The Hypocrisy of Classifying All Biological Mothers as Relinquishers – An Adoptee’s Perspective

I don’t like anyone telling me what to call my biological mother, and when they try, it grinds my gears in a wild ass way! I had a fellow adoptee DEMAND I call my biological mother, MOTHER. If I didn’t, she insisted I was feeding into the adoption industry propaganda and that I wasn’t being honest because she was, in fact, my mother! I get what she was trying to say; however, no one gets to tell me what to do or how to refer to my biological mother. 

I will never try to tell anyone how to refer to their BIOLOGICAL MOTHER, FIRST MOTHER, or BIRTH MOTHER. I couldn’t call her mother because she didn’t earn the right to gain that title. I will share more about that in a few. 

I have had biological mothers jump my ass in online settings for using BM (birth mother or bowel movement) when describing my biological mother. I let them know I can use BM because it’s easier to describe biological mothers in adoption spaces, and most people know what BM means.

Now that I have been on a healing and growth journey, I try to be sympathetic to this. Not because I have to, but because I want to.

For anyone to tell another person how they should refer to anyone in their life is something I can’t entirely agree with. Of course, we are all free to refer to our biological mothers or anyone else as we wish, but that’s not what this article is about. It’s about using a blanket statement calling ALL biological mothers relinquishers. Many individuals call the entire category of biological mothers RELINQUISHERS for those unaware of it.

Over a decade, I have been in the adoptee community and longer than that in online adoptee spaces, better known as ADOPTEELAND. While several years ago, I since retired from Adopteeland altogether, gladly passing the baton over to those who are better equipped to handle the complexities that come with it. There have been many situations where I learned that all biological mothers are referred to as relinquishers, and I have some thoughts on this. 

Relinquish – voluntarily cease to keep or claim; give up. 

Voluntary – done, given, or acting of one’s own free will.

This is a loaded topic, and I am only sharing from my perspective because I see an issue with ALL biological mothers being classified as relinquishers. 

Here’s why. 

When we refer to ALL biological mothers as relinquishers, we classify them ALL as voluntarily, of their own free will,  giving up their babies for adoption. However, we admit that adoption agencies, adoption officials, churches, evangelicals, the pro-life movement, and adoption advocates have particular ways to manipulate and coerce mothers before they give their babies up for adoption.

In that case, we have to consider this when classifying them ALL as relinquishers. We can not know this and rightfully call all biological mothers relinquishers because many of them had no choice. 

Most of us are aware that adoption is a multi-billion dollar unregulated business and that there is a lot of money to be made in this arena. We also know that the coercion tactics used on mothers are very sly and cunning. The exploitation runs deep and raw.

I had the experience of reading The Girls That Went Away, a remarkable book that recounts the experiences of biological mothers through the baby scoop era. They share feelings associated with the lifelong trauma of their babies being separated from their existence.  Many of them would have kept their babies if they could. However, they had no choice or options between the era they were in and a lack of support. Many were conditioned to believe their babies would be better off without them, and sadly many believed it. Sadly, this still happens today.

Many of us recognize and acknowledge that not all adoptees have the beginnings of their life, which means they don’t know the truth about their beginnings. We can not assume that all international adoptees or domestic adoptees weren’t stolen. We must acknowledge that many adoptees are stolen and sold on the black market and in other awful ways. When we know this, we can’t assume that the biological mothers relinquished their babies, yet many of them were legitimately stolen from them. 

How can anyone call all biological mothers relinquishers when they know this is a part of adoption? Once again, If you know this, and you are still calling ALL biological mothers relinquishers, I believe you are just being cruel and mean. This usually always occurs on the internet because most people don’t dare to be this mean in real life. 

There are many adoptees who are referring to themselves as “relinquishee” instead of “adoptee.” I wrote an article about that called, “My Views on Adoptee vs. Relinquishee.” While I sometimes use the term relinquishee, it fits my story but it doesn’t fit everyone’s story. Some adopted people are uncertain if they were stolen or relinquished which are two very significant differrences. I will be writing about this soon.

This topic is quite personal to me due to an exceptional individual in my life who was brave enough to share their story with me, who happens to be a biological mother. She was pregnant in the baby scoop era at 15 years old, and like many other unwed mothers, she was swept away to a mother/baby home to prepare for the surrender of her baby. But unfortunately, her parents wouldn’t support her, and at 15, she had no options. 

When her daughter turned 18, she had already found her and sat at her high school graduation from afar, watching the baby she gave birth to 18 years earlier walk across the stage. She slipped out, never to be noticed by anyone. Not long after, she pursued reuniting and a relationship with her daughter, and she had an existing one until her dying days. On her deathbed, she still wept tears from the loss of her daughter. 

Even in the hospital, she whispered to her many years later as tears wept down her face, “I wish I would have taken you and ran; I’m so sorry I didn’t.”  Even with all the cards stacked against her, she carried the pain of the separation from her daughter to her last breath in her last words. 

Knowing that she experienced this, and so many other biological mothers, to put them in a category labeled RELINQUISHERS is something I can’t agree with. But, this is one story of countless that I have been willing to listen to and learn from. 

Now, my biological mother, on the other hand, might be able to slide her into the category of relinquisher because I genuinely feel she was old enough to know what she was doing. She made a clear and conscious choice as a grown adult, and even when in 1974, things were significantly different than today. She could have kept me and parented me. 

The circumstances around her decision are based on the fact that she had an affair with a married man, and I was conceived as a product of this affair. He was a close family friend, and she kept the whole pregnancy a secret, even from my biological father. I don’t call her a relinquisher because I feel it has a vile tone and a mean connotation attached to the way the word is used. Instead, I choose the word biological mother or birth mother for the woman who gave birth to me because that fits my story and what feels comfortable to me. 

I feel it’s exceptionally hypocritical to use a blanket statement calling all biological mothers relinquishers when we know these realities exist and that every single separation from our biological mother is different from the next.

Call your biological mother a relinquisher if you wish! But I feel when anyone refers to ALL biological mothers as relinquishers, it’s fueled by anger and spite resulting from unresolved trauma wounds.  As we all know, anytime a mother and a child are separated, a trauma occurs, so every adopted person and their biological mothers carry trauma with them whether they understand it or not. 

I don’t refer to all birth mothers as relinquishers, nor do I refer to ANY birth mothers as relinquishers. Part of my journey has allowed me the opportunity to have many one-on-one, heart-to-heart online and in-person conversations with biological mothers. I have been willing to try to understand the depths of their experiences. Everyone has said it was a traumatic experience, and almost all said they had no choice. I’m not saying this is the case for every story because I know it’s not. 

Kindness and compassion go a long way. However, being a mean human being isn’t cool at all. When someone is mean, rude, or disrespectful on the internet, or if they have bullying tendencies, I completely tune them out and turn them off. They get no airtime in my world. I encourage you to do the same! 

Let’s try to do better and reconsider when we think about using blanket statements by calling all biological mothers relinquishers and let’s handle each experience as its individual own. Let’s take accountability that we legitimately know not all birth mothers have or had a choice. Let’s grow in our journeys to have more kindness and compassion for others. 

Don’t forget this article along with all my other articles are available in audio for your convenience, just look up Pamela A. Karanova Podcast on Google Podcasts, iTunes , Spotify. and Amazon Music. Interested in treating me with a coffee, to add fuel to my fire? Click here. Many thanks in advance to my supporters!

Thanks for reading, 

Love, Love.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author, Pamela A. Karanova. Reproduction of the material contained in this publication may be made only with the written permission of Pamela A. Karanova

Mother May I…

Mother May I
 
Mother, I’ve been tied to this pain for so long and each day I awake I desire for it to be gone.
It’s like a dark cloud hanging over my head.
It starts each morning as soon as I rise out of bed.
You never leave my mind.
How can I let it go?
 It’s all I have of you, you know?
It’s deep in my soul and always appears when I’m low, usually nobody knows.
When there is nothing to hang on to, no memories and no history, all I have is the pain.
Is that why I’m hanging on to this pain so long?
In your memory, it’s clenched tight.
 I know deep down its blocking some of God’s light.
It’s been 40 years now.
It feels like a bag of bones and it’s heavy to carry.
But if I let it go, what will I have?
There are no memories to remember, no future, and no forever.
I thought of saving a piece, folding it up and putting it away.
Then I can take it out on a rainy day.
Because then you will know I never forgot you. I never want you to think I forgot about you.
But God said, “NO, you are my child, and I want your heart to be healed. You’ve had enough rainy days”
Mother, I’m tired of carrying this pain.
 I know I have to let go, but there are a few things I need you to know.
Just because I let go of the pain, doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten you.
It doesn’t mean I don’t hold you close to my heart.
It doesn’t mean I’m trading you for anything.
It doesn’t mean I don’t think of you, because I do.
It just means that I’ve made the choice to move forward with my life, and let go of the pain.
I need this for myself, my kids and for my future.
I will ALWAYS hold you close to my heart, because you are the woman I dreamed of knowing from the very start.
So let me ask
 Mother May I?
 Let go of the pain?
Because holding it so tight, I know I have nothing to gain.
Mother May I let go of the pain?
Mother:  “YES YOU MAY” 
Healing by discovering my truth & sharing it with the world one blog post at a time…
Pamela Karanova
Lexington, KY
Reunited Adult Adoptee
 

My Birthmother was an Alcoholic but I didn’t Love her any Less…

Knowing she was suffering from alcoholism had absolutely no impact on me wanting to meet and know and love my birthmother.

Never for the life of me will I understand why an adoptive parent would share negative things with their adoptive child about their birth families? Why do they do this? From my experience in my journey and hearing other adoptees share their stories it’s almost as if the adoptive parents get some self-satisfaction about sharing some dark points about the biological families in hopes to create a wedge or a negative feelings from the adoptee about their birth families. I find this appalling.
Our birth families are who we are. They are a big part of us and no one can say or do anything to change that. I hear over and over, “But she was addicted to drugs, and she was a prostitute, or she was an alcoholic.” Those things don’t make her our mother any less. I know some adoptees may feel different but for me, I never had a chance to know the woman that gave me life. But after finding her and being reunited with her one time I learned a lot about her. I wish I was given more time to get to know her. I learned from those around and of course my adoptive mom loved to throw it in my face that she was an alcoholic. She would mention this because I was a drinker for 25 years of my life. I drank to escape the pain and heartbreak of my birth mother giving me away. My adopted mom said “You act like she would have given you a better life”.
You know, I really resent that statement to a major degree. Let’s see. Would I have rather had my REAL mother who was an alcoholic OR a FAKE mother that was addicted to prescription pain pills and depressed who battled mental illness my whole life. For me the answer to that is simple. I WOULD HAVE RATHER HAD MY REAL MOTHER! At least she would have been my REAL mother, not some stranger that wanted me for her own selfish reasons. Families have dysfunctions, and families have issues. I fully understand this. But when my adopted mother started speaking negatively about my birth mother it only drew me further away from her. It felt like I had to choose a side. And in the end I was left with nothing. Because it just so happened my birth mother didn’t want me in her life. I struggle with this adoptee battle daily!
I’ve learned to accept these things but it hasn’t been easy. I would like to share that any time an adoptive parent speaks negatively about a birth family member of the child they are raising they are speaking negatively about the child. This has a reflection of the adoptee thinking badly about oneself and starting to feel as if something is wrong with them. Why would any parent want that for their child? If there are traumatic events that happened and they are the reason why the child was separated from their original family there is no reason the child needs to hear that in a demeaning way. They can hear the truth at age appropriate times, but what about speaking love about the first family? Telling that child it’s okay to cry, and grieve because of those reasons. Instead of speaking badly about their very own roots.
It’s not what you say it’s how you say it. Let me make this clear, it was only my adoptive mother that spoke negatively. My adoptive father never said a negative word about anyone. He never talked about it ever.
I will just say I commend all the adoptive parents who have nothing but love for their adoptive child’s first family and don’t speak badly about them or talk down on them. I know there are many out there that don’t do this. For those that do, or for those that are raising adoptive children. I plead with you to please not speak negatively about your child’s first family. This can and will have lasting long term side effects that will damage the child’s inner being and make them feel terrible about themselves. It will not make them feel more grateful they were adopted if those are your intentions. It will only confuse them more.  Take it from an adoptee that’s experience this.

 

Thanks for reading.

What I Wished My Birth Mother Wrote To Me.

My dearest sweet Pamela,
I am so sorry for all the pain I have caused you. After reading your letter I wanted to answer a few of your questions.
I want you to know that as many times as you dreamed about me, I dreamed about you. Not one day or one hour went by that I didn’t have you in my mind. I always wondered what you looked like, who you looked like, and what your life was like. I always had you close in my heart, even if you were physically far away. I am so sorry for all the pain that being adopted has caused you. That was not in the plan or my intentions, not even for one minute.
I need you to know that I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. My mother and father were alcoholics, and my life was anything but a normal one. We were poor, and we didn’t have much. My mother was in mental institutes many times throughout my life. She did some very horrible things but I will just say we didn’t have it easy.
I married my first husband and had your half-sister. She was born in 1970. Her father and I started to have problems, and we soon ended up divorcing. He was the love of my life. I always drank alcohol to cope with things in my life and it always seemed to make things much easier to deal with. I never realized until it was too late how much alcohol took from my life and how much of an impact it had on my life. Now looking back I see it controlled everything. My life never would be the same after we divorced.
Even thoe I always had alcohol in my life and things just seemed to get worse after my divorce. My father began to get sick, and soon passed away in 1973. At this time I was a single mother of your older sister and alcohol was a big part of my life. There were pall barriers at my father’s funeral, and one of them was Jimmie Jones, whom was 10 years older than me. He was a close family friend, and he was close with my father, and my brothers. After the funeral he asked me if I wanted to go have a few drinks with him, and even when he was married at the time, I didn’t think there was any harm in having a few drinks. Alcohol seemed to make everything so much better and it helped ease the pain I was facing with my father’s passing. The night of my father’s funeral was the night you were conceived and after this night, my life would never be the same. Jimmie and I both were lonely and ended up getting a hotel room that night after we left the bar, and one thing led to another. After this night, I never saw him again. This was a very poor decision on my part, but there was nothing I could do to take this night away, and to take the pain away from my father passing away Jimmie consoled me, as he was 10 years older than me, he knew all the right things to say.
Soon after I found out I was pregnant with you. I did continue to drink during my pregnancy, and I am so sorry for that. It is one of the many regrets in my life I have. You see alcohol had a control over me, like nothing else ever did. It was all I knew to get by, and ease the pain I was about to endure. There is no way I could have made it through a pregnancy and know I was going to give my baby away, and not have alcohol to help me cope with those emotions. I am so sorry for what that has done to you. Please know I never wanted to hurt you. I could say I would do anything to take that night back, but if I did that you wouldn’t be where you are today with your beautiful children. What I can say is that I want to let you know I am so sorry for your pain and I hope someday you can forgive me so you can let go of the pain you have in your heart so you can truly be happy. I understand your anger towards me, and I am so sorry I have caused this. You have every right to be angry.
When I made the decision to give you up for adoption, I want you to know abortion just wasn’t an option. My mother tried to abort her first child in every way possible, and didn’t succeed. My oldest sister was born mentally retarded and lived in a nursing home her whole life until she passed away in her 60’s. Abortion never was an option for me, because this situation tore our family up on many levels. When I got pregnant with you, the reason I decided not to keep you was because your biological father was married and I didn’t want to bring you into the world under those circumstances. You see, if I would have kept you then you would have felt like a mistake, or a product of an affair and I didn’t want you to have to endure that type of pain. I felt like it would have ruined you, and I also was so ashamed of my behavior I just couldn’t deal with the pain. This is my reason in choosing adoption. Never did I ever mean for you to grow up harboring such pain that you have. I have carried the shame from my actions deep inside, and I never have forgiven myself for what I have done. Having an affair with a married man is just not in my character, and I have had to live with that my entire life. The only thing that seemed to ease my pain is to drink alcohol because no one ever taught me about healing, or God, or how to pray. We never grew up in church, nor did I have a church family to be close to. All I knew is alcohol took the pain away, but of course it was temporary. As soon as I got sober, I would begin to think of my past, my life, my guilt, and about you. The pain was unbearable.
All the years that passed, not one single birthday did I not shed a tears for you. You were always on my mind, and in my heart. I had always wondered what your life was like, if you had children, or got married. I hoped you were happier than the life I could have provided for you. I know you feel like my decision in giving you up for adoption was a selfish one and I can understand this but please know that my decision was based on what I felt would have been best for you at the time. If I had it to do over, and times were different I would have loved to have an open adoption, where I could have watched you grow over the years, and we could have exchanged letters and pictures, but back in the 1970’s there was no such thing as an open adoption.
When I received the very first phone call from you in 1995, I am so sorry my first response was to hang up the phone. This is not anything you deserved, nor did you do anything wrong. I was just completely shocked, and I wasn’t sure what to say. I am so sorry I hung up on you. When you called back, I had a little time to get myself together. I decided to let you know that “YES, I am the person you are looking for”, because I felt like you deserved to know the truth. For me it was facing my fears, because I was still so very ashamed of the circumstances that brought you into this world. I never forgave myself. An enormous amount of guilt went with me for my entire life after you were born, and for you to call, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt so sad deep down, but it had nothing to do with you personally. It was nothing I wanted you to feel. After hearing your voice for the first time, I was in complete shock, because after all those years, 21 at the time I always had you on my mind but I never knew what happened to you. I am so sorry I didn’t keep my word on sending you the letters and pictures I promised you. Again, the pain was so unbearable; I was doing well to get by day to day. I never mean to hurt you.
When I gave you up for adoption this created a lifelong pain deep in my heart that no one understood. I was not able to grieve because everyone I knew that knew about you kept saying, “You are doing the best thing for your baby, now it’s time to move on with your life”.  The pain was so deep, the only way to escape was by drinking alcohol, and it would get me by day to day. This was all I knew. Deep down I had a piece of my heart missing, and that piece was you.
When I spoke to you for the first time on the phone, and I promised to call you and send letters and pictures, I began to feel very overwhelmed and it was like a sense of darkness from my past came over me. This darkness wasn’t you, it was me and my poor decisions in bring you into this world under the circumstances you were conceived under. I felt such an incredible sense of guilt and shame; I just didn’t know what to say to you. This is the only reason I didn’t keep my word. I am so sorry because you didn’t deserve that. I don’t blame you for searching for your half-sister, and finding her and contacting her. I think I would have done the same if I was you. She knew nothing about you, but I am glad you all are building a relationship because you deserve to have her in your life, and she deserves to have you in hers. I really wanted to be the one to tell her about you, but you beat me to it, and that is okay.
When I got the phone call from her, saying you found her my heart sank. Now the secret was out, and I couldn’t back out of it or deny it. I know some might have just lied, but I didn’t. I confessed to her, “Yes, I had a child and gave her up for adoption”. Her first response was that she wanted us to both meet you. She told me she was flying to Kentucky to meet you, and I just told her I wasn’t quite ready yet. She didn’t understand why, but I didn’t feel I had to explain it to her. I was never good with my emotions, and I was never good at expressing myself. I just wasn’t ready yet. I needed some more time. I knew why, it was because I was still feeling such guilt and such a huge amount of shame that I just wasn’t ready yet.
When I became ready to meet you, and your sister set up the meeting I was a nervous wreck, but I came to a point where I knew I needed to meet you, not only for you, but for me too. I am so sorry when I saw you for the first time I didn’t reach out and hug you right away, I was so nervous and I didn’t know what to do. I wish now, I would have reached out and hugged you and never let you go, because after all that was what you deserved. This was such a painful time for me, as I know it was for you too. When we sat at my dining room table and you told me your adoptive parents divorced a year after you were born, it just crushed me. The overwhelming sense of sadness this brought to me was devastating. This was not what I had planned on for you. I gave you up for adoption so you could be raised in a two parent home, by a loving family that wanted to adopt a baby. Not for them to divorce a year later, and for you to have a very hard life as you mentioned.  This just added to my pain and guilt. I just couldn’t stand the fact that you had a hard life. When I gave you up for adoption I wanted you to have a better one. After you left from our visit when we met the first time, the sadness came back and it was overwhelming. It added to the already sense of guilt and shame I had from the beginning. Now I had to face the fact that I gave a baby up for adoption, and she didn’t have a wonderful life like I planned. This was the reason I never saw you again. It was just too much for me to bear. The guilt and shame was just too much.
I want you to know that it was nothing that you did to deserve this situation you were dealt. You didn’t ask to be born, and you most certainly didn’t ask to be given up for adoption. I always hoped you had the best life out there, which was more than what I could give. I never realized until now the pain that being adopted has brought you. I am so very sorry you have felt that you were abandoned. This is not what I planned for you. Please my sweet daughter; know that deep in my heart I just wanted what was better for you. 
Sometimes in life things don’t go as planned, and when your adoptive parents divorced that was not in the plan. I know you never had a bond with your adoptive mom as you mentioned, and I am so sorry for that. I hoped she would be a wonderful mother, and love you with her whole heart. That is what I had planned for you. I am so sorry you have always felt like you didn’t fit in, or that you were alone in this world. That breaks my heart, and that is not what I want for you. Please remember you were always in my heart, and you have never left it. Not even for a minute.
You said you wondered if I knew if you were at my bedside when I was in the ICU, after I fell down the steps. Yes, I knew you were there. I never contacted you to tell you, but I knew you came to Iowa to see me. They thought I was going to die, but I made it. I never intended for that to be the last time you saw me alive. I wish I could have told you “I love you”, but I was in a coma and I couldn’t say a word. I don’t even remember falling down the steps, because alcohol had such a hold on me, I was in a deep black out when this happened. I want to say “Thank You” for coming to the hospital, because I never got to tell you before.
17 years passed, and you reached out to me, and I never reached back. I got your letters, and pictures and cards in the mail, but I could never get up enough courage to respond. This is nothing you did, I just felt so guilty about the situation, and I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. You didn’t deserve this, and you deserved more than what I allowed myself to give. I am so sorry for that.
At the end of my life, in 2010 I hadn’t spoken to your sister in over 3 years. I had developed COPD, and I became very sick. I was on oxygen 24/7, I was less than 100lbs, I smoked and I was all alone in my home. I was unable to care for myself, or my home, and I became someone that was just alone and I didn’t even let those that wanted to help me come inside. I was too embarrassed of my home, as over years it developed such a sense of darkness, and sadness I never wanted anyone to see what my life was really like. My home didn’t have any running water, I had holes in my windows with plastic and tape to cover the holes, and I hadn’t had anything new in my home sense the 1970’s. I kept it completely dark, with all the curtains drawn, because this way I couldn’t see how filthy and dirty it was. At the end of my life, I had no energy to tend to it, so the dust and filth became unbearable. I didn’t want anyone to see that, so I shut everyone out, even those that tried to help me. The only comfort I had at the end of my life was alcohol. I kept it close at hand, and it got me through each day of sadness I felt.
I want you to know that I didn’t mean for your feelings to get hurt when you weren’t listed in my obituary. I am so sorry they did. I had my funeral planned out to a tee, and I didn’t list you as my daughter or your children as my grandchildren because so many people didn’t know about that painful part of my life. I did my best to hide it, because I was afraid of what people might think. You see Pamela; I took that pain to my grave. Never once did I forgive myself for the events that happened to bring you into this world. I was so filled with shame and guilt but it was nothing to do with you. It was the decisions I made before you were even born and I have never forgiven myself for that. I know you drove 10 hours to be at my funeral, and even if I wasn’t ready to accept you in my life, you were always in my heart.
As I close this letter, I would really like you to know that I’m so very sorry that you didn’t have the chance to know your biological father because of my irresponsible decisions. I am so sorry you didn’t get to know your biological siblings growing up, and I am so very sorry you felt such a loss your whole life. From the bottom of my heart I would like to ask for you to forgive me for my decision in placing you up for adoption. I would like for you to try to understand where I was coming from, and please understand that I never have or never will stop thinking about you. You are in my heart, and always have and always will be.
I also want to tell you how very proud I am of you that you made the decision to stop drinking alcohol and start a 12 step program. I know this is the best thing you could ever do for yourself, and your kids, and grandkids. I might still be alive right now if alcohol wasn’t such a big part of my life.
 No one deserves to carry the pain you have been carrying. As I learn to forgive myself I would like to ask you if you have it in your heart to forgive me? 
I love you, always have and always will.
Your First Mom, Arlene

When I look in the mirror who do I see…

I think its safe to say that my whole life I never knew who I was, so when I looked in the mirror all I saw was someone that was lost, and didn’t have an identity because I didn’t have any idea who I looked like or who I was. This had some lifelong affects for me.

Now that I’m 37 years old, and I have completed my search and found my biological family I can tell you who I see when I look in the mirror. My birth father. We have some major similarities. When I see myself he is who I see. Everyday when I look in the mirror I think of him. Crazy how that works!

Now that my biological father has rejected me, it makes me sad to know that my own blood wants nothing to do with me. I don’t know if that’s something that I will just “Get over”.  But one thing I can rejoice on is now I know who I look like. I got to meet my biological father face to face two times. Some people go a lifetime never knowing, and never seeing the faces of those who created them. I don’t know what I would do if I never completed my puzzle. I know how I felt all those years not knowing, and now that I know who I am I feel at peace with that area. I’m so beyond thankful that God has made it all possible.

Now being able to talk about my feelings with being an adoptee I find it a healing tool and I feel like I have to share my adoption journey with others. God put these things in our lives for a reason, and we must share our experiences because I feel that’s what God intends for us all.

Of all the things I have been through, I am now learning that being given away at birth has had the most lifelong effects on me than anything else. When I started the healing process, I started working on feelings that went along with childhood sexual abuse brought on by a step brother. Then it went into being in abusive relationships my whole life, until I was 31.. Then I started working on my adoption and the issues I have had with being adopted. In the last 6-8 months I have been working on the root of some emotional issues I have carried around an entire lifetime, and I can honestly say I have never felt more FREE than I do today.  Who gets the credit? God. It’s as simple as that. He has given me the strength and courage to conquer each thing one by one. God has put certain people in my life to help me realize my true worth as well. Some situations harder than others, but each and every one I have learned so much from.

So now when I look in the mirror I know who I see. I love the person I am, and I know that no matter what happens in my life that my past is just that, my past. God doesn’t judge us by our past, so why should we judge ourselves or worry about what others think of us?

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?

A Letter To My Birth Mother

WRITING A LETTER TO MY BIRTH MOTHER

1.) Write a letter TO your birth mother about the possibility that you were deeply wounded when she disappeared from your life. (Again, names have been changed for privacy reasons)

Dear Eileen,

I’m writing you to let you know how you giving me up for adoption had an impact on my life in a negative way and the pain it has brought me sense you gave me away.

From the day I found out YOU gave me away, (I found out I was adopted when I was approx. 5 years old) I never stopped thinking about you. I dreamed about you, I fantasized about you day in and day out my whole life. I was never at peace growing up knowing I had another family out there somewhere. I needed to know who I was and where I came from. This caused me great pain and confusion in my childhood, juvenile life and on into my adult hood.

When I was little I had a feeling I was going to find you, or you were going to find me. I had dreams over and over running up and down the hallways at St. Francis hospital as a little girl, looking for you. That was the one place that I thought I might find you, because that was the last place we were together. I will never understand how you “LOVE” something then give it away. I would wake up, and I always remembered at that point it was just a dream. I also believed in my whole heart, that this was all just a big mistake. You would never give your child away, to be raised by strangers. Who would do that? This was just an accident, and you just had to be searching for me. I never gave up hope that I was going to see your face one day because then I could finally see who I looked like. You could hug me like I always dreamed you would.

I was never able to talk to my adopted parents about you. I was afraid they might get upset, or their feelings hurt. I never bonded with my adopted mom, and we have never gotten along. I felt like I was simply out of place my whole life, I never knew who I was. This caused me great pain, and frustration. This is great pain and frustration I had to keep silent, because there was no one to talk to about it. I acted out in many ways, because in my eyes I was taken from my mommy, even thoe I know you gave me away. I just wanted to be back with you.

I have never had a mother/daughter bond with anyone. This has been a great loss for me. It is very hard for me to create an emotional attachment with people, and when I do my guard is up 110%. This has caused me some huge relationship problems.

My birthdays have been horrible. Not one birthday goes by where I don’t get sad, and think about you. I always wonder if you are thinking about me on this day. I start to think about you more than usual about a week before my birthday. I cry when I’m alone and no one understands the sadness I have felt. I always wished you wanted to know me, like I always wanted to know you, but you didn’t.

When I finally found you when I was 21, I wrote you a poem. It was one of the best days of my life, yet one of the saddest. I finally made contact with you, but you hung up on me. It devastated me beyond measures.Now as a 37 year old woman, looking back I guess me finding you wasen’t what you wanted. It wasn’t what you dreamed about. Maybe me finding you was just too painful for you? Or you didn’t want to think about that time in your life. Whatever your reason, I’m sorry you felt that way. I’m thankful you spoke to me eventually, and we did get to meet a few times.

Do you remember me being by your bedside when you fell down the stairs and you were in a coma? I flew all the way to Iowa from Kentucky to see you because they were afraid you might die. I stayed 5 days, and prayed for you, held your hand. I even looked at your feet, because they look just like mine. Did you know I was there? I really never knew, because you never talked to me after that.

The next time I would see you was when you were laying in that casket, wearing the blue jean button up shirt with Christmas trees on it. You had your glasses on, and I remember your rings on your fingers. You really planned out your funeral to the tee. I was surprised about that. But one thing you forgot to mention was the other daughter you had and gave away. Did you forget? Or you just didn’t want to remember you had me? Not sure, but that hurt me a great deal. I felt totally out of place, as Joanna was listed as your only daughter in the obituarie and funeral brochure. I didn’t count for anything.

I wish I wasn’t so painful for you, because all I really wanted from you was a relationship. I’m really upset at the fact that you took the right away from my birth father to have a chance to even know me, or have a say so in you giving me up for adoption. I guess you didn’t think about his feelings at all did you? I know, I know. You said “He didn’t know anything about you, and he wouldn’t want too”. I remember you saying those words. I will never forget those words. I’ve tried to put myself in your shoes and the fact that I was conceived out of a drunken one night stand with a married man, who was much older and a close family friend is perhaps the reason you decided to give me up for adoption? You didn’t want the reminder of your bad choices?

Why did you continue to drink alcohol during the pregnancy? I know that was a different era, but I also know that you knew better than to drink alcohol while you were pregnant. What if you damaged me by doing that? I guess you didn’t care because you were giving me away, passing that “problem” onto a different family to have to deal with. How selfish of you. I’m really mad at you for that. You can’t tell me you loved me and you drank the entire pregnancy. That’s a lie. You also didn’t give me away because you loved me, you gave me away because you didn’t want to look at your mistake every day. Why didn’t you just have an abortion? I wish I knew the answer to that question. But then again, it doesn’t really matter now. The damage has been done.

I will close this letter by saying I wish I was never adopted. I wish you never gave me away. But now it’s my job to learn how to cope all this pain being adopted has brought into my life, and share my journey with others.

I just wish you could have found it in your heart to send the letter you promised, and to hug me just one time. Why was that so hard?

Did you know the woman you gave me too wasn’t even capable of being a mother? Did you choose that?

Your daughter even thoe you gave me away,

Pamela