Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wishes For The Disappeared

To the mothers and fathers whose pain and sadness were too great to stay, I hope you find the peace you're looking for.
I wish you could have stayed. I wish you could share in the joy of everything you are missing. There is happiness in playing, laughing, arguing, and crying with our children.

I'm sorry you couldn't stay. I wish it could have been easier. I wish you hadn't felt so alone. I wish you knew the support you're looking for is in the family you're hiding from.

I wish you could come back to us. Hopefully the things you need to work through are not so punishing as they appear. I hope you can let yourself be happy again. You deserve to be happy. I hope, someday, that you can share your happiness with us, because we deserve it too.

I wish you could see how hard it is when you aren't here. You bring so many gifts with you. Even when you felt alone, when you felt useless, we loved to be near you. I hope you will share your future with us. You can do such amazing things. We want to cheer you on, if you'll let us.

I hope you'll come back, because we can't wait to see what you'll do next. We want to show you that you're still our family. We want to show you how much we still love you.

Even if things can't be the same, I hope you know you're worth so much more than you give yourself credit for.  I wish you would come back, because there's someone very important who really wants to know you.


  1. No one wants to listen to adult adoptees. Every mother who gives up her baby thinks it will be different for them. Some children will be happy, and some will always feel they weren't good enough to keep. Some children will always long for their mothers, and nothing you can tell them will make them feel better. I was one of those children. Knowing that your own mother was able to let you go is a terrible thing for some people. Some will never bond with their adoptive families, no matter how much money they have. There is no substitute for your own mother. You would never have known how I felt inside. I kept it all to myself. I know you don't want to believe me, but I know it's true because I've lived it.

  2. Adoptomuss - I appreciate that your experience was significantly painful. I hear that. I honor that pain. It's real and nothing anyone says can take it away. I'm sorry that others have tried.

    But please, don't tell me my thoughts or feelings. Believe it or not, I do listen to adult adoptees. As a matter of fact I've been conducting a series of interviews with adult adoptees about the good, bad, and ambivalent in their experiences. No one is putting me up to it. I genuinely want to learn from their experiences. More importantly I think adult adoptees aren't given a loud enough voice in the adoption community. I believe the way to change that is to create space for them to speak where they would otherwise go unheard.

    I hope that your pain eases. You deserve peace and happiness. You may never find a degree of peace you find acceptable. I'm sorry that's possible. I want better than that for you.

    I hope that you can say the same for me. I also hope you recognize that today, birthmothers' day, is an especially painful occasion for me. If anything I've written in this response seems backhanded, disrespectul, or disingenuous, I apologize. Any insult is not intentional. I'm quite worked up at the moment. It may be worth noting this post was not written with cheer.

    It was written with tears and frustration.

  3. It just seems that most natural parents don't think about how their child will feel as they grow up. They seem assured that it's all for the best, and their child will only benefit. The post above was copied from a post I made on the facebook page for "I'm having their baby", a horrible show on oxygen network. There's a lot of mothers and others saying how brave and selfless it is to give up you child.
    Hearing women crow that they have "no regrets" and they are "happy with their choice" just kills me. I just want to scream, "what about us?" we don't want to lose our families, and open adoption is no picnic either. It's too much to ask a child to deal with all this. Sometimes I think you give yourself too much credit, congratulating yourself for sticking around. You stuck around, but you still gave your son to strangers.

    1. Trust me adoptomuss, we do think about how our children will fare as they grow up. We lay awake at nights wrought with doubt over it, wondering if they'll be happy and, best of all, whether or not they will hate us for the decisions we've made. We all understand that we made a huge, life altering decision for our kids before they were able to give any input on it, and yes, this is completely unfair. We know this.

      Please bear in mind that a lot of the sayings you're referencing are typical adoption industry propaganda fed to us in an attempt to ease the pain of being separated from our child, and some first parents cling to the mantras of selflessness and bravery because its all they have to keep their heads above water. My guess is that if you hear a birth parent saying that they have no regrets, this is likely a brave face they're putting on for the world because, underneath, they're on the verge of breaking. Denial is the first step in grieving, and a lot of birth parents get stalled in this step.

      But, there is one part of your comment that I can whole-heartedly agree with; open adoption is no picnic. I myself see my daughter once or twice a week and cherish every second I get with her, but reality is that its hard, for all parties involved. Its hard for me to be so close to her so often but not to be her parent. Its hard to exist somewhere between mother and not, always feeling divided. And as she grows older and starts to go through her own grieving process, she may be angry at me, yell and scream and reject me, and that's going to hurt like hell. But, I will always stick with it because, no matter how hard it is for me, its still better for her to know me, to hear that I love her, and to be able to yell at me if she needs to.

      Its not easy for any of us, but we're all imperfect people trying to make the best out of the situations we were given. Please trust me when I say that the author of this blog does understand your point of view, sees your pain, and knows what could possibly lay ahead for his own son. Any pride he may have for remaining active in his son's life isn't meant as an affront to any adoptee's pain for losing their family, its merely finding silver linings in dark clouds.

  4. If you know all these things, then why do it? And Happy Mothers Day to all.

  5. Adoptomuss - Jim Gritter write eloquently about "circumstances of need". For first families, at the heart of every adoption is panic, terror, and desperation. No one grows up planning to be a birthparent. To a degree there is choice involved. But there are varying degrees of control in the choices people are presented with. The primary goal, for a first parent, in making an adoption plan is the attempt to salvage anything possible from the worst nightmare s/he can imagine.

    The premise that makes a person consider adoption in the first place is always an utterly unlivable situation. I don't mean unpleasant, hard, or "not as pleasant as other options". Actually going through with an adoption plan means the other choice weighs as heavy as death. Many consider adoption while also seriously considering suicide. For many men and women adoption is the choice that allows the greatest chance for something good to happen. Adoption doesn't promise something good, but it doesn't eliminate it outright.

    That's why we choose adoption.

  6. Adoption cannot be done right, open or closed. Separating a mother and child will never be the right thing to do, when the woman is healthy and able to raise her child. It is not in the child’s best interest to be taken from their mother. The excuse of giving the child a better life does not work, because a child will not have a better life if it is separated from their mother. Period. There is no way around this. I am not talking about abuse or neglect. Even in severe cases I do not believe a complete severing of maternal ties is in the child’s best interests. Once you've created an adoptee, you've created a damaged person, and there is no going back

  7. How about temporary care, until the situation gets better. You will not always be in such dire shape. Is having a baby really the worst nightmare imaginable? Giving a child up doesn't stop suicide. There are many mothers who've done it after relinquishing too. I'mm seeing this from the child's point of view, and nothing you say makes it right. All I hear is, I didn't fight hard enough for you. You just weren't good enough to keep.

  8. Did you even read the post? Too many people, and that includes adoptees, adopters as well as mothers and fathers who have relinquished, hear only what's going on in their own heads
    "I am" isn't just all about him. He tries to listen.

    Temporary care isn't always an option, and being shunted around isn't good for children anyway.

  9. Beautiful - I'm new to your blog and am just catching up ... what a poignant post. I hope the parents that can't stay can find their way back too.

  10. Hi Brandon! I nominated you for a blogging award ... feel free to participate! :)

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