N's birthmother wrote back to me, and I"m happy for N. She really wants to know her roots and see who looks like her, and she is the child I am closest to of all my kids. This was supposed to be an open adoption, but her birthmother closed it. So why do I have such mixed feelings? Actually, I am depressed for myself. Yes, I'm being selfish and obnoxiously self-pitying. I already lost one adopted kid who went out yonder to find his roots. He not only flew to Hong Kong and met his birthfamily, but he married a Chinese girl, learned Mandarin and decided we weren't his family and never were. So I guess I was a babysitter for a while until he found his roots. But he was always so distant that I handled it ok. It hurt, but I dealt with it. He didn't come here until he was six. I feel differently about my daughter N. She is the sunshine of my life and my love. I feel so close to her that it kills me to share her. I'm not exactly being easy child here, but I'm telling my feelings. I wish there WAS no birthmother. I'm terrified that one day this child will want to live with her and will disown us, just like her brother did. I know she came to us at birth, and there is a strong attachment, however her birthmother doesn't live in China either. She lives two hours from us. And she's not a drug addict or particularly dysfunctional. N. is going to love her to death. Adoption to me these days (again I'm on a pity-party) seems to demonize the adoptive parent. We keep the adoptee and her birthmother (now called FIRST MOTHER) apart. Reunions are often shown on TV as meeting the "real" mother. The message is hostile toward adoptive parents, espeically if they don't want an open adoption, and adoptees feel free to dump their a-parents for their b-parents. I've heard of it happening a frightening amount of time because I have adult adoptees and my adoptive parent friends do too. It's different when they're little. Even though my son was detached, he did act like we were his parents and we had no indication that the sweet little boy we raised would refuse to even answer our e-mails and frantic voice messages when his father was sick. Again, I'm not being easy child and am venting. If I had known that adopting felt so tentative, I would have just had birthchildren. The unknown terrifies me. Although I did as good as could be expected when my son from Hong Kong took off, I know it would be a whole different story if N. did it. Yet I can't go backward and it won't help even if I do because she wants to know her and she WILL know her. We are all in adoption counseling and I can't wait for the next appointment because I'm really panicking here. When I see couples advertising that they want an "Open Adoption" I wonder if they're really ready for what that can mean. Often you don't just adopt the child--you adopt a whole family. Maybe if my son hadn't disowned us I wouldn't be so scared, but he did and I am. Yet I feel it's best for my daughter to know her roots, and I can't deny them to her just because I'm afraid. Adoption has really changed. I don't want to lose my precious, special, wonderful daughter just because I didn't conceive her. I want her to be my forever daughter...I can just hear her friends saying, "OH, cool, your REAL mother!" Grrrrrrrr. Thanks for listening to my whining.