At an impasse
I received my Illinois OBC in April, and was able to locate my bmom online very quickly due to her distinctive name. Over the last few months i've sent a number of emails thanking her for life and letting her know that i'm open to communication. I've included some photos of me and my kids, figuring she'd like to see them. i sent he a Facebook friens request, no answer. I've read some excerpts of The Girls Who Went Away, and i can only imagine what she must have gone through. My heart goes out to her, and i've love to thank her personally. i have no idea what to do.
The problem with fb and e-mails is that you cannot be sure that she is really getting your messages. I am assuming that she did not accept your friend request. Not all are fb savvy and e-mails may be going to spam, etc. ...Giving her the benefit of the doubt, you might want to open a fb acct in your birth name in hopes that that will jump out at her. You can also open an e-mail acct in that name. Also might want to consider sending in your message a note asking her to please let you know if she is indeed getting your messages so that you don't pursue other means of contact. You may not have her phone number but she doesn't have to know that and the sort of threat of a phone call might due the trick if she is ignoring you. If you do not have a phone number or address let one of us help you try to find it. You can PM me if you like:wings:
flopshot said...
I received my Illinois OBC in April, and was able to locate my bmom online very quickly due to her distinctive name. Over the last few months i've sent a number of emails thanking her for life and letting her know that i'm open to communication. I've included some photos of me and my kids, figuring she'd like to see them. i sent he a Facebook friens request, no answer. I've read some excerpts of The Girls Who Went Away, and i can only imagine what she must have gone through. My heart goes out to her, and i've love to thank her personally. i have no idea what to do.
Hi 1956,

you're correct, she didn't accept my FB friend request. I don't think she declined it outright, as my FB page still shows that a friend request to her is pending. She's on FB periodically, but has added FB friends since i have sent my request. :-(
Hi there! I recently discovered on FB that if you don't have friends in common, when you send a friend request to someone it goes into an "other" mailbox. If you go to your private messages, there is a second option called "other" where these messages go. I bet your Bmom never realized you sent her a friend request. I checked my other folder and had two messages that were from long lost friends from a year earlier.
Wow kdecrow-- i knew about the "other" box for PMs, but wasn't aware that it put friend requests in there too. This may explain a lot!
I play a few games on FB and I quite often get friend requests from strangers with no mutual friends. The actual friend request shows up as a notification under the friend icon, but if they send a message along with the request telling me what game they play, the message itself goes in the "other" box. So if you sent your mother a friend request with a message she has probably seen the request but probably has not seen the message with it.
The internet is a miracle these days but it still has its limits. I don't think you should discount your birth mother as not interested. Online messaging such as Facebook can be unreliable as mentioned in other posts. Please consider other forms of contact and don't give up! The very best of wishes to you and in your endeavors.
flopshot
My suggestion - Write to her - give her your phone number and ask for her number (or ask if it is appropriate for you to ring her).
One thing I learned was never to assume - there could be many reasons she has not responded.

-If you have read The Girls who Went Away you understand that in many early adoptions, women did not tell their new husbands about the adoption. Closed adoptions were just that - closed. I was told I could never see my son or try to contact him for the rest of his life. It would disrupt his life....and I bought into that. I had signed away all rights. Maybe your bmom needs to find the courage to tell a long held secret??

- Does she have other children? Do they know about her firstborn? Is she caught up in the family dynamics of how to introduce another sibling into the family?

- Then there's her emotional state - Reunion (for me) was so exciting, but also something that really rattled my cage and I have always been a fairly measured person. Maybe she is still caught up in the emotions of it all and needs time to work through the process.

For someone my age (late 50's) a letter is more personal - and instead of waiting for a reply to your letter, follow it up in a couple of months with another - tell her what you have been doing - share the good and the bad, but make it chatty. Keep the communications going so when she's ready, she has a little history of who you are and what your life is like.

If I was in your shoes I think anything must be better than waiting - and waiting and feeling left out. At least this way, you are doing something positive.
All hard stuff - as much as reunions are joyous and exciting, they also create tensions and indecision. I wish you well with many happy years ahead.

Ann
*Update* I mailed bmom a nice card with a photo and contact info last month. No response. Last Saturday was her birthday; I sent her a brief email with birthday wishes; no response. I want to be discreet as it's possible that she never told anyone about me; however after 9 months of bring essentially blown-off, perhaps it's time to dispense with that and begin reaching out to other bfamily members.
flopshot,

Nine months is a short period of time in reunion world. She is probably still reeling from the contact.

It, of course, is your right to contact other b-family members, but just know that doing so could jeopardize your chances at having a future relationship with you b-mom.

Out of respect for my mother's privacy, I decided not to contact other b-family members. Also, I've learned a bit about my halflings on FB, and I don't have anything in common with them. So, it would have just been a drive-by reunion, and I didn't want to shake up their world or hers for just a quick hello and goodbye. With who they are and who I am, I determined that we probably would not have been able to sustain a relationship. Why open that can of worms just to say I exist?

I'm not trying to dissuade you from your decision. Just think it out. Weigh the pros and cons. You'll figure out what's best for you. (What works for me may not work for you.)

Best.
I sent a birthday card to the address I had and it was not returned; I sent a Christmas card to the same address that got returned. I know the email address I have is good as it lines up with her Facebook and Twitter accounts... But have never gotten a response from any message or photo sent to that email address. This really sucks, you'd think that she would want to at least have some basic contact with her oldest child instead of blowing him off.
You would think that, but from personal experience there are too many factors to list that might explain why she is unable / unwilling / just plain hasn't made contact with you. My initial expectations were that my b-mom would either reject all contact with me or we'd have one of those teary eyed reunion TV show moments. As it turned out neither one happened because life is much more gray than black and white.

Was the Christmas card returned for any particular reason on the envelope? Moved? Forwarding order expired? Or was it something where someone just wrote "Return to Sender" on the envelope and that was that?
Sorry to hear you haven't heard anything. I would try sending a registered letter and see if she responds. I am not sure of the cost but at least you would know it got into her hands.
It looked like the postal service returned it due to possibly her moving (?)...she didn't write on the envelope.
If she didn't write on the envelope then I would hazard a guess that the snail mail address you have is no longer valid for her and the forwarding order at the post office has expired. Usually if something gets returned for such a reason it comes back with one of those really attractive yellow stickers from the post office saying "Forwarding Order Expired" or something similar.

You could try a registered letter but if you have an old address that would also be returned. Some email programs like Outlook have the option of attaching a confirmation receipt of sorts to the email that would indicate its delivery to the recipient email server or that it was viewed by the recipient so that might be helpful.

Or if the snail mail addresses are in a county (like mine) that happens to list sale and ownership transactions as a matter of public record online, you could do a search on that street address. It wouldn't tell you if she is actually living there, but if you determine that the address is no longer in her name as of X date then it might be a confirmation that your Christmas card was returned due to a move. Food for thought anyway.

Best,
PADJ
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