Confused... some advice?

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Confused... some advice?

Postby hiceskater » Sun May 24, 2009 12:49 pm

I’ve always known that I’d at some point try and find my birth parents, more specifically my birth mum, and it’s always been something I’d always taken for granted. I started searching, although not seriously, pretty much as soon as I turned 18, although at the time all I had were their names at the time of my birth. About a year ago, I found a load of information from the agency I was adopted through, including a load of information about my birth parents’ backgrounds, their families etc. I didn’t do anything more than just read through the information at the time, as I was busy with uni work, and didn’t think it would be beneficial to start searching for them again properly at that time. Since then, I’ve dropped out of uni, and am just searching for a job at the moment, and the issue has come to the forefront of my mind since I got engaged. It doesn’t quite feel right for me to be thinking about getting married and having children of my own without having tried to find them, and contact them.
Recently , I started talking to my fiance (Jamie) about finding them, and he offered to help. I haven’t really told her about all of the emotions I feel about the adoption and finding my birth parents and everything, partly because I don’t quite know how I feel about everything at the moment. Jamie had a quick look on the internet after I showed him the stuff from the adoption agency, and he managed to find my maternal grandfather. He’s offered to call and get my birth mother’s address or phone number for me, but, I don’t know if now’s the right time to start the whole thing. I don’t know if it’s ever going to be the right time, though, and quite frankly, the whole thing scares me somewhat. I know it’s probably normal and everything like that, but I don’t know how to process the whole thing right at this moment.
I know I’ve got to prepare myself for the possibility that she may not want contact, or whatever, but I know it’s something that I’ve got to do, to help me deal with the whole issue of my adoption. I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety and self harm issues most of my life as a result of the adoption, but if I do meet her, at some point, I guess I’ll have to tell her about that part of my life, and I don’t want to hurt her in that way. The whole thing scares me, and I don’t quite know what I want to do at this moment. Jamie says he’s going to be there for me for the whole of this thing, and I know I can talk to him about anything, but I guess there’s some things he’s just not going to be able to really understand. I guess, I just don’t quite know where to go from here, and any advice would be helpful. Sorry it’s so long, and rambling.
~*friends are angels that lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly*~
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Postby ladyarcher » Sun May 24, 2009 1:56 pm

Hi Hice.......

I guess from your posting that you are still fairly young, therefore it will not be a very long time ago that your birthmother had all the trauma of having you and losing you. You mention that you have already seen a lot of information about your birthmother's situation at the time. How much are you able to judge from this information.........presumably the age of your birthmother, possibly what the reaction was from her family and the amount of support or lack of it that she had. Do bear in mind though that some or all of this information could be said to be slanted in its interpretation by the Agency. If you have had the time to read through a lot of the posts on here you will have noticed that many people were given quite erroneous information about their birth be prepared. People have been told that their b.mother did not want them, when in fact the birthmother would have loved to keep them, but was emotionally blackmailed into 'giving the child a better life........' that is one distortion..........Another is that the grandparents made the mother give up the child.........when in fact the grandparents were devastated at the b.mother's decision. There are usually several sides to all stories, so do not necessarily believe the file to be gospel truth..........keep a very open mind.

With regard to contact. I feel there are two paths to follow.

The first is that only you know how you are and how your life has been. Your b.mother will not know this. Therefore it is your responsibility to tell her that you are alive, and that your adopted parents have been good to you - if they have that is --- sadly not always the case ---------You say that you have always been prone to depression and self harming-----this could be to do with your adoption, but not always.....try to work out exactly what it is that has caused you to do this. Finding your birth parents will not necessarily wave a magic wand and stop all your problems. It could well give you more problems that you have not thought of yet. ---------

---So the responsibility to tell your b.parents about your life is to do it, is the next decision.

It is my personal feeling that this should be done entirely privately by oneself. i.e. not involving any outsider, no matter how close to you they are, like your fiance for example. I feel this for several reasons. One is that the relationship between me and my birthmother was totally to do with just us two. At the point of reunion or attempted reunion I felt that no-one else should be involved.----------- It could be that my b.mother would be very upset by an 'outsider' knowing about her private and very sensitive past.-------------- It could be that going through an intermediary on her side, for example contacting her father, would be a very bad idea......what if he knew nothing of what had happened to his daughter. I also felt that having told my b.mother that I was ok, she had the opportunity to walk away, and so did I. No questions from family or friends on either side.

What I did, was to trace my birthmother, then having made sure that I had the right person, I approached her in an open area, a parade of shops. This way, I had not sent a letter or made a phone call that she would have to explain to another person - husband, for example, or friend, or other children. I did not 'doorstep' her, for the same reason and because it would be quite threatening. I approached her when she was on her own, so she did not have to explain me to anyone, and when she was in a public area, not isolated, and could feel the safety of other people around.

In my case, I was lucky, it went well, and after six months of very gentle contact, mostly with her phoning me at times when she was on her own in her house, she felt confident enough to tell her younger daughter about her previous life, and that there was an older half-sister i.e. me. (My b.mother's husband already knew all her past, it was just that she had been scared to tell her daughter.)

So, take things very gently and slowly, you are still you, whoever your birth parents were. The things that are part of you, your likes, dislikes, things you are interested in, will not change just because you know your b.parents. Knowing them could add joy to your life, it could add nothing at all, it could add sadness. The key thing is to be prepared for anything, and especially for long waits.

You are obviously still quite young, and therefore vulnerable. All things pass in time, both good and bad, but you have to be a bit older to take comfort from this and to believe it.

I found my birth mother when I was just under 30 years old.........I had known about her and looked for her for around five years then. I also discovered while looking for my birth mother, that I had a full sister who had been adopted separately. I never, not once, got any information about her from my birth mother. A half brother turned up years later, that my birth mother had never, not once, ever, mentioned. So be prepared for the unexpected. I have now, as you might have seen on this site under FOUND FOUND FOUND at last found my full sister. That was a forty year wait.......................

Good luck, and send me a p.m. if you want further help, but do not want to post it on the main boards.

born 1944
adopted 1946
Found birth mother 1972 and many other relatives over the years.
Finally found full sister born 1945, a few weeks ago, and will be meeting eachother in around three weeks time.
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Postby j-h-g-5 » Tue May 26, 2009 3:51 pm

It obviously is the right time for you, or you wouldn't be considering making contact at all, the way it seems to me.

Yes, she / they may not be amenable to contact, but that is the chance you take - I am afraid, and until you make that attempt, then you will never know for sure.

Is there any reason why only the birth-grandfather can be found, and are you sure that this is exactly the right person you are seeking? It might not be wise to contact this man in any case, as he may be unaware of what happened all those years ago.

The adoption agency that dealt with your adoption may well be able to assist with looking and approaching your birth mother. Have you asked them about this? If this is not a route that you wish to take, there are various other ways that you can search - at your own pace perhaps, with the assistance of the internet etc, but as Ladyarcher suggests, if you want any help with looking for a particular person, please send a PM, rather than post their details on the open forum.
Please join us on FACEBOOK, helping people affected by adoption & showing your support:
or use the After Adoption message system to send a PM.
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