Whether we know it or not, we are all touched by adoption in one way or another.  You may be the child of a woman who experienced the guilt and shame of being an unwed mother, forced to surrender a child long before you were even a spark in someone’s eye. This is about to happen to some adult children of a birth mother as one day soon they will hear her story. There is little doubt it can be told without tears; she has no idea how they will respond to her but she must tell them now that she has been found by her son and she would love to have a relationship with him.

For years she has wondered, even worried about him, hoping he had a good life and was loved by his adoptive parents. Every “first” she experienced with any of her other children caused her to think about the first steps, the first Christmas, the first day of school, the first puppy-love crush, the first award, the first time he drove the family car, graduation, college, marriage, and perhaps even the first child (her first grandchild) of the son she gave up and never told anyone about.

We only hope all her children will respond with love because she has suffered alone — a silent suffering her children never knew about or if they did, never understood. If they saw her suffering they may have thought it was a result of something they did. She was sworn to keeping her past a secret, carrying the shame put upon her by society and the guilt she felt inside and she was told never to search. For forty plus years she did her job well, just as she was told.

Soon she can retire this burden; put it down and take a weight off her shoulders that has caused stress, illness and sleepless nights. She can do this because her first born son, who was never told not to search, who had an understanding of what she went through, and who had a primal need to know where he came from, spent countless hours looking for her. One day, giving her all the respect and honor she deserves, he initiated contact that resulted in his mother making her first phone call to him — a call neither of them will ever forget. We know it has led to her getting her first peaceful night’s sleep in years; we hope it will lead to the reunion of the entire family and the healing both mother and son have needed for many years.

~OR~

You may be the young man who has lived his life, well into his forties, thinking he was the child of those who raised him only to be told, after he was married with children of his own, that someone else gave him life…coming in my next blog.

How’s that for being touched by adoption?

Peace to you and those you love,
Aunt Patty

Advertisements

It was my intent to focus on Late Discovery Adoptees, since that’s where I left off in Part I, however there is more to the first story that must be told.

We cannot or, better stated, we would do well not to  operate on the assumption that all who are touched by adoption will have a favorable reaction once they find out.  We want to assume that the children we have been able to keep and raise to adulthood will understand the joy that fills a mother’s heart when she is reunited with her adopted child and we hope that they will want this child to be a part of their lives too, in some small way if nothing else.

Perhaps if the adopted child was still a child that would make it easier; but what happens when a man of forty something years makes contact with the woman who is your mother?

How do you respond upon learning that you are no longer her first born?

Threatened?
Displaced?
Deceived?
Afraid on the unknown?

After a period of shock and adjustment, a time to learn about this man and what he has accomplished in his life, learning about his family, knowing that he lives many states away and isn’t about to burst into your life and demand equal attention, one would hope that you would find enough love in your heart and soul to accept this man and, in doing so, help your mother to heal.

One would hope!

One would also be disappointed!

Where is the loving son she thought you were? Like a dictator, you lead her to the computer and forced her to notify her first born that she will not have any contact with him again or you will, right then and there, walk out of her life. Your father stands by and allows all of this to happen.

Trembling and sobbing, her hands strike the keys that will deliver the message, not one word of which she truly means but she’s trapped, she’s shamed and she, once again, does exactly what she feels forced to do.

You take her back to a time when she had no control, perhaps without realizing it, but you do that. You set down demands that force her to do something that is totally out of character for her, something that she promised herself she would never again let anyone force her to do and she gives up her son, her first born a second time.

I cannot find a word sufficient to describe what she feels. If she could utter a feeling, it would come from her bowels and claw it’s way up through her stomach and throat and it would come from her mouth as the sound of someone dying, painfully, slowly from the inside out.

She, your mother, is not the only victim of your impossed destruction. There is a grown man on the receiving end; a man who has suffered the loss of his adoptive parents at an early age, a man who was then raised by his sister – young and unprepared as she was for the task, she did the very best she could. He is a man who completed school and went on to college, just as you did – even majored in the same field of study as you. He married and has a wonderful wife, just as you do. He has children, just as you do. Your children have a grandmother; his do not. He is a veteran and he defended your country; maybe that is why you didn’t have to. He has now been given up a second time by a mother too scared to even breathe lest she lose everything but him.

And yet, you don’t even take the time to get to know him, to look upon his face, to see what is in his heart. For some foolish and very selfish reason, you seem to think this is all about YOU!

Self-centered and self-absorbed men like you have nearly wiped out entire cultures. Shame on you for dishonoring your mother as you have. The promise of the 4th Commandment, the only Commandment with a promise, is not yours until you make this right.

How’s that for being touched by adoption?