A Selfless Decision

September 17th, 2013

1350860_hand-in-handThe week of May 28, 2013, I received the estate file of my birth mother. I decided to try to locate the executor of the estate, thinking she could give me insight as to who my birth mother was as a person.  The executor I found on the internet had passed away, but her daughter was also a witness to the will.  I looked her up on the internet, and found her address and phone number. I called her and left a message. She called me back a week later. She told me I was a blast from the past. The daughter of the executor told me, "Your birth mom wasn't a bad person."  A lump formed in my throat.   She told… [more]

Understanding Birth Mothers – Wage Homes

March 29th, 2007

If you have read much about adoption practices during the 60's and 70's, you might be familiar with the concept of wage homes. Maternity homes were so crowded with young pregnant women during the 60's and 70's that there was often a waiting list before a young women could get into a home. Often women spent time during their pregnancy at a wage home first, and then entered the maternity home for only the last two months or so. Wage homes were simply private homes where pregnant women lived and worked in exchange for room and board. Some women describe this experience as being treated like slave labor. A young woman was sent away as soon as possible after pregnancy was diagnosed to… [more]

Understanding Birth Mothers – Introduction

March 28th, 2007

For adoptees from the closed adoption era, there are several ways to learn about what your birth mother's experience might have been like. One of the best ways is to meet and hear stories from other birth mothers from that era. Reading about the era can provide you with insights as well. Chatting on forums like Adoption.com can help as well. One purpose of learning about birth mothers is to understand how her experience has shaped her. It could offer some idea of how she felt about the child that she relinquished and her reasons for the adoption. Many of the experiences were negative, however, that does not mean that every birth mother from the era of closed adoptions is a dysfunctional and "ruined"… [more]

Birth Mother Baggage at Reunion – Part 2

March 18th, 2007

If you read a post of mine on any given day, you might believe that I am stuck, and angry. Read another day, and you will find that is not the case. Although I have angry moments, I use those to fuel my fires and give me the incentive to keep working to change some bad adoption practices, and faulty counseling for pregnant women. Although adoption continues to tinge my life with sadness, I embrace life and lead a full and rich life. In my day to day life, I have made some peace with my adoption loss, and it no longer prevents me from a measure of happiness. Everyone has some baggage, adoption or not. For some of us, it prevents… [more]

Birth Mother Baggage at Reunion – Part 1

March 18th, 2007

What kind of a baggage do birth mothers carry at reunion? Some are burdened more than others. It depends on the personality of the birth mother, her experiences and her ability to deal with loss. What do adoptess generally expect? An adoptee recently commented that after discovering how affected some birth parents are affected by adoption, he was questioning his desire to search. Since I devote a great deal of time and energy singing the praises of reunion, I found that comment somewhat disheartening. It made me ponder what most adoptees expect to find at reunion. Do most adoptees fear a search because their birth mother might be too wounded and affected by their loss? Are there worries that a birth mother might… [more]

Woe is Me – the Victim! – Part 3

September 29th, 2006

This comment that I referred to in Part 1 made me decide to look up the word “victim” in the dictionary. I prefer to think of myself as a survivor rather than a victim. “Victim” has connotations to me of cowering in a corner, meekly accepting your fate and not speaking up. Victim is what I had to be to allow my son's adoption; I went along with the plan. Even though, it felt horribly wrong; I let it happen. However, victim does NOT define me now. Nor does "victim" fit now for any of the feisty, courageous birth mothers that I know who dedicate their lives to improving adoption practices. The victim role also might include someone who whines about their life “being… [more]

Woe is Me – the Victim! – Part 1

September 27th, 2006

I hear a lot of "victimhood and woe is me" in your writing-whose's choice is it to place and whose responsibiltity is it when the adoption is complete? Not society or adoption parents are at fault-IMO it's the bfamily. The recent reader comment mentioned that she detected a “woe is me” and victim-type attitude in my writing. I did not respond to her comment as I decided that I needed to ponder a response for awhile. I also realized that I probably could not give a two-line response. Brief answers are not something that I am skilled at giving. Ask me to jump on a soap box and go on forever though....and I am there. Sometimes I have lamented about the fact that my subject… [more]

“You Did the Right Thing.” – Part 2

July 13th, 2006

Adoption is sometimes the right choice for a woman in a crisis pregnancy. Parenting is the right choice sometimes too. For some women, abortion may be their right choice, whether you believe in it yourself. It is presumptuous to tell a woman that her decision was right or wrong. You cannot possibly know that. No one can know for certain, and she may or may not believe that she should have parented her child. Telling her that you believe that she made the right choice by choosing adoption may insinuate that you believe she was never meant to be a mother. It could make her feel that you are inferring that she would not have been a good mother. There is no way that… [more]

“You Did the Right Thing”

July 12th, 2006

If there is one phrase certain to irritate many birth mothers more than any other, it has to be "You did the right thing." This particular comment first surfaces when a woman in a crisis pregnancy is considering adoption. Some people felt quite confident in telling a woman at that point that she is "doing the right thing". They may know almost nothing about her, and yet they are convinced adoption is the best solution for her. Later, after a woman has made the decision to relinquish, more praise comes her way for "doing the right thing". In some people's minds, apparently,if you did not choose to have an abortion, you have done what they consider "right". However, it is a huge… [more]

Mea Culpa – Part 2

June 12th, 2006

Many of you probably can imagine some of the ideas I used to hold about adoption. A few of you probably still fervently believe some of the same things that I used to believe. You know - stuff like birth mothers forgetting and moving on with their lives - not holding their babies because it would make it harder for them later -ideas along those lines. Domestic newborn adoption is the area that I feel needs the most reform, so, I focus on that area of adoption most often. Many of the "old" ideas still abound in newborn adoptions. My views on both pre-birth matching and adoptive parents in the delivery room have changed considerably. As I have learned more about the nature of coercion in adoption… [more]