I came across this particular confession on True Mom Confessions while doing my usual search for a mention of adoption. It is a must-read for all birth parents who relinquished their child(ren) into a closed adoption situation and have, at some point, considered search and reunion. In fact, I believe this is a must-read for all attached to adoption but it affects that group in a significant way. Read on:
Yesterday was such an emotional day. Not only did Obama win, my mother called and said she wanted to find my half-brother who she gave up for adoption. She’s been so kind to me lately, I don’t know what to make of it. I’m thrilled if she’s turning over a new leaf, I just won’t know what to do with a caring mother! I feel I’ve been alone since 16… What is happening??
Politics aside, you can’t help but feel for this woman. So many issues slammed into one little confession. A previously unfeeling mother. A child who felt uncared for or unloved. A possible reunion. And confusion.
My questions: I wonder, of course, if the mother was detached because of the relinquishment of that other child. While placement sometimes turns mothers into hyper-viligant, over-attached mothers of parented children, it can, of course, have the opposite effect and create a mother who is too afraid to attach for fear (acknowledged or not) of losing another child. Not knowing this particular family, I can’t tell you if that’s the case but, from the complete outside looking in, it would be easy to assume. A sudden change to loving and caring right around the same time as she is announcing a desire to search for the child she relinquished? Perhaps she’s finally dealing with the issues.
I wonder, too, how this reunion is going to affect this parented child. I hope that it will be a positive experience. The wording of the confession leaves me with some fears that birth parents need to consider. As this mother was previously a rather detached one (or so it was felt by the parented child), I hope she is careful as to how she is acting toward each child, parented and relinquished, when and if reunion becomes a reality. If she is overly loving to the relinquished child, it is quite possible that her parented one will feel some sort of resentment that this new “kid” just walked in and soaked up all the love she had been craving for years. Finding that balance will be the hard thing for this particular birth mother.
In fact, finding that balance is a tricky thing for all birth mothers, even ones who are attached to parented children and even those who have open adoptions over their kids’ lives. We want our parented children to feel special, as they are, but we want our placed children to feel as though they are loved, too. Balance, it seems, is the trick we all need to learn.
I am sending my best to this family as they enter this new territory.