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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

S

S Report 5 Aug 2005 12:50

I don't know anyone else who is in my situation, so I'm posting here just to get things off my chest and hopefully get to know other adoptees. I hardly ever talk about it, and it seems so strange to write these words. I was adopted at around 6 months old. I think I was in foster care before that, but it isn't clear. My adoptive parents told me when I was 7. My dad wrote me a story along the lines of 'the xxxx family already had children, and couldn't look after another one, so they gave her away to a family that could care for her etc.' I remember asking if I was put into a big waiting room with other babies, and my dad told me that a nice lady looked after me. Nothing was ever talked about after that, and apart from a few overheard conversations, I practically forgot about it. It was always in the back of my mind though, and when I went to uni, I told my two best friends. As soon as I said the words out loud it all became real, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I knew I had to talk to my adoptive parents about it, so last winter I plucked up the courage and asked my mum. She was perfectly calm about it, but I could tell she didn't want to tell me too much. She said my birth mother had been 19, and working in a shop. My father had been 26 and unemployed. They weren't married. I asked her if she knew their names, and she told me. Surnames? She wouldn't say. She said that if I ever wanted to search for them, she'd help me. We haven't spoken about it for over a year, and now I have started to search without telling her. I feel so guilty for not including her in my search, especially because the very selfish reason is that I don't want to deal with her emotions as well as my own. I don't want to have to convince her that I love her and am so happy that she adopted me. I hope she realises this already. So far I have obtained my adoption certificate, and original birth certificate. It was so strange when I received them. Usually, when something big happens, my mum is the first one I phone and tell, but this time I couldn't. When I read my birth mother's full name, I was surprised and confused. My adopted mum told me that my biological mum wasn't married to my bio dad, but it seems that she was. This is doubly confusing in regard to the story my adopted dad told me about the xxx family. Xxxx was the surname of my bio parents... My full birth certificate had my birth mum's maiden name, and my biological dad's birthplace and occupation. I was surprised to see that he was born not far from where I am living now, in London. This means that I probably have family down here. I never felt like a Londoner before now! I am currently waiting to see if there are any matches on the Contact Register. I've done some research on here, and found a couple of names that might match, but I am nervous about getting in touch straight away in case I jinx it and scare anyone away. I feel doubly guilty at the moment because my best friend is losing his mother to cancer. I don't feel I can talk to him about my situation, when I'm trying to find a mother I have never known, and he is about to lose his. I have thought about this for so long, and I've decided that I would like to meet my birth family if they are willing. I know I risk being turned away, but it is worth the risk. This whole thing is fraught with complication, confusion, secrecy and sadness on all sides. I hope something happy can come out of it for everyone. Maybe someone will read this who recognises my name knows something about my situation. This isn't meant to be a request for contact (I'm just getting my story off my chest!) but I'd welcome any advice or comments. Glad I've found a place to discuss all of this. Hope I haven't put a cat among the pigeons. I don't want to hurt anyone. S xx

Unknown

Unknown Report 5 Aug 2005 12:56

Susan I have not been in your situation, though I know many people on GR have and they can probably support you better. BUT I don't see that you are being selfish in not wanting to hurt your adoptive mum or your friend. AND you are going through a very emotional experience, which you need to talk through with someone. I know that social services can offer counselling. Whatever your adoptive parents told you about the biological ones, they may have thought they were telling the truth, or have wanted to spare you details, or keep things simple. I would advise that you don't let this come as a wedge between you and your adoptive mum though. Secrets can hurt as much as the truth sometimes. You could perhaps say that you wanted to find out about your biological parents out of curiosity and because you want to trace your bloodline, and you'd like to share what you've found. If she seems hostile/unhappy about this, you can decide not to share, but you will have left the door open if she wants to help further. Good luck. nell

Nana Anna

Nana Anna Report 5 Aug 2005 12:58

There is a thread on here - I will find it and push it to the top of the page. Hope it helps and wish you good luck. Anna

The Bag

The Bag Report 5 Aug 2005 14:13

One adoptee to another - What you are feeling is perfectly natural - Adptive parents - that is to say Mum and dad - seem to have this knack of trying to protect their adopted children from the 'truth'. I am sure if they realised it does damage then the wouldn't do it.My Mum would never discuss birth Father - i am lucky in that they will discuss any of it i suppose, and having found out what i have about BF , i do wonder if mum knew, she says not but i am not sure. You seem to have sewn the seed with Mum - and seems a positive step, she must guess that the seed will grow even if only out of curiosity - keep her in on what you are doing if you can. For one thing it will reassure her nothing changes between you I have met my BM , BF is long dead. have a full B/sister who was also given for adoption and ,to be honest, is by far the best thing i have ever done was to trace HER. BM is kind of distant and doesn't want to know.OK accept that .Other birth sibs i would love to know but she will not tell them. sorry i am waffling... I do know what it feels like. Keep talking about it - it does help. Are you ready to start tracing..or do you intend to do so? Jess x

Michelle

Michelle Report 5 Aug 2005 14:16

Susan, Follow your heart, otherwise you may never get another chance.. I'm not adopted but my situation is relevant. My own mother was fostered out at 13 as her parents split and both remarried and didnt want her in their 'new' lives, and neither parent ever contacted her or wanted to know her thereafter, what an imapct at such a tender and impressionable age...her father passed away only 2 weeks ago and I never met this man who meant so much to who I am. Her mother passed away last year and again she never got to say goodbye or ask them WHY they did what they did. My own father I also never ever met, my parents marriage went bad as he was an abusive alcoholic and never ever recovered and when I thought about following this line of research, I was 12 months too late...He died and I can never get that back again...all I have are ghosts! but I also believe in fate and also feel he who reigns up above did what was right for me in protecting me. Do what is important to you and don't have any regrets as it does sound like your adoptive parents brought you up with good morals and a caring nature, and they too will one day see that its only natural to wonder who we are and at the same time they should feel safe that to you, they will always be Mum and Dad... Good Luck in your adventures. Michelle

S

S Report 5 Aug 2005 15:06

Thanks for you support, guys. Jess - you're right about Mums trying to protect us. It is so confusing though, and I kind of resent it, even though she is obviously only trying to shield me from pain. I just don't understand. Why would she tell me that my BM and BF weren't married? Maybe she reckoned that if I thought my BM was a teenage unmarried mother, it would be easier for me to see why she gave me away. This is understandable. I sometimes find myself thinking that my adoptive mum doesn't know or understand how I'm feeling, but I have to remind myself that she probably understands a lot more than I think. She has her own issues to deal with, such as not having been able to have a biological child, and the possibility of the daughter that she raised going out and searching for her birth mother. This is part of the reason why I haven't told her about my search. I don't want to hurt her, but I realise that I'm lying to her, and secrecy is one of the things that bothers me most. It's difficult to strike a balance between wanting to do this and deal with it on my own, and wanting her to be a part of it. The way I see it, she is responsible for making me the 99% sorted, stable person that I am. The other 1% of me that is a bit scared, rootless and curious is nothing to do with her, and all to do with the lady who gave birth to me and then decided to give me away. It's this 1% of me that I am dealing with now, and at this stage I still want to deal with it on my own. If it looks as if I will get the chance to meet my BM/BF/siblings, I feel I should tell my adoptive mum before it happens. From her point of view, it will be less painful if I say 'Mum, I've got my original birth certificate here, and now I'm thinking of meeting xxxx' rather than 'Hey Mum, this is my birth mother, we met a few months ago...' Of course, that is if I do actually make contact, which I haven't done yet. And I'm pretty sure that I want to. I can't imagine what it will be like if I ever see my BM's face or hear her voice.. Anyone who has had this experience, what is it like? S x

Robin

Robin Report 5 Aug 2005 15:34

it doesn't help that there are so many unknowns and contradictions. You might not realise there's some more fact-finding you can easily do. People have been known to say they were married when they weren't, but if your biological parents were really married you can get a copy of their marriage certificate. This will tell you how long they'd been married, how old they were etc. If they had other children you might be able to trace their births. Then at least you'd have some idea where you're going instead of setting out into unexplored territory

The Bag

The Bag Report 5 Aug 2005 16:42

In answer to the last bit of your last posting - what is it like - indescribable! off you go, full of hopes and dreams maybe, some of which may be verified by your birth mother, some which may be smashed to pieces! As an example : As i said I traced my full sister. we are getting along just fine .Ruth (birth sister) trots off to meet birth mother first, She tracked her down so she met her first , and i was fine with that. She asaked birth mother a question , to which Ruth new the answer.She asked ''did you have any children after me?' Of course B/m answered 'No' - not only DID she have a second child (me) we were by the same father!! She then claimed that she had forgotten!! SO DO NOT EXPECT THAT YOUR B/M WILL TELL YOU THE WHOLE TRUTH!! It is a weird feeling though, this whole 'who am i thing' me and my alter ego almost! I have to remind myself that I am me, regardless of who brought me up, and have had to work my way through 'what if she hadn't....' - how diffent would life have been? You sound as though like me, you had everything a normal childhood consisted of 'Nothing extra special' nor 'dire'. It just was! It sounds to me very much as though you should entrust what you are doing to your Mum. Ruth and i have a brill relationship, and i know i am very lucky to have her in my world, my brother is Okay with it ( he was also adopted) although has no desire to find out for himself . and if it makes any difference,my Mum and dad are very fond of Ruth - as Mum says '' it isn't as though it was your fault you were seperated...'' waffling again.... jess x

S

S Report 5 Aug 2005 16:55

Hi Jess, Until now I've never given much thought to siblings. I've always just thought of it in terms of meeting my BM. But since getting my original birth certificate, I found out that my birth father was born in London quite near to where I'm living now (i was born up North, but moved to London 2 years ago) - this has made me quite curious about whether I have relatives or even siblings down here. One of my big worries is how I would fit in with my birth family. (This is presuming that I end up meeting them of course, and this is not something I take for granted. I'm only at the very first stages of searching, so I don't want to jinx it.) But I can't help thinking that it will be strange for my life to cross paths with my BM's again after nearly 25 years of no contact - so much has happened, and as you said, it's easy to wonder how things would have turned out if I had stayed with her. Isn't it strange - our BMs carried us for 9 months, and we were part of them, then separated - it's hard to get my head around! In a way, my BM is the closest and most distant person to me, at the same time, if that makes sense. Thanks again for your advice! Happy to have met someone who knows how it feels. S x

Quinsgran

Quinsgran Report 5 Aug 2005 17:17

Hi Susan. I hope your dreams are realised. However there is a word of caution.My nephew who has wonderful parents who adopted him and told him and his sister they were adopted from a very early age. They also encouraged them to look for their birth parents when they were ready.Sister decided she was happy not to .Nephew however when he was 17 got the information and found his mother did not want to have any contact.This was over 20 years ago when it wasnt as easy to get details.So hope this will not happen to you. Best wishes on your search Margaret

The Bag

The Bag Report 5 Aug 2005 17:21

I think how you fit depends on what you find. Ruth and i dont 'fit' with our birth family at all. B/M had us, gave us away ...and drew a line under the whole thing. If B/m had kept us i would have been the youngest of 4, as it is I was brought up the middle of 3.... In terms of who were are now, she doesn't really want to know...and will lie to avoid the truth- we have long since given up asking q's because we know that if she answers then its probably with something the opposite to the truth! ( i asked about the circumstances surrounding my birth - she implied that she was raped- the truth was she was living with my father at the time!) Have you actually got you adoption file from social services? That would give you specific things to talk t your Mum about - anything in it she will already know, so will not surprise her (although she may deny knowledge) jess x

S

S Report 5 Aug 2005 17:28

Margaret - thanks for the warning. This is something I've thought about, and it is a worry. It's something I will bear in mind if I do decide to search actively. It would be hurtful if my BM didn't want contact, but at least I would have tried. The last thing I want is to spend the rest of my life regretting not trying to make contact! Jess - I've sent off for my adoption file but haven't received a reply yet. Do they send it to you, or do you have to meet a social worker to view it?

The Bag

The Bag Report 5 Aug 2005 18:09

usually it is a meeting with the social worker - and despite what you may think - it is a good idea. They talk thru it with you, and you can talk 'round' what it says - and hopefully the social worker will be able to explain things and help you absorb the info - even things you think you know. My birth Mother called me Anne - and although i know that i was gobsmaked to find it having an E on the end - stupid but never the less. As for B/M not wanting contact - its a risk you have to take and what ever else you are told it is completely 50 /50 to start with and unless you go for it , you'll never know! Am i glad i did? Yes Would i do it again? Yes would i like the outcome to be different? would i like her more in my world? Prob not. Am i glad she gave me for adoption - yes, because i had everything a child needed. 'Needed' not wanted.... If i could change one thing it would only be the fact that she should tell the truth. Jess x

Tillot

Tillot Report 5 Aug 2005 18:23

Hi Susan, I have no experience with your situation at all but I just had to post a quick message as your story bought goose bumps to my arms, as did the others, eg Jess' story. I really wish you well and I hope everything works out for you. If you could keep us informed on any progress, that would be great. You've found a good place here, being able to share your feelings with people that understand. Best Regards Helen x

S

S Report 5 Aug 2005 18:54

Jess - sorry to bombard you with questions! Do you know if I'll have to see a social worker in the borough where my adoption took place, or could the file be transferred down to London? Helen - of course I'll keep you updated on my progress! Thanks for your support. I'll let you know how it goes. S xx

Lynne

Lynne Report 5 Aug 2005 19:23

Susan Your question to Jess about viewing your file - having worked for an adoption agency until recently, I think you could have the details sent to your local social services. You can also have counselling to help you come to terms with everything and they will help with contacting your birth parents and introductions etc.. Hope this helps. Lynne

S

S Report 5 Aug 2005 20:19

Just had to let you know - I got a letter from the Contact Register tonight, and my birth mother has also registered! They sent me her address, so I now have to decide whether to write to her, or get an intermediary to approach her. I found out she's re-married, and lives not far from the town where she lived when she had me.

The Bag

The Bag Report 5 Aug 2005 20:43

I know what i would do... She is obviously not going to shy away,she has registered her interest in finding you , can you get one of the people on one of the elec roll look up threads to check the address is still current? Then I think i'd have to go for it, write a letter and see, but only do it if you feel you are ready. jess x

McDitzy

McDitzy Report 5 Aug 2005 21:17

Wishing you all the best, Susan. Let us know how it goes. Chloe x

Carol

Carol Report 5 Aug 2005 21:30

Susan, Have just read your thread and just wanted to wish you all the luck in the world!! I hope it works out for you all. Good Luck, carol x