Last week driving my son to school there was a story on the radio. I burst into tears and all of the feelings of worry, guilt, grief, fear, anxiety and wanting won't leave me.
Ryan Jon posted a thank you to his biological mother on mother's day to thank her for putting him up for adoption. The story spread like wildfire because it hit home to so many.
But me... It left me feeling crap.
Because I asked my Mum (who was adopted in a closed adoption) to ask for her medical records. This means court because when she was very sick as a young Mum they refused to allow her access to records.
I have medical issues noone in my family has. And I have two kids of my own and I want to know if I have to worry.
I don't want to know them. Maybe I'm a terrible human being but unlike Ryan Jon I don't have any compassion to give them.
Now I'm pushing my own Mum away. Because four months later the discussion has been ignored. Nothing has happened and I feel like I don't have the right to demand the records myself because I wasn't the adopted child.
My Mum made it clear she has never discussed it even with my Dad. That the issue is a giant can of worms that I'm too scared to force open and hurt her even more.
I admire the bloke on the radio. He has a much bigger kinder heart than me.
Just had to get this out. It feels like poison in my head and heart.
Well I let this post of mine sit for a few days to remind myself of my worst.
Was tempted to report it as unhelpful. Am actually really ashamed to read it. Am I really this bitter and angry inside?
Then I searched for other threads about adoption. And found similar anger and hurt.
So I wanted to return and actually ask a question of others. In my hurry to vent I realised I never asked one.
If your parent is adopted... Do you feel you have the right to ask for records?
If they don't want to know is it choosing for the adoptee to seek the information?
Although I know I sound like a bitter twisted harpy I am not scary I promise. If someone has put a child up for adoption and needs a place to speak.... Please try?
I said (and I am deeply ashamed of this) that I have no compassion to give. That was a lie.
I had my 2nd child adopted out, and thought about him daily, Birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Mothers Day, they were they days at times heartbreaking days, because loosing a child to adoption is one of the worse things that could happen.
I will try to explain, I knew my baby was out their somewhere but didn't know where, I was always thinking is he okay, is he been treated properly, can someone give him the love that's unconditional like that of a biological mum. The pain of uncertainty is always hovering over you, the heartache of not being their for them, I made and still have a journal type book where I put what I thought would be his achievements. ie:- : how many bottles would he drink per day, age he might start walking, age he started talking, his first day at school etc, The love I had for my son was the same love I had for my other children, It remains with you..Oops I got carried away a bit..
My son found me, after searching records and going through government agencies for over 5 years, back then the records were locked away. we talked on the phone, then we met, he met his brothers,,,we cried, he called me mum I cried even more, but I have high anxiety and found it so difficult to talk to him, I was crying inside because he found me yet I was so overwhelmed I couldn't even make a conversation with him...He visited me in December, I think,, he asked me about the history of his family, I was only to pleased to tell him, after all he needs to know, his medical background, he left after a few days, we got to know each other, when he left he kissed me and said he will keep in touch, He sends a message every now and then, his latest one was on my birthday which he signed off on f/b msger, love you mum.
Because another 2 full siblings are involved things are complicated, but with time and the love I have for the three of them I know we will work things out..oh yeah, he gave me 4 more grandchildren to love, and they call me nanny, I had no concerns about giving him all he wanted to know about his ancestors.. I'm hoping the day will come that we all can meet for a family BBQ some where in the not so distant future..
I owe so much to some special people here that helped me make this possible. The respect and love for these people here will never leave me..
Don't be so hard on yourself. Venting is good for the soul and everybody here knows that. We also read your posts regularly and know that you have plenty of compassion.
I am ashamed to admit that I read your original post a few days ago and I could feel your pain but I couldn't reply. It wasn't cause your post put my off, it was because it's a painful, tricky subject for me too and I didn't know what to say. I'm going to have a shot but I hope I don't upset you.
My father was a twin, born a minute before his sister. Their mother died in childbirth, as an unwed mother. Their father never stepped up. It was during the great depression and both my father and aunt were raised in a horrible orphanage and had a terrible time growing up.
There came a time where my aunt wanted to know about their parents. Same as you, she wanted medical records but she also had a burning desire to know who their parents were and why nobody ever came to adopt them. It caused a terrible row between my dad and my aunt. My dad just couldn't go there and my aunt couldn't bear to hurt him--her one and only love and protector through those very dark years.
It was only after my father died that my aunt began her quest. Today I am grateful for the information I have about my heritage and family but I would have never asked my father to act. My father and I were very close and we often talked about his painful childhood and the impact the absence of his parents had on him. In many ways he was a broken person but he was my dad and I loved him dearly.
I think the issue between my father and his sister, and you and your mum is similar. There are very legitimate competing needs to be consider and there is pain all the way around the issue. I don't know what's right or wrong I only know that I couldn't do it. Please don't judge me too harshly.
Hi Summer Rose,
Nah no judgement here. I'm not sure I can do it either.
I'm thankful you shared your story. I kind of lost it at my Mum via text over it all and pretty sure I've just caused damage like your Dad and Aunt. So reading your story really helped me feel less alone. Thank you.
Sorry I haven't given much of a reply. I'm pretty upset. I love my Mum very much. If it wasn't for the fact that I feel like I need the medical records (autoimmune meds aren't working well anymore and I'm pretty frightened actually) I wouldn't have had the guts to be scared/angry/bitter/terrified enough to ask.
Thanks for your kind response.
I worry that the relationship between you and your mum will be damaged, whether you pursue the issue with her or not. The risk is angry words that are hard to take back in pursuit of pushing your mum and what could be long-term resentment if you walk away now. Resolving your medical issues is important and could impact your health down the track and I don't believe that your mum wants to cause you any harm. Being unable to help you in your time of need will undoubtedly create guilt for your mother.
I don't think anybody wins if you drop the issue but I think you need help to successfully work it through without causing harm.
I would like to suggest that you reach out to your state agency that supports children of adoption. I think you and mum could benefit from the guidance of someone who really understands the complex issues and can help you both navigate through.
This way you and your mum will both feel that you have been "heard" by the other in a supportive environment and you will both gain a genuine understanding of the other's perspective. This genuine understanding is really important because no matter what decisions you make, your mum is your mum for life.
I know you're upset right now and you don't have to respond but I am happy to keep this conversation going as long as you need it.
Kind thoughts to you x
I see one parallel with this and some elderly people that dont disclose their final wishes.
We've had that on both sides. Recently my MIL went into hospital and we thought she'd pass away. My wife tried to get details-next if kin, will, power of attorney etc. Nope, thats all a secret. Yet my daughter at 28 has all of ghis info in case we both lost our lives.
Its a responsible thing to do. Yet some hold these details including medical details as a secret and all it does is cause grief to their loved ones.
Hi Tony and CMF and Summer Rose,
I just wanted to thank you all for your words and kindness.
Summer Rose you are right about damage. I am certain now I've made a hash of this but it is too late now to walk away. I did check whether I could do it myself but that isn't allowed while Mum is alive. So asking her to do what she doesn't wish to is the only option.
My family want me to drop it and forget it. I won't. I can't. They see my worry as ridiculous but I can't escape the memory of constant pain and not being able to move. If these records can help then I want this information. And if not... Well at least I tried and am not going to always wonder.
You're right about angry words. My sister had a few I can't erase from my head. I really feel like walking away is the best option for me but I'm not letting this be for nothing. I didn't hurt my whole family for nothing.
Bleh. I told myself I need a few days off and I do. But I wanted to say thank you all first.