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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Betty Jean Lifton.

This is just a quick post to say how very sorry I and a great many others from the adoption community were when the news of Betty's death reached us.

Betty Jean Lifton was an adoptee who advocated for the rights of adopted people throughout her life. She is and always will be a personal hero of mine and her books have helped me greatly, even in just understanding that I am not alone and that my feelings are justified. Her book - “Journey of the Adopted Self” was dedicated to her two mothers, who, she wrote, “might have known and even liked each other in another life and another adoption system.”

This book has comforted so many adoptees over the years and I for one can say that finding it was a great relief. I mention the dedication because I hope and pray that the 'other' adoption system she dreamt of is not too far away and that for me at least, my two mothers will know and like each other as I continue in my reunion.

Betty's books will, I am sure, continue to not only be an inspiration for adoptees, but an educational tool for adoptive parents and a helping hand to everyone suffering adoption loss.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Feeling sorry for myself.

I almost feel a bit guilty when I write that, I mean I'm not starving, I don't live on the streets, I'm fit and healthy and have many good people in my life.

But you know what, I am going to feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I think I spend too much energy trying to be nice to everyone and tell both my families that I'm okay because I can't bear the idea of hurting the people I love with this burden that in reality I'm really not over the moon about being adopted. And it's not because of anything my adoptive family have or haven't done, I'm not even angry at my natural family because I just love them so much. I'm just so angry at my life. I hate that at any given time of any day I can just burst into tears, I hate that whenever I sleep alone I find myself sobbing into my pillow. I feel like the rest of the unadopted world is strolling along at a nice normal pace and to try and keep up with the normality I'm having to run. I'm exhausted.

Yesterday I was walking to a seminar at uni and Avril Lavigne - I'm With You came onto my ipod. Suddenly I fighting back tears and couldn't get the image of myself as a baby lost and scared wandering where mummy had gone, before being taken home with strangers. Half of this pain I think is pity for my baby self. I must have been so confused. The worst part about being adopted at birth is that everyone assumes that it has no effect on you whatsoever, everyone just thinks you're fine and if you even slightly let on that you're not, they look at you like you're mental.

If my parents had died when I was young, then people wouldn't think I was weird to miss them, but mine didn't die, worse, they CHOSE not to be a part of my life. And for some reason I'm not supposed to be upset about that, because I was 'too young to understand.' I could insert here plenty of quotes from adoption studies of from 'The Primal Wound,' to illustrate my point, but I have to leave for my lecture in two minutes or I'll be late.

So you'll just have to take my word for it. Being adopted sucks. I don't think I'll ever get my head round this pain, I don't think I'll ever stop crying about it. And worst of all, unless they're adopted nobody can, or even tries to understand.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Life In Reunion.

I haven't posted in a while, and so much has been happening. Since April I have met my half-brother, who was also so wonderful and has welcomed me as his long lost sibling. He told me that he hated adoption as he'd lost me to it, but was so happy that I'd had a good life and been brought up so well. Both mum and him say how proud they are of me. It's everything I've ever wanted to hear as I always wanted to prove that my mother was right in choosing not to abort, and prove that I could lead a happy and fulfilled life, despite my adoption.

All my life I have longed for my birth family, feeling guilty for doing so as if it's disloyal to my adoptive family. The truth is that I have two families though and despite their different places and roles in my life, they both hold a place in my heart.

More good news is that my younger half-sister, who only found out about me back in January/February has been emailing me and seems to be happy to get to know me. I'm hoping to meet her and my brother's new fiancée soon. I'm so pleased that my sister has accepted my existence so well, as my half-sister on my father's side, despite being much older, still wants nothing to do with me. This does hurt, especially as she's now pregnant and I know I may never get to meet my niece.

This rejection from my older half-sister is not only painful, but has been giving me nightmares. I dreamt the other night that she met me and threw a pan of boiling oil over me to disfigure me so I'd never be recognised as her sibling. Obviously this is just my fears and issues coming to a disturbing head as I sleep, but it terrified me. I just don't want to upset anyone, but at the same time I want to scream that I was the innocent baby, why should I tip-toe round everyone else? It wasn't my fault and yet I have suffered the most. When I try to say that to my adoptive parents, they get hurt as they think I'm saying that I have suffered with them. I'm not, it's no-ones fault. I can't blame anyone for what happened. I could try and blame my birth father for leaving my mother, or blame his wife for asking for him back. Maybe I could blame my mother's husband for not being able to raise a child that wasn't his or my birth mother for not leaving him and raising my brother and me alone. None of this would be constructive. What's done is done. I know I am one of the few adoptees that can say that I understand my mother's reasons, I forgive her and believe that she did the best thing for all concerned. At the very least I can say that if I had stayed with her, she may never have had my other half-sister, who is lovely, so that is definitely one good thing that's come out of this.

However, I do not want any mothers who are considering adoption to read this and see my 'good' experience as a green light to give their baby up. I am a lucky one, and I still feel pain. I can't count the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep calling out for my birth mother. Any mother who can feasibly raise their child well should do so and not be pressured by adoption agencies, especially in America where too much money is involved for them to be fair and impartial. A child is always best off with their natural mother, except in a few choice circumstances. Always do what's best for the child, not the agency, not the adoptive parents. The child should always come first. Remember, you cannot guarantee giving them a better life, but you can guarantee that they will feel the pain that comes with losing your birth family.

What it all boils down to is that there are people worse off than me in life and there is nothing to hold me back, I am strong, healthy and intelligent. I have family and friends who love me. What more can I ask for? I will always have the pain of knowing that my birth family gave me up, but now I've found them I can at least move forward knowing that they (for the most part) love me too and will be there for the rest of my life.

The 19yrs they've missed? Their loss. Here's to the next 19!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

You wait your whole life for a single moment...

And all of a sudden it's today.

I've just met my birth mother. I cannot believe I've just typed that, but it's true. At 3pm on the 14th April 2010, I met her. And it was everything I could have ever had wanted. I'm just so happy! We chatted for hours, didn't leave until nearly 8pm!! She was so lovely, so warm and friendly. I was struck by just how strong she seemed, like she was holding it together for me, just like she had to all those years ago. Even though we were strangers, I felt like I knew her, it was just so comfortable. When she hugged me I couldn't help but cry, but she wiped my tears away like I was a little girl again and told me how lovely I was.

It's so difficult to get down everything I'm feeling into words, I'm so thrilled that it went well, but at the same time I'm very aware of how much we've both missed, years that we can never get back, I'm not her little baby anymore, how ever much I might wish to turn back time. I gave her a photo album of me growing up that my adoptive mum helped me put together. Mum came with me for the meeting and was, as always, very supportive and understanding. My dad turned up later and chatted to her as well, so both my parents are still involved and there for me, which I really appreciate.

I'm hoping to meet my half-brother next week now and move things on from there. It sounds like there are a lot of people dying to meet me, I've never felt so loved or so wanted! It's been difficult for me, I am sad for the years that my birth mother has missed, but grateful the years I've had with my adoptive family. A few years ago these feelings really confused me and I felt torn between my two families, but now I think I am beginning to accept my confusing family and am happy to not have only one loving family, but two! There will always be a sense of regret for what I've missed with my birth mother, but I cannot dwell on 'might have beens' anymore. I've had a wonderful life so far and my birth mother may have missed out on that, but there are many more years to come that I can enjoy and share with all of my families that I can now look forward to.

I've waited my whole life for this, and I think that now, finally I can stop looking backwards and look to the future, which right now looks to be bright and happy for everyone!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Hello Mother.

It's been a long while since I posted and so much has happened. The main event being that after a drunken night out, I returned home and went onto my birth mother's facebook. I don't know why, but I wanted to. I then accidentally sent her a message that just said 'm'. I went into panic, didn't know what to do, but next day she replied.

Turns out she's been looking for me and had always hoped I'd get in contact. The last few weeks we've been emailing back and forth and we get on really well. She's also put me in contact with my older brother who's so nice and friendly, we've been texting and will hopefully have our first phone conversation this weekend. I cannot believe how well this has gone, I'm so happy and so is my birth mother and brother. I was so terrified she'd hate me but she's very kind and wants to meet me when I'm next home from university. It's so exciting, the best drunken mistake I ever made! My adoptive parents are as supposrtive as always and seem happy for me that it has turned out so well and my birth mother's husband seems to be okay that I'm back in contact too so hopefully I'm not causing too much distress or upset. My younger sister that my birth mother had after me, didn't know about me but has since been told. Naturally she was shocked but is now apparently okay and can now make her own decision about whether she'd want to meet me one day.

This is probably the happiest blog I've posted on here, and I honestly think that if all goes as well as it is now then I should have no reason to ever feel sad again.

Happy days.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Meeting My Birth Father.

So yesterday I met my birth father. I have never been so nervous about anything in my life. Walking into the hotel where we were due to be meeting felt like the scariest thing ever.

I did it though and yes he did turn up. Which was a good start. I have to admit that for the first 5-10 minutes I reverted back to childhood and clammed up and went all shy and I just wanted to hide behind my adoptive parents.

After a while though I settled into it and it got less weird, we chatted about everyday things really and I showed him some pictures of myself growing up.

The heartbreaking part was when we got talking about the events surrounding my adoption. I knew the story pretty well, but it was interesting hearing it from his point of view. I found out just how few rights he had when it came to my adoption. He didn't want me to be given up but had no choice, in fact my mother's husband had more rights than him! He never saw me because he couldn't face saying goodbye and he has waited 18yrs to finally see me. We also found out that whilst my adoptive parents were asked to write a letter documenting my growing up for my birth parents until i was 5, these were never collected because he had no idea that this was available for him, he was quite upset about this understandably and it seems that the system failed here as we could have been in contact many years before. But that's said and done and there's nothing we can do about that now.

I'm so glad I've met him and we have swapped details so we can keep in contact and hopefully he can be part of my life now, he doesn't live too far from me so it shouldn't be too hard.

Now I just have to see if things go as well when it comes to contacting my birth mother.

Friday, 29 May 2009

I'm meeting my birth father today....

I'm meeting my birth father today
I'm meeting my birth father today
I'm meeting my birth father today
I'm meeting my birth father today
I'm meeting my birth father today
I'm meeting my birth father today
I'm meeting my birth father today
I'm meeting my birth father today

I feel sick.