Today on the FB posting of the Washington Post – Dear Carolyn.
“Dear Carolyn: Hi Carolyn, I am 45 and recently found the daughter whom I gave up for adoption when I was 16. My childhood was very traumatic and dysfunctional, therefore I knew that I couldn’t raise her properly or provide the best for her.
Since reconnecting we have established a great friendship and she fully understands and even appreciates that I gave her up for adoption. I am recently married and have a 2-year-old baby and step kids whom I adore. All have met her and are very supportive.
The problem is social media. I am very active and post often about my life and our family’s adventures. I would like to start including my bio-daughter (with her permission) in these posts. But before I do I feel that I should at least offer up an explanation or part of the story so people I am connected to understand. I am not seeking validation but I feel it would be awkward or strange to just pop up with a new family member who looks like me that no one has ever seen or heard of.
My husband and friends think otherwise. They say it’s no one’s business and that I don’t need to say a thing. But I think it would be weird not to, so I am torn.”
“Since reconnecting we have established a great friendship and she fully understands and even appreciates that I gave her up for adoption.” (bolding mine.)
The fact that the first mother included this sentence is a red flag to me and leaves me wondering if the daughter knows her first mother has written to Carolyn at WAPO, instead of having a discussion with her, not only about being included in her first mother’s posts, but that she also wants to do a post about her story which would be their story, note she asked her husband and friends, but doesn’t mention how her daughter feels about having her personal story being put out on FB by her first mother.
Personally, I’d likely go silent then pull back, and and seeing as I find it hard to trust, that’d be gone too. Reunion is incredibly complex and a intricate dance at best, it’s also full of pitfalls just waiting to be stepped into that can at best, test the reunion, at worst, ruin it, forever.
Anyways, now onto the type of comments made specifically by AP’s…
Anne…main thing is what daughter, and also her parents who raised her, want.
Susan to Anne Yes! The couple who raised her are her parents and their wishes/feelings should be the primary focus, not the bio-mom.
Jade to Susan Nope. Adoptive Parents have the most power and control… at 29 years old this is a decision between an adoptee and a first mother. I’m also an adoptive mother.
Sionan to Anne no, the people who raised her should absolutely NOT be the “primary focus.” The adopted person should always, always be the primary focus. She should decide what she wants. She is not a commodity who belongs to her parents—adoptive, biological, or otherwise.
I’m an adoptive mom and my children are fully human and it is my job to respect them and their feelings and needs and to embrace the people that matter to them, not to constrain who they are allowed to love or associate with.
Cricket to Sionan all of this – plus she’s 29 years old. Fully adult!!!
Sionan to Cricket I know right.
Jade to Sionan yes! I’m also an AP and couldn’t agree more.
Julianne to Jade but the birthparents need to honor the other parents as well-hopefully the child
Julianne to Anne Thank you-as a parent through adoption we are almost always left out of the equation as though we don’t exist or never mattered at all in these stories-we are completely invisible-I hope this woman has met her birth daughters parents because they are her true parents…
Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by the adoptive parents who stood up, who’d done whatever work they needed to do to see how complex adoption is, especially when it comes to reunion for the one adopted. Yes, there are still some who need to step out of their fear of the unknown, and work on accepting that we have two different sets of parents and that both are important.