Remember me?

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Remember me?

Postby Turtle » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:44 am

Hi everyone.

Haven't been on the site for ages. Someone sent me a PM, so I came on to answer that. I thought I might as well give you a bit of an update whilst here.

I can't remember writing on here this year. I felt that I needed a break and had probably said everything I needed to say on the matter of adoption.

You may remember, I wasn't looking to contact my b. parents. I had no interest in contacting my mother and my father had gone to Australia and I couldn't find him.

Well, things have changed a lot since then.

It started with setting up a facebook account. I had one in a false name that I used a bit to talk about adoption, but having moved on from that subject, I decided to set one up under my real name. One bored afternoon, having looked for my father years ago, I started to put in various combinations of his and his wife's names. Suddenly, there he was! Not under an obvious name, but it was definitely him. I was so thrilled to at last see him and he was looking so happy. Stalker-like I studied his profile and found lots of information and at last could put names to his two sons. I knew about them, but not their names.

I knew straightaway that I wanted to contact him, but not via facebook. I found an intermediary that worked in Australia and drafted a letter. It sat in my inbox for months, before I sent it. Such a big decision to "intrude" in someone's life. Whilst waiting and turning over in my mind the decision to contact him, I decided to also contact my mother at the same time. That was a huge decision. I had never had a good feeling about her. I have always felt more positively about my father. This is all probably based on my adoption file, which explained the circumstances of my birth. Nevertheless, I had decided that I would ask both parents for a low level of contact. Just a letter and photo, unless they wanted more. Both I would trace via intermediaries.

So where am I now?

Well, Australia are about to send the first letter to my father, asking for contact. The whole process has taken ages. My case worker was ill for a couple of months, which really held things up. She is now back, but only part time, so things are now moving slowly. I have to say, Australia have been great and have kept me up to date with every step of the process and have involved me in the letter writing process, so that I was happy with the first contact letter he was about to receive. Now it is just a question of waiting.

As for my mother. A spectacular rejection. I guess it was exactly what I was expecting from her. She was incredibly blunt. Made it clear that she did not want any contact and was not to be approached again. There was no sugar coating. I have to say, that although it wasn't the answer I was hoping for, I am pleased that I at least tried. I now feel I can close that door and move on. I don't have to worry about her again. She made it very clear, that she didn't want me to be part of life. Strangely, I have found this very liberating.

I'll let you know if my father agrees to contact. I have a better feeling about that, but I just have to wait and see.
Turtle
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby Lowrider Lincoln » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:57 am

Hi Turtle,

Of course I remember you. Welcome back to the forum, and thank you for sharing your personal situation with us all.
At the time you were posting most proficiently I was also actively researching my own adoption, many of your comments were very helpful to myself and probably others too. I found it reassuring to know that I wasn't the only one to be going through such an ordeal. At the time many of your own feelings towards adoption were so similar to my own. At times I was struggling to understand my emotions, yourself and others like Lady Archer have helped me on my journey of self discovery, I haven't reached the end yet, but the passage has been made easier knowing I'm not alone. Thank you.

Your news sounds very exciting regarding your birth father. I hope you get a reply soon. It's very brave of yourself to put oneself through trying to make first contact. I'm still not sure I could go through with it myself. The thought of rejection is something I don't want to experience. I suppose most adoptees have that fear. Some are able to confront it, others are not.

Sorry to hear your birth mother has reacted so decisively and abruptly towards your contact. It angers me when I hear of such things. I know she will have reasons as to why. But surely she should explain them to you. I sincerely hope you can put some closure on that particular part of your life.

Hopefully your BF will give a positive reply. It is strange how we can all change our minds as we grow older. What was once inconceivable can later be what we wish for. At a younger age, had I been contacted by my birth family I would have instantly refused all correspondence, but now I would welcome the opportunity. People change, sometimes for the better, sometimes the opposite.

I too have took a break from posting on here. I do still come on and read every new posts, but very rarely reply or add anything. Not that I don't want to, but can't bring myself to even discuss adoption without feeling guilty towards my (adoptive) mum. She has been unwell for a few years now. As her health deteriorates I feel I should not be even thinking of my birth family, never mind trying to contact them. At this moment of my life it just doesn't feel right. I suppose there's never a perfect time for any of this, but a couple of years ago when I started searching was probably a better time for me. I did try and make contact with birth mother but was not successful - long story. Maybe it was for the best, as I don't think I could have coped with everything and everybody. If I. Had made contact I suppose I'd had have to.

Good luck Turtle
Lowrider Lincoln
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby cleo » Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:51 am

Hi turtle,

Crikey things seem to be Rolling along, and i hope that you do get a positive outcome with your BF. Like you said you can move on (in a way) with your BM reaction that she wants no contact with you, but have to agree with lowland, its hard to understand why, although she must have her reasons.

I wish there was a pot where everyone that has been rejected, whatever side of the fence they are on being a child or a birth parent...can just talk and wish that things were different, i have not been in the adoption limelight as long as LA and some of the other members, but understanding from both sides the fears of the what if's or do's and don'ts...everyone is different and reacts different to their situation, but like you said, its nice to know we are not alone.....

I find it hard that after all f these years of looking for a person and in my case hoping that that person will come and find me, as i had no clue about my son, that when he did finally find me, i was rejected just a couple of months after.

I hope that your outcome with your BF is a happy one turtle and that he is happy in you contacting him after all this time fingers crossed x
cleo
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby Turtle » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:26 am

Thanks for the replies. There is still no response from my b.father. I am still patiently waiting. I have to admit, the longer I wait, the more likely I feel it will be another rejection.

Lowrider Lincoln, so good to hear from you. I think finding the right time to search is a very personal thing. I was sure in my own mind for years, that I was never going to search. The more family history I did, the more of a connection I felt towards more b.families. I also did a lot of reading, both books and on forums. It just got to the point where I felt it was the right thing to do, morally and personally. To have people cut out of your life, because of things done years ago, seemed wrong. It felt right to give people a chance to reconnect, even if it didn't work out.

I don't take my mother's rejection personally. She wasn't rejecting me, she doesn't know me. She was rejecting the situation. I guess she isn't brave enough to admit the truth to her children and grandchildren. She would rather they saw her as a more perfect woman. Strange really. It is a lie that keeps them viewing her that way. I think the truth, particularly that she rejected my request for contact, would make them see her in a very different light. The positive that I take from this is that she now knows that I haven't rejected her in any way and that, having made contact, I am obviously ok. For me personally, it has been a release. I spent a lot of time thinking about her, worrying if she was alright, now I don't have to do that any more. I am not cutting her off in any way, it isn't a negative response. I just feel as if I have been set free from my responsibilities, because I have done as much as I can.

It is always hard with a.parents, particularly when they are ill. My view was, that there was never going to be a good time to search. There would always be a reason not to. The sad truth is, none of us know what is around the corner and I didn't want to search and find out that my b.parents had died and I was too late. I don't think my a.family are overly happy about it, but I have explained to them that it doesn't mean that they matter any less to me. In fact, I would say that searching has made me value them more.

Cleo, I have been on occasionally and read your posts. So sorry things haven't changed and that you son had reconsidered his view of the situation.

If only life could be more kind and the b.family and adoptees who wanted contact, where the ones that came together. We are on different sides of the adoption equation Cleo, but in fact we are on the same side. We are the ones that hoped for contact, but were rejected. Not easy to take, but no one said that life was fair.
Turtle
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby Turtle » Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:38 am

Just a quick update. My dad has agreed to contact, but we have already hit rocky ground. He is saying he knew nothing about me, but I know from my file that he did. There is a letter to him from SS and then his handwritten reply. He is also saying that he "could" be my father. It has made it all a bit difficult. On a positive note, he has written a lot about himself and his family and I now have lots of photos. Hard to know where it will go from here, but it is early days.
Turtle
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby ladyarcher70 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:38 pm

Hi Turtle ........ glad you have at least had a response and hope things get more comfortable as time goes on...... a difficult balance, I guess, if he thinks for whatever reason that there might be other claimants to being your father..... perhaps, despite the letter from SS and his reply, he may have always wondered, or perhaps he had reasons for wondering and as time passed that became more set in his thoughts.......I suppose with dna now, you can soon prove one way or the other if you want to go down that route ....... a bit scary ......

Very good point that you make about your mother not rejecting you, because she doesn't know you........ that should be in big letters somewhere for all adoptees to read ...

... did you hear that amazing lad on Desert Island Disc this morning.......well yesterday morning actually as it is now past midnight ...... I had not heard of him, but he is a poet apparently ...... but he is obviously far far more than 'just a poet' ..... don't ask me his name, 'cos I couldn't spell it....... his b.mother was from Uganda I think he said ...... he said some very insightful things about adoption ...... one of which was to do with the change that would happen to a whole family's balance and story about themselves when a previously adopted person comes back into the family........he described it as a 'threat' to the whole perceived history of the family ...... very interesting...... I must try and listen to it again as one needed to hear what he said more than once to process it all......

LA
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Re: Remember me?

Postby Turtle » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:23 am

Thank you for your reply LadyArcher. My father's wife has now written to me. She felt that she would word the email better, as she said most men struggle to express emotions, although, he was fully aware of what she was writing. It was a very kind and considerate letter. She has implied, that she and my father, now accept that he is my father. I think they are still trying to get their heads around everything and had lots of questions which I tried to answer. I am hoping we are now making better progress.

Thanks for telling me about Lemn Sissay appearing on Desert Island Discs. Such an interesting man, who spoke really openly about his adoption, experience in foster care and tracing his birth family. Really worth listening to, if anyone has missed it.
Turtle
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby cleo » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:53 pm

Hi turtle,

I am so happy in reading that you finally have contact with your b.dad and that his wife has been involved too, woah great news and photos too. I wish you all the best in this new venture and for all concerned

Best wishes x
cleo
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby Turtle » Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:30 pm

Thanks Cleo. It is going so well. We have been in contact a couple of weeks now and the emails have gone from the serious subject of adoption, to just everyday stuff, that families usually write about. They have sent me loads of photos and have told their sons about me, who are fine about it. I have a good feeling about this, we are just getting on so well and it is like talking to old friends, rather than strangers. It is early days, I realize that, but I think everyone is being so considerate and kind, I don't see why it can't continue that way.
Turtle
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby cleo » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:13 pm

Dear Turtle,

I am really so pleased to read your news, and that everyone is finding out who you are too, and many photos which is lovely.

Take care Turtle x
cleo
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby butterflylady » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:25 pm

It's been a long time since I have posted on here mainly because I never feel I have anything to contribute but just had to say how thrilled I was to see Turtle had posted such lovely news I am so please that you have made contact with your Father and his family and they have welcomed you, as for your Mother I think it's a shame she has chosen not to have contact for reasons only she knows but one thing is for sure you will be high on the list of her thoughts.

Ladyarcher it's also good to see that you have been posting again I always love to read what you have to say always honest and caring.

Cleo what can I say the more I think about you and your son the more I believe that it was easier for him to decide against contact because I believe he would have had strong feelings for you from that first contact something that was hard for him to deal with or a feeling of guilt towards his a.mother for having those feelings. I do agree with LA that you should keep the photo's safe if you are going to delete them from your phone, as for the social media site that your son posts on I think he wants you to see the photos he posts because he knows how much you have missed his life and I believe it's his way of keeping you up to date with how your grandchildren are growing up.
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Re: Remember me?

Postby sylvie 1 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:50 am

Hello Turtle, so good to hear from you and sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your news.

Well, I am SO pleased you chose to contact your mother and father, despite the different responses.

I'm pleased because you listened to yourself, both when you didn't want to search and then when you did - you paid respect to your own feelings and I think that's really a good thing to do.
I'm also pleased because I think the experience of adoption is so full of disembodied abstractions that it's really healthy to replace that with real people doing real things, even if those real things aren't what you'd like.
And finally, I think it's really good to take some control and act on the crucial events of one's life, rather than just passively accepting things as many of us in Adoptionland are told to do. You have taken control and I imagine that feels very liberating indeed.

I wish you the very best Turtle. I learned so much from your generous sharing of your thoughts and experiences on here, and I thank you for your honesty in doing that.
sylvie 1
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby Turtle » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:01 pm

Hi Sylvie

Thanks for your reply. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

Searching was a giant leap of faith, but it certainly felt as if I had reached the point in my life, when it was the right thing to do and, for me, for the right reason. I guess, everyone has their own reasons for searching, but for me, it just didn't sit right, that my b.parents were given a life sentence of not knowing. People do less time for murder! I had to at least try, even if the response wasn't what I wanted. I have to say, the wait for a response, was extremely stressful.

I certainly did feel that I was taking control, which was definitely liberating. I certainly don't regret any part of it.

It is a huge risk for those searching. You put yourself in a vulnerable position, for a while, but I felt that I was going through the correct channels. I certainly felt that using a meditator, made you slightly detached from the situation, which made it slightly less intense. The people who helped me in Australia, were amazing. I wish we had that level of service over here. I did have to pay, but only around £150, which was a lot less, than paying to search over here (privately). Not only that, but they offered support to my b.father, which was important to me. It must have been shocking news to him and his wife, but they talked him through everything and made him feel that he could ask questions and had time to think about things.

The relationship with my b.father, is still going amazingly well. I am very lucky, to have not only gained him, but his wife has been so wonderful, so in that way, I did end up gaining a new mum too. We email often, talk on skype and now they are flying over to see me in the summer. Although the initial letters were a little tough, we soon felt that we had made a connection. Talking with them is easy. I really feel as though we are going to build a long term relationship.

As for my b.mother, at least I gave her a chance. I guess she just can't face the prospect of her family finding out, although, I had been prepared to share just an update with her and her alone. I wasn't surprised at her response, which made it easier. I would have liked her to be kinder in the way she phrased her rejection, but in some ways, that made it easier to draw a line under everything. I very much doubt if I will ever have anything to do with her or her family. Strangely, I have been able to deal with this, quite easily. I guess, I have done everything that I could and as I can't do more than that, I can walk away from the situation knowing that I tried.
Turtle
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby cleo » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:03 pm

Hello Turtle

woah that is great news, its lovely to read when something goe's right for somebody, It is a shame about your B.mum though, but like you said, she has chosen her road to take and you can acceot that knowing it. Like me with my son, his rejection hurt, but in a way at least i know that and can draw the line, i always have a little glimmer of hope that maybe one day he will change his mind...but deep down, i doubt it.

And what great news that you have a new extended family and they are coming to visit you, thats just amazing, please let us know how it all goe's won't you.

In the meantime take care and enjoy every minute
cleo
 
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Re: Remember me?

Postby Turtle » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:34 am

Hi Cleo.

It is always hard to deal with rejection. I am pretty sure my b.mother will not change her mind. Her reply was so blunt, she would have to do a complete U-turn, not only that, having told someone so harshly that you want no contact, how can you possible then go back to them? She really did burn all her bridges. I don't even think of it as a possibility, but I am fine with that.

I know that you have struggled with your son's reaction, but maybe one day he will change his mind. I think we have to do what works for us and if living in hope gives you comfort, then stick with it. For me, drawing a line under everything has been very liberating. Before I made contact, I thought about my b.mother a lot, now she never crosses my mind. I don't mean that in a negative way, I just mean, that I don't feel responsible for her any more, I have given her a fair chance and cannot do any more than that and so now I can move on with my own life. xx
Turtle
 
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