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my story

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

An Olde Crone

An Olde Crone Report 5 Aug 2005 23:14

Can I just throw in my pennyworth? Your Mum may have been telling you the truth AS FAR AS SHE KNEW IT. It is not at all unusual for the records to contain half-truths and even downright lies, particularly in earlier years, when Social Workers thought they knew best. A friend of mine who adopted a child was devastated when her daughter announced she was going to trace her biological mother. I said to her - you have had this wonderful daughter in your life for 26 years, can you not be generous enough to share her just a tiny bit with the woman who gave birth to her?Who may, actually, want nothing to do with her, and will turn to you to pick up the pieces of that devastation. My friend thought about this and finally admitted that she was 'jealous' and desperately worried that her daughter would love her 'real' mother more than her.I told her that SHE was the 'real' mother, the other woman was merely the biological mother. Her daughter has not yet succeeded in tracing her BM (at least, that's what she says!) but my friend is gritting her teeth and helping her. I do so hope this works out well for you. Olde Crone

Shannette

Shannette Report 6 Aug 2005 13:19

Hope you don't mind another person joining in but you remind me of myself 20 years ago and the short answer is do it.I was 7 months old when i was adopted in the 1950s when things were a lot different and i always knew i was but also that it was a closed subject. I need my birth name when i started work in the civil service but that was all i was told and when the law changed in the 1970s I wasn;t ready to go any further. It was when i had my first child that I knew I had to do it .I decided to tell my adoptive parents as i thought my birth family may be living in the same area. I wasn't prepared for their reaction which was to stop speaking to me for ages. they wouldn't even answer the phone to me but I went ahead and did it with the help of Norcap.It took a long time in the days before computers and when I found them my mum was in australia and my dad in the USA.I made contact through an uncle in this country but when he told my mum she didn't want contact as she hadn't told her family.My dad however was great and we kept in touch till he died. An aunty maintained the link with my mum and finally 6 years ago we started to write to each other. Last year I even met my brother ! To cut a long story short i never regret it and eventually the relationship was mended with my adoptive parents but we never spoke about what I'd done. Good luck.

Glenys the Menace!

Glenys the Menace! Report 6 Aug 2005 15:15

Hello, Susan. Firstly, please stop torturing yourself that you're being selfish. You're not, OK? Good! That's that sorted, lol. I'm an adoptive mother, and whatever we think about the kids' birth parents, we know they need to know about them and probably to find them again (they were adopted late; 9-y-o and 6-y-o). I know it's a big step, and perhaps one you won't want to take, but can I suggest you pluck up the courage and talk to Mum and Dad about this. They may really want to be involved in this too, although I can understand why you've done some of this without them. Despite any misgivings your parents may have, they owe it to you to give you all the info you need; this is all part of being an adoptive parent (though I'm no expert, by any means). They sound a smashing couple, and I wish you loads of luck in your search. Keep us posted, eh. Glenys x

Mandy

Mandy Report 7 Aug 2005 07:45

Hi I've just read your story, and although I have no experience at all in adoption I just wanted to wish you luck and happiness. I hope with all my heart that it works out for you. Your story will give support to others who may be experiencing the same thing, and I am sure you will get lots of support here. Mandy XX

S

S Report 8 Aug 2005 10:21

Thank you all for your words of support and advice. I never expected to hear from such lovely, helpful people when I signed on to this site! This weekend, I've been thinking a lot about what I'm going to do now that I have my birth mother's address. At first, I was euphorically happy when I found out that she'd put herself on the Contact Register. I'm still happy, but I realise that this is only the first step. I now have to decide if and when I'm going to tell my adoptive parents what I'm doing. I know most people think I should be honest with them, but something is telling me not to do it. I know that they (especially Mum) would want to be involved in me contacting my birth mother, and I really don't want this. This is a part of my life that I want to keep separate. But then again, I think it would hurt my adoptive parents more if I met up with my BM and didn't tell them. So hard to know what to do! Secondly, I have to decide what to write in my letter to my BM. I thought I'd keep it simple, and not too specific, in case her family doesn't know. There are so many things to decide - how to sign it (Susan - the name she gave me, or Susie - the name everyone calls me...), how to address it (Dear, Hello, Hi, To?) Waiting for a response to the letter will be terrifying!

Montmorency

Montmorency Report 8 Aug 2005 11:38

could be some danger signs here. This isn't the 1920s or even the 50s. Modern married parents don't give up kids just because somebody else can give them a better life. Usually they don't give up kids unless the authorities are involved. If you had foster parents, that's another hint in that direction. Since your BM has registered, she's got her story lined up, and her justifications and excuses. She may be hoping for more of you than she can have. You don't want to deal with your adoptive mum's feelings, but your BM might have a lot more to unload on you. Your adoptive mum has offered to be helpful and supportive, and she may know more than she's told you -- there wouldn't have been the extreme secrecy that there used to be 70 years ago. Looking this gift horse in the mouth might really not be the best idea. She's had a long time to get used to the idea that you'd trace your birth parents eventually, but she's not prepared for being shut out. That will really come as a kick in the teeth.

S

S Report 8 Aug 2005 12:55

I never thought of that... Now that I've got her details, I've started imagining my birth mother as a kind, honest, benevolent woman, when the truth is that she's an unknown quantity at this stage. It's just so hard to bring up the subject with my adoptive parents. It took me years to pluck up the courage to ask them about my adoption in the first place. I've only raised the issue with them on one occasion two years ago, and it has always been unspoken. We NEVER talk about it or acknowledge it. And bringing it out into the open will be difficult.

The Bag

The Bag Report 8 Aug 2005 13:36

I guess you have to go with what YOU want to do. is Robin an adoptee ? i dont know. To go on this journey, and it is a journey you have to do it at your pace, and follow your heart. You have to do what seems right at the time and to an extent be prepared to 'Hang' the consequences.If you do it, you have to be prepared for disapointment or the exact opposite. To say that by putting her name on the register your B/M will have her 'story all prepared' is I think uncharitable. I think what is crutial is that you decide just how much contact you want , having made the initial contact, and stick with that decision. I know that if my B/M had wanted me in her life morning noon and night I wouldn't have wanted that.Nor was i prepared to do that. She didn't fortunately. Sorry I'm waffle-chops again jess x

Shannette

Shannette Report 8 Aug 2005 13:40

me again--you don't say how old you are--re robin's comments but maybe that doesn't alter things at all anyway. We all probably tend to idealise our birth family it's natural but as long as you can try and remain open minded I would still say go for it.You can't go through life wondering and what have you got to lose? You have no relationship with any of them now so anything is a bonus. I tend to agree about wanting to do this alone--I did and to some extent still do as it's a part of my life which I can't really share with anyone. I used to keep all my letters and photos in the bottom of my wardrobe and even now when my adoptive parents are dead I still do as if it's some sort of secret i can't let into the open.

Montmorency

Montmorency Report 8 Aug 2005 14:06

I wasn't meaning to impugn your BM, just that she may well have issues of her own. And she's bound to have worked out what she's going to say if you ask her some difficult questions. But the situation with your adoptive parents may be as scary for them as it is for you. Maybe they aren't actually against discussing it, they just keep putting it off. There'll never be a good time, but there may never be a better time.

S

S Report 8 Aug 2005 15:32

Shanette, I know what you mean about wanting to keep it separate. I've had such a good upbringing and life with my adoptive parents. My birth family is also a part of my life, but I don't want the two parts to meet. Not yet, anyway. Robin, I understand what you meant, don't worry! Jess - I do wonder how I would feel if my BM wanted to be a big part of my life, or if she just wanted to meet me once and never see me again... I guess the only thing I can do is write to her and find out. That's my task for this week!

The Bag

The Bag Report 8 Aug 2005 16:10

I think what i meant was this; I wanted to meet my birthmother. If she had turned out to be even the nicest woman on earth, I wouldn't, say, have wanted to take her shopping every Tuesday! Had she said ''Let's phone each other bi -monthly'', then yes, i probably would have gone along with that. Had she said ''let's have a big family party and introduce you to everyone''..... i'd have run a mile! Kind of, know what you are aiming for. but be prepared to flex a bit. Like me, its doesn't sound as though you want another Mum! I called mine Mrs G...and always will do. Get the letter written and see! jess jess x

Liberty64

Liberty64 Report 8 Aug 2005 16:31

Hi Susan Ive been following your thread and I want to say 'very best wishes to you on your new journey' I hope everything turns out as you want it to! Lib xx

Bacardi

Bacardi Report 8 Aug 2005 18:08

hi susan im an adoptee iv not met my birth parents even though i know were they are and they could contact me any time i have met other members of my birth family and just to say its had its ups and downs but then doesnt all family life follow your heart susan and i wish you all the best for the future lots of hugs angie xxx

S

S Report 10 Aug 2005 16:03

I still haven't sent the letter... I'm feeling really confused. I know that by sending this letter, I'll be opening a door into a whole lot of unknown situations and emotions. I think what I need to do is just send it, and try not to think about it too much. S xx

The Bag

The Bag Report 10 Aug 2005 16:52

Some how, posting that letter is harder than writing it! Just one thought - you may NOT want to put your telephone number on it initailly - then any response is by mail - if she should telephone in response it can knock you off your feet, at a moment when you are pehaps unprepared. at least a letter you can read at your leisure (and re read, and re-read and re-read!!) jess

S

S Report 10 Aug 2005 17:15

I'm definitely not going to put my phone number on the letter! I don't like talking on the phone at the best of times, so receiving a call from my BM would literally make me faint!

S

S Report 11 Aug 2005 11:22

I've hit a bit of a brick wall. I've written the letter to my BM, but I haven't sent it yet. It's sitting in my bag... I thought about it a lot last night. I feel as if I'm in control of things at the moment, but as soon as I send that letter, I'm opening up a Pandora's box! I was talking to my friend last night, and he asked me if I thought I was ready for this. I told him that I've been thinking about my birth family for as long as I can remember, but now it's all becoming real, I'm confused.

The Bag

The Bag Report 11 Aug 2005 12:03

Hang on in there Susan, it is probably the hardest bit of the journey so far, actually posting that letter. Its the 'step over point' from what you know to something totally unknown - and you are certainly not alone in feeling aprehensive. I suppose you need to ask yourself this Are you sure you want to find out? - you sound to me as though you do. Is the time right ?- ITS NOT A NOW OR NEVER SITUATION Is there someone in your world that will hold your hand? - You might need to talk Is it the 'Mum and Dad ' thing that is holding you back? Maybe you do need to tell them (I say need, not want!) I guess if you can honestly say yes to 3 out of the 4 then, get a friend to post it, if you really can't physically do it, i found having actually done it there was a feeling of 'no walking back' along a parapet - started so i'll carry on, and actually felt better for having made that first move. Always here so please dont feel alone. if it makes any difference i felt just the same. Jess xx

S

S Report 11 Aug 2005 12:38

Thanks a lot, Jess. It's reassuring to know that you've been through the same thing, and understand how I'm feeling! I definitely want to see my BM and find out about her life and situation. It's just scary to think that it isn't just about me anymore - there are a lot of people who are going to be affected by this. I wish I could tell my adoptive parents what I'm doing, just to let them know, and then never talk about it again! I have a really close relationship with Mum, and we talk about everything. Even though I live in London now and she lives up north, we chat on the phone most days, and catch up on gossip about people we know and stuff we've done. I just can't imaging sharing my BM with her, awful as that sounds. I can't imagine us chatting about her on the phone, Mum asking me about her etc. BM simply isn't a part of my relationship with Mum & Dad. I suspect that Mum would like to be involved - she said quite forcefully that she would help me search when we spoke about it for the first (and only!) time two years ago. I understand that she'd want to be involved, but I just don't want her to be. At the same time, I want to reassure her that she is my mum, and nothing will change that. My boyfriend is great about it all. He doesn't really know how to help me, but I assure him being there is enough. One of his friends is adopted, and he gave me some details which inspired me to start my search. My friends are great too, and you guys on this website have been lovely, so I have lots of support. If I can organise some counselling, even better. It's just a case of posting the letter now! S xx