Saturday, October 22, 2011

letter to my birthmother


I have thought about you everyday of my life. Before I met you, I thought you would be a famous actress, a doctor, or a princess. I always thought that you were this perfect person who would love to have me find her.

Every time I saw a woman with brown eyes and brown hair, I thought it was you. I thought that maybe you were checking on me to make sure that I was OK.

I dreamed of you since I was little. I don't even remember being told about you, but I always remember having a sense of something missing, even before I knew about you.

I spent so much time and so many years looking for you that I was convinced I would be looking for the rest of my life, like it was never going to happen. I never really thought I would find you.

Sometimes, I wish I never did. At least I would still have thoughts of you being a perfect person who secretly missed me everyday. I always thought you must be thinking of me, especially on my birthday. I just assumed you loved me.

Then I met you. At first, I thought you were in too much shock to show me any affection. The very first thing you said to me when you walked in my door was, "Don't hug me." Then you made some crass comment about my long curly hair.

I tried for a while to like you. I even assumed I loved you. I figured the reason I felt so stupid and not good enough around you was my own fault.

I never felt good enough around you. Not even when I was on the phone with you. I always felt like I was pulling teeth to get you to talk to me.

You even told me you would have never looked for me. That devastated me. I felt like you threw me out all over again. Like I should never had tried to find you, because I was invading your space. Like I went against your wishes.

Well, you went against mine. No one ever asked me if I wanted to be deserted. No one ever asked me if I wanted to live with strangers. No ever one asked if I wanted to live in a foster home, only to get ripped out of that family, too.

No one asked me if I wanted to live in constant fear of being "given back" if I made a mistake. After all, the only mistake I made with you was being born, and I didn't even do it on purpose. Look where that got me. In some cold, unemotional agency that simply wanted to get me out of their hair just as fast as you did.

Throwing away, dumping, dropping off, giving up, no matter what you feel like calling it, it is the most devastating thing you can put on another human being. Even with all the anger I feel toward you, I would not wish adoption on you in a million years. It's far too cruel. It wrecks a person. It breaks a person. It creates a second guessing of yourself, everyone, and everything around you.

Everyone I know knows where they came from. It was their birth right. They take it for granted. Like it's some legal right they have. I never had that. I had a piece of paper that came with me saying that you had a bunch of brothers and sisters, a zillion aunts and uncles, and that you were some sort of competitive swimmer. I even thought your father lived in another country, simply because there was a typo on that paper. I grew up thinking I was from something. That I was someone that I wasn't.

Can you even imagine my shock when I learned the truth about you and me and where I came from? You can never understand it, nor would I wish it upon you to.

I wonder if you were angry about me, or about being pregnant. It seems like you must have been, and still are. I feel your anger all the time. From the very day I met you. You resented me for finding you, because I interrupted your life for a second time. You cannot deny it, because I know it in my heart. You are ashamed of me. I know you feel it with every fiber of your being. I know I do.

I have never been anything but an inconvenience to you. You have made that very clear, not just on one occasion. I wish that I could be a big enough person to say I don't hold that against you, but I do.

YOU are the one who ran away. YOU are the one who slept with a stranger at a party. YOU are the one who abandoned me.

I am head strong, and I got that from you. I know you could have kept me if you felt like it. I am aware that the circumstances would not have been perfect, but I am also aware that throughout my life, my circumstances have not always been perfect either. But I do not run from them. I don't give my issues to someone else to fix.

I believe that every person deserves to know who they are. You stole that from me. You tore it away. You took it. You stripped me of the very thing that makes a person a person. Who they are. I still don't know, and I hold you personally responsible for that.

Even my own mattress has a tag that shows exactly what it's made of. It also says, "DO NOT REMOVE." Maybe you could learn a lesson or two from something so simple.


  1. It's a wonderful letter, Jeni. From the heart. I hope it felt good to get it all out.

    I wish there was something I could say that would make it all OK. But I don't have that power.


  2. This is a very powerful letter but there's just one thing...

    I don't think she's ashamed of you. She's ashamed of herself because you turned out so great and she's taking that shame out on you because she can't hack it.

    Look at all the things you've done. What has she accomplished in her life compared to you? Don't turn her evilness on yourself... she is ashamed of her own selfishness and lack of brilliance. She wins if you allow yourself to believe that she has any reason to be ashamed of you.


  3. I agree with Litha... she's ashamed of Herself - how could she not be?? Look at you (and Gracie), how wonderful and loving and just totally awesome you are. Love you!!

  4. This saddens me, Jeni, That you received this kind of reception upon finding your birth mother. I realize that it happens, that there are mothers out there who are regretful and defensive. So sorry that's what you got. But most bmothers, and I truly believe this, long to know and welcome their children back into their lives. Perhaps you can find some comfort in that and know that we understand and love you from afar. I encourage letting go, because living in constant anger is not a great place to be.

  5. If one more person tells some one who is adoptive about "living in constant anger" like we have a choice I will scream. First of all stop professing you know what the hell this woman is talking about. If you had to go through it you would likely shrivel up in a corner somewhere. You have no idea what most birthmothers would do and you obviously don't have enough sense to know when to stop typing. It's impossible to find comfort in this fairy tale you believe. We would rather impale ourselves with a blunt object than accept "pity" from the pitiful.

    I am an adopted adult who was reunited with my birth/natural or whatever the hell is the popular label when I was forty. I have a seething anger that would eviscerate most people who want to tell me it hurts me. It drives me to create and to speak out about the moronic attitude that being adopted means "Mom, Dad and Apple Pie". Stuff that crap where the sun don't shine sister.

    We have the right to feel whatever the hell we feel. Get it. Okay good.

    People who give children up because of "shame" or because they aren't fit to raise gerbils need to face the consequences of their actions. We can't undo the harm they've done or make it all better for them. My birth mother said "If I had it to do all over again I wouldn't have" responded to me when I found them. My father was the one who called me back. She lied to my two brothers for their whole lives. Disgusting if you ask me. However she has to live with herself. She is not capable of understanding how devastating her comments are. She is wrapped up in her shame and justifies her bullshit constantly by being emotionally bereft of any awareness about how her "words" affect me. I am not grateful to her or my adoptive parents. The deal that was made is their problem not mine. I didn't ask to be born but I am here and still kicking. Someday perhaps people will wake up and realize putting people in this situation is wrong. It messes up our heads. I would rather cut off my limbs than give a child up because I know the cruelty that can ensue.

    Take care of yourself and use your anger; let people know why it's there. I try to channel mine but sometimes it's hard. Don't deny your feelings you have the right to express them. Keep fighting and tell all they nay sayers to kiss the arse above the boots they aren't fit to kiss.

  6. great blog. i wonder if your birth mom was at the same party as mine when she got pregnant by a stranger. Same story i got. I honestly don't believe the story to be true. I'm sorry you are being deprived of your history and received such a crappy reception. People with disregard for others (including their flesh and blood) aren't deserving of the power to make us feel bad about ourselves. You got a raw deal for sure as did I. I feel like sometimes the fantasy that we build up our whole lives is just as damaging as the actual reality. Hugs to you and hope to see you in Chicago in August!

  7. I am sooooo sorry that you had to experience this. Lori at openheartedopenadoption suggested I check out your blog, and I will spend some time reading more ... I blog at about being an expat mommy, as well as adoption issues. Can't wait to learn more about you!