How to Make a Birth Mom Angry

May 13th, 2007

For a birth mother in reunion, all sorts of remarks will be offered once you volunteer the news that you have been found or found your child. One of the main reasons I never told anyone that I was a birth mother until reunion was my fear that people would reject me once they heard my "secret." All in all, I was fortunate to receive lots of support and few insensitive comments. Here are some of the ways and comments nearly guaranteed to stir up reunited birth moms and set their blood boiling: 1. One of the all time favorite comments made to reunited birth mothers upon news that they are reunited: "Oh great, so everything is okay now!"… [more]

Why Angry Part 3

January 12th, 2007
Categories: Anger, Issues

The vast majority of adoptees are not yet legally entitled to their records. There is a movement underway in many states to require, among other restrictive measures, that adult adoptees (whether age 21 or age 71) obtain the written consent of their adoptive parents to request the opening of their own adoption records. For non-adoptees, this could be likened to a requirement for the written permission of your parents to request a copy of your birth certificate, to apply for your original medical records, to register to vote, or to apply for a passport. What a ridiculous notion. Adoptees are separated from our birth families, and from all information about our birth families and our own origins. Our identities are routinely, legally hidden… [more]

Why Angry Part 4

January 12th, 2007
Categories: Anger, Issues

It was only when I obtained my "non-identifying information," which contained (among other more relevant information) my birth weight and size, that I discovered some of the physical and emotional deprivation this separation from my family and my history had caused. I had not known the existence of a basic physical need for answers residing silently and unknown within me my entire life, until that need was partially met. I wept with joy at the minuscule bit of data I had obtained, and dreamed that night of meeting a baby girl, hugging and being hugged by her with a strength I had never before experienced. I felt joyful, and knew we would be together forever. I woke from that dream, feeling spiritually and… [more]

Why Angry Part 2

January 11th, 2007
Categories: Anger, Issues

When I learned that someone other than me was also searching for Mary, the information raised the possibility that I have a sibling, a possibility that has wrenched my soul. I might have a brother or sister alive in the world, one I have never met, and we have no way to know or find each other unless our paths cross in the search for Mary. This is indisputably wrong. With this development, along with the 41 years of life as an adoptee, 20 years of considering a search, two years of frustrating work in searching for my birth family, and the unbelievable recent efforts by opponents of open records for adoptees, I am finally becoming angry. I am angry at the injustices against… [more]

Why Angry Part 1

January 11th, 2007
Categories: Anger, Issues

This was originally written during the search of a person whose natural mother recently passed away due to complications of Alzheimer’s. This is being posted to the blog with the author’s permission. I continue to believe that most people, when given the opportunity, will reconsider their automatically held, unexamined biases and opinions. If you have not considered the rights of adoptees before now, please take this opportunity to do so. I am Mary's daughter. Mary has a granddaughter and three great granddaughters she has never met. Four generations of women in my family have been directly affected by the prevailing attitudes of our society. As a parent and a grandparent, I realize we constantly reinforce a child's identity through family identity. My daughter looks so… [more]

Frustration and Anger Triggers

October 5th, 2006

For adoption triad members adoption is a part of our lives. It is not going to go away and it is not perfect. No matter your specific situation most encounter frustration and anger at some point. Frustration and anger surface because there are many experiences that can bring up these feelings. Here are some common triggers that I have seen through out the adoption community: • A yearning for knowledge • Family and friends who don’t understand • Our own confusion • A search that hits brick wall after brick wall • A reunion that is not going well Now, I truly believe that if used in a healthy way, the feelings of frustration and anger can be a positive thing and used to your advantage. Frustration can lead to new… [more]

Anger at Reunion – Part 2

August 15th, 2006
Categories: Anger, Issues

Eventually being so angry became very unhealthy, and I decided that I needed to find productive ways to defuse some of the anger. I still was unaware that anger would ever be considered a positive and appropriate emotion at times. One day I was attending a one-day workshop given by adoption therapist, adoptee and author, Marlou Russell called the “Lifelong Affects of Adoption”. At the beginning of the workshop, we went around the room explaining why we were attending, our positions in the triad, and what we hoped to gain from her talk. I recall saying that I was a birth mother, was angry and needed to find some resolution. Marlou is a woman of infinite wisdom, and… [more]

Anger at Reunion – Part 1

August 15th, 2006

As a child growing up within a traditional, middle class family in the South, anger was always considered a negative emotion. Anger was something that you were to make great efforts to avoid. Being angry was unpleasant to see in others, unproductive and even scary to me. Therefore, as I grew up, I tried to muffle my anger when it surfaced. This was sometimes difficult as I was a somewhat strong-willed child at times. I know, hard to believe, right? However, mostly I was successful in wearing a broad happy-looking smile on my face the majority of the time. Even now, I generally have a sunny disposition and am not prone to bouts of depression or moodiness… [more]

Grief, Loss, and Anger in Adoption

April 21st, 2006

A few weekends ago I encountered a searching adoptee whose anger is sadly getting the best of her. After a few email exchanges with her, I thought it might be good to write about the losses of adoption and grief. The thing with adoption is that there are gains and losses for all triad members. Adoptees gain parents while loosing their birth parents. Adoptive parents who are infertile become parents while losing the dream of giving birth to a child. Birth parents are relieved of the parenting while losing a child. Even in the world of open adoptions, there is loss. There is no way around it. No matter how we look at it, every adoptee losses their birth family, even in… [more]