Hi. This is my first time writing anything here, and I don't want to say the wrong thing. I notice that most people's input is about searching for their biological parent(s) or child(ren).
I was adopted shortly after my birth, and grew up in a loving family. I don't remember when I was told I was adopted, but it never really had much impact on my life. Life was great! When I went to college I contacted the agency that had handled the adoption, and put it in the records that I would like any info from or about the bio. parents. I received a short "form" letter, really just an outline. The bio. people didn't have contact info on file. That was the end of that.
In my late 20's my Mom died. My real Mom. The Mom that raised me. (It bugs me when people refer to an adopted person's biological mother as their "real" mother.) It was a life-shattering time, I was and still am crushed by her death (it has gotten easier to think about her without feeling sad). The following year I got married, and a few years later had my own kids. I think God paid me back by giving us a son that looks so much like me that if I ever had any interest in finding my bio. parents (just to see someone that looked like me), I completely forgot about it!
(Our daughter looks like my husband, oh well! :) )
A year and a half ago I got a message on the answering machine from a woman at the adoption agency. I knew. I couldn't eat all weekend. I was nervous. Did I really want to let all this into my life? I had made it so long without needing that part of me.
What the heck, I called her back. The agency lady & I spoke on the phone for a while, and I agreed to let her send a letter my bio. parents had written to me (and a photo!).
The biological woman and I corresponded intensely at first, lots of new information to share, photos, etc. It was new & I was glad to find out some medical history. It kind of irked me that they are still together - my biological mother and father. They don't have any children. I think that would have been even more interesting to me, to see some siblings that might look like me. Oh well, no big deal.
So, she wants to meet me. And at first I thought it could be a possibility, but I didn't want to do that without talking to my Dad about it. And I didn't even want to talk to my Dad about it because I don't want to hurt his feelings. I don't need to have my biological parents in my life - I have him (and my Mom, before she died). It's not that important to me to take that chance. The bio. mother understands, but is still hopeful that someday that will change.
So she continues to write to me, and I'm losing interest because I've run out of new info to share with her, and she's writing about everyday things. Then my family finds out my Dad has a serious illness. I don't want to share this with her (the bio. woman), because it's personal - so personal that it's none of her business, and I don't need her "support."
Ok, here is the thing. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I just don't want to / don't feel right about expending the energy writing to her when my Dad needs me like this (he isn't demanding that I give him my complete attention, but I'm giving him as much as I can and I know he needs it). I have guilt no matter what I do (oh well, I was raised as a Catholic!).
How can I tell her to back off, give me some time, stop writing letters to me - without making her feel bad? (and without telling her I need to attend to my Dad)
I'm sorry this ended up so long. I know how much some people want to meet their bio. parents, and I do feel fortunate to have it out there for me to chose.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks a lot.
I agree with the other posters that you have every right to decide who you want and don't want in your life; everyone does. As a birthmother I just want to say that when my daughter and I reunited she felt that I in some way would try and replace her A-mom and that was never the case. It took her months to realize that she has enough space in her heart to love us both and that its OK for her to do so.
I am confused as to why you refer to your B-mom in this manner:"The biological woman "
You didn't say that she was a member of this forum but I wanted to share that your words have the potential to hurt the B-moms who are here. While you may have no intention of doing so, it could happen. I would never post "that biological child" in reference to my daughter even if I felt that way about her, simply because I think it might offend other adoptees.
I want to welcome you and if possible, offer you constructive feedback from a B-moms veiwpoint. Please continue to post and please know that my prayers are with you and your family...MissyM
I am so sorry - I do not want to hurt anybody's feelings. I guess I referred to her as "biological woman" thinking that nobody in these forums would know her personally, or... I guess I just wasn't thinking - I don't have much experience in this field. Maybe it is my way of not letting myself get close to her.
I don't think of her in the way that made it come off. She is not just some woman, a womb-donor. She is the reason I am here today, besides God's hand in it. If it weren't for her and her choices, I wouldn't have had the life I have. I appreciate what she did for me - I don't resent her, I don't dislike her.
I think it has a lot to do with my guilt feelings. I never wanted to hurt my parents by showing an interest in another "parent." I never even asked my mom why she and my dad couldn't give birth. It was never important enough to me to risk hurting her. And with my Dad in his declining health, I don't want to start talking about that.
I won't refer to my birth mother that way again. A birth mother is a much more important part of their child's life, even if she is never involved again. I hope you all know that.
Thank you,
Your last response makes it clear to me that you have strong feelings for your Bmom.... but that "mom" is a sacred thing for you and a role that only your Amom ever filled. That is fine. That is great actually.
It does seem that you are guarding yourself emotionally somewhat... and I think that started coming though in your last couple of posts. You have gone through such pain with your aparents and losing them and their health issues that it seems only natural to me that you would want to protect yourself from getting close to yet another person and then ultimately feel the pain of losing them again. Could that be part of it.?
I also think that you do care...and just that feeling (and all the stuff that goes with it) is REALLY SCARY... and you are already juggling a lot. You know you best.. you know how much you can handle and you seem to know that at this time you can't handle ALL that on top of ALL the other stuff. Being honest with yourself is paramount. Good job.
Your warmth and caring for the people who are your parents is hugely apparent. Your fondness for your Bmom is also apparent. One does not have to exclude the other.... and you might be able to feel both fully when your life isn't so pressured with your dad and everything else.
Tell your bmom that. Write the letter... sit on it a day or two... amend it.... get it to the point that you feel really comfortable with the message and send it. Your warmth will come through - of that I have no doubt.
You have to go with your heart. No one's situation is exactly the same in this forum. Some people do not desire a reunion. For me, it was healing. I too, have wonderful parents who have raised me and loved me. They always lifted up my birth mom, and never said anything derogatory about her. When things came together almost 2 years ago, there were a lot of emotions. I can only wish to talk to my birth mom, to have her write me, to hear her voice, for you see, she passed away in November, 1977, as a result of injuries received in a car crash (my story is at, e-mag, June 17, 2003, issue "He Did This for Us" by Nikki Lever. Its wonderful to have other members of her family to share stories, etc., about her with me, and God is healing that hurt, and I have become close to my bio-grandma (Liz's mother).
Pray about it. Then explain your feelings to your birth mother. But also remember that she also is experiencing feelings. I don't think she is trying to disrupt your life or become your mom. I am sure she is grateful for the parents you have and thanks God everyday that you are okay. Hang in there.
Love - NikkiLGA
I think the bottom line is you have so much going on in your life right now, that you just need to concentrate on you. Let your birthmother know that. You can tell her that there are some things going on in your life you need to tend to, and you were hoping that you could put contact on hold right now, and you'll let her know when you're ready to continue. You don't have to specifically tell her about your dad's problems.
Also about that - many time we compare relationships to birthparents like relationships to inlaws.
Does your dad feel threatened by the relationship you have with your in-laws? Is having a father-in-law mean you're replacing your father?
The way I see it, the relationship I have with my birthmother has nothing to do with my relationship with my mom. She's not replacing my mom in any way. She's an addition to my life.
I understand your guarded feelings. My dad passed away almost 2 years ago, so I feel defensive of him. When my birthfather called himself dad, I felt like I was going to vomit. But yet, I have no problem calling my birthmother "ma".
No one said reunions were easy, or that anything about them will make sense!
Your feelings are your own, and you deserve them. So if you feel you need to step out of reunion right now, then do it. Because if you feel forced to continue what you don't feel is right, then it may ruin any chance of a future relationship with your birthmother.
I'm sure you'll find the words to express yourself. :) Good luck.
Thank you all for your input. It really helped me in writing my letter. I sent it out yesterday. I'm going to close this "thread" (?) so I don't dwell on it too much (over analyzing is a problem I have!). So thanks again.
:) KB
be honest with her. I know that the person who raised you is your real mom to you. It is very hard giving up a child and living with it. Too many times the adoption agencies have lost paperwork, etc. She loved you enough to give you a good home. I gave my first born up when I was 16. I have not found her yet. I know I am not her mother but I would like for her to meet her siblings. Sometimes life brings some unpleasant circumstances in which we make decision that is best for our children even when we have to find them better homes.
It is interesting when you say about your birthdaughter, "I know I'm not her mother". And we also hear adoptees like the one who started this thread say, "The biological woman is not my mother".
I am an adoptee reunited two years ago at age 39. I consider both my "birth" mother AND my "adoptive" mother my mothers! I literally have TWO mothers!
I'm not saying this flippantly at all. There is a certain amount of anguish, if you will, associated with it all. I love both of them. Both of them made the sacrifices for me. Both of them put my best interests first. So I can't disqualify either of them from being my mother! Of course it is easy to see how my adoptive mother is my mother. She raised me since I was born and is the only mother I ever "knew". But I always "knew" there was another one too. And I can't disqualify her from being my mother since she not only gave birth to me, but she made the sacrifice to give me two parents and a better life than what she thought she could give. I know she has thought about me and prayed for me my whole life. Isn't that what a mother does?
There are definitely some emotional conflicts that come with all this - I'll be honest. But really, I am blessed to have TWO mothers who love me.
I'm not trying to start any kind of debate about what makes a mother a mother or challenge how anyone else feels about it. But I do hate to hear a birthmother who obviously loves the child that she relinquished say that she is not a mother. She may not be "Mom" (which is different!) but she IS A MOTHER!
Just my thoughts on this.......Sonata
I agree.... totally. But, I am in a similar situation with you - both love me, accept me and have, in their own ways, been my mother.
I think when I hear birthmothers who say they aren't a mother is makes me feel, on some level, like they are again rejecting the child they gave up. Like you, maybe they aren't "mom", but they are a mother. I personally call both my mothers, "mom". That terms is not sacred for me though - as it is for a lot of people. I call my boyfriend's mother "mom", I called my girlfriends' mothers when I was growing up "mom". And it is comfortable to me. I know that for a LOT of people "mom" is sacred and I totally and unquestionably accept that for them.
I was reading the end of Birthright last night. There was a chapter in there about just this...about labels and how it can all get very confusing. It seems we all have a "story" that goes with certain terms and that is where the problem lies. If we don't think the word "mother/mom" or "father/dad" or whatever means a certain set of shared experiences then it is just a word used to identify a relationship of sorts. Our language does not yet seem to be equipped to deal with the emotional nuances of the relationships between a parent and child who never knew one another.... and it shouldn't be expected to... mothers and children who don't know each other aren't the "norm" and therefore it makes sense there is no word to go with it.
For some people these lables pose huge stumbing blocks and I feel for them... I think it must be very hard to grapple with. For those of us who are comfortable with whatever works be it "mom" or their first name, or a nickname it is easier.
In the end the label isn't nearly as important as the relationship being formed and the gentle honesty upon which it is built.
Your words mean a lot to a bmom!!! It means a lot to me when an adoptee understands that in some cases adoption was chosen for them out of love for them. I know that is hard to understand, but that is the one thing I wish for my bdaughter. I want her to know I loved her then, and I love her today!! A mother's love is forever!! ;)
Staci :D
I wanted to chime in, too and say that even tho my birthmom denied contact with me, I still view her as one of my mothers. :D
There's a good chance that I will never be able to meet her face to face or have an opportunity to be in a situation where I would have to "address" her as anything..... but she is and always will be one of my two mothers.
Christi and Sonata are in a different situation than I am....they have been reunited and have actual relationships with their birthmothers......but even tho I don't have that, there isn't a thing in the world that would change the way she is addressed in my heart.
When I wrote to Mary Ellen in November, I made sure she knew that, too. I made sure she knew that no matter what decisions she's makes about contact, now or in the future, she would always be a part of my heart -- how could she not be? She created it! :D
To Christi...
When I hear a birthmother say, "I know I'm not her mother", I don't take that as a rejection of the adoptee. What I hear is her saying that she doesn't feel like she deserves to call herself that person's mother. (I could be wrong!) That is the impression I got from what dinbear said.
I think that attitude comes from the way birthmothers were treated once upon a time (30+ years ago) when they were expected to relinquish the child and never look back. They were never "allowed" to feel like the child's mother. In many cases they were not even allowed to see or hold the child after birth.
(Thankfully most birthmothers are no longer treated with such callous disdain!)
That is why I said I hate to hear a birthmother accept such a judgement of her motherhood. For any birthmother who cares enough about her relinquished child to be on this forum... YOU ARE A MOTHER!
Thanks again! You are so right....bmother's are made to feel we are not mother's. My own mother in-law said to me that having a child does not make one a mother. Her exact quote was "even amoeba's reproduce". She is a Mother, but she is also adopted. She was adopted back in the fifties when the attitudes were much different. I wish she could only know the pain that bmom's feel. As I said before very often the mother chooses adoption for her child out of incredible love. It is truly amazing that some don't get this!
THANK YOU SALLY....Your prospective always touches my heart!!! You are an incredible woman!! ;)
Staci :D
I find this thread very interesting - the name thing again and what to call your birthparents without feeling disloyal to your parents ( the ones that raised you)
I have to say I get some raised eyebrows often when I am talking about my birthparents. I call them Mum and Dad.
My parents are my Mother and Father and yes, Mum and Dad too!
This is not a dilemma for me at all but for others I can sense it is.
I no longer take notice of their comments - I am quite comfortable in calling my birthparents Mum and Dad - its easy, it feels right and the relationship we have is a parent/child one ( even though I am 40 years old!!) My children refer to them as Nan and Pop.
Having said the above its very important to note that my parents (the ones that raised me ) have both passed on so its not like I am speaking to two Mums and two Dads regularly, then it really would be a bit confusing.
Initially I felt incredible guilt, to the point of nearly rejecting my birthparents, so consumed was I with feeling I was "replacing" my parents, being disrespectful to their memory.
I have come out the other end now and have worked through my feelings on this. The thing is I want to call them Mum and Dad - I am their daughter, I feel like I am part of the family, they are my Mum and Dad too.
I have been incredibly blessed to have had two Mums and two Dads.