I'm filling in time - and filling in the gaps to my adoption story.
(yep - still no news...and still I wait.....)
This is my reply letter to my mother's husband - A.
See this 'Letter From My Mother's Husband' post for details of his letter sent to me in November 2006, after I wrote to my siblings - see this 'Letter to My Siblings' post about them.
Thankyou so much for your letter dated 20th November. I appreciate greatly that you have taken the time to write to me.
I am very sad and sorry that P is not coping well with all of this – and I am sorry that she feels that I am the apparent cause of so much of her pain. I hope that you can understand that I am also in a great deal of pain, and that this last 18 months has caused me a great deal of heartache. Unfortunately adoption appears to cause all involved much heartache and sadness – a consequence of all the secrets that are held, and of a situation where no one talks of the effects that separation of mother and child truly has on those involved.
When I was young, I was always told by my adoptive mother that I was “special” and that I was “chosen” – something that most adoptive children are told throughout their lives. I told myself that I believed this for so many, many years, also trying perhaps to put behind me a very deep wound and trying to “get on with my life”. You see, although I was told I was “special” – this label somehow did not gel with me – as I asked myself – if I am so special – why then did my own mother give me up for adoption?? So during the last 10 years, I have, as you have seen from my letters to P, tried to understand the era in which I was born, and work hard to overcome my very deep feelings of rejection. I have joined support groups for mother’s and adoptee’s, I have read countless books to try to understand what I felt and what P may have felt, and I have seen a counselor to try to come to terms with what has effected me throughout my life. What I have had to face, though, in the past 18 months is something that has hurt me even more.
Up until recently I tried my hardest to contact P in a discreet manner – thinking mostly of her feelings throughout this. In her one and only letter to me (dated 28th April 2005) she asked for “6 months or so” to work through things. I gave her that – times 3 – over 18 months. I know I wrote in other letters that there should be no time limit – but in that time, I have received no other correspondence from P, and at times I wondered whether she had even received or read any of my later letters. I have written a total of 6 letters during this time, often baring my soul, and allowing P to get a glimpse of the person I am and sharing photos of myself and my family. In return I have received next to nothing, and I know no more of my mother, other than the documents which the NSW Department of Community Services (DOCS) have supplied to me. I do not know if she detested my writing to her, or if she appreciated my words. It has been so very hard to understand her “situation” as she has not let me in, nor allowed me any knowledge of how she is or is not coping with this current situation. At no time have I ever prejudged her for that which happened to her so many years ago, but now I find myself having to confront the real truth that P may never find the strength to ever tell me that which I need to know, or to share some of herself so that I can understand the person that she is. I very much appreciate you taking the time to finally let me know how P is, and I am truly saddened by the lack of “good days” which she is having.
The last straw, for me, was when I dug up every ounce of courage within me to call her recently. The first time I found myself listening to your answering machine – and I heard, what I presume was, P’s voice asking the caller to leave a message, which I did. On hearing her voice for the very first time, in which she spoke in a voice like mine, and in a message similar to my own, I was a little overwhelmed. I left quite a vague message for P to return my call. The following day I called to leave a more coherent message – to only have you, A, hang up on me. It may have been an accident on your part – I don’t know – but it crushed my soul. I spent many weeks deliberating on whether I should try to re-call, or even to write once more – but I concluded that I had no more strength to keep trying to go to a place that I did not feel welcome. I felt that I would never again hear from P, and that I must look at other avenues to try to reach out to my family of origin. Please know that it has always been P that I have longed to know – and that I am so very scared of never having that opportunity.
P gave me a small glimmer of hope in her only letter to me, but sadly there has been only silence ever since. Your letter, A, has given me another small glimpse of hope, but I am scared to put trust in this, as I feel I will be let down yet again by false promises. Please understand that I am not trying to call you or P liars by any means, but if P can not face her demons from the past, straight on, I fear that she will never be able to move forward into anything which resembles peace for her, or for me. Throughout, I have tried to give her my hand, trying to help her move forward, and trying to help us both heal together. She has to want to take up the offer, and want to move forward. In the meantime I can only shed more tears for us both.
I too have dealt with depression throughout many periods of my life, especially in this last 18 months, so I do know the horrid place that P finds herself in. I am not an ogre. But I do not wish to be a secret for the remainder of my life. Your children have the knowledge of who their parents both are, what they look like, what family trait each holds, and they have full knowledge of their family trees. My history starts with me – and until I looked upon my own children, knew no others that looked anything like me. My kids can at least look at me and my husband, and know where most of their genetics come from – but I do not have that privilege.
It is true, I am from a younger generation than you both – as too are your children. In a way, I was hoping that by their knowing of me, perhaps more support could come for P, as secrets tend to be the cause of so much pain and heartache. You state in your letter that my contacting them could cause some further friction within your family. I am sorry if there has been friction in the past, and I hope instead for understanding to be all that you receive from them in the future.
I have enclosed documents which I have received from DOCS, which include social worker notes from the time before my birth. I am not allowed to know the full details of my father, as he is not identified on my original birth certificate, but these documents now give me more information about him and about his family and background. They point to my father being an “A” of age 25 around the year of my birth, 1969. I have since discovered that P and yourself actually got married only 6 months after my birth. The question I must ask you - are you my father?? I have asked P this in my last letter to her, but again, I received only silence. If you are not, then a simple reply of no will suffice. I will then perhaps have to wait to see if P can ever pluck up the courage to tell me who my father really is.
I had never contacted you in the past, as I was very mindful of P’s own privacy. I was trying to give her the right of reply, as I did feel that this truly was something that first and foremost was something just between the two of us. My letters to your kids were my act of somewhat desperation, to appeal to those in the family that are of a similar age to myself, to try to possibly get a glimpse of the family which I do belong, for now just in blood-ties, but hoping that someone would open their heart to me. It was not an easy decision to make, but after so many failed attempts of getting noticed by P, I felt I had to look elsewhere. I am not completely sorry that I eventually chose that path, as for now you have at last contacted me, and I can once more hold on to a small piece of hope. I am very sorry though that P feels so betrayed from my actions, and I hope that she can try to understand my motives. Hurting her was never something that I have set out to do.
I do sincerely thank you again for writing to me. Silence from your end truly saddens my heart. Please know that it has not been frustration with the lack of speed that things are happening – but instead the total lack of knowing if my letters are actually being received and read, and the lack of being acknowledged as a person. I’m not trying to win a “I’m suffering more than you” competition here. I am trying, above all, to be honest with my intentions, and with my feelings, and I do hope that P can one day do the same with me.
I do look forward to hearing from you or P in the future. And I truly hope that P can find the strength within herself, and from you, to again have happier days to enjoy that which life has given her. Please, if she will allow it, give her a big hug from me – I care about her deeply. My very best wishes I send to both of you, and my kindest regards.
Love from Possum.
I'm kinda guessing it wasn't received too badly - as last week I received an email from A. (very short - but contact none the less - and the door is now slightly left ajar.....)