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Originally Posted By Colleen
I recently turned 34 and have just found out who my birth mother and one of her (four) sisters is. I sent them each a very nice letter letting them know how I am and how I grew up and that I would like nothing better than to get to know them and other members of their families. I went on to say that I had never felt any anger toward my birth mother and although I may not have come about at a good time for her in her life, I did happen at the perfect time for my mom and dad (adoptive parents). I asked for nothing more than to get to know at least my birth mother so I could share my four children with her also - I wasn't looking to replace my mom, but only to add to the wonderful family I already have. I got both letters back a week later (along with the pictures of myself, husband and kids that I had sent), one of them with a type-written note saying that any further contact with either my birth mother or birth aunt would result in them seeking legal action to keep it from happening again.
I have always known about being adopted and have never felt rejected by my birth family until today. Now, I feel as though I was "thrown away" twice.
Originally Posted By Carol, Birthfamily Issues Forum, expert's group
Dear Colleen:
As a birthmother who lived for the day I would see my daughter again, I will never understand a birthmother NOT wanting to at least MEET the child she relinquished to adoption.
I wish there was something I could say that would help heal your pain, but I can't find words to express
my sadness for you.
Perhaps her rejection of you has something to do with the circumstances surrounding your conception that she cannot put behind her. It is so terribly unfair to you that she behaves this way, since you are the innocent one in this circle. Thank God that your parents were loving and caring, and thank God that this woman who bore you made it possible for them to have you in their lives. THEY are the fortunate ones.
There are all sorts of reasons that she might have for not wanting to reunite, but none of them prevents her from giving you information about your genetic identity -- at the very least.
Sometimes a birthmother DOES go on with her life, as though the birth of a baby never happened. In this case she will meet and marry and possibly have other children, without looking back. In other words, she's lived with a lie throughout those years, and now you've opened the door to reality for her and she's afraid.
Rejection is not uncommon, but they are far from the norm. Sometimes after some though and soul searching the birthmother will reach out -- we've had cases where this has happened. There is always hope.
But in the meantime, you're in pain and you need support and understanding. A good therapist with understanding of the adoption dilemma might help, in this case.
We have a wonderful gal who is host at the ADOPTEE ISSUES FORUM in our EXPERTS GROUP. Marlou Russell is a reunited adoptee who is also a Psychologist-Family Therapist who also specializes in Adoption issues. She might be able to steer you to a Therapist near where you live. She can also offer you advice on how to handle this situation and perhaps start you on the path of healing.
Have you read Betty Jean Lifton's "Journey of the Adopted Self -- a Quest for Wholeness"? If not, do
get the book. Betty Jean offers a lot of good examples of ways adoptees have used to overcome obstacles and moved to heal themselves.
I wish I could do more, Colleen. I am so very sorry that this has happened to you.
With love and hugs, Carol Bird, Birthmother (Experts Group, Birthfamily Issues, Closed Adoptions)
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I am 67. I was adopted as an infant. All my life I wanted to know about my birth family. My adoption was 'closed' and I tried several times to gain access to my original birth certificate, without success. In October 2014 I was randomly looking about on the internet and learnt that Illinois had changed their law to allow adult adoptees access to their birth records. In March 2015 I received my original birth certificate. When I saw that it said 'not legitimate' I felt legitimate for the first time in my life. I learnt the name of my birth mother and the name she gave me when I was born. I could imagine me being born, not just magicked into being. I couldn't believe it. I was ecstatic. I started trying to search on ancestry.com and found records for a family that I believe is my birth family but couldn't find any records after 1940. I then learnt that there is an organisation that assists adult adoptees with searching. It took a long time, but each step on the way gave me more pieces of information. Eventually I got the court order of adoption, the medical record of my care for the first 7 months of my life, some medical information about my birth mother and her family, and the social summary about my mother and why I was relinquished for adoption. All of this information was anonymised and I can't really explain why, but I felt hurt by that. The court order said my mother didn't sign the papers allowing me to be adopted until weeks after I was born so I thought that I was with her for that time, but on my medical history I learnt that from 1 week of age I was in the care of a foster mother and not placed with my adoptive parents until I was 7 months old and then not adopted until I was 21 months old. Still, from all of the information I could piece together an understanding of my beginnings. I applied to the court for a confidential intermediary and she began to search for my birth mother who would be 87 years old. Unbelievably, she found someone who was a match - I was over the moon, beyond ecstatic. I wrote a letter and got a friend to take a nice photo of me and I sent them to the intermediary to give to my birth mother. The intermediary sent an outreach letter to the woman but did not get a response. She followed up with a phone call and the woman said they had the wrong address and gave them a different address. I was encouraged. She didn't just shut the door. The intermediary sent out another letter. Still no response. She made another follow up telephone call and the woman identified as my birth mother said it wasn't her but all the information matched up and the intermediary is absolutely convinced it is the right person. My birth mother said she would not be interested in any kind of contact nor would she wish to receive the message from me. During the first phone call she had disclosed that she had a daughter (after me) and the intermediary searched for her and found her. She sent an outreach letter but did not get a response. She made a follow up phone call but a man answered the phone and said she was unavailable to take the call and took a message. The woman has not returned the call. I am devastated. It is beyond sad.