adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, family, father, mother, orphan, pain, parenting, rejection, Uncategorized

Summer

 

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I was always sent away for the summer. Mom and Dad had to work. There was no one to take care of me, so I had to go. It was so scary living with other families. I never knew what to expect.

I was 6 the first time, sent to Mom’s sister’s house. I remember the fear. What would my cousins do to me? Why was I alone, with no one to love me? What did I do to deserve this?

I never said a word. Next year, back to Aunties. I guess i finally said something, because the next years, off to Dad’s sister’s. That was better. The cousins there were not cruel. Still living with a strange family, but a lot less fear.

Eventually I was sent to summer camp, for 4 summers. I know summer camp is supposed to be fun, but I hated it. Hated sports. It was a kosher camp, with Friday night services, and I wasn’t Jewish. I had trouble fitting in.

It was 50 years ago, but I still feel for that little girl. I don’t know why they bothered to adopt.

 

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, brother, family, father, grandfather, grandmother, half brother, half sister, mother, orphan, pain, parenting, pregnancy, rejection, reunion, shunning, Uncategorized

I’m Going to be a Grandmother!

woman pregnant in black and white striped shirt standing near bare tree
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

My oldest daughter is due to have a baby girl in 2 months.  I’m very, very happy.  I love babies, and can’t wait to meet my little granddaughter.

Of course,  this wonderful news brings up feelings about my birth, and adoption.  I’m estranged from my father’s family.  I don’t think they know anything about my daughter’s pregnancy, unless they somehow heard through social media, or from someone in the neighborhood.  My half brother, Mom’s son lives in the same area as many of my father’s relatives.  He owns a house with his half brother (same dad, different mom). My cousin E rents an apartment in that house.  E is my late mother’s half sisters son.  I invited E’s preteen daughter to my daughter K’s baby shower, and she said she will attend.  She will be the only blood relative of mine that will be there, aside from my 3 daughters.  The only member of my adoptive family that will be there is my adoptive mother.

Luckily, my husband has a big family, so my daughter will have blood cousins and aunts there.  Only my side will be lacking.  I have a sister, sister in law and many female cousins and aunts, but they are not part of my life, and I don’t think they ever will be.  My father will be a great grandfather, but I have no idea if he would care about that.  My mother did not live to see her great granddaughter.  My half brother will be a great uncle.  My Dad’s kids, will also be a great aunt and uncle.  They are 31 and 24 years old.

I don’t know if my cousin, who lives in the house my brother owns told my brother about the baby.

I want to tell everyone, so much.  I want them to all come to the shower. I want my granddaughter to be marveled over.  I want my family to say who she looks like.  I want us all to be part of their lives.  I don’t want to be treated like a monster.  I don’t want to be hated and feared.

But, what I want doesn’t matter.  I’ll love my granddaughter.  I love my children.

I still wish we could be part of my family, though.

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, drugs, family, father, good vs evil, mental illness, mother, orphan, pain, parenting, rejection, reunion, shunning, surrogacy, Uncategorized

How I Came to Be

baby holding human finger
Photo by Wayne Evans on Pexels.com

 

Everyone has an origin story.  All the superheros do. Even supervillans do.  I have a few.

According to Mom  (I consider my mother to be my natural mother)

Mom was a tortured soul.  She was sexually abused from before she could speak.  Her first memory was of her mother, holding a shotgun on her grandfather, after catching him molesting Mom while he held Mom on his lap.  Later on, when she was 5, Grandma sent Mom to live with her father.  He put her in informal foster care, with a pedophile who molested her for the 6 years Mom lived with him.

Mom returned home to her mother. Grandma had had a bunch of other kids while Mom was away, and their care often fell to Mom.  Mom was poor and ragged.  She was ashamed to go to school. Dad was a rich guy from the neighborhood. Grandma told Mom to “go for him”. Grandma thought he would be a good catch. She didn’t sleep with him right away, and this kept him interested.  Eventually she did, and she became pregnant.  

Dad arranged for an abortion, using the same abortionist Grandma used.  Mom was 16, and abortion was still illegal.  It was another traumatizing experience for Mom.  Mom and Dad continued to bang.  Mom got pregnant again.  This time, Dad offered to marry her.  They got married, and were going to live in an apartment off his parents big house, when something happened.  

Mom saw a sign outside a church, offering help with unexpected pregnancies.  She went in and asked about it, and was introduced to the idea of adoption.  She went home and told Dad, thinking he would reject the idea, but instead he embraced it.  They moved a few towns away, and Mom waited out her pregnancy away from the family.  Dad worked on her every day as her belly grew, telling her I would have a terrible life if they kept me.  A life even worse than hers.  She didn’t want to give me up, but she began to believe him, and agreed to the adoption. 

I was born. No one was told.  Mom took care of me in the hospital and held me on the ride to the agency.  I stared at her the whole way.  She cried at the agency.  She cried for days afterward.  She cried everyday for 10 years.  It would overtake her suddenly.  While on line at the bank, when buying groceries.  Then she stopped crying.  She waited for me to find her. She didn’t want to look for me, because she thought my adoption might be a secret to me, and she didn’t want to be the one to tell me.  

According to Dad

Mom got pregnant.  They had relationship problems.  They liked group sex and drugs, and Mom wouldn’t give those things up, so Dad decided the only solution was to give me away, so I could have a better life.  

According to A-Mom

My parents were too poor to keep me.  Mom had to raise her younger siblings and didn’t want to raise any more kids.  My parents told their parents that I died at birth. My parents were married, and A-mom could not understand how a married woman could give her baby away.  No one held a gun to her head.  She was a cold heartless woman who did not want me. A-mom knew my name at birth, but would only tell me the first name.  A-mom lived in terror that I would be taken away.  

 

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, brainwashing, family, father, mother, orphan, pain, parenting, rejection, reunion, shunning, Uncategorized

The Holidays

christmas tree with decors under the staircase

 

The holidays are upon us again.  It’s a time of joy, but also a time for sadness for many.  All of the positive images of family and love can make people long for what they don’t have.  I’m one of those people.

I have a wonderful family.  Husband and 4 grown children.  My eldest daughter is expecting a daughter in April.  This makes me so happy!  I cannot wait to meet the little one.  K, my daughter is 32, and not married to the father.  In fact, she only knew him for 4 moths before she fell pregnant.  In the old days, she’d be a great candidate for adoption.  Not in my house though.  Never, never ever. We will love that baby, and my daughter and do everything we can to help and support them.  Granddaughter! What a beautiful word.

I was born November 13, and relinquished on November 18.  This is always a trying time of year for me.  I was in a foster home, somewhere for my first Thanksgiving.  I don’t know who I was with, or what name they called me.  Was I Marylee, what my mother named me, or did they just call me another name they made up?

 

I arrived at my adoptive parents house on December 13.  Just in time for my first, terrifying Christmas.  Why terrifying?  I didn’t know these people, and my A-mom was always rather terrifying to me.

I have no idea what my natural family does for the holidays.  Do they still gather as a large group, or do my aunts and uncles celebrate with their own growing families of children and grandchildren?  I will never know, because I will never be allowed into that family.  They say it’s because of the way I behave, but I think it’s because I was relinquished.  I think they can forgive one of their own, if they behave badly, but I must be shunned if I do.  And, the extent of my bad behavior has been my anguish over my adoption.

Every holiday, I still foolishly hope I’ll get something from my family.  I never do.  I never will.

 

 

 

 

 

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, brother, family, father, mother, pain, rejection, reunion, Uncategorized

Positive Adoption Language

POSITIVE LANGUAGE NEGATIVE LANGUAGE
Birth parent Real parent
Biological parent Natural parent
Birth child Own child
My child Adopted child
Born to unmarried parents Illegitimate
Terminate parental rights Give up
Make an adoption plan Give away
To parent To keep
Waiting child Adoptable child
Making contact with Reunion
Parent Adoptive parent
Search Track down parents
Child placed for adoption Unwanted child
Court termination Child taken away
Child with special needs Handicapped child
Was adopted Is adopted
Two years behind in development Retarded (or other descriptive language)
Spinabifida, cleft lip, or other specific condition Deformed
Has disability or is physically challenged Handicapped
Describe specifics–intelligence Normal or grade level
Divorced Broken marriage
Separated from parents or rejected Deserted or abandoned
Is taking Ritalin Hyperactive
Neurological impairment Brain damaged

I can’t stand positive adoption language, or PAL.

It is a tool used by the adoption industry to normalize the act of giving you child away to strangers.  That sounds horrible, because it is!

How much nicer to think a loving mother made an adoption plan, and lovingly placed her newborn in another’s arms, then went on to live a happy, carefree life, sans baby.  What could be better?

Who want to hear of a desperate woman, convinced she will never be good enough for her own child.  Who wants to hear her cries as she walks away from her newborn, breasts still leaking milk, body still battered by childbirth?  The months and years of grief, for both mother and baby?

Much better to use PAL.  No pain in that story!  Whitewashed by new, better language.

How about changing murder to involuntary termination of respiration? Rape:  Unplanned sexual intercourse.  We can make anything palatable, if the language is right.

I was given away, surrendered, relinquished.  It was cruel, brutal and very ugly.  My language reflects that.  Real adoption language reflects the truth.  The horror.

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, brainwashing, family, father, mental illness, mother, pain, rejection, reunion, shunning, Uncategorized

The Past

lonely

 

Last night, I woke in the middle of the night, and I felt such fear and dread.  I sought the root of the feeling, and could not find it.  I remembered that I have always felt this, and that the feeling has no name.  I also remembered that it will pass.  It will return, and it will go away again.  I think we all have these feelings.  It’s the human condition.

When I think back on my childhood, I cannot find any happy memories.  None.  The whole thing is colored a dark grey, by my adoption.  Losing my mother, and never being allowed to even speak of it, colored my life.

No family. No one. Nothing. Every day, all day.

I could not wait to escape from my adoptive parents house.  I met my husband when I was 16.  Someone who could save me, and make me whole.

“But, your adoptive parents loved you.  They did not abuse you! They raised you!”.

I know. I was there.  They tried, but I was so hurt.  I could not feel their love.  Their love was spoiled for me, because it came at the expense of my real family.  I should not have been put in such an impossible position.  I could not accept the love of the ones who I felt were responsible for my loss.

Did they really love me?  I suppose so.  I was a good enough child.  But, I was not, and could never be their child.  They had to maintain the illusion that I was.  They did not tell anyone that I was adopted.  It was a hidden family secret, one that I dared not speak of.

How I hated the phrase, “when we got you”.  Got me? I wanted “when you were born”.  I wanted my mother to tell the story, of my birth, not the story of these  strangers who somehow, “got me”.

Even as a young child, I felt this way.

It was a lost cause, from the start.  I was broken, unable to be fixed.  On my own, from the start.  I had to turn my heart to stone.

I remember, being at my Auntie Irene’s house, during the long hot summers when I was 6 & 7.  There were 4 older kids there, my adoptive cousins.  They did not like me much.  The feeling was mutual, but I was at a disadvantage.  I was all alone, and they had each other, as well as their real parents, and I was an unwelcome guest in their home.  My adoptive parents sent me there so they could both work full time during the summer.

I used to lie awake in my borrowed bed, listening to my adoptive uncle’s snores and will my heart to be hard, like a stone so I would not feel the pain of being left alone, again.  I locked my self in the bathroom, and said every curse word I knew.

I went home on weekends, and never told my adoptive mother any of it.  I never told her the sex games my cousins would play either.  I finally told her when I was an adult, and she said, “why didn’t you tell me”.  Sigh.

Would I have sadness if I hadn’t been adopted?  I’m sure.  My real mother had issues.  I still loved and needed her.

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, family, father, pain, rejection, reunion, shunning, Uncategorized

Warts and All

warts

 

Another early morning.  I couldn’t sleep again.  This time it’s OK, because I’m on vacation this week!  I can catch up on my sleep anytime this week.

I have been upset about something bio Aunt S said to me recently.  It really steamed my clams, and I’m trying to analyze my feelings, as usual.  I always wonder, why does it hurt so much?  Am I being unreasonable?

Bio Aunt S and I made contact when she did 23 and me DNA, and we connected as relatives.  I reached out to her, and we had a brief email exchange.  I have not had much communication with my bio family.  It’s been years since I spoke to Aunt S.

Aunt S said this in her email “I do see your dad a couple of times per year.  I love him, “warts and all”, and I cannot speak for him or comment on his choices.”.  This is what has been bothering me.

I have not seen my father since Christmas 2012.  He has chosen to have no contact with me, or my 4 children.  His kept daughter recently had a baby, who I think lives with him.  The fact that Aunt S, dad’s sister loves and accepts my father’s decision to exile me hurts me deeply.

I do not feel any love, kindness or acceptance towards me in the statement my aunt made.  I know siblings love each other, and are loyal, but is putting family members on a pedestal doing the right thing?  Dad is loved, “warts and all”, but I am still shunned.  It hurts so much.  I will shove it down into my psyche, and get over it, but it will never stop hurting.  The pain will just subside over time to a dull ache, which will flare up from time to time, when I am reminded of my losses.

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, brother, death, family, father, mental illness, mother, pain, rejection, reunion, shunning, Uncategorized

DNA

dna

 

 

My father’s sister did 23 and me, and guess who popped up on her DNA family page, little ole me!

She was listed as my half sister, which would either mean her father,  is my father too, or my father, her brother is her father too.  I don’t think either is the case, with DNA relatives, they come close, but the exact relationship isn’t always certain.  But I kinda liked the idea that my dad slept with his mother.  Then finally his family would see he wasn’t a great guy.  I thought it was kinda funny.

So, I contacted her, on the 23 and me website.  We shared our DNA profiles.  It was nice.  Then we started emailing.  I shared my huge Ancestry.com tree with her.  She asked if I wanted to meet for dinner sometime, me and hubby with her and her hubby.

I did not want to do that.  I told her about the shunning, and she said my cousin, the one who told me about the shunning had it wrong.  There was no decision to shun me.  I guess it was not official, but everyone did it anyway?

Strangely, I have no desire to see my Aunt.  She does not mean much to me.  She told me that she loves my father, “warts and all” and cannot speak about his decisions.  Fair enough.  I can, and his decisions hurt a lot of people.  He’s a scumbag.  As long as I feel this way, I don’t think I can ever get along well with my aunt.  We can’t have a casual going out to dinner kind of relationship.  Especially after all those years of silence.

And…still no word about my mother.  No acknowledgement of her death.  No I’m sorry, nothing.  why would I want to be near this woman?  Well, I don’t.

Auntie said she’d be there if I ever wanted to get to know her.  Does that sound like a loving invitation?  It does not to me.  I know enough to stay away from this one…

 

 

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, brainwashing, brother, family, father, mental illness, mother, pain, rejection, reunion, shunning, Uncategorized

Maybe I’ve Got it All Wrong

 

Family-gallery-for-clip-art-pictures-of-families-clipartcow

 

I think my birth parents are my parents, not my adoptive parents.

I do not think I’m related to my adoptive parents at all.  I can’t understand how I can be expected to believe unrelated strangers are my family.  I was raised by, and around my adoptive family, but I never,ever thought, or wished that I was related to any of them.

They’re OK people.  Not too bright, actually.  My mother was much smarter.  More damaged, for sure, but quick, in a way the adopters are not.  Mom & I both have large vocabularies.  A-mom, not so much.

It’s not a popular point of view, but it’s one I just cannot shake.

No one likes it.  My adoptive family think it’s wrong, because my A-parents raised me, and I should see them as my parents.  My birth family doesn’t like it.  I’m not sure how they feel about it, but it seems they don’t consider me a relative, and wish I would just vanish.  Which I have.  I have little contact with my natural family, 7 years after reunion.

We may have no contact, but they are still my relatives.  No matter what everyone else believes.

Are there any others out there like me, who do not understand how we’re supposed to believe strangers are our families?  Please let me know how it is for you.

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, brother, death, family, father, mental illness, mother, pain, rejection, reunion, shunning, Uncategorized

She Should Have Been Proud

Mothers_and_children_II

 

My dear departed mother should have been proud of me.

I’m getting ready to go to work this morning.  I’m a supervisor in a busy government office.  I’ve raised 4 wonderful people into adulthood.  I own my own home and have been married to my sweetie for 34 years.

But she hated me.  My family shuns me.  It breaks my heart.  No matter what I do, it is never good enough.  I am tainted.  I am tainted by their rejection.