Found N's birthmother, but she doesn't want to talk (long)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know how much I shared about this, but I'll do my best now as I am hurting for my little girl. For the first time ever, I think I understand how many adopted children feel, even if they are cherished by their adoptive family--second best and rejected. My daughter doesn't know this happened and she won't know until she is old enough to handle it.

    N. has been on-and-off sad that her birthmother is not in her life. B. was in her life for two years. N. was basically relinquished because she is half-African-American and B. a very bigoted family who refused to help her parent N., although they opened their arms and embraced her first child, Z. who is half-hispanic. In fact, it was the grandmother who first called me about adopting N. She was the main cheerleader to have N. out of the family.

    Hub and I really hit it off with B., the birthmother. In fact, she also met a doctor's family and decided that they were too stuck up and pretentious and that she didn't want that kind of life for her baby. We were all very close for two months before she delivered and even named N. together. Meanwhile birthfather was sitting in jail on drug charges and armed robbery so he couldn't help her. Apparently, she never asked the sane part of his family for help though. (As an off-topic aside, N. has not inherited ANY of birthfather's anti-social tendencies. She is love and light and very much a caring person and also follows the rules so far.). Ok back to B (birthmother).

    She agreed to relinquish N. if we kept the adoption open and since we loved her, we said "sure!" Fast forward two years and B. was engaged to a wonderful man, African-American like N. and she loved him. He was a college grad with a great job and was wonderful with N. Then N's birthfather C. got let out of prsion and N. cheated on her fiance with C. and her fiance never forgave her. We didn't hear from B. for a long time and N. asked about her so we called her. A strange man answered the phone (we hadn't known that the wedding had been called off at that point. We still thought it was going on and that N. was going to be the flower girl. N., who was very precocious, understood all this and was very excited).

    When the man answered, I knew something was up. It wasn't her fiance. She got on the phone, but was very offputting and she spoke quickly to N. then got off. The next time we tried to reach her, her # was unlisted. Then we moved and unlisted our number because of our dangerous adopted son that we relinquished (long story). We didn't want him to be able to find us, but that meant that B. couldn't find us either. At that point in time, we didn't really care that much. She had let N. down so badly that we questioned whether it was good to have her in N's life until she matured.

    Well, N. is 12 now, and at the prime of searching for her identity. She would like to bring B. into her life. Behind her back, just in case it wouldn't happen, I performed my own online search. I am here to tell all of you that NOBODY can't be found, even by an amateur like me :confused:. All of you are "out there." I not only found B., but found her married name, address and phone number. To make it short, my sister called her phone number and got her hub, who was very nice at first. I have reason to believe that B. has married her first child's birthfather. Z. is hispanic, this man is hispanic, and this man was never a deadbeat dad. He was always a big part of Z's life and a good friend of B's, even when they weren't dating.

    My sister said the conversation went something like this.

    Sister: Hi. My name is A. and I'm wonderin if a B. lives there, age 33.

    Hub: Yes. Who are you?

    Sister: Tell her this is a call from PM's (my name) sister. Ask her if she'd like to talk.

    Hub: She just walked in. Hold on. Honey, this is PM's sister...(change of tone, very brisk). No, she doesn't want to talk now. Yeah, she has your number and can call you back if she likes. Bye!

    She didn't call back, of course. And if this man is who I think he is, he knows about N., just not MY name. It's not like he doesn't know B. relinquished a child.

    I never thought B. would EVER turn down a chance to have N. in her life. I am reeling at the unexpected response. If I hadn't known her so well before the adoption, I wouldn't have been so surprised. After all, this interrupted her life, the adoption has been closed for a long time, and SHE closed it, and you never know how a birthmother will react. But...

    My daughter is my main concern. She loves us both (dad and me) and has often said she thinks we are great parents. I believe her. This has nothing to do with us, it has to do with her. She was crying just before I searched, telling me she doesn't feel complete not knowing who she came from. She hopes birthmother is trying to find her. Also she wants to find out why she was given away, if it was because she was defective or bad in some way, that she feels like a throwaway kid. Nothing we do can make those feelings go away. I found a letter she'd written to B. and it was heartwrenching. She WILL search one day, and I'll be helping her, but I feel so sad for her now.

    This is the first time I think I understand how many adoptees feel. I'm so hurt for my child, even though she doesn't know anything about this. I feel like B. gave her up and now is putting her family before N., like N. is second best. I feel like N. will be sad when she finds out that B. married Z's dad and that the reason she was relinquished was because her family literally thinks African-Americans are inferior to whites. I hope B. handles that well when N. searches for her and asks, but she'll still feel like the odd one out. I understand B's wishes to just move on--I believe birthmothers feel so much pain and often can't bear to relive it--but I still hurt for N. She is such a great kid. But fortunately, N. doesn't know. She doesn't know...she won't know. Not now.

    I'm grateful that N. is so close to us. She wrote in her MySpace that her parents are great, her dad is her best friend, her mom is her partner-in-crime and that she loves her brothers and sister. I wish we were enough to make her feel whole. I think most adoptees go through this rejection bit and have to deal with it in their own ways. My Korean daughter, age 24, who got into drugs has a different perspective, partly due to her age and circumstances. She has info to search in Korea with--but she isn't ready. And she says she realizes she's lucky to be in the US and is happy to have her friends and family and SO of six years who have supported her, even during her drug days (but would she have done drugs if she wasn't adopted???). She says it's impossible to know, that she just had a wild streak in her and probably would have had the same streak even in Korea, then laughed and said her birthparents obviously were rebellious to have had a baby out of wedlock in a country that frowns on that.

    My oldest son and first adopted child came at age six from an orphanage in Hong Kong. His adoption status affected him profoundly. He was very upset by it, maybe because he came at an older age, and never attached. Now he is into being Chinese (his wife is from China) and has nothing to do with any of us. He joined a very cultish church too, part of his search for an identity, I think. This is hurtful to his dad and me, but we understand. And it's out of our control.

    My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son has thought about being adopted, but has no interest in searching. He doesn't seem bothered by it.

    If anyone stuck with this whole post, thanks! It was more a vent than anything else. I'm so grateful to have had the chance to have parented all of my kids--I love them all desperately. I just wish I could shield N. from the inevitable hurt when she is older. But maybe B. will mellow out by then. She HAS to know that N. will find her.

    Of all five of my kids, I am the closest to N., and the most like her, even moreso than my biological son. Ok, I'm going to go now. Thanks for listening ;). I feel better now and N. is off rollerblading with her many friends. So she's not sad. It's me. And isn't it our job to feel pride for and hurt for our precious children?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I have no experience in this realm, but I am sorry you are suffering in silence for your daughter.

    If and when N decides to seek her out, what if she were to write an "open" letter to her birth mom, and you could perhaps forward it to her since you know where she is. At least it would give N a chance to get her feelings down on paper. It would open the door for her birth mom to respond, or not. Maybe just ask her some basic questions and hope she will honor the request with a brief reply? If it's that important to her, at least she could give it a try and see what happens. If she's disappointed by nothing happening, then maybe that's the time to find a good therapist who's dealt with adoptive kids and you go with her to tell her what you know and help her work through these feelings.

    For now, though, if she's happy and not dwelling on it, I'd just leave it be until she lets you know the time is right. And I'm sure she will. We can't shield our kids from every kind of heartbreak out there, but we can be there for them, love them, and do our best to help them make sense of the situation.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ah, but wouldn't it be great if we COULD shield them? Thanks for responding ;)
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I'm sorry for your pain. It hurts when we know someone has the ability to hurt our children. Hopefully by the time N decides to search, her birth mother will be more accepting.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry you are hurting. Maybe N will decide she doesn't want to search out her bm or as EW said maybe bm will be more accepting by then. At this point difficult child and easy child (they have different birth families) have not expressed interest but I wouldn't be surprised if they do. We have always told easy child that if she wants to, when she turns 18, we will help find her bm. We have written a few times over the years (I'm horrible at writing letters) and the last time easy child helped me write and we received a wonderful response which I let easy child see. With difficult child, we only know her first and middle name (oddly enough it's the same as my first and middle name) so I don't know if he could find her or if it would be a good idea for difficult child for a whole lot of reasons. Hugs to your hurting heart.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm sorry it's happened like this. I just shared this with husband, he is proud of you for finding B. Also handled well, in that you didn't breach confidentiality in case it wasgoing to cause her problems.

    I am wondering, though - it sounds like B has been through a great deal in her life and has made decisions in order to reduce her own pain. I can't say whether they are wise decisions or not - they are simply decisions B has made, in order (as she probably feels) to simply keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    The phone call must have been a real shock to her and she still doesn't know why the call. Could it be tat you want to dump the girl back on B? After she's mentally cut off contact because it was becoming too painful maybe?

    I stress, this is conjecture. But apparent rejection now, is not necessarily rejection of N herself, because B doesn't know who she is these days, she's been out of her life for too long. WHat matters is that when N was born, she was loved by her birth mother and by you, she was very much wanted. And as far as B is concerned, one day when N is older perhaps, there will be the chance to make contact as adults, rather than her fear of having to care for a child she doesn't know or doesn't feel capable enough of caring for.

    B knows you. She knows she left N in capable, loving hands. She wouldn't want that to change for the worse.

    B mightn't be too stable, her life is probably still fairly rocky. If she's coped with her emotional pain by constantly walkaing away from it and sabotaging herself (which it sounds like she does) then who knows where she is emotionally right now? She is still likely to be a person who makes promises she can't keep. Not out of any desire to be mean, but because reality and dreams don't mesh.

    I tihnk you were wise to keep this from N. If the subject comes up and N finds out you have found B, then I think the letter could be a good idea, as long as N doesn't get the address information herself. The last thing N or B needs, is for N to turn up 'on spec'. Not healthy for either of them.

    My sister adopted two kids in similar fashion. Those adoptions weren't open, though, because back then it wasn't legal. However, a big paper trail was left so there could be reconciliation if either side wanted it. Neither has tried. My sister's kids have expressed mild curiosity now they're adults, her daughter went so far as to get a bundle of information sent to her, but then stopped.

    It's a shame for B, that she has colsed off contact again. But at least you have opened the door for her, it is now her choice. But if only she could see N, she would know what a beautiful, lovely person she has brought into the world. Maybe she would feel better about herself, knowing she can produce something as wonderful as N.

  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Be careful not to "project" your thoughts...your pain...onto your child.

    Our area has an adoption support group. It is for young families...young children.

    Do you think there might be something like this in your area? Do you think you would consider starting one?

    They meet monthly (not in the summer though) and have guest speakers. I think once or twice a year they have a big picnic. in my humble opinion, this could be a helpful thing.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    in my humble opinion, this is about the fact that a bio-parent does not want in her life to emotionally support her at all or reassure her that it had nothing to do with anything being wrong with her (N.). I say that because I saw the same hurt in my son and he's not adopted. It isn't about being adopted, I don't think, I think it's just like my son's father not wanting to acknowledge or speak to him. I wish I (his ONE parent) could be enough for that not to hurt my son. So, I don't think it's that I'm not enough for my son or that you and huub aren't enough for N, I think it's that no one can reassure them that it was not rejection except for that very bio-parent that is not there.

    It is a real shame that kids have to hurt like this and that a stinking bio-parent can not take an occassional 20 mins to let their bio-child know that they aren't there raising them because it's in the child's best interest but it doesn't mean the child is worth less- it means that everyone wanted the child to have the best opportunity (ie, love, nuture, attention, etc) possible. This kind of carp burns me so much.

    You did the best you could MWM. I made the stupid mistake of calling difficult child's father with difficult child sitting right beside me when he was 6yo. I'll never forgive myself for that one- I should have realized by then that there really are people in this world that can turn their back on their own child, even when they aren't expected to raise or pay for the child. And in my humble opinion, this isn't about N's race either- CARP on that- if she loved the child, she wouldn't even think about the race issue. Love doesn't see skin color, in my humble opinion.

    Admittedly, I have not read a single response here- I just read MWM's intial post and my temperature and blood pressure went up. People use the most ridiculous excuses sometimes to try to cover up the fact that they feel nothing in their heart for their own child-

    If that mom had such a repulsion toward a particular race that she couldn't stand the thought of a person of that race being in her life, she wouldn't have been sleeping with the man.

    PS This might be one of those angry post revealing my own issues and baggage- the anger is not directed at MWM or, certainly, not at any child- I hope that's obvious, but I'm not proof-reading right now.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OMG, you guys are the GREATEST! Marg, what a GREAT response and klmo, oh, your hurting heart!!!!!

    I know it's not about us not being "enough." N. has moments of sadness over the adoption. Most of her days are filled with laughter and happiness and great friends--she is fortunate that she was not born a difficult child (I do believe difficult child's are born that way--my own bio. child has many issues he has always had).

    The support group would be great, except the one we had out here fell apart due to lack of interest. You bet I used to go and would start another one if I thought it would take hold. We have a low population here...and it shows. We lack many support groups that big cities have. Maybe I"ll try though. I can call Social Services and see what they think...maybe they'll help.

    My daughter does see a therapist she has known forever. It started when we adopted the child who sexually abused her and my Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son. They have never gotten out of touch and I feel their good adjustments after that trauma have to do with her good support and help. So daughter has her to talk to about her adoption sadness as well as me and her father. I'm grateful to have found such a caring, helpful therapist. As one who has had about twenty therapists in my life, I KNOW how hard it is to find a gem like her!

    And it's great to have a board like this one with so many kind, wise people. Thanks.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The one good thing in all this, MWM, is that the child is hurt because they know it is WRONG for a bio-parent to not be there in some way for their child. I'm not saying it was wrong for you to adopt her- I'm saying the bio-Mom should be there to just talk to N occassionally and reassure her and let her know that she cares for her, but reinforce this path she's on as you and hub raising her. The reason this is good is because, in my humble opinion, when these kids eventually work through this pain and mature enough to relaize that it's because the bio-parent was wrong, I think it breaks that chain. That doesn't mean any of our kids might not be in a position of having a child and putting it up for adoption someday, but I'll bet you that mine doesn't ever "not love" his child or make sure that the child knows he/she's loved and has a father that cares, whether he raises it or not. And your N probably will never be like her bio-mother either.

    If they never felt this hurt, then I think it could mean that they are growing up feeling like this is ok- it is not ok- it is wrong. I'm not bashing B for having her child adopted and raised by someone else. I have NO problem with that. I'm bashing her because she is turning her back on her child when the ONLY thing expected or asked of her is to let her child know that she is cared for and that nothing is wrong with her and that things are this way so she could have a better life. That's why I say it sounds just like difficult child and his father's situation to me.

    I would take a few mins to tell that to ANY child- it wouldn't even need to be a child I know personally. Soome people aren't worth the dirt they walk on.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    MWM, I am so sorry for the hurt; You are so compassionate. Someday your daughter will understand.

    Our bmom is, once again, starting to pull away. She is not mature ... she was very mature to place difficult child with-us, but somehow, she seemed to regress. I think that people do not learn on a steady, upward curve. We ebb and flow, move forward and then backslide. difficult child's bmom is backsliding because she has her own insecurities, and needs others to affirm her, to validate her--including her placed-for-adoption son.
    Problem is, he's a boy. He's a preteen boy. And he's an Aspie boy.
    Not a lot of warm fuzzies there, ya know? :)

    So I'm thinking N.'s bmom is going through much the same thing. For whatever reason, she is backing away. (And her husband is not helping matters. He may be jealous or over-protective. You can only guess.) Maybe when she's older, she'll change her mind and want to be contacted.

    I know people who made contact in their 60s and 70s. :)

    Vent away. We're here for you.
    Allow your daughter to vent. Be there for her.

    But don't try to solve the problem just now. Clearly, it's not the right time. (Cool that you did so well in your search, though. Kudos.)
  12. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    No advice, just in a similar space, adoption does add its own layers to deal with on top of the difficult child problems in my family. My oldest 3 have the same birthmom and I assume she is still a drug addict, my L has expressed interest in meeting her, I have her address and send her letters/pictures at times but she has no way to contact us. I've thought to have L write a letter to bm and I could mail it, I just don't know how much I want to encourage a relationship if bm is still leading her old life which is most likely. How do you prepare a child to be strong enough to reach out to their birthmom and yet strong enough to walk away if she would just drag her ain't easy.
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is a good example of why I believe it's in the best interest of the child that they not reunite until they are 18 or 21, whichever your state recognizes as the legal age that an adoptee can find their birthparent without consent. When my difficult child has asked about finding her bm in the past I've always told her that when she is 21 I will help her do that and that the laws were made to protect children until they were old enough and mature enough to handle the situation. I think a 12 year old is way to young to handle all the emotions involved.

    I've said it before, I believe all adopted children have adoption issues to some extent or another. The hole they have in their heart is so big that for some, it just can't be filled. I have tried to put myself in my difficult child's place and I can understand why she has self esteem issues, even though we have done everything we could to avoid that. It's no wonder they feel different or inferior. In their mind their bm's didn't want them. I am afraid that my difficult child will be very disappointed when she finally reunites with hers, but I'm glad we waited until she was a little more mature before that happens.

    It sounds like your daughter's bm still has some growing up to do, and it's better that she is not in her life until that happens.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Everyone, thanks again. Nancy, a special thanks to you. I did not always believe what you do, but now I think you were more right on than I was. Maybe I was in denial that adoption causes issues beyond normal childhood. You are kind to put up with me ;)
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM we are all in this together. Thanks for the kind words.