Sunday, April 25, 2010

reunion blog from an adoptees side of things

I love to read blogs about adoption and reunion. I think it's been a very good support system in my life. It's the support that I crave from family, but this in a way, is easier, because I can speak more freely through my thoughts with blogging.
Here is a adoptee that has interests in the birth family. Adoption does not always sever the bonds of family or the need to want to learn more about birth family.
Here is her blog. Go check it.


Alex said...

Well I just read her first couple posts but...part of the reason I don't want to find my bio family is because I don't want the drama. People start out with good intentions in reunions and then when the honeymoon phase wears off then you are left with real raw emotions and jealousy and anger and other things that can lead to trouble.

I have enough drama in my family and my inlaws...I certainly don't need to add a 3rd "family" to that. My time is more precious to me. When family is good it is very very good. And when its bad its horrid. You're basically taking perfect strangers and trying to force them to be family with reunions, when they haven't been through all the bonding that a family goes through. And thats what makes a family.

birthmothertalks said...

Alex, I respect your choice to not search for your birth family and your reasons. I do understand that their are some adoptees and birth parents who do not choose to search and don't desire to have a reunion.
I do think their is a lot of complex issues that come up in a reunion, but it doesn't mean that it can't be a good thing. But end the end, it's the choice of the people involved to choose to try to form a relationship.
I do enjoy reading adoption related blogs so that is why I passed her blog along.

Alex said...

No...I understand the motivation behind your passing it along. And as a reader of yours I do appreciate seeing other sites. Especially one you see as positive. But I am just saying that right away in the first entry I read it brought back a whole other side that I don't often think about since a reunion isn't in my scope right now or any time in the near future. I actually feel sad for people that have their hearts set on reunions and it doesn't go as they hoped. I feel like it does more harm than good...although I know for some people it means closure and peace with an "answer" one way or the other.

I do know some people that have had reunions and it has been very positive for both sides. And I am so happy for them. Obviously searching felt right for them. I just hope the the adoptive parents are always kept in mind and respected for thier role in the process. Sometimes the adoptee and the bio parents seem to forget that there are others with feelings involved. I hope if you are to ever reunite with Izzy you would keep her parents feelings very close to the surface, as well as your sons feelings, since they might feel displaced.

I don't mean to criticize and I hate that I feel I am always coming across that way. Its so hard to express words and inflections and tone in writing sometimes. As an adoptee I have strong feelings about adoption and tend to side more on the adoptive family, and siblings side as they are often left out of the equation.

I've enjoyed reading your positive posts the last few weeks and look forward to more :)

Angelle said...


you said "I just hope the the adoptive parents are always kept in mind and respected for their role in the process."

And by the same token the person who is your mother, who gave birth to you - not such an insignificant event or you would not be here I might add - should have the same respect.

The issue is that the adoptive parents have all of the power. I am not diminishing their role but it is as if you had a step family, you are the product of more than one set of parents.

BTW I am better educated and better off (if there is such a thing) than my son's aparents. He had a decent life, but ultimately there was no real reason to take him away from me other than a body of social work at the time deemed it a necessity to take him away from a young teenage mother.

I do not know what/how your birth family is like but it is your truth after all. Perhaps you should keep an open mind that one day you may feel differently about knowing who they are.

There is a quote by Carl Sagan I somehow think is fitting: "Better the hard truth, than a comforting fable."

BTW I am in a great reunion with my son. There are ups and downs in dealings with his adoptive family but that is just part of our family dynamics.

Mama Bear said...

thanks for the link!

Campbell said...

I haven't gone to read the reunion blog yet but am going to.

I just wanted to say that I understand parts of what Alex is saying. It's not always that welcome of a thought to add more family to an already time and thought consuming bunch of people. And, who knows what the new family would be like? We don't even know them. What if we don't like them and then, there they are, a 3rd family to have to think about! It's hard to know if the good of reuniting would outweigh the bad (obligations,drama).

Alex, you know you can search and not actually reunite. Finding out some biological history can be interesting, maybe see a pic or two. Doing so doesn't mean we love our families any less, and nobody should ever try and make us feel that way. If they do, they're just being insecure because after all the years of being family, it can't cease to exist if there is something of quality there.

Alex said...

Campbell: As I said above my family would whole heartedly support a reunion if thats what I wanted. They are secure in their position and would do what I felt was best. But I don't feel a "reunion" is best...for the reasons I've stated and the ones you mention :)

I don't know where you live but in I am in Canada and yes I could do a search for information. I can get non-identifying information but I already have more than they would give me thanks to the great social worker when I was a baby, and I could get identifying information. I could put myself on the list and should my bio family search and wish contact with me the Province I was born in would contact me and ask if I desired it as well. And vice versa should I search for them. They would not give out any identifying information without my or the bio families permission. We aren't able to get pictures etc. I suppose I could hire someone but again I don't have the desire. And frankly I find it insulting that some people(not you) think that I should feel a huge need or obligation to find them. Like I should feel the need to "find out who I am" I KNOW who I am. I am Alex. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and an adopted child. I wouldn't be who I was without every single life experience. And I am grateful for all the life experiences, good and bad. And adoption, for me, has been good. I have nothing bad to say about it. Perhaps thats why I don't want a reunion. Why mess with something good. Sure it could get better. But it could get worse.

Alex said...

sorry to hijack your block BMT but I do want to respond to a couple comments.

Angell: now here's where I take issue. you wrote:

"And by the same token the person who is your mother, who gave birth to you - not such an insignificant event or you would not be here I might add - should have the same respect."

And the person who gave birth to me is not my mother. She is my biological mother. There is a difference. One title happens by birth and genetics and the other title is earned through love.

I have stated before that I appreciate and respect my biological mother for having me and giving me up for adoption when she felt she could not care for me. She gave me physical life, however my parents filled my life. It is not said to deminish her roll in giving me life and her ultimate choice that lead to my family. I appreciate it. parents are my parents.

I had a great social worker on my adoption and she told my parents certain things about my birth I know some information. And my parents have said right from day 1(literally my mom said it to me when they brought me home...the same day she told me I was adopted and I've never not know) that if I ever wanted to find my birth parents they would do everything in their power to help me out with it. I have always had a support system and no one has ever said anything negative about my biological family. And perhaps its because of that openness, honesty and support that I never felt like I needed to find them. I feel complete. And I have also acknowledged before that I reserve the right to one day change my mind and want to find out. But, that is my choice and just because I have people out there with my DNA does not mean I have to feel obligated to find them. Its my choice. And I choose not to at this point.

I am happy your reunion went well. You say there are issues with his adoptive family so I can't help but wonder if they think it went well. There are more people involved in reunions that just the bio parents and child. There are adoptive families, bio and non bio siblings etc. I do not agree with you at it is like a step family and there are more than one set of parents. I have one set of parents. And even if I reunite with my bio family I still only have one set of parents. Hopefully I would have another friend, perhaps a nice "aunt" of sorts but no one else deserves the title of Mom and Dad. Whether its said or simply implied/inferred. I would acknowledged that should I meet and have biological siblings I may refer to them as my brothers or sisters because they did not have a say in the adoption process. However I don't know how I would feel until I was in that position.

Of course as a birth parent you feel that adopted parents have all the rights. But ask the people that go through the adoption process and have their lives disected and inspected if they feel they hold all the cards. But many of them can't have children(my parents have 2 bio then adopted to thats not specifically thier issue)and they would and do jump through any and all hoops to have a baby. Frankly I think women with a working uterus hold way more cards than adoptive parents. And I say this as an adoptee and a woman with a working uterus.

Besides what if my bio mom has made peace with her decision(which I sure hope she has) and she hasn't told her family about me. I wouldn't want to disrupt her life just because I was curious. Frankly I would hope she'd told her family about me because I'd want her to have a support system. But I don't know if she does. And after she nicely gave me life...why would I be so selfish as to disrupt that? Before you recommend reunion you should think about all the possible outcomes.

birthmothertalks said...

I just wanted to add a few thoughts to these comments. I think all birthmother's love their children. Adoptive parents took care of their children and love them, but adoption doesn't take away the love that they feel for their birthchild.
I think a problem with adoption is that there is so little support for people. I went almost 18 years without one single friend that I could feel that I could talk to. I now have a few that I can confide in. None of them are really my family.
So, I think the same goes with reunion there isn't enough support those affected by it. I do believe that if an adoptee chooses to search that their family shouldn't get in the way. Also, they should try to work through their feelings.
If an adoptive parent is jealous that their child is going to visit their birth parent then they need help coming to terms with it. The birth child shouldn't expect to hold back his or her desires because of an adoptive parents feelings that are probably very natural.

Alex said...

I couldn't agree with your last comment more BMT. It is a personal choice. Just because I don't feel the need doesn't mean I don't respect others choices to. Its just not my choice. My cousin did search for his birth parents. My moms cousin searched. I have not.

As for birthparents stopping loving their placed children, as a mother I would imagine they wouldn't ever stop. I will never stop loving my child that I am raising and while I don't feel that birthparents should feel they have the right to raise adopted children, no one can tell someone how to feel. I do not love my birth mother. Aside from my children I have never loved anyone I don't "know". If I met her I might love her. But you are certainly entitled to love her...even if I feel you aren't entitled to the title of mother. I don't say that to hurt you. Its simply how I feel.

Campbell said...

Alex, I'm Canada too so I know just what you're talking about when you talk about protocols and procedures. Lucky you guys to score a caseworker who gave you extra info!

Much of what you said could have fallen right out of my mouth. We are very much on the same page when it comes to our feelings about our adoptions.

One thing I'd like to add to your words is how very insulting I find it when other people tell me that because "adoption, for me, has been good. I have nothing bad to say about it", I'm still in a fog, that I don't know my own mind.

birthmothertalks said...

Alex you didn't offend me, but I just can state it enough that birth parents love their child that they placed for adoption even though they are not in their lives on a daily basis or none at all from closed adoption.
I have never claimed that birthparents or suggested should raise the child after they placed them for adoption. However, I think that it should fully be their choice without pressure or force by from their family or pressure from an adoption agency. I would have never wanted or expected that suddenly I should parent my daughter.
If a birth parent choose to search, I can't imagine it's while the child is still a kid so they can't possibly come in and be the parents. I do believe it is within their right and choice to search. However, it's up to the person being found if they choose to answer or agree to a reunion.
I do have a question for you Alex. Whenever anyone comments on my blog, I go to their blog if they have one to see what they are about. You don't even list adoption in your profile. I only know that that you were adopted, because you come here and respond to my posts.
I respect that we don't always agree on all adoption related subjects and you can't relate to me as in the same way another birthmom can. Same goes to how I can't relate to you. Every so often, you come back here and have your strong feelings on how you feel and such, but I ask why do you read my blog? If you don't have any adoption related issues and see it as a good thing and I am not saying that your wrong to feel that way or that your living in a fog. I understand that no two people are going to 100% agree and have the same feelings. So, why do you come here and seem to discuss this subject in what seems to be in a forceful way. You yourself said that you probably come off in an criticizing way. So, why do you get so worked up? Is it something that I personally say to others or you? Is it how you are treated by others who are not educated about adoption?

Alex said...

I will have to post this in 2 parts since its so long.

I don't list adoption on my blog because I only started that blog originally a year ago as a way of updating the inlaws with pictures/info on the kids. If you'll notice I have only posted there 3 times, and once was yesterday and the first time was in February a year ago. But then my MIL annoyed me and I decided not to use the blog with updates :) I have another place I blog, Livejournal but you need an account to read those posts. Although since Facebook I don't seem to blog as much and I miss it. Which is why I have started posting on my google blog. As for why I don't mention adoption on there...I never thought about it. Its part of who I am but its not something I think about every day. I do think about my children and my husband every day so thats why they are mentioned. I also don't mention that I am short, fat and white. Those are just part of who I am.

As for why I read you...I like to hear peoples takes on things. I didn't set out to read adoption blogs. In fact I'd never really read blogs until I started looking for information and ways of supporting some friends that were going through infertility. And naturally when you read infertility blogs adoption comes up. And when you read the blogs about people adopting, there are commenters that are adopted sometimes. And when you follow their link back you read about them and then find commenters that placed for adoption(you for example) and then you read about them. I have many blogs I check in on, and I find value in reading all of them. I love different peoples takes on life and I like to give mine.

As for why I get so "worked up" as you say, its because I DO feel passionately about adoption. I speak freely about it and many many people know I am adopted. I don't hide it but I don't tell everyone it when I first meet them as a way of introduction. "Hi I am Alex and I am adopted" however if it comes up in the natural flow of conversation "man you're short!!" I will say, "I was adopted and my parents were told if I ever reached 5 feet tall to throw a party!!" as naturally as can be. And yes I am almost always asked "have you found your real parents" and yes it pisses me off when its phrased like that. I simply answer "I've always known my real you mean my biological ones?" as a way of bringing notice to the choice of words. If you aren't adopted you can't understand what it feels like to be adopted and raised by people you love and hear someone refer to them as "not your real" parents. I have never thought of them as anything but my parents and never will. Through good and bad times...they are it. When I was mad at them and stopped speaking to them a good friend said "are you going to go find your real parents now?" which is so insulting that a)my love is dependant upon how happy I am with someone at the time and b) that my parents can just be replaced because they aren't my "real" ones anyway. Hey...I have a backup pair!! Great!!

Alex said...

I am not bitter about adoption. I am grounded and centered and yes, have strong feelings. I am not "anti birthparent" I am simply "pro adoption", meaning I feel that adoption is a way of building a family and I don't think its a way of getting 2 families. Legally you sever ties. Morally you sever ties. I don't know if my birth mother was pushed into adoption like you were. I don't know if it was her idea. Heck I don't know if she couldn't wait to get rid of me becuase I was an inconvenience. But I CHOOSE to believe that she gave me up for adoption because she wanted to give me a life she wasn't able to provide me. That she loved me enough to give me up. My mother said that she doesn't like the term "natural mother" because it is not natural to give up your child. It is natural to keep them and love them and watch them grow. She didn't say that as a way of insulting my biological mother...she has NEVER said anything but positive things about my biological mother. She simply meant it to emphasize just how hard it must have been for my biological mother to give me up for adoption. So that I could think about how hard she must have fought the instinct to keep me and protect me, but also known she was protecting me by giving me up.

I know you love your biological daughter. Just as in some way I assume my biological mother loves me. I hope she thinks about me on my birthday. Even now at almost 35I think about her on my birthday and say a thank you. I am here because of her choice. And I am grateful for it. I might have had an amazing life if I had been raised by her. But I wouldn't be me. And I like being me. I like how strong I am. I like that I can be a postive voice for adoption...and I feel I am. I don't feel the need for reunion. I am not "finding myself" based on genetics...I am simply finding myself as a person. I am whole and complete. Did I tear up when I had my first child and say "I have someone genetically related to me now. Yay if I ever need an organ donor!!" you bet I did. Did I tear up when I had my 2nd child because she looked like me and I have never had someone in my family look like me? You bet. Teared up when I had my 3rd child too but thats because I am a sap :)

Why are you so opposed to the fact that I am secure in my adoption...I really get that feeling. I would think you'd hope Izzy was more like me. That she feels complete and secure and loved. That she doesn't long for you and feel lost. Sure you can hope she thinks about you from time to time and appreciates you. But why would you want her to hurt as much as you obviously hurt. To me, as a mother, that is unnatural. And I do feel like you would be hurt and upset to know that she is not looking for you, or missing you as much as you miss her. And that makes me sad.

birthmothertalks said...

I am not anti adoption or pro adoption. I have learned a lot from people who are waiting to adopt and who have adopted. However, if given a chance I will support keeping babies with their Mom's over adoption. A lot of times, adoption is the answer to a temporary problem. I feel this strongly because I know how painful it is to walk out of your child's life. You can sever the legal ties but it's not easy to go on.
I asked you why you read my blog, because you always seem to want to start a debate. I don't have any better words for it. It's like you want me to come to your side of things. I don't think you are wrong or right for how you feel about not searching for your birth parents. But if people choose to search then it's their choice too. I know that I have came across blogs that I just flat don't agree with. I might state my thoughts once or twice, but I am not going to keep coming back pushing my thoughts on them. After, I let them know where I stand, I don't feel the need to keep drilling it in. It's my choice to keep reading it or not. Sometimes, I just choose a blog isn't healthy for me and move on.
I don't think that I have ever said that you are bitter about adoption. If I implied that then I am sorry. I am not upset or mad that you are secure in your life. However, I don't think that just because someone searches means that they are insecure with their parents.
When it comes to Izzy, I don't sit here and wish for her to be sad and missing me. I don't wish for her to have unhappy life and that is why she would choose to have contact, but I wouldn't be telling the truth if I say that my desire is a reunion. I respect that I am not her Mom. Nor can I ever be.
I do wish things could have been different. I wish my parents didn't walk out of our lives when they divorced. I wished they remembered that they had four kids. But it's the past and unless I event a time machine, I can't go back. But I like to blog about my adoption related grief and healing, because it's not so easy for me to admit that I am a birthmother. It doesn't come up in casual conversations. I have been silenced by so many people that I can't talk about it too much. I don't want to feel like people are just waiting and watching to tell me how I don't have the right to be sad. Or that I should only think of her at certain times. Or that I shouldn't love her because I didn't raise her. I get judged enough in real life. I don't really need it here.

Alex said...

I don't expect to try and change your opinion. But I believe we can learn from others opinions and experiences. And sometimes you've said things that I agree with or can understand or relate to. And sometimes you don't.

I'm sure I am judged for not wanting to find my biological family. And I can deal with that. Like you feel its your choice to obcess about Izzy I feel its my choice not to not reunite. Some find it strange that I don't care to. Maybe they think I am uncaring and unappreciative, but I am not. Anyone that speaks to me about it for more than 5 minutes would know that I am appreciative and confident about my adoption. I don't feel abandoned. Because I wasn't abandoned. Adoption isn't abandonment its a choice. I can't help that you feel you were forced to give up your daughter. Maybe you were. Or maybe you didn't fight hard enough or look for other ways of keeping her. I don't know. Only you know. and perhaps you didn't and thats why you are so obcessed now. But either way I sense that Izzy is likely better off with her family because clearly you have issues that started before you got pregnant. And I think we all have issues of some I am not judging you for that. Although I'm sure you will feel it is, and I can't help that.

And if you have a blog and put your opinions and thoughts out there then you open yourself up to judgement. As I said before...I think your obcession over your birth daughter isn't healthy. For you or your family. And while I can't stop you from obcessing I don't think its good for people to not say anything and coddle you and hold your hand and say "there there I know" when its not okay to be so focused on it. You made the decision to have other children. As such you need to make yourself available to them. Divorce, remarriage, learning disabilities are enough of issues and things you have to deal with, that adding Izzy to the forefront of your list of worries is a diservice to your family. And thats what concerns me the most.

birthmothertalks said...

I like to learn from all sides, but I think you cross the line. You say things to put birth parents down such as " I don't think birth parents should feel the right to raise the children they placed for adoption" No where on my blog will you read that I feel that I should step in and raise my daughter. Do I wish things would have been different? Yes. There have been other times that you have came up with something that I feel is insulting to birth parents that you are not getting from my blog or am I seeing it on other birth parents blog.
You do not know the whole picture, because I choose not to disclose some information to all my readers. I don't need people to hold my hand, but I sure don't need someone to come and say I told you so. That's the vibe that I get from you.
I have been working hard to focus on my son's, my husband, my friends, my animals, my job, and trying to work out more. I do think of my daughter everyday and if that is obsessing to you then so be it.
I think it was very rude of you to say that my daughter probably is better off. I was young so maybe she has had some better chances in life compared to if I had raised her as a teenager.
However, as much as my family life isn't your concern, we have all been doing pretty well. I still have my ups and downs, but I have much better support than I had in through the years. I had a blog that was deleted and I wish I had kept it because things are going better.
I am going to continue writing . It's my outlet. I do wonder if it's best that we end this discussion.