Lets be brutally honest for a minute.
I never try to judge another person, especially a mother, especially a birth mother. I don’t know their story, their feelings. And some times people say things that I don’t agree with, and that is their choice to believe what they want. But sometimes people say things that make me feel uneasy.
When I hear a birth mother say “I finally got my son/daughter back after 20-? years my family is complete” I cringe. I can’t help it. I feel uneasy. It took me a while to figure out why. It affects me on a few different levels. I will attempt to break it down for you.
When I hear a birth parent say “I finally got my son/daughter back”, from an adoptees stand point this bothers me. I’m sorry, but you can never “have me back”. I found my birth mother, I never got her back. She didn’t come into my life and suddenly become my mother, she is still my birth mom. I have a mother, a very good mother, and she will not be replaced simply because I found the woman who gave birth to me. It doesn’t take away all the years that I was raised by someone else. Yes I am in a unique position to have two families, one made by blood, one made by love. My family made by love is my family. Another family may have found me, but they can not have me back and take over role as family for me. I’m sorry, for me, it doesn’t work that way.
When I hear a birth parent say “I finally got my son/daughter back” from a birth mothers stand point I still feel uneasy about this. I will never “get my son back”. I gave him up for adoption, my role ends there, I am a birth mother, not his mother. Just because I know him does not change my standing in his life. I will never be a mother to him in the sense that his mother is to him, or in the sense that I am a mother to my 3 younger children. I love my son as much as my 3 younger kids. All four of my children are my life, they are my world, they are my heart, my reason. But when it comes to my older son, I am on the sidelines watching and cheering him on in his life with his mother, his real mother. I don’t get to sit here on the sidelines, wait till he is 16 or 18, and say “your old enough to make a choice, come live with me, I want you back”. It doesn’t work that way. I will never “get him back”. I will never have a legal claim to him. I couldn’t even take him to the doctors if I wanted to, I can’t make medical decisions. I am a birth mother, not a mother, and I can never get my roll as mother “back”. I love him like only a mother can, but I am not his mother.
Even when I found my birth mother after nearly 10 years of searching, I never once said “I have my mom back”. I have a mom already. I found my birth mom yes, but she is still just my birth mom. I love the woman, she gave me life, I have a great respect for her for what she did for me. But just because I found her, found my half-sister, does not mean I “got them back” and have some how replaced existing family members, or completed my family. My family was already complete. Finding my birth family was just an added bonus.
Let me just end this in saying there is a big difference between saying someone is back in your life, and laying a claim to someone saying you got them back.
2 thoughts on “Sometimes Things Make Me Feel Uneasy”
Everyone has the right to define family and what that means for them. Just because you felt your family complete does not mean every person affected by adoption shares that sentiment. For many, including me, motherhood is not dissolved in a signature. I know many adoptees and mothers alike who feel like adoption has ripped their family apart and finds healing in reunion. I agree that the distance and strangeness imposed by adoption is often insurmountable.
I would never even begin to think that anyone else shares my sentiment or that I speak for anyone else affected by adoption. This is simply my thoughts as an Adoptee and Birth Mother. I’m not saying there isn’t healing in a reunion, I was simply trying to state that just because I found my birth mother it does not replace my mother that raised me. My motherhood was not dissolved by a signature, but my motherhood role was changed.