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.
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 ~