Saturday, July 28, 2007

Is Reunion Worth It?

I'm really starting to question if trying to reunite with one's first family is even worth the bother.

I've been through 2 years of hell and rejection from my first mother. I've written 8-9 letters in total - pouring my heart out with every word.

I've sat on top of my letter box - hovered around my computer - and jumped every time the phone has rung.

And all I've received from her is one small letter in return.

Yes - given - I've finally had acknowledgment from my father - but how heartbreaking will that relationship be further down the line.

I've been questioning whole heartedly my purpose for wanting some kind of reunion - and trying to weigh up the effects of going through this awful process - on both my sanity - and on my husband and children - that I KNOW truly care and love ME dearly - just the way I am.

Besides my own search and (lack of) reunion - I've heard much lately from my friends in Blogland and on forums about the troubles they have also been facing - and my opinions of these reunions are making me want to literally crawl back into my shell.

Of those (that I have found online) that have found and reunited - in some way - with their first family - including Issycat, Jessie, Nina, Dan, Angel, Dory, Joy, Elizabeth, Nicole, Andie, Deborah, Jane, iBastard, Julie, Rebecca, Rhonda, Ani, Stacy, Gersham and Sarah - there are SO many ups and downs - so many disappointments, so many missed years, so much heartache.

Some are very early in their reunions - some have been reunited for many years.

In the process - many have either been rejected outright by their adoptive parents for just wanting to search - others have kept things hidden - as they know that they'll receive a verbal lashing - and keeping silent is sometimes the only possible way to go.

But throughout there is so much sadness - expressed by all.

YES - we all have different stories - and we are at different places in the journey - but ultimately - the underlying message with a lot of the stories - is the sadness that there will never be that same closeness as what real kids would have had with their real families.

Adoptees tend to just hover in some crazy no-mans-land.

We don't completely belong to our adoptive families - and we will never fully belong to our first families.

And we all have different degrees of fear - a fear of our found families rejecting us once more - and a fear of our adoptive families rejecting us for wanting to know who we are and where we came from.

I'm finding that now I have finally been acknowledged by by father - that no minute do I get one question answered - as two more are waiting in line to be asked.

Will I ever be satisfied with how this will all end???

Does it come down to the fact that my first family will never want me - as much as I want them??

So far - I do feel a great deal of relief in knowing what I have so far found out.
I have names - and I have some geneology.
I have a sister that is so very similar to me - and we have both lived the adoptee experience - so we both KNOW without saying a word - about the insecurities that we both feel.
I have a better sense of ME - as I have now seen others who DO look the same way as me.

BUT - still the secrets and lies of the past hang so thickly in the air. And they hold such a great hold on my mother - that I fear - I will never find what I am looking for there.

To be honest - I don't think that initial wound of separation from my first family - will ever fully go away.

Added: Please go to this blog post - "Questions For My Birth Mother" - so many things here that I have never dared to say. I read it through tears. It is EVERYTHING I have ever dreamt and wanted to say. (thanks Jenna for the heads-up on this one)

UPDATE AGAIN: To add - Prairieguy - at Reflections Of A Foster Youth - who wrote the above post - has just posted two more fabulous posts - JUST what I needed to read right now.

"Why Search For Birth Family?"
- and -
"Was Search For Birth Family Worth It?".

Make sure you add this wonderful voice to your links. I look forward to hearing more.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What NOT To Say To Adoptees

Just a brief interlude in the life & times of Possum........

Wraith, has written a great piece on 10 Things You Shouldn't Say To An Adoptee.

It's well worth the read - and something that all non-adoptees should think about - before opening their mouths with words that can be so very painful to an adoptee.

Thanks Wraith.

Poss. xx

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Who Owes What In Reunion?

Dearest Suz - at "Writing my Wrongs" - wrote a post recently about the perceived debts in adoption - about what expectations there are when adoptee and first parents reunite - it's called - "What Do I Expect?"

Her post, and some of the comments got me thinking - as they tend to do!!

My thoughts and views of these issues have changed often over the years. Especially as I learn more of the era in which I was relinquished, and in reading and hearing the words of other adoptees and first mums.

I feel also that my views are becoming a tad tainted with the waiting game that I have had to endure in the last two years.

When I began my search, at age 26 - pregnant with my first child - I was hoping to find that my mother had always been searching for me, and had been waiting for the grand day that I would return.

Instead I found that she had not only relinquished me - but had also had a daughter 5 years before me - who had also been given up for adoption.

My adoptee dreams were shattered.

Nine years later - after much reading - many adoptee support groups - many recounts of first mother experiences - I sucked it up - started searching again - and found and wrote to my mother for the first time.

My first letters to my mother were from a people pleasing maniac - hoping desperately to impress my mother with what I had achieved in my life, in the hope that she would accept me, and love me and welcome me back into her life.

Why - because she gave me up once - I must have been faulty in some way - I'd better show that I had grown into a successful, brilliant, intelligent wife and mother - in the hope that she would accept me for who I am today.

Well - it didn't appear to work.

Oh - she did mention that she was proud of me and what I had achieved - BUT - she's not mentioned me to anyone but her husband - and now I was a big problem - a problem that appears to be too hard to acknowledge or to deal with. (yeah - lets ignore that this child was ever born - and maybe she really will just go away for good....)

The little adoptee inside of me had only ever been hoping to be accepted for ME - just the way I am - but perhaps that isn't enough.

Perhaps I need to write once more - (I have written a total of 8 times - with no more replies) - and bare my soul - telling of my need to just be accepted etc etc etc.

Or perhaps I should just stop trying to bang my head against a very thick, solid brick wall.

From this adoptee - my expectations in reunion have just been to be acknowledged and a hope of forming some kind of relationship with the family I was never allowed to be a part of.

I would have hoped that my own mother would not have rejected me in the way that she has - as this alone is an adoptees greatest fear.

And to acknowledge that my greatest fear is my very real reality - hurts like hell.