

             

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