Seeing How The Other Half Live.  

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Anyone who knows my story knows I had a hard time for years after letting my daughter go. I suffered silently, self medicated, and tried to kill myself literally more than once. I have always supported women's choice, concerning birth and abortion. I have defended blindly the pain and suffering of a first mother in the circus called adoption.

But one thing I can not wrap my head around is not wanting reunion. How can a woman not want to see the child she carried and surrendered?

I understand not wanting to relive the pain. Not wanting to go back to that time when you were so distraught, so helpless, so hopeless, with no support, no one to talk to, no one to understand. I just can't picture not wanting to heal yourself after all those years of silent torture. If anyone can put it into words without sounding shallow and self centered I will listen.

I listen to adoptee's who have been denied reunion by their mothers and it breaks my heart. A second rejection, what a blow.

If you could hear what I hear, if you could know what I know, if you could feel what I feel, I have no doubt you would change your mind, but how to get that information to you. How do I get you to understand what you are doing to a living breathing human being who wants nothing more that to see your face, know where they come from, feel your warmth, have a connection for the first time in their life.

I won't say that reunion isn't painful because it is. It hurts, but so did letting my daughter go. I can't say that reunion is all smiles and instant forgiveness, it's not. I had to go back to places I never wanted to go again. I had to say out loud, things I was afraid to say. I had to face my demons, all of them, be they by my own hand or not.

But the end result was a saving grace for me. I finally felt like a person. The weight that was lifted from me was enormous. I no longer had a dirty little secret. I no longer felt like that nasty little girl who got herself into a mess that she had to clean up.

And my daughter, oh my God, how wonderful she is. Short tempered, quick witted, insulting at the drop of a dime, everything I would want in a girl, or a boy. No seriously, she is a wonderful woman and she says she feels like a whole person now.

I remember how afraid I was that she would hate me, she doesn't, she loves me insanely. I gave her half the missing pieces of who she is. She finally knows who she is. The face was a mystery but the torso, the hands, the gestures, mannerisms, humor, all fell into place.

When we met her father again after 35 years, she found the rest of her. Her face, hair, eyes, and so much more.

My question to those who do not want reunion is why? Why do you refuse to free yourself from the pain that adoption has brought you? Why do you refuse to allow another human being to move on to the next level of their life?

Can you not see what you do? Have you given no thought to how much this second rejection hurts the child you bore? What are you afraid of, loving your child? Having a relationship? Being found out that you had sex as a teenager?

I listen to these grown adults speak of how much they would love nothing more than to see your face, hear your voice, tell you they are not angry with you, and you reject them. You put your own pain or embarrassment first. You expect them to remain your dirty little secret for ever. Never upsetting your perfect little world.

Your world is not perfect, just protected, and from what? You protect yourself from your child. I do not understand.

Have you listened to the agency too long? Did someone tell you that you would forget? You have not forgotten, I know you haven't. Your just afraid. Afraid that your secret will change what you have. You have lived in fear all these years and the one thing that can free you is knocking at your door. Why can't you face them? What about their fear, all their lives they have lived in fear. Fear that you will reject them again, fear you will die before they find you, fear they won't be pretty enough or successful enough. Fear they won't be good enough, the same fear they lived with all their lives. They weren't good enough that's why you didn't keep them. You know that's a lie. You know they were good enough, but they don't. So you reinforce that self esteem killer by rejecting them again. Why? They have lowered themselves to look for the one person who was never supposed to let them go and you reject them again.

I have never felt more whole than the day I laid eyes on my daughter. She was a grown woman with a family of her own. I had missed so much. My grand children are great. My daughter is a well adjusted woman who can think for herself and doesn't need me to survive. She needs me to be me. No more no less, just me. She needs to see where she comes from, feel the familiar surroundings, smell home.

Her parents are still her parents. She has never denied them their status, nor have I. She still confides in them on important matters, respects them as the people who raised her and the only family she has ever known. Her father and I are a bonus.

How can you deny another person the opportunity to know where they come from? How can you deny them other family? How can you think of yourself first when someone has waited so many years just to know you, see you, feel your touch? How would you feel if you were someones dirty little secret? How would you feel if it were you who knew nothing about your origin? If it were you who saw nothing familiar when you looked in the mirror?

Someone please help me to understand how one can cause so much more pain to another human being who wants so little.

I hurt on behalf of your children and I am embarrassed by your selfishness. I also know how wonderful it feels to be free of the pain that has caused your fear.

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