Disclaimer: This article is written from a place of ignorance. Though I am an adoptee, I AM NOT A BIRTH MOM. So, this article is written from thoughts generated from my perspective. I may be incorrect, and if I am, I apologize.
I think it is safe to say that any adoptee who has decided to search for their roots has wondered, “What if my birth mom doesn’t want to meet me?” I know this question crossed my mind after I discovered my birth mom’s name and got an address and a phone number.
I think about this question now, in retrospect, and I am not sure that any birth mom wouldn’t want to meet their child, even if just for one minute, for one second. To see who grew inside them for nine months. To be able to capture in a memory their face, their eyes, their cheekbones, their voice.
However, I think some birth moms may not want to meet those feelings that may have settled way down in their souls after they said goodbye to their child. They may be harboring immense feelings of guilt and nervous energy, wondering what their child is thinking. I believe most, if not all, birth moms want to meet their child. I think they are just scared of the feelings that come along with that meeting.
I went to the hospital this weekend to meet my cousin’s new baby. I watched the way she held her daughter, the way her daughter squawked like a Pterodactyl, and as soon as she was placed in mom’s arms, she quieted down. I watched the way she latched to her mom and was content to the point she fell asleep. My eyes grew wide in amazement as this tiny newborn, not even a day old, would look around when her mommy spoke. She recognized her voice. There was this undeniable bond.
This feeling, this recognition, is something many moms long to feel and immerse their hearts in. I think those who give birth to their children and then have to say goodbye soon after, I think they long for that same feeling of recognition, for that undeniable bond. They long for these feelings for years, and then one day when they receive a letter or a phone call saying, “I am your child and I would like to meet you,” they realize those intense feelings will come back. They will raise themselves out of the depths of a mom’s soul, and look that mom in the eyes.
Moms who have said goodbye to their precious child, for whatever reason, often have these unresolved, unmet feelings of unconditional love, guilt, forgiveness, longing, and so many others. When they receive notice that their child wants contact, these feelings come rushing all at once, drowning the mom in so many emotions at once. Who wants to feel so many emotions at once?
So, if you are an adoptee, and you want to begin a search for your roots, or if you’ve found your roots, and have that introductory letter written, or have that cell phone in your shaking hands, try to remember this: chances are, your birth mom wants to meet you as much as you do her. What she may not want to meet are all those feelings. Try not to take it personally. Take a chance. She may reject your advances at first, or maybe multiple times. Remember that for some the feelings are just too strong, and they are just not ready to confront them.
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