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I've been searching for more than 3 years for a support group for my particular issue. I hope I've found the right one. However, in reading the many posts here at adoption.com, I've noticed that no one seems to have quite the problem I have.
My son, age 25 and in the Army, was adopted when he ws 3 days old. Yes, we are older adoptive parents, but we have loved our son since day one. Three years ago, while he was deployed to Iraq, I received a one line email from him stating, "can you send me the name of the adoption agency...the search begins....lol". That was the beginning of a very downward spiral for his and my relationship.
We have always been out front and open about his adoption and answered all the age appropriate questions he's ever had. We told him everything truthfully, lovingly and supportively. Never did he ever exhibit the least bit of interest or desire to search for his birth mother until that email. After talking to my husband that day, we sent him the information he asked for, only to find out some days later that he had already....before emailing me asking for the agency....found the agency himself and had made contact with his birth mother through the agency who was holding a letter from her for him in case he ever contacted them. Needless to say, I was hurt and devastated, not because he even wanted to search, but for the way he went about it, totally behind my back. Since then, things have gotten worse. He has two step-sisters who he refers to as his sisters (he was our only child) and to make things truly worse, he took off the Christmas he arrived back from Iraq to go be with his birth family for the holidays. Since then, there are always posts back and forth on his Facebook between him and his birth mother, and she is always acting like his mother, giving advice and encouragement right after I do. In my mind, I see this as her trying to one up me. She even refers to him as her son.
When my son did this hurtful search and reconnection the way he did it, I felt something die inside of me. It took me no time to realize that there is no one out there in the world of adoption who is concerned or cares about the adoptive parents. When all this happened, I contacted the adoption agency and was told, in no uncertain terms, that he is 21 and he can do what he wants. AND they reiterated many times that their only concern in any adoption in order of importance is first the birth mother, second, the child, third the adoptive parents. We told them that we felt like we were nothing more than a walking ATM to them and that no one cares about us when we need caring about as much as the birth mother and child do, and especially when we are being told to just deal with whatever has happened because our child has a right to do what he did.
Over the last 3 years, my own relationship with my son has become very fragile. I know there are adoptive parents who claim they are okay with their child searching and reconnecting and even support this, but I don't feel the same way. Maybe its because of the way my son did this that's really torn us apart, but I need someone to talk to about this before I lose my mind. I still love my son, but I no longer crave his presence or even care if I see him. Looking at him reminds me of what he did and how he now has this other family that is clearly important enough to him to call them his sisters, and maybe he even calls his birth mother Mom....I don't know. I've asked him, but he's a good liar and I don't believe him when he says he only calls her by her name. I have told him that I am hurt and that this has affected our relationship in ways he cannot begin to imagine. He tells me I'm being stupid. I've told him that, had he ever just come to us and presented his wishes to find his birth mother, that we would have been supportive and would have hoped he'd want to share meeting her and her family with us. He just laughed me off and said that if he wanted to go see them, he'd just go....he didn't need us to do that.
So, he has just been returned again from a second Iraq deployment and spent his leave at home with us. But I didn't enjoy one minute of it, knowing that he has so much going on behind our backs with his birth family. I literally couldn't wait till he returned to base. When he did this to us three years ago, I literally had anxiety issues that I've never had before and had to be under a doctor's care for it. Whenever my son is around me now, I am filled with this anxiety again and need to reach out to my medication, just to deal with the affects his actions have taken on my heart. As I said, deep inside I love my son, but I feel so much has died as a result of his actions, culminating in my feelings of rejection and being pushed to the background of his life. My husband feels the same in some ways, but not nearly as deeply as I do. Afterall, it wasn't his birth father he secretly searched for, it was his birth mother, and therefore affected me more deeply.
I don't know what I really need. Maybe I'm just hoping that someone on this forum has had similar issues that they have dealt with. I have searched my soul and I am sure I'm not feeling anger as much as I am hurt by what he has so callously done to this family. If there's anyone out there who knows what I'm feeling, I sure would love to have some feedback and support.
[quote=201911]
Hi . I'm an adoptive Mom too. I feel bad for your feeling of betrayal. You are very hurt probably because your son has taken you for granted . I'm a taken for granted Mom. I hear your pain as I have often faced rejection by my daughter, adopted at 7 months and now nearly 20 years old. She has been vocal about not wanting to belong to us. She is a pleasant and affectionate person mostly but has usually worked out most of her frustrations by targeting me. Her teenage was tough on her as well as me. Sometimes I dread the prospect of her leaving home after college and cutting ties with us. She often expresses this wish but may not really mean it. .Once she becomes independent, she might just make that choice.. or not.... I would like to have an affectionate and friendly relationship with her when she is independent. I try to understand detachment from a spiritual perspective. I try my best to understand her emotions but I guess it is true that love is not enough. I handle my hurt of rejection by turning to spirituality.I pray for her and condition myself to receive only the affection she may sometimes express. I write poetry to channelise my emotions . As she reminds me often, I'm not in her shoes. Reading Adoption books like 'The Primal Wound' and 'Coming Home to Self' by Nancy Verrier gave me a lot of perspective on the range of emotions that my daughter might be feeling. I think your son's action may be interpreted as some kind of breaking free from a yoke that he might have been feeling. Our love as parents might be seen by our children as a yoke rather than a support. In a parent-child relationship, reciprocation of affection and intuiting what Mom feels is not something that many young adults of today are equipped with. You could read some of my poems at
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Can I be honest here? Carrying a child for 9 month and then giving him away does not put you on the same playing field with someone who loved, cherished, encouraged and supported that child for 20 years. You signed away your rights as a mother literally and by staying away so long you gave up any rights to be called “mom.” This child was not on loan. This is not your child.
I am a father who has experienced the same feelings of hurt and betrayal. My husband and I adopted five kids from human services. All the kids we adopted were severely hurt by their biological parents.
We did everything that families are supposed to do. We experienced heartache and disappointment with our two older sons with the acting out and general trouble that they got in. We were there for them every single day. Our youngest daughter has had several issues. She was in the hospital 8 times for mental issues of self harm and harming others. She is very manipulative and would do some pretty disturbing things. She was admitted into a residential treatment facility. We were excited because we thought she would get the help she needed. The facility made the claim that they work with the kids so they can gave justice for the way the parents treated them.
This was a huge mistake on our part. The center focused on reunification instead of justice. She ran away from the facility twice. The second time, she ran away right to her biological mother. Her bio mother is delusional and believes the lies she tells herself and has repeated the fairy tale. My daughter now believes in her own happy ever after story begins with finding her real family. My daughter is 15 and in Colorado she is still a minor but she has the right to concent to treatment and has refused.
We are very strong male figures and we have fought for her more than all of our kids combined. We were by her side during 6 suspensions 1 expulsion and countless fights. We stayed with her when she tried to stab us and during her stay in a treatment we had a family therapy session where she became escalated and attacked us. But now we are just not good enough for her. The police will not do anything but file a report.
We may not share the same experience but we share the same feelings of betrayal. There are not enough support groups for us. We are not alone, we only feel that way because we are isolated and treated less than.
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As I read this, I understood, completely. I just found out this past weekend that my daughter had met her birth mother over two months ago and never told me. So I have been grappling with similar feelings. But I have decided that I need to focus on what my world is "Today", the hand I was dealt was not what I asked for and what can I do about it.
I would have loved being able to have a baby, even 5! But that was not in the bigger plan. But we did adopt two beautiful girls: one at birth and one at 3. Do I wish I had given birth to them? Absolutely. Would I have traded them in order to get pregnant? No way. This is how the universe unfolded its plan for me, and now my job is to embrace all the good, bad and challenges that come with being an adoptive mom. It is what it is. And I am going to trust that my daughters love me, we have a lifetime of memories no one can take from me or them, and they are grounded in love and all of our experiences together good and bad.
I can't change the fact they have birth families. But I do know that DNA does not make a family. Time, love, investment and mutual experience makes a family.
So I am here for them, I will not let my hurt or feelings of rejection or even jealousy own my relationship with them. They need to do what they need to do. And I trust that things happen as they should. I am their mom.
I hope this helps.
I just came across this thread in Feb 2020. My heart truly goes out to you as the adoptive mother (you are his mother) The one who gave all to your son. I wanted to share with you that I am the birth mom, and my son was adopted at 3 months into a loving home, I am sure yours is also. I never laid eyes on him nor did I name him at birth. This was in 1976 and I was 15 when he was born and turned 16 the very next month. I will say however, I did want to see him. Long story short, he found me a year ago. He was 43 years old and I was 58. I would never, never, impose on the parents who raised him and gave him love and support and they as well as the rest of his family still do. His mother raised him and that is his mom. I am very cognitive to his mother's feelings. His mom and dad encouraged him to look for us (birth parents) I was able to put him in contact with his birth father also. He came to meet us and his grandfather. We still stay in touch, I follow his lead in everything. I will never and can never take the place of family he has known all of his life. He is very close to his mother. I was able to talk with her once. I just wanted to thank her for raising a fine young man. It appears your forum was written a few years ago, and I hope that things have changed. When my son first contacted and came to meet me it was exciting. I knew however that, that was just the honeymoon period. I never try to take the place of his mom, nor does the birth father try to take the place of his father. We are just happy to hear from him we we do. Be encouraged, I'm sure he didn't know how to handle the situation. Not wanting to hurt anyone My son's mom explained to him that he was blessed to be loved by so many people. I am blessed that she is open to me. I would never do anything to hurt the relationship they share. Be encouraged.
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I've been searching for more than 3 years for a support group for my particular issue. I hope I've found the right one. However, in reading the many posts here at adoption.com, I've noticed that no one seems to have quite the problem I have.
My son, age 25 and in the Army, was adopted when he ws 3 days old. Yes, we are older adoptive parents, but we have loved our son since day one. Three years ago, while he was deployed to Iraq, I received a one line email from him stating, "can you send me the name of the adoption agency...the search begins....lol". That was the beginning of a very downward spiral for his and my relationship.
We have always been out front and open about his adoption and answered all the age appropriate questions he's ever had. We told him everything truthfully, lovingly and supportively. Never did he ever exhibit the least bit of interest or desire to search for his birth mother until that email. After talking to my husband that day, we sent him the information he asked for, only to find out some days later that he had already....before emailing me asking for the agency....found the agency himself and had made contact with his birth mother through the agency who was holding a letter from her for him in case he ever contacted them. Needless to say, I was hurt and devastated, not because he even wanted to search, but for the way he went about it, totally behind my back. Since then, things have gotten worse. He has two step-sisters who he refers to as his sisters (he was our only child) and to make things truly worse, he took off the Christmas he arrived back from Iraq to go be with his birth family for the holidays. Since then, there are always posts back and forth on his Facebook between him and his birth mother, and she is always acting like his mother, giving advice and encouragement right after I do. In my mind, I see this as her trying to one up me. She even refers to him as her son.
When my son did this hurtful search and reconnection the way he did it, I felt something die inside of me. It took me no time to realize that there is no one out there in the world of adoption who is concerned or cares about the adoptive parents. When all this happened, I contacted the adoption agency and was told, in no uncertain terms, that he is 21 and he can do what he wants. AND they reiterated many times that their only concern in any adoption in order of importance is first the birth mother, second, the child, third the adoptive parents. We told them that we felt like we were nothing more than a walking ATM to them and that no one cares about us when we need caring about as much as the birth mother and child do, and especially when we are being told to just deal with whatever has happened because our child has a right to do what he did.
Over the last 3 years, my own relationship with my son has become very fragile. I know there are adoptive parents who claim they are okay with their child searching and reconnecting and even support this, but I don't feel the same way. Maybe its because of the way my son did this that's really torn us apart, but I need someone to talk to about this before I lose my mind. I still love my son, but I no longer crave his presence or even care if I see him. Looking at him reminds me of what he did and how he now has this other family that is clearly important enough to him to call them his sisters, and maybe he even calls his birth mother Mom....I don't know. I've asked him, but he's a good liar and I don't believe him when he says he only calls her by her name. I have told him that I am hurt and that this has affected our relationship in ways he cannot begin to imagine. He tells me I'm being stupid. I've told him that, had he ever just come to us and presented his wishes to find his birth mother, that we would have been supportive and would have hoped he'd want to share meeting her and her family with us. He just laughed me off and said that if he wanted to go see them, he'd just go....he didn't need us to do that.
So, he has just been returned again from a second Iraq deployment and spent his leave at home with us. But I didn't enjoy one minute of it, knowing that he has so much going on behind our backs with his birth family. I literally couldn't wait till he returned to base. When he did this to us three years ago, I literally had anxiety issues that I've never had before and had to be under a doctor's care for it. Whenever my son is around me now, I am filled with this anxiety again and need to reach out to my medication, just to deal with the affects his actions have taken on my heart. As I said, deep inside I love my son, but I feel so much has died as a result of his actions, culminating in my feelings of rejection and being pushed to the background of his life. My husband feels the same in some ways, but not nearly as deeply as I do. Afterall, it wasn't his birth father he secretly searched for, it was his birth mother, and therefore affected me more deeply.
I don't know what I really need. Maybe I'm just hoping that someone on this forum has had similar issues that they have dealt with. I have searched my soul and I am sure I'm not feeling anger as much as I am hurt by what he has so callously done to this family. If there's anyone out there who knows what I'm feeling, I sure would love to have some feedback and support.
I am so sorry for what you are going through. You are not alone. Adoptive parent don't have a voice, in anything. We have no rights. We don't count. The children we raise are not our own. They ultimately belong to the birth parents and we are expected to step aside whenever the child wants to find their other families. Then, when that goes south, because it does, we are expected to step back in and pick up the pieces. Like nothing ever happened! I may sound bitter but I am so hurt, I have to guard my heart.
I feel the exact same way. I don't accept the criticism from other people because I AM an adopted child. Now I am 54 and my 25 year old adopted daughter found her biological mother. She has a baby and said that she is her baby's real grandmother.I was VERY hurt by the way it has gone down because she acts like she doesn't need or want us anymore. She had an amazing childhood. But it's okay. I think about it like this. Her mother was a prostitute and drug user and had other children all taken away. She has all the great memories of childhood but none of our great family life now. It is her loss. It is her baby's loss. I am a GREAT grandmother who was willing to love, help take care of (because I don't have to work) and can afford to give her baby whatever she needed. I am very affectionate and understanding and stable. I didn't abandon her like her bio mother. But I still have goals and dreams of my own, now that I am an empty nester. And I don't have to worry about her any more. I choose not to. She does not deserve my attention any more. I told her that until she treats me like her mother, I am NOT her mother. Love is a choice. And people are quick to judge but she does not call, return calls or ever visit. She is also combative. She is a grown up now and she has just as much responsibility as I do to work at a relationship. Motherhood is NOT a one way thing. We give, give, give and there's no way that anyone who criticizes give as much. They don't get it. Family members and friends can meddle and say it must be something I did because otherwise she wouldn't have looked or she wouldn't call me names or I must have done something that made her want to hide her search. Well she didn't hide it. She put it all on Facebook. I wish those relatives had adopted so they understand it.As a mother, I know that I wanted my mother to be more involved in my life and my kids lives. I craved for more help and presence from her. We mothers have something of value. We adoptive mom's are GREAT. I am walking away. She can come running after me when she changes her mind. And I have the option of writing her out of my will, as well. Do not continue giving the majority of your focus to an ungrateful child who is taking your feelings for granted and turning their back on you. They need to understand how lucky they are. And before you criticize, I would feel the same way about my biological children if they acted this way (with in-laws or a spouse). They need to appreciate the parents who were there for every milestone cheering them on and their siblings, too. it hurts everyone when they say "you're not my real family." I know many of you don't have other children but I also love my husband and my dog. You can always find love in other relationships or focus on a career. Remember, I was adopted. I loved my mother and father unconditionally. But they never allowed me to control them with my actions. I was lucky to have them because they had careers and were busy and still had time for me. But they wouldn't have put up with any nonsense if I had acted this way. I was reluctant to look for my biological family and waited til I was almost fifty. Even then, I discussed it with my mother first and she supported me. I think it's a generational thing. We tend to focus more on children these days and they take us for granted.They want everything now and they think they are in charge of everything, even us. A little space might give them some perspective, let them see what they are missing. Kicked in the teeth, yes. I found my biological parents but I don't think its appropriate to spend holidays with them over your real (adoptive) family. They are extra. I was a great daughter and a loyal one, too.I am teaching my kids that they need to be good sons and daughters as adults. Life is not a one way road. There are other lanes, other cars and oncoming traffic. Watch out. And remember you are AWESOME mothers. Awesome fathers. Even without kids. You deserve to be celebrated. You are AWESOME!!!!
Last update on October 27, 1:14 am by Carla Young.
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I reunite families for free. I even give away donated dna tests for free to people searching for their relatives. People are required to be named parents of their own offspring and have to take care of them and of course every person deserves the support of both people who put them on this earth - its only proper to expect that of them. Husbands are automatically put as father on the birth certificates of their wives children because being married they "had access" to her around the time of conception, so unless the wife comes clean and tells the registrar that her husband is not the father, he will wind up on the hook as the father and that is called paternity fraud. It's paternity fraud even if her husband goes along with the charade willingly. That is because naming a man as father on the birth certificate of a child that is not his offspring is fraud and it also prevents the actual father from being held appropriately accountable for his child's welfare. The child is of course not only denied the father's surname but also his financial support, visitation at minimum or shared custody at maximum, legal kinship with their paternal relatives and an opportunity to know and grow up around their paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and of course their father, they are denied a chance to understand their paternal family's culture and heritage. Paternity fraud, whether the husband is lied to about it or goes along willingly, places the mother's romantic relationship with her husband first and places the child's rights to financial support and a relationship with their father and paternal relatives in the dumpster. Paternity fraud requires pretending that a child is someone entirely different than who they actually are. When a mother commits paternity fraud she is loving her son or daughter conditionally, on the condition that she can pretend that the child has a different father and family than he or she really does. When a husband participates in paternity fraud with his wife he is saying I don't love my wife enough to raise this child with her as my step child but I will stay with her and raise this child if I can pretend the child is my own. He is saying I don't actually love my stepchild for who they really are I love them only for who I want to pretend them to be. He is saying I am going to prevent my stepchild from getting what they deserve from their father and from having a relationship with their paternal family in order to keep my marriage intact and I will love this other man's child conditionally only if that child pretends to be my child. I'll reject this child if they were to seek out a relationship with their father. When a person gets an NPE result on a dna test unexpectedly it is shattering to discover that they have been forced to pretend to be a whole different person than they actually are. What a joy and relief it must have been for your sister to find out that her father and her paternal siblings were excited to meet her. Your sister is probably heart broken that this DNA result is costing her a relationship with you. You are acting like you don't actually love her now that you found out she's not your father's daughter. Your whole relationship seems not to matter to you now that you know your father is not her father. It sounds like her father would have loved to have raised her but was not allowed to do so. She missed out on a childhood being raised with her siblings by her father and your mom and your dad lied to her for a real long time. Tell your father if he truly had loved your sister then he would have been willing to raise her without making her give up her father or her paternal family. Ask if he would have raised her with your mom if your mom had told the truth about whose child she was on the birth certificate. If he says yes he would have stayed and raised her no matter what her last name was, even if her father had fifty percent custody of her, then you know your dad sincerely loves her for who she is and then you should follow suit. Paternity fraud seems all noble on the surface but in reality it tries to turn a real person into a cartoon of what the mom wants in order to maintain the facade of her marriage. In your parents case the facade crumbled and they divorced, but the law held him responsible for child support for all of you and now because he paid the bills he feels entitled to the title of father. Well he made his bed when he lied about being her father when she was born, because her real father would have to have paid hundreds of dollars a month to support his daughter. That was his job, not your father's job. Love your sister and apologize about being so short sighted. Have a party where all the siblings can get together and celebrate the truth. She's totally still your sister. Your dad will just have to work out his feelings on his own.
Through my own tears I just read your story. My family is totally shattered right now because my youngest sister took a dna test. Turns out our dad is not her biological father. My Dad knew my mom had gotten pregnant and decided to raise the baby as his own. Which he did from day one. My parents divorced but my dad never stopped loving or supporting my sister. With this news, my sister has totally bought into her new family. They had a big reunion to welcome her. She now has other sisters and brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents. My sister, brother, and I are devastated that she would do this to what was a tight knit loving family. We so loved each other and enjoyed being together. Now, my youngest sister has shattered us to pieces. I find it incredibly disloyal and shallow of her. And our dad is devastated she would treat him this way. He didn’t deserve this. As her oldest sister, we were incredibly close. I am grieving this so hard and there are no support groups for jilted families. At least your post helped me feel less crazy.
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Your post is almost 9 years old. I just came across it today and I wonder how things turned out for you. On another reply to your post someone mentions a "honeymoon" phase and I totally agree with this. I am an adoptee in my 50's and about 15 years ago I met my biological father, completely by mistake. I don't want to go into details about this as I don't want one of his relatives to stumble upon this post. But I am the spitting image of my birth father and when he began doing business with my company, he would come in quite frequently and others would comment how much I looked like him and would as if he was my dad. We got to talking and it turns out I told him I was adopted and he gave a child up for adoption and we put 2 + 2 together.
When we reconnected I was in the honeymoon type period. I started meeting his relatives, finding out about his family, the circumstances of my adoption, his ethnic origins, etc. But after a couple of years this all faded away. I considered him to be no more my family than a coworker or casual acquaintance. I feel no connection to my genetic relatives from him nor do I feel any connection to his ethnicity or culture. I can admit that he is my biological dad but his parents aren't my grandparents, his brothers and sisters are not my aunts and uncles. It's weird, I sort of see him in isolation like that. And it really bothered me when he's say stuff like this is your cousin, this is your ethniticy, etc, because I had no connection to those things.
About 3-4 years after we meet I was really trying to find a way to break off contact with him and his family. I wanted to do it in a nice way because he had done nothing wrong, and I just didn't want to hurt his feelings. But my heart really wasn't into having a connection with him. Luckily, things just kind of slowly faded over the last 15 years. I still talk to him once or twice a year and I pretend like I'm interested or that I care, and maybe I do in some way, but I don't really feel any connection to him. To me, he is my biological father, birth father or my new preferred term "genetic father" but he's not my father, he's not my real father. But like I said, right after I met him I was in this "oh wow" honeymoon period and now he's just "there". I really don't care to know about his family, his culture, etc. even though I am the spitting image of him.
I know this was posted awhile ago but I felt compelled to answer. I was adopted by a narcissistic mother. She, like you, is much older and she, like you, can only love conditionally. She only demonstrates care as a means manipulation. She too could not understand why I don't just want... but NEED to connect with my family of origin; particularly my mother. She feels it is "being ungrateful" and will become cold. When I was a child she used physical, emotional and psychological abuse to crush any authentic self expression. She, like you has no respect for boundaries and punishes them when they are put into place. Your son searching privately for his birth family when he is a full grown man? While it's ok to have complex feelings around this, it is not ok to blame him as responsible for those feelings. Your feelings are your responsibility. You just don't want to respect his boundaries as doing so would unleash a flood of unpleasant emotion within you... and you simply... don't want to be responsible for those emotions so you blame your adoptive son for "what he did to this family." Gas lighting, not respecting boundaries, making everything about yourself (it is HIS search from HIS pre-verbal trauma and HE who needs support.. which can look like respecting his boundary of searching solo), blaming... all text book of a narcissistic. Furthermore, you have the audacity to say the adoption system favors the birth mother and adoptee... that is laughable. While today, that is where things are trending thanks to compiled peer reviewed data on attachment disorders and the like, when I was adopted in 1984, closed adoptions were still allowed. (They are today in cases where there is a safety risk to the child, but encourage contact with birth families whenever possible). Adoptive parents have the ability to take a child from their family, possibly their language or culture... they even erase their name. The adoptive parents coo and celebrate while the adoptive child is in a state of grief. It was never set up for us. It was always set up for you. I'm so glad you son's adoptive family is receiving him warmly as you are retraumatizing him by retriggering his first trauma, the loss of his mother. You reject him. You abandon him. You say you "love" him... and while I believe you may think that.. I also believe you have no conception of what true love is... or what it means. While I don't want to invalidate your feelings, I am appalled by your complete disregard of your responsibility to manage them. Sending all my prayers that you can find some help for yourself so maybe, you can glimpse real love, with the short time you have remaining on this Earth. Our time here is so brief. You've spent enough of it blaming others for a reality you are creating. There is time to change it, and working with a therapist is a great place to start. Sending all my prayers and congratulations to your son for his successful reunification and wishing him ongoing happiness with his birth family.
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Can I be honest here? Carrying a child for 9 month and then giving him away does not put you on the same playing field with someone who loved, cherished, encouraged and supported that child for 20 years. You signed away your rights as a mother literally and by staying away so long you gave up any rights to be called “mom.” This child was not on loan. This is not your child.
You clearly don't understand that in some countries, mothers aren't allowed a say in keeping their babies. You don't get that poverty, dangerous abusers in the home... all sorts of things can cause a birth mother to "give up" their child. You say that like it is an easy choice some women just... make without regard. You clearly know nothing about developental psychology, neurobiology, attachment theory, or just... the primal and powerful bond between biological mother and baby. You're right, the author of this post is not in the same playing field as birth mom. She will never be. She can either choose to appreciate the field she is playing in, and enjoy her son when he is there with her... while supporting him unconditionally from afar as he reconnects with pieces of his identity he never asked to loose in the first place... or she can continue to sit in her narcissism and selfishness at the expense of her relationship with her son and her own happiness. Choice is hers.
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Hi I am Caroleena and I am both an adoptee and a birth mother. There's a lot to be said about both of those positions, but I want to focus on your heartbreak, because I understand where you are coming from and I hope I can provide a perspective that will ease how you feel. I can speak for myself but I imagine your son feels the same way. There was no way to deny that the birth mother really is the birth mother. I noticed you felt hurt that your son's birth mother referred to herself as his mother. She is his mother--she is just not the only mother he has. When I was growing up a transition was being made from calling birth mothers "real" or "natural" mothers because that would made the adoptive mothers "fake" or "unnatural" mothers. People were just coming to understand that there are two important women in the life of every adoptee. You have a sacred place in your son's life, but the painful truth is that his birth mother has one too, and there is no taking that away from her or your son. As much as you probably wish you had given birth to your son, the painful truth is that you did not and this is a truth you must accept if you are to have peace. What does acceptance mean? When I use the word it means saying "that is the way things are and I am ok with it." There are so many painful, harsh truths when it comes to adoption that I understand why people kept it a secret and lied to the kids. It is just so much easier to pretend that everyone is the same, or it would be, except we all know the truth. Your son did not go behind your back as much as he did not want to hurt you. If he felt like I did it probably drove him crazy to know that there are people out there who look like him. For me, I pondered relentlessly over the idea that I once had a different name, a different everything. For two and a half years the person I knew myself to be did not exist and I was someone else, living with unknown people, leaving them for unknown reasons. I had to know the truth. In my particular case I was adopted by people who changed their minds about adopting me and wished they had not done so. The lady's favorite expression was "blood is thicker than water," just to give you an idea about how non-relatives could never be truly accepted. I did not have loving support. I was looking for loving support, but I was also looking for answers. Those were two separate searches and one fully realized goal would never satisfy the need for another fully realized goal. Your son did not need to find support but he needed to fill that void of not knowing something so basic as the sound of your birth mother's voice. I found my birth mother through professional searchers who charged cash money before they gave over my birth mother's name and contact information, or what they thought was current contact information. $2,800 later I had the information I wanted (It was not a scam!). However it was difficult to find my birth mother because she lived as a lifelong homeless person on the street, bouncing around all over the mainland United States. Every month her social security check went to a different address. "The Searcher" was a man whose name I never knew to protect me from federal charges in case they were caught. The Searcher was always a month behind her but to his credit he never gave up even though he had my money. The searcher's assistant told me that they would send letters to my mother return receipt this way if I got nothing else at least I could have my birth mother's signature. I remember thinking, as an 18 year old, alone in the world, "wow, my mother's signature, as in something she actually handled and wrote on!" I could not imagine having something so....exotic. My adoption originated in Virginia and I was sent to a "family" in New York. The records from 1976 Virginia are still sealed to this day. If I had not stumbled upon people who could access confidential records I do not know how I would have known my story. And what a sad story. My birth mother met my birth father in a mental hospital where they were both patients. My birth mother had arranged to have me adopted by friends of hers but when i was born there was a surprise. I was half black, and I looked about as white as President Obama. My white mother's white southern friends did not feel they could take on that burden of interracial adoption, so they agreed to foster me but declined offers from the social worker to adopt me. My mother's white family had no interest in someone my color and my father's family did not want custody but my maternal grandmother might have been willing to let me live in a trailer with her son, if he was really my father, and if he did not go to prison for a long time. They did not want custody of me any more than the maternal side of my family. My birth mother lived her whole life in and out of mental hospitals because she was a cutter, or self-mutilator, and no one knew this secret practice was wide spread. The court declined to give her custody after she told them she had tried what she called "the coat hanger thing" when she was pregnant with me. As I said in the beginning of this writing, I went to people who did not want me even after I was accepted to Harvard. Although they did express interest in knowing if there was a way I could sign over my scholarship winnings to them if something, God forbid, should happen to me. As much as all of this tragedy hurt me, I simply cannot imagine going back to the days when I knew nothing at all. That void...there are no words, and you might be able to tell that i like words. I think your son kept his email so short to you because he was trying to send the message that of course it is natural for adoptees to want to know where they come from. Everyone knows that so enough said! He probably hated having to send that email to you knowing that life would change, but he was torn with conflict. He had put it off telling you as long as he could. He felt guilty not being honest but he felt terrible having to hurt you even though his search was nothing personal against you. In fact, his ability to have a relationship with his birth mother, instead of being consumed by rage, just goes to show how balanced he is because of you. I was far too needy, too damaged, to be able to have a relationship with an older version of myself. My resentment made it that I only saw my birth mother once. I have to tell you, you are mistaken in your belief that if your son had been honest with you that you would not be hurt. We do that to ourselves as humans. We think if only I had this thing, or if only things had been this way, I would be happy, but it is not true. You are not hurt that he did not tell you. You are hurt that he wanted to know about his origins. You mistakenly believe if he thought you were enough he would not look for his birth family. Back to painful truths--you can never be his birth family. There is nothing you can do to fill that void, and his desire to know the unknown has nothing to do with you. Sounds harsh but it is really not. His desire to know his birth mother is kind of none of your business. Do not take it as a condemnation, or as evidence that you failed. People want to know where they come from. That is one of the reasons people in the past kept adoptions secret--they did not want to deal with the adoptee's inevitable desire so they thought the "don't ask, don't tell" dysfunctional approach would bond adoptees to them all the more. But secrets are never bridges, but barriers, to connection. Try telling yourself, I don't like this but I can live with it. If you are really super honest with yourself didn't you want to have your birth children over adopting a child? That might be hurtful to your son, but you know that the long ago desire for "your own" child has nothing to do with him. Still, he would probably feel irrationally hurt if he heard you say that, but you never would because you know he would be hurt by a truth that is not personal but is so very personal at the same time. Try to see that what he needs from someone who is not you cannot displace you. Hey, I am putting myself up for adoption. I f I can get adopted as a 40 something year old, I would be all in! Just saying, I am available. lol! Caroleena Renee
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I just came across this thread. Tonight we found out our 14 year old son who is adopted has been communicating with his birth father. We are not against him having this relationship however he is not emotionally stable to be in it at this point in his life.
As I have read through so many of these stories, I see our son in the stories. He has been baker acted and done residential treatment because he cannot control his anger.
I will admit I was devastated at first. After reading all of this I want to buy him a one way ticket to AZ. I know my husband and I have done everything we could do to love,cherish and help him. I truly believe we will never be enough for him. Like the saying goes “When you love someone you gave to let them free and if it was meant to be they will return to you.”
Hi I am Caroleena and I am both an adoptee and a birth mother. There's a lot to be said about both of those positions, but I want to focus on your heartbreak, because I understand where you are coming from and I hope I can provide a perspective that will ease how you feel. I can speak for myself but I imagine your son feels the same way. There was no way to deny that the birth mother really is the birth mother. I noticed you felt hurt that your son's birth mother referred to herself as his mother. She is his mother--she is just not the only mother he has. When I was growing up a transition was being made from calling birth mothers "real" or "natural" mothers because that would made the adoptive mothers "fake" or "unnatural" mothers. People were just coming to understand that there are two important women in the life of every adoptee. You have a sacred place in your son's life, but the painful truth is that his birth mother has one too, and there is no taking that away from her or your son. As much as you probably wish you had given birth to your son, the painful truth is that you did not and this is a truth you must accept if you are to have peace. What does acceptance mean? When I use the word it means saying "that is the way things are and I am ok with it." There are so many painful, harsh truths when it comes to adoption that I understand why people kept it a secret and lied to the kids. It is just so much easier to pretend that everyone is the same, or it would be, except we all know the truth. Your son did not go behind your back as much as he did not want to hurt you. If he felt like I did it probably drove him crazy to know that there are people out there who look like him. For me, I pondered relentlessly over the idea that I once had a different name, a different everything. For two and a half years the person I knew myself to be did not exist and I was someone else, living with unknown people, leaving them for unknown reasons. I had to know the truth. In my particular case I was adopted by people who changed their minds about adopting me and wished they had not done so. The lady's favorite expression was "blood is thicker than water," just to give you an idea about how non-relatives could never be truly accepted. I did not have loving support. I was looking for loving support, but I was also looking for answers. Those were two separate searches and one fully realized goal would never satisfy the need for another fully realized goal. Your son did not need to find support but he needed to fill that void of not knowing something so basic as the sound of your birth mother's voice. I found my birth mother through professional searchers who charged cash money before they gave over my birth mother's name and contact information, or what they thought was current contact information. $2,800 later I had the information I wanted (It was not a scam!). However it was difficult to find my birth mother because she lived as a lifelong homeless person on the street, bouncing around all over the mainland United States. Every month her social security check went to a different address. "The Searcher" was a man whose name I never knew to protect me from federal charges in case they were caught. The Searcher was always a month behind her but to his credit he never gave up even though he had my money. The searcher's assistant told me that they would send letters to my mother return receipt this way if I got nothing else at least I could have my birth mother's signature. I remember thinking, as an 18 year old, alone in the world, "wow, my mother's signature, as in something she actually handled and wrote on!" I could not imagine having something so....exotic. My adoption originated in Virginia and I was sent to a "family" in New York. The records from 1976 Virginia are still sealed to this day. If I had not stumbled upon people who could access confidential records I do not know how I would have known my story. And what a sad story. My birth mother met my birth father in a mental hospital where they were both patients. My birth mother had arranged to have me adopted by friends of hers but when i was born there was a surprise. I was half black, and I looked about as white as President Obama. My white mother's white southern friends did not feel they could take on that burden of interracial adoption, so they agreed to foster me but declined offers from the social worker to adopt me. My mother's white family had no interest in someone my color and my father's family did not want custody but my maternal grandmother might have been willing to let me live in a trailer with her son, if he was really my father, and if he did not go to prison for a long time. They did not want custody of me any more than the maternal side of my family. My birth mother lived her whole life in and out of mental hospitals because she was a cutter, or self-mutilator, and no one knew this secret practice was wide spread. The court declined to give her custody after she told them she had tried what she called "the coat hanger thing" when she was pregnant with me. As I said in the beginning of this writing, I went to people who did not want me even after I was accepted to Harvard. Although they did express interest in knowing if there was a way I could sign over my scholarship winnings to them if something, God forbid, should happen to me. As much as all of this tragedy hurt me, I simply cannot imagine going back to the days when I knew nothing at all. That void...there are no words, and you might be able to tell that i like words. I think your son kept his email so short to you because he was trying to send the message that of course it is natural for adoptees to want to know where they come from. Everyone knows that so enough said! He probably hated having to send that email to you knowing that life would change, but he was torn with conflict. He had put it off telling you as long as he could. He felt guilty not being honest but he felt terrible having to hurt you even though his search was nothing personal against you. In fact, his ability to have a relationship with his birth mother, instead of being consumed by rage, just goes to show how balanced he is because of you. I was far too needy, too damaged, to be able to have a relationship with an older version of myself. My resentment made it that I only saw my birth mother once. I have to tell you, you are mistaken in your belief that if your son had been honest with you that you would not be hurt. We do that to ourselves as humans. We think if only I had this thing, or if only things had been this way, I would be happy, but it is not true. You are not hurt that he did not tell you. You are hurt that he wanted to know about his origins. You mistakenly believe if he thought you were enough he would not look for his birth family. Back to painful truths--you can never be his birth family. There is nothing you can do to fill that void, and his desire to know the unknown has nothing to do with you. Sounds harsh but it is really not. His desire to know his birth mother is kind of none of your business. Do not take it as a condemnation, or as evidence that you failed. People want to know where they come from. That is one of the reasons people in the past kept adoptions secret--they did not want to deal with the adoptee's inevitable desire so they thought the "don't ask, don't tell" dysfunctional approach would bond adoptees to them all the more. But secrets are never bridges, but barriers, to connection. Try telling yourself, I don't like this but I can live with it. If you are really super honest with yourself didn't you want to have your birth children over adopting a child? That might be hurtful to your son, but you know that the long ago desire for "your own" child has nothing to do with him. Still, he would probably feel irrationally hurt if he heard you say that, but you never would because you know he would be hurt by a truth that is not personal but is so very personal at the same time. Try to see that what he needs from someone who is not you cannot displace you. Hey, I am putting myself up for adoption. I f I can get adopted as a 40 something year old, I would be all in! Just saying, I am available. lol! Caroleena Renee
Last update on July 1, 10:35 pm by Nicol Stewart.
There are many parallels with your story, that I did.
1) joined the military and went on active service
2) decided to find my biological family
3) did it without assistance
4) felt welcomed by biological family.
Your son is a champion and I wish him well. I was adopted at birth. My adopted family never made me feel welcome.
I was born addicted to drugs and my family never let me forget it, nor did they forgive me for it. "If you were the first, you'd be the last" was their favourite saying to me.
"We didn't want you, we wanted a girl, but we figured if we rejected you, we would never get another chance, so we unfortunately settled for you"
"We adopted you and saved you from an orphanage. You should be thanking us for feeding and clothing you".
"There was a reason why you were given away, and your sister kept"
"Where is the extra marks" gets 97% in maths
I have vivid memories of physical and emotional abuse I lost count, but one at the age of 7 being hit in the face with a hairbrush and told "I wish I never adopted you" the look in her eyes told me she wasn't lying.
There were no hugs, no support, just nasty comments, criticisms which made me hate myself. There is something in the way you wrote which brought back memories.
Just as you think the child owes you, they don't. They don't owe you a thing, and I strongly bet this man is so independent that he would rather starve to death than ask you for any action that will he thrown into his face the next time you decide to over act, and try to guilt your own feelings upon him.
If I had the chance to pick my adopted family, the abusive ones I got would never even make the top billion. I hope that you get some therapy, because the more you think your son betrayed you, the more he is going to pull away. He has a new family to bond with, if you were, and I have no evidence just going off my own experience, he doesn't need you any more. It's his choice to include you in his life, and if you act like a spoilt brat he is going to never want you close.
I left home at 18, and for the last 24 years have had very little to do with my adopted family. I have a great relationship with my sister, and nothing to do with the biological mother.
You may even find he has asked for answers, or tried to mend fences, but being shutdown by you or your husband he just can't continue to limit his own pain for example
Me "a lot of things have gone unsaid, I always felt not good enough for you, I never felt loved, and hated myself growing up."
Father "It's all in your head"
Then they wonder why it's been 5 years since I last spoke. For me the thought of spending time with them gives me anxiety. Since I no longer drink or smoke pot, being in a 100 mile radius is a little too close for comfort. I hope you work it out, and remember him finding his siblings isn't about you. You can either play nice, or play by yourself. But if you choose to play by yourself, it can be decades before he forgives you.