The Agency

Published April 5, 2016 by maryleesdream

I called the agency for the first time in 1999 and they sent me my non-identifying info. I opened the letter and cried hard, and long.  My baby was sleeping.  I sobbed for all I had lost, and because the paper held no answers for me.  There was no clear reason why they gave me away.  There never was.

I called the agency again, after I found my parents, wondering if they could give me more info.  They sent this.  A few paragraphs were added, but it’s still filled with gobbledygook like “paternal birth grandmother”.  Doesn’t that just roll off your tongue?

Seven months after my mother’s death.  Never heard a word from my brother, the one she kept, or my fathers family.  My heart is still broken.

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

 

Neither of my parents ever graduated High School, though Mom did get an associates degree from FIT.  Their marriage was annulled when I was 6 month old.

 

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6 comments on “The Agency

  • Absolutely heartbreaking. Reading between the lines it is so obvious that this “choice” was more of forced circumstances and the negative (and terrifying) image in your mother’s mind that you would have the life she had (coercion much?) How very difficult to read. And you’re right, reading all those “paternal birth grand” and “maternal birth grand” was exhausting. Why do they have to use those terms. Let’s just be honest. maternal grandmother, paternal grandmother, father, mother. Spence-Chapin has a long and sordid history of coercion to the max. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case in your adoption. 😦

    • You are so right. My father’s family was well off. Mom said Dad convinced her that I would have a terrible life. worse then hers if they kept me. She said she cried every day for years. By the time I found her, 48 years later, her tears had gone dry and she reacted very strangely toward me. Lots of rage.

      • The kind of damage something like that does is monstrous. I didn’t understand how moms could reject their children who found them at all….until I was faced with my own reunion. It was TERRIFYING for me to think that she could reject me. A small part of me thought it would be easier to run, lock it in a box, and not think of it. Of course, I didn’t, never would, but I could finally understand, a little bit, just how extensive the adoption damage can be. I want nothing more in this world to have a relationship with my daughter but the fear inside of me made me want to take flight. Sad, sad, sad.

  • Adoption is sometimes a better option, if the parents are a danger to their child, but most adoptions, particularly of babies and toddlers, occur because of the parents’ circumstances, which are very likely temporary. Joblessness, youth, lack of education, financial instability are all eminently fixable. Everyone gets older, can go to school, will find a job. Instead of taking babies away from struggling parents/mothers, we should always strive to find support for the family, most especially for the mother in need. That means family members need to step up, as well as social agencies. The damage done by adoption is incalculable. Now that we know this, there is no excuse for continuing to support an adoption industry whose main motivation is profit and catering to the demands of the childless.

  • Very sad, M. No other way to put it. I see the letter is worded in a way to make you feel a little better about your parents and their decision – but how can this letter accomplish that? How could anyone? I’m glad at least that you found your parents and were able to know your mother, especially, for a time. I know even saying that isn’t really much help. The mechanics of the whole situation seem sad.

    I like the part of the letter that says your mother studied typing. Not so long ago the highest-paying office jobs were available, if you were a good typist and a good speller – you were invaluable to your boss, and would command a very comfortable salary. It was a highly sought-after skill. That’s now changed with current technology, where all the executives, lawyers and doctors, everybody is now expected to do their own typing. But your mother sounded ambitious and it’s wonderful that she earned a degree from FIT. Did she express to you an interest in fashion design or was she a creative, arty type person? Did you have an opportunity to know that side of her?

  • Thanks for your reply.

    My mother never really studied typing. I did imagine her for many years, sitting behind a typewriter! It made my sad that she gave me up to learn to type.

    My mother attended FIT on a grant for the mentally ill, she told me. She was in her 30’s.

    She was very creative, and arty. most of her stuff terrified me. it was scary. One piece had dildos pierced by rings. There was on with bloody Kewpie dolls glued to a full length mirror.

    Mom could sew. She made outfits for her friend Greg’s drag shows, and made the wigs too. She has a wig credit in this book http://www.blurb.com/b/1660105-sex-in-drag.

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