Unexpected Healing

As my recovery continues, an unexpected door to the past has opened to me as recent as Nov. 6th when someone suggested that I contact the group of volunteers on Facebook known as the Search Squad. I did so and shared my adoption story and have received vital information about my birth family.

I had anticipated that my birth mother might have already passed on as she was in her early 40's when I was born. She died in 1997 at the age of 84 and yet for a couple of days I wept that the chance to meet her and hug her was lost. I still hope to find out more about my two brothers and possibly my birth father.

I was given up for adoption 13 days after my birth and adopted at 6 months. In my adopted family is where my primary trauma issues happened. Having never had support in processing my adoption, I created erroneous beliefs about my value as a little girl and subsequently created a shame-based story about myself. I stepped out of that story some time ago. Both my birth parents left spouses back in their respective countries and out of their loneliness in a new country (Canada) I was conceived.

As a teenager, I discovered my adoption order - at that time I was desperate to meet and be reunited with my birth family; now 60 years of age, I am cautious about disrupting my brothers lives and beliefs about our mother. I have reached out to potential family members but no response as of yet and maybe there will never be. I have to accept that they might choose not to respond to my request, grieve the reality and put one foot in front of the other and move slowly forward.

It is taking a lot of energy mentally and emotionally to stay in the moment and be happy for information received and accepting the things I cannot change. I am practicing better self care these days: eating routinely, exercise, getting lots of rest.

8 Replies

  • Your story resonates with me -- but on the other side of the equation. My daughter's birthday was last month. When she was born 32 years ago, I never saw her. My heart was broken when I heard her cry. I am torn between trying to find and connect with her or leave things as they are. So many "what ifs."

    I am very happy for you that you found your family as well as very sad your mother has passed. My hope is that, if a relationship develops with your family members, it is uplifting for you and your family.

  • Thank you padlmt for sharing part of your heartache. I too am torn because introducing myself to my brothers now, means disturbing their lives with information about our mother that they may never have known. I am taking things slowly.

  • To me, not knowing things is the most difficult, as it seems to be for you. Would you be disturbing your brothers' lives? Maybe they have no idea about you. Maybe, like you, they stumbled on some paperwork or other info, know about you and would like to meet you. You probably will never know till you take the plunge.

    I remember some years ago, a TV show reuniting children who had been adopted with their mothers. A "reality" show before they became popular. Anyway, everybody appeared happy while the cameras were rolling. But I knew once the show was over, there was no guarantee that the relationships would remain that way. (That is when I began my dislike for the staged, fake "reality" shows.)

    If you don't try, then you won't be disappointed. If you do try, you must be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best.

  • Hi this is a difficult one , I recently contacted my dad after finding out he had another family I was torn between disrupting their life fear of rejection etc , I sat outside the house for over an hour once I found the address . It's been hard but I'm glad I did . He's now passed and I've lost that chance to spend time with him. What's harder to deal with is being told he always wanted me in his life. Being the child I always wanted to know what he was like and all the million questions about identity. If you don't try you'll never know .

    Good luck x

  • Thanks sianr for sharing your own story with me. It helps to to know that my struggle is familiar with others,\

  • Great about the eating, this is also my journey at the moment. It's hard when you've been adopted. I had a child out of wedlock myself and I chose to keep her. I'm 62 and even when I had my daughter it was a hush hush thing. I stepped out of the mould and I suffered a lot of shaming about having my daughter and daring to keep her. So I can know imagine what it would ah e been like in your mothers days. I went on to marry and have two other daughters but I never regretted gritting my teeth and facing the world as a single parent. Times sure have changed its more the norm than the exception nowadays.

    I hope you have some closure knowing you have found your deceased mother. Are you able to visit her grave and talk to her there, I know that sounds weird but I still visit my mothers grave and talk to her about my own trauma.

    For some reason boys are less family focused than women or maybe I'm generalising here. I hope that you are able to have some communication with them even by letter.

    You are sounding very accepting but there will still be that flicker of hope that you can meet them and that's ok too.

    You may never know why your mum and dad gave you up for adoption but as a mother myself I can only imagine the heartbreak for your mother when she did this. You never forget. She probably thought she was giving you a better life in doing so. My daughter is now forty two but she was the only child at her kindy when she was young who didn't have a father and she suffered pain when the other kids talked about their fathers.

    Today no girl is pressured to give their child up for adoption but when I and my daughter 42 years ago extreme pressure was put on me to adopt by the social workers and to a limited degree my own parents but there was no way in hell anyone was going to prise my daughter out if my arms.

    I hope in sharing a bit of what it was like for me forty two years ago it also helps you understand how it might have been for your mother.

  • Thank you, Lindyloo53 for sharing your story.

    My Mom had left behind an alcoholic and abusive husband and come to Canada hoping to start a new life. She met my birth father who had also come to Canada for the same reason, but each parent left behind in their respective countries spouses to whom they were married. My mother did not put my birth father's name on my birth certificate. I can only imagine what the result might have been if she had returned home to England pregnant with another man's child. She gave me the last name of the man she returned to England for after giving me up for adoption.

    I have met other birth mothers with similiar stories and I am so blessed that you would share your perspective, it means so much to me to look not only at how I might feel but how others in this circumstance might feel.

    I hope you and your daughter are close because she is very lucky to have you and your amazing and deep love.

  • I'm closer to this daughter, because of what we went through, though am close with one of the other ones. I believe I'm lucky to have her she has grown into the most amazing woman

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