Struggling after searching

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Struggling after searching

Postby Fiona Blades » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:38 pm

Anyone else who was adopted and gone on to do a search of their birth family, only to have found it all such an emotional roller coaster, that they regret starting this crazy journey ..???
Fiona Blades
 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:22 pm

Re: Struggling after searching

Postby Lowrider Lincoln » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:47 pm

Hi Fiona.

Welcome to the forum.

I found searching for my birth family extremely emotional…

…I had always known I was adopted, but chose not to want to know anything about it until I hit 40. That was almost 8 years ago now. I had begun to wonder who I was? Who am I related to? Where does my personality come from? Has anybody been looking for me? Who knows about me?

These and many more questions could only be answered by my birth mother. It was with great reluctance and hesitance that I began a search. Not only the fear of not getting answers or the fear of rejection, but also the terrible feeling of guilt towards my adoptive mum. Not wanting to hurt her was my biggest concern.

I decided not to tell mum that I was going to start a search. To this day she still doesn’t know. But my feeling of betrayal has not yet subsided. I cannot get over the fact that I have deliberately kept this secret from her. Even though I know it would have broken her heart to know I was looking for birth mother. Not telling her was and is still the only way I could have started to look for my birth family.

I used a social worker from an adoption charity to access my birth record. They offered counselling to anyone affected by adoption. They were able to give me the information I needed to search myself or conduct a search on my behalf for a fee.

I was given a copy of my birth certificate which had birth mothers name on. I had requested them to do a search for her, but not to contact her until I felt ready. I remember the search results took months to come back. But during that time I had googled my birth name. In an online birth / death records site I found mine and her name, I also was able to see that there were three others that shared the same birth mother, so was able to reasonably assume these were my half siblings.

Using google again I inputed their names and found them all on Facebook. It had only taken a few hours to find them.

I had requested my adoption file from the social worker, but was taking longer than expected to locate. This delay was agonising for me. I needed to verify the names I had against official records. During this time period I was trying to build a family tree. The info I was viewing on their FB accounts suggested they all came from a large family. So many with the same surname, it became quite a marathon trying to work out who was who. I had signed up to ancestry.co.uk in order to work out who and who not I was related to.

Looking back I now realise that I was on information overload. I had gone from knowing absolutely nothing about myself to now having a huge family tree in front of me. Facebook had been an essential search tool, but it wasn’t just names of people or facts that I was able to see. It was the realisation that this large family was so close together. I had found out that I had an older half sister and brother, but also a younger by only a year half brother – different father to the other two. I was able to work out that birth mother had remarried five times, and with each marriage came step children, step brothers and sisters to her own.

Records had verified that all my second guessing was correct. But seeing and viewing this extended family, still close and quite obviously functioning without me was hard to comprehend. Instead of feeling that I should have wanted to make contact, I felt that I would not be welcomed. Birth records showed that I was the only one given up for adoption. She had married and divorced and remarried so many times and yet had only gave up one child.

When my adoption file eventually arrived it was a relief to find that my own searching had been correct. Names of half siblings, date of births all tallied up. There was a report from a social worker at the time that gave a record of the sequence of events that led up to my being and then subsequent adoption. Long story short BM had left husband no1 with kids, then met a fella – my BF, then gone back to husband, then left without kids, back to fella, then pregnant, fella does a runner, give up baby for adoption, then married no2 with another son within a year.

I was totally prepared to accept birth mother for what she is, I wasn’t looking for an apology, I wasn’t looking to cause her any discomfort or disruption, I was not looking for answers – my adoption file had them all there. All I really wanted was a chance to tell her I held no grudges towards her, that I had had a good adoption and that I was alright. I did not want anything from her or her family.

It had taken me over 40 years to make the decision to trace my birth family. It was seeing my own kids grow up that made me question where I came from, who I was.

I asked the social worker to send birth mother a letter, ask if she would accept a letter from me. It was not replied to. A second letter was sent out, this was returned unopened. So to this day I’m uncertain if she read the first one or not. The same date her letter was returned I was blocked from viewing her profile on Facebook. Older half brother deleted his account, half sister and younger half brother changed their settings to private. I can only assume that this was a reaction to BM receiving a letter from adoption society.

Maybe these are totally unconnected coincidences. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, I don’t know. The thing I do know is that the whole process of searching was not easy. The stress of it all nearly broke me. Lying to my Mum, secrecy that should not be secret. Searching for someone who may not want to know me. Putting my wife through the pressure of watching me go through this self-torture.

I decided to call things off. The social worker tried to persuade me to send another letter, BM had moved house so may not have received one or both of the letters. There may be another point in my life when I do resume wanting to make contact, but just not at this moment in time.

Being adopted is still a big part of my life, It is something that has shaped my life, my personality, the way I am. I do not have any hang-ups about it, but it does affect me none the less.

Some people can cope with personal pressure better than others. For me the stress was too disruptive to my own family. Tearing my family apart to connect with another was too much to risk.

At the time I was searching and struggling with the turmoil and the related consequences I came to this forum and was given some very helpful and compassionate advice from some of the other users. Please feel free to search my previous posts, they may shed some light onto how disruptive I found the whole process. Even though everybody’s situation is different from the next, we are all individuals with differing needs and feelings. I found it reassuring to know I wasn’t alone.

I wish you well on your quest. If I can offer any help, just ask.

Take Care. X
Lowrider Lincoln
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby ladyarcher70 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:18 am

Hi Fiona, and welcome ......... sorry not to have seen your post sooner ...... I used to check in every day, but haven't done lately .....

and hi to you too, Lowrider sorry that you have been having a rough journey....

Sadly any adoption journey has the potential to be uncomfortable and disturbing sooner or later. Once we start wondering who and what and where and why, all sorts of experiences and thoughts can fall out of our woodwork........not to mention all the thoughts and memories and domestic collisions that can be triggered in our original families.....

Up 'til recently I had a long, but successful journey.......but suddenly, one very special bit of it has gone 't..ts up ....... no pre-warning at all.......

For me, Lowrider, I have always believed in the totally direct approach..... and all through I did not use any go-betweens or official agencies. It always seemed to me that my relationship with my b.mother was private, and just between her and myself..... she knew that she had given birth to me, so it was not like a b.mother surprising a 'child' who did not know that he or she was adopted, if you follow my reasoning.......this was many years ago, and well before the internet .... I was proved right in my reasoning, because when I got to know her well, I realised that had she been approached by a third party she would have run for the hills......she was timid and very frightened of anyone that she perceived as 'in authority..... this included Drs. Teachers, Social Workers, Vicars..... etc. you get the picture....... because my approach was completely just her and me, she did not feel threatened and eventually felt able to tell her then husband I had made contact....... and also to introduce me to my much younger half sister ...... I was able to know my mother on a gentle, quiet level for ten years before she died thirty years ago, and happily she was able to know all her five grandchildren............ I also have good contact with my b.father's family......

.....sadly the full sister that I had searched for, for forty years, has not felt able to continue our relationship...... it seems that she has difficulty in accepting the history of our origins......I have known it for so long - over 50 years now -that it is more a part of me than my adoption life in many ways, and I am comfortable with keeping my two lives parallel but separate if that makes sense.....if those time scales look odd to you......it is because I had found out about my full sister when I was 25, and eventually found her when I was 65, but I had always known I was adopted, and knew some parts of the history from when I was quite young .....

Anyway, Fiona, do come back here with thoughts and feelings in more detail if you think it will help...... the forum is a lot quieter than it used to be, but there will always be someone who can respond and perhaps share thoughts and experiences that may help you .....

.....and Lowrider ..... if it were me, I would take the direct approach..... what have you to lose ..... I too discovered an enormous family, on both sides.... and my b.mother like yours, had a lot of children, so I too have a number of half siblings, several of whom had different fathers..... my b.mother seriously lost her way at a period of her life....... perhaps yours did too...... and perhaps like you, my full sister felt herself in information overload, as she only got all the information when she was nearly 65, and for her, a lot of what she had thought she knew, was wrong anyway ....

LA
born 1944 - adopted 1946....
ladyarcher70
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby cleo » Wed May 04, 2016 2:11 pm

Hello fiona and welcome,

Yes as i too have found it is such an emtional roller coaster for both parties, adopted and birth parents....my son came looking for me over 4 years a go...something i had been waiting for, for nearly 30 years as i was given no information and also told at the time i was not to search for him.

I welcomed him with open arms and love, like a mother for her son, after all these years also wondering and wanting to ask so many questions....but also worried of what he would think of me.

We did get on well for a couple of months but then it seem to wither out and when i asked to meet up he would find an excuse and then say sorry we could'nt meet.....he said we had to slow down, which we did do, although i only saw him on rare occasions when i was vistiting the uk, so its not as if i was there 24/7, anyway weeks turn't into months which then turn't into years....after 2 years of silence i asked him what i did so wrong for him to stop all contact...he said he was'nt looking for an "intense" relationship, and that he wanted no further contact with me and i was never to get in touch with him again.

To say i was broken hearted and felt totally rejected is beyound words...he made me feel like i was such a bad person for just wanting to know him and his young son at the time...who was just a year old, i was over the moon when he said i was a grandmother......

Now nothing to this day and i know he has had another child since then.....Do i regret him searching?......yes and no.....No because i finally know a little about him and yes because i have to go through all the grief of losing my son for a second time, wondering what he is upto and how he is getting on etc.....

May i ask why and what you find so emotional, have you got in touch with your birth mum, did you get total silence or was she not somebody you expected?
cleo
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby cleo » Wed May 04, 2016 2:30 pm

hi lowrider too,

I totally agree with all you went through too, as the reunion and rejection finally from my son nearly sent me overboard...i was a total wreck and asking myself a million and one questions what on earth i did (if anything) so wrong for him to cut me off like he did...especially when he said he would always stay in contact with me and that he would never hurt me!!! Funny how people can change so quickly.

I guess i was not upto his standards on the social level, or maybe our ages were too close for comfort, i just don't know, like i said a million unanswered questions again.

Now though, there are days that i am glad he cannot see me, because i look and feel so sad, i cannot really explain the feeling i have, but it hurts too...i am getting on with my life but there is always a moment i think of him and wonder what he is upto with his children.

But then i have to clear my mind and tell myself that he is no longer a part fo my life...his choice, not mine. He also moved house, so now i do not know where he lives..i have an idea but!!! I went through hell the last 3 years alone with just hubby knowing what happened, and like you thanks to this group who i could 'talk' too, and get alot off my chest...i only regret not knowing this group 'before' my son found me.

Maybe i would of had some sound advice on how to cope with reunion etc.....but anyway, its in the past and life goe's on. I miss my son and my grandsons, but i have let go, in the sense that i cannot be some small part of their lives, but hope one day...if i live long enough, to see my grandson all grown up and doing well in life too.....

But thats another story.....I hope you are coping ok since your last message on here...like i said...whatever side we are on, birth parent or adopteé, when things do not turn out how we imagine or hope.....the pain can be so profound and destructive....and yet we have both found a way to carry on.

Take care fo yourself lowrider
cleo
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby Fiona Blades » Fri May 06, 2016 9:53 pm

Thanks everyone for replying, such a mixture of experiences. I am very grateful!!
Last edited by Fiona Blades on Sat May 07, 2016 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fiona Blades
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:22 pm

Re: Struggling after searching

Postby Fiona Blades » Fri May 06, 2016 9:58 pm

Thanks everyone for replying, such a mixture of experiences. I am very grateful!!
I wrote what I did as i had just been contacted by an organisation called Birthlink in Edinburgh, where I am on an ACR register for adopted/birth family. They were advising me about a birth brother who had just registered and we had the same birth mother.
I was born in Scotland and adopted about 12 weeks old by the best parents I could ever wish for. I moved to England when I was 10.
I am now 52 and 21 years ago contacted Birthlink, about searching for my birth mother, who i found and had contact with in 1995. It was an emotional journey and we met twice... both times went reasonably well. We had a difficult relationship, although I'm not sure why and this makes me so very sad. She sadly died 2 years after i found her and things weren't great between us.
I also went on to find my birth father who had 3 daughters, whom I also met. He is a wonderful man but I now don't have much contact, although when we do its good.
Now I have a brother by my birth mother, which means more to me than i can put into words. Our birth mother didn't tell me about him but a few years after she died her sister, who I had a little contact with, suggested my birth mother may have had another child adopted. I discovered I had a brother by birth mother in 2000, who was 9 years younger than me. I tried to find him in 2000 and again in 2014 and couldn't, do gave up, believing what will be will be.
Today we have contact, which started at 100 miles an hour for 5/6 weeks, then we met and it was amazing but now its slowed down to a snails pace, which I know is healthy and good but it saddens me. He means the world to me and more ....,
I've loved searching but what an emotional roller coaster it is!!!
I've loved it and hated it.
Its a journey that no one, or nothing can prepare you for. Am i better for it? Not sure.... but I've done it and just about survived..... thanks everyone
Fiona Blades
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:22 pm

Re: Struggling after searching

Postby Fiona Blades » Sat May 07, 2016 9:08 am

Lowrider, I cant imagine how upsetting what you've gone through must be. It makes me feel very grateful I have got so much.
I cant imagine how you've dealt with it all, you must be a very strong person.
I wish things were different for you, will you try again?
I also hid my search from my mum and dad. ... I regretted this as they eventually found out, in a way they shouldn't of.
I think what i was initially trying to say about searching for your birth family, is that whatever the outcome its hard emotionally!
Thank you so much for sharing with me.
Fiona
Last edited by Fiona Blades on Sat May 07, 2016 8:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Fiona Blades
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby Fiona Blades » Sat May 07, 2016 9:14 am

Lady Archer, your story sounds mostly positive and amazing , as is my story really. Again its just such a journey of emotions. My searching also started without the Internet as it started 21 years ago, how much easier it must be now though with facebook etc.
Thanks for telling me your story, everything helps me.
Fiona
Fiona Blades
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:22 pm

Re: Struggling after searching

Postby Fiona Blades » Sat May 07, 2016 9:28 am

Cleo, thanks for your perspective on things. I feel so sad for you.
Finding my birth mother meant the world to me, so cant understand why your son has stopped contact. I kept a diary when I started my search and when my birth brother found me this year I re read it and can't believe how sad it all read and how confused i was. It also made me realise how my emotions were all over the place and my head was so mixed up! Maybe your son, given more time will come back to you! I hope he does, even if it's just for minimal contact so you know he's well!
I didnt have the best relationship with my birth mother, which really saddens me and then she died within 2 years of me making contact.
She had so much sadness in her life, I dont think I helped coming back into her life.
Sadly neither of us properly got to know each other, so we'll I'll never really know.
Thanks again
Fiona Blades
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:22 pm

Re: Struggling after searching

Postby cleo » Mon May 09, 2016 3:33 pm

Hello again fiona,

Sorry to hear about your birth mum dying, its something thats also in the back of my mind with the way things are with my son.......but he knows how i feel about him and all i ever wanted was to spend an hour or two whenever i came to the uk....we got on so well, and yes i think too both our emotions were all over the place at the time, and of course he has never told his a.mum about finding me.

I think the real reason he came looking for me in the first place was because his a.dad had died a year before deciding to 'take the plunge' and get in contact with me.....he has known about me since he was a young boy as he A;parents were very honest and open about him being adopted. I also know he did not want to feel unloyal to his parents by searching for me too, so i think with his dad dying it seemed like the right time for him!!

I think what hurts me too and the fact that he only lived about 10minutes away from my parents home..he has since moved to a different area. But like i said we got on so well, but then the excuses came and i'd leave alone, but as the months went by i asked him to be honest with me and tell me what is going on, he never did...until 2 years later when he told me to let go and never contact him again.

Even to this day i go over the mails he sent to try and understand his motive, but after all is said and done, he came looking for answers, got them, and then left me standing there.

Like he wrote in his last text message, he's had a wonderful upbringing and the best parents possible.

I doubt very much he will get back in contact with me, i always have a glimmer of hope, but as the years go by its fading. I just have to accept the fact we were never mean't to be together.

I am so glad that you are getting on well with your brother and hope that the relationship doe's not fade out. I wish you all the best and please keep in touch on here to let us know how you are getting on
cleo
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby Fiona Blades » Mon May 09, 2016 5:58 pm

Hi Cleo that's all so sad! I wish it could be different for you. You must feel quite bitter! Trying to think back to my strained relationship with my Birth mother and I have many regrets!
I also had the best parents and when I look back at my diary, I wrote about my immense guilt that I felt I was betraying my mum and dad, maybe this is at the heart of his problems.
I do think the meeting of our birth family, for all parties is so very difficult. I wonder if anyone really does go on to have a long and lasting relationship. We have so much initial euphoria/love/emotion that is hard to maintain and then maybe after this part goes we're left not knowing how to move on to a normal relationship.
My other relationships have all fizzled out and this saddens me so much and I hope with all my heart that this one doesn't!!
Do you have other children to help you try and move on?
Does it help talking like this or do you find it drags up all your raw emotions?
I hope not .....Fiona
Last edited by Fiona Blades on Mon May 09, 2016 9:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Fiona Blades
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby ladyarcher70 » Mon May 09, 2016 7:41 pm

Hi again Fiona....... I can relate to your feeling of guilt when looking for your birth family ....... I originally felt the same for a while.....mainly because my a.mother had kept me very close to her all my childhood and well into teenage years.......so close, in fact, that I had virtually no relationship with my a.father at all. Now that actually saddens me now, after all these years and a.father being long gone of course.

After a while I began to realise that my relationship with my a.mother was far too close, suffocating in fact, and I am pretty sure that it may have had an influence on the failure of my first marriage. I guess that there are not many young husbands who would put up with a wife's insistence on staying at his in-laws every weekend, every bank holiday, every main holiday, and every Christmas. Of course, when my marriage broke up......where did I go? Straight back to Mummy....and Daddy of course, who was, I think, much though he loved them, not too pleased to have two very young grandsons and a large dog move back in, just when he had actually managed to get his wife to himself after many years.......hey ho.......all water long under the bridge now, and husband no. 2 was in no way going to subscribe to that form of family life......he and my a.mother did not get on as he gradually managed to break the apron strings.....

As far as mixing a and b families was concerned, once I found them......no.....no.....no....... no way was I going to expose my timid, sweet, poorly educated, working class birth mum to the crushing upper middle attitude of my a.mother. I never let them come anywhere near each other, and never told a.mother when I was seeing them.....although she did pick up on it from time to time when my sons said anything........I also know that she did try to get more info. from them, but by then they were old enough to understand about keeping the two 'grans' in different compartments in my life.......so they did the same....

Adoption, however well it turns out from whichever angle, is always going to be a juggling act for the adoptee....... and, Cleo, I guess as we have talked about before, that your son simply wasn't able to juggle.... men are not so good at it anyway. I think most women are hard wired to smooth and keep the peace, so perhaps that makes us more able to do it. However, Fiona, you must not think of wanting to know, and searching, as a betrayal. Hopefully nowadays a.parents are better informed about the needs of adoptees to know their other life. This was not so in the past, and we adoptees were just expected to be stunningly grateful for our good fortune.....however, being responsible for the happiness of a couple whose unhappiness at not having their own children is the prime reason for our adoption, is a great burden for an adoptee to shoulder......and that is how things were......

LA70 .... but about to be 72 this week......lol....
born 1944
ladyarcher70
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby Fiona Blades » Thu May 12, 2016 2:15 pm

Hi again Ladyarcher..that must of been quite stifling for you. My mum wasn't like that I just initially felt I was betraying my parents I don't now. I believe I have that right too search.
I also agree with you view about men and juggljng!!! Women have an amazing ability to multi task, this includes juggling with everything, including our emotions, which all put together isn't always easy for men..... and that's not all men I know. .... but it includes most. ... I can hear the backlash from this.
Everyone now has such busy lifes and never seem to have time for others or what/who matter.. I've now realised that know matter how busy my life is if someone means a lot too me, then I will find time for them. I am of the opinion that everyone has 5 mins too say "hi" how are you" if that person hasn't got that 5 mins then neither have I.
Searching has emotionally drained me in many ways but I'd like to think I've come through it ok ....not sure I'd do it all again though.
I honestly hope my brother and i can somehow stand the test of adoption and have some happiness that will last a lifetime!
Fiona x
Fiona Blades
 
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Re: Struggling after searching

Postby marshen » Tue May 17, 2016 1:09 pm

Hi Fiona.

YES....YES....YES I'm feeling the same.

Here's my post from a while ago
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2797

My heads a shed at the moment. In general I'm feeling down about everything and my mood is so volatile. When I truly think why I'm acting the way I am it all comes back round to my adoption, sad but true.

If I can help in anyway please reply and I'll try explain my situation a little more and it my help you see it from a different angle.

Take care

Mark
marshen
 
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