Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Adoption

In my last post, I said some other remnant of my sordid past's head had reared.  I hate to talk that way about a human being, but I don't know how else to say it - or feel about it.  Forgive me for spilling my guts here, but there are so few people I can talk to about this.  

I wrote earlier this year about giving up a child for adoption when I was 15 years old - in 1967.  I met her when she was 20.  That was the last time I saw her.   Meeting her was very traumatic and I ended up being hospitalized for depression for the first time in my life a month or two after the meeting.  Then I lost contact with her in 1990.  I could have called her adoptive parents, but they weren't very happy about my being in her life and I wanted to respect that.  Besides, I had very mixed emotions about having her in my life and trying to incorporate an adult into my young family.

It had been difficult enough to sit with my 12 year old son and 9 year old twin daughters and explain to them that they had a 20 year old half-sister.  But I did that, and they met her.

After our meeting, she "dropped in" on my sister's business in New York City, quite drunk.  My sister is a very successful business woman, and very wealthy.  She was horrified that some stranger would embarrass her and try to insinuate herself into her family.  I had to apologize.  I never realized that she would use information I had shared with her about my family to do something like that.

And then in February 2009, my daughter sent me an e-mail.  After 19 years.  She knew where I was all that time.  She wanted to come to visit me, along with her 18 year old daughter.  I told her no.  I told her I would like to see her, but I would like to meet somewhere neutral.  She ignored that and kept telling me she was going to come and visit.  She wanted to be my "friend" on facebook, but I wouldn't accept the invitation because that would give her access to my entire family, and I don't trust her with that.  She kept writing me e-mails telling me she wanted to be my "friend."  She wanted to talk to my kids.

I finally wrote her a long e-mail explaining that I wasn't ready to have her back in my life to that extent.  That I felt she was unreliable and unpredictable.  That I didn't want to put my kids through that if she was just going to evaporate again.  Her answer to me on that point was "I am reliably unreliable."  And that was a good enough answer for me.  I don't really want to have anything to do with her.

I have felt guilty about it.  But then I think:

  • I did my level best for her when I gave her up for adoption
  • She HAD a Good Family who adopted her and raised her well
  • I have a family for whom I have a responsibility not to screw up any more than I have
  • I get along well with my kids - they don't play these kinds of games - ever!
So, she sends me text messages from time to time.  Like on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day.  They always say "Hi Mom!"  which I think is just weird.  Sorry,  she HAS a mother, and it is not me.  I gave birth to her and then did the responsible thing and gave her to a loving couple who could care for her.

On Saturday night I got the following message - out of nowhere.  I haven't heard from her since Christmas:
"I thought it over and this is the fakest relationship I ever had.  Please do us both a favor and forget I'd ever existed.  I'd thank you for life itself, but the fact is there weren't a real lot of options in 1967.  Enjoy your "real children" and don't bother responding.  Oh, I just realized I am flattering myself.  So, yeah, save it.  I'm absolutely positive Jesus would advise you similarly.  Best wishes to you and your REAL family for a happy, and wonderful life filled with lovely memories."

My first thought was that she was drunk.  The second is that she is very angry - maybe drunk AND angry.  I thought of responding and saying "As you wish."  But I just left it alone.

My own flesh and blood - she looks just like my mother - and I really don't want to have anything to do with her.

It is a sad thing.  Very sad.

The wreckage of decisions made when I was 14 years old.  I thought I did the right thing. I have no doubt that I did.  But now I am supposed to have another daughter - who is 43 years old?

God help me please.  Please.


  1. Mary Christine
    This is a lot of baggage for you to carry on your own, and quite frankly, I'm not convinced you need to. There was a time in my life when I wanted to go back and "fix" everything I screwed up when I was away from the Church or maybe not so faithful. I have been forgiven for all those things. So have you. Let go. Give it all to Him. The Lord knows you did what was best for this girl and you cannot take responsibility for the person she is now. She has no right to try to inflict such destruction and you have no responsibility to allow her to continue. Pray for her, as all of us will, to find her way. And we will continue to pray for you also. You are carrying so many burdens right now and you do not need or have to carry this one.
    Peace to your heart

  2. This is a situation my family can well relate to, Mary Christine, and I feel for you. When my husband was 15 his first girlfriend got pregnant and the baby was given up for adoption. Both my husband and his son's mother have been in contact with Christopher who is now 27 for the past year and a half and it hasn't been an easy road for any of them (including the adoptive parents). Christopher was very bitter about being given up for adoption even though he had wonderful parents and he still has mixed emotions concerning his birth parents. It's so difficult. We had to explain to my 6-year-old (at the time) that she had a half brother though I don't think she really understood it. His adoptive parents have been very upset about all of this too. We have placed the whole situation in the Lord's hands because we aren't really sure how to handle it.

    Praying for you!

  3. Once again, I can relate. I have made some decisions that have made my life and the lives of my family -like incredibly tangled knots that are taking huge tolls on all of us trying to work our way to health. But the fact is that I am a very different person now and God is somehow able to bring good from all the mess. even the wounds my poor children suffer. He can restore what the locusts have eaten,MC.

  4. It's a really tough call. I can feel the pull in both ways. Now that I have my own little adopted boy, it has caused me to wonder what the future situation could be. In a way I would like him to have a relationship with his birth mother, but it would have to be a healthy relationship. May God give you the proper insight.

  5. Heartbreaking.I think she is desperate for your for your attention,hence the unkind email.I think at the time everything possible was done for her good, and I guess that at some point in her life she has to realise this.How to handle it?I can only agree with the other comments.God knows your sorrow.Leave it at the foot of the Cross.

  6. Such a sad story, and you have tried so hard over the years. I don't think your daughter really knows what she wants from you and I wonder if she has a substance abuse problem or is emotionally ill. Pregnant teenagers are faced with terrifying choices and you did give her the gift of life.

    I hope she is able to take responsibility for her own choices and behaviour some day.

  7. It's funny, MC, when you feel your family situation is difficult you suddenly find you're not alone. Pretty soon everyone else starts telling you that they have similar or equally as challanging problems that they haven't spoken about openly. Then you finally realize that it's never going to be Mayberry and Mom isn't June Cleaver and grandmothers aren't always fat, happy, grey,and baking pies for Sunday dinner. It's all ups and downs and working through issues as best we can, trying to do what's best. Praying for you during this particulary "down" time. Wherever you've been in the past, you're in a better place now. It'll work out.

  8. I love you and will pray for you, today, Friday.Ros xx