I’d move mountains for my children, any of them. I would give my life for my children, any of them. These statements include the Munchkin, the daughter I placed for adoption, as well as my two parented sons. While I may not be actively parenting my firstborn, I feel the same way about her well-being as I do about that of the children living under my roof. That’s why an article out of York, PA hits me close to my heart.
An adoptee needs a bone marrow transplant (or, rather, stem cells). She has aplastic anemia. The transplant could cure her. Without it, she could die. If you know anything about bone marrow or stem cells, the donor and the recipient have to be a pretty darn close match. As an adoptee, Shashonna Grove’s best chance is with her biological mother.
But she can’t find her.
Or, rather, she can’t find her again.
They met before, a few years ago, and her curiosity sated, Grove never continued to build the relationship. Neither did Grove’s birth mother, especially as she had not told her husband or children about the child she relinquished in 1976. As such, now that it is a matter of life and death, Grove cannot get in contact with her birth mother. Calls have been left unanswered. Other birth family members have been contacted. No one has returned a call.
That gets me all up in arms.
I understand that even in the mid-70’s, we weren’t preparing birth mothers for future reunions. We were still telling them that they could move on with their lives, forget about the baby and live as if the whole thing never happened. We did a great disservice to generations of birth parents and adoptees by acting in this way. We continue to learn the repercussions of neglecting to counsel parties on these matters (though we’re still falling way short in how much counseling we are providing today’s generation). One of the things that is greatly affected by the lack of help we have provided these families is evident right here: health issues.
Of course, with New Jersey sitting on a bill that could give adoptees access to their Original Birth Certificates and, as such, remove the guess work in locating birth family members, it’s as if we’re fighting an uphill battle. I know this birth mother is likely scared. She doesn’t want her perfect world bubble to pop.
But no mother should want her child to die, whether she raised her or not.
I can only hope that this birth mother comes to her senses before it is too late. The guilt that I would feel as a birth mother if I denied my daughter something of this nature would be far too overwhelming. If something happened to her that I could have helped prevent, well, I’d likely be unable to function in the life that I would have been trying to protect. Catch 22, it is. That said, I couldn’t offer my daughter (or my sons) a kidney due to my own health issues. Hopefully they won’t need one!
Hopefully this story will help others think about and consider their courses of action should something like this happen in their lives. If your relinquished child needed something from you to continue living, would you help?