Questions for My Birth Mother

This was written from the time I began searching for my birth mother until her death…a period of over 20 years.

 Did you know what it was you gave away?  What was it
to you?  Was it a mistake perhaps that could be erased
by a simple act of false generosity. 

Was it easy for you or did you lay awake at night
tormented by the few options life had left for you? 

Was there a sense of great relief or regret when I was
no longer a part of your life? 

Did you look back as you walked out the door? 

Were you alone in the final hour?  Did you regret the
decision when it was over? 

What does it feel like to lose a part of oneself, not
to death, but to a future of unknowing? Were there
tears of joy, or sorrow, or both, or neither?

Did I cry?  Did I understand the totality of the
decisions made on my behalf?  Did I latch on to
anything that was willing to comfort me, or did I know
you already in my inner being and long for you with an
invisible bond?  Do you know what I felt when you
left?  Not even I can know the pain of separation from
a love at that vulnerable age. 

You were my first love and my first lost love.  Truly
a tragedy to have learned one of life’s most difficult
lessons at hours old. 

Was it similar to the loss of my first love when I was
a teenager, or even worse?  The body protects itself.
Perhaps to truly feel that kind of loss would cripple
my capacity to function. 

You gave up a lot. I have struggled to like myself
throughout the years.  Rejection in the conscious life
allows you to rationalize ones feelings and soften the
blow.  It is easy to see both sides of the story, and
make excuses for what might have been.  

But my first rejection came when I was without a
defense.  I cannot blame myself for I did not know
myself, and to blame one’s mother seems too painful.
Blame sits by itself in the middle, no one wanting to
look it directly in the eye.   Later on we all take
small pieces of this thing called blame.  There is
enough for small pieces to be taken for a lifetime and
more. 

There is not hate, but an open wound of unknowing. 

If you knew me would you do it all over again? 

I have part of you with me.  Only you could identify
what it is that I carry.  Is it the way I smile, the
way I cry, the shape of my eyes? 

You do not carry a part of me.  You have only memories
of a baby who was losing the life support it
desperately relied on.  How sad that your last memory
of me was on the surface, perhaps a health happy baby,
but on the inside was a spirit whose very soul was
being ripped apart. 

If my heart knew then what I have felt over the years
in my inner self, I would have died that day.  A body
cannot take that kind of pain in a single blow. 

You probably thought you did what was best for me.  I
have no way of knowing, but life cannot be compared to
what is and what could have been. 

Life with you ended when I was removed from you, but
the pain of your anguish as you decided to give me up
was not in isolation.  I felt you touch me
differently; hug me differently, as if this was a
guilty hug and kiss, not an embrace that is filled
with the wonder of things to come. 

Was I wanted in the womb?  When you felt me growing
was it like watching a beautiful flower develop with
the anticipation of the final glorious bloom, or was
it a dreaded anticipation of weeds overtaking a
well-tended garden. 

Was I a prisoner in your womb taking in all of your
despair and anguish? 

What went through your body and entered my sacred
home?  Was the foundation of my marrow a blend of
happiness and optimism, or was my body at its very
soul begun with despair, fear, regret, and
embarrassment? 

To answer this question I must know that moment, in
your deep unconscious when you knew, really knew, that
I would not be yours, but given to another. At that
point my psychic connection to your psyche felt a
rift.

Was there a slight tremor, shock, or disturbance that
alerted me to set up a defensive wall.  When was it,
before I was born or at the moment of my birth?

At what point did the focus of my life turn from
drawing in as much love and goodness as I could, to
defending my inner being from pain.  Can you do both
at once?  I know I can’t. 

Did you look down on me with loving eyes, longing
eyes, or eyes of sorrow?  When I looked into your eyes
did I see love or loss?  Were there tears of joy or
sorrow? 

I would have known the difference, must have known the
difference because all I saw and felt were the eyes
and tears.  No other distractions interfere with the
need of a baby to connect with the soul if its mother.

I saw the tears and hollow eyes.  I transported
through my look into your eyes my need for you and
what I got back was not acceptance but resistance. 

Have you ever wanted something so bad and felt with
your whole being the need to encompass that thing?
This is what I believe that I had when I was born, a
tremendous desire to belong, and a sense of attachment
to the security of love. 

How long can a person go without a sense of security
before natural defenses go into place?  One minute,
one hour, one day, one week, one year? 

I lost that from you somewhere between my development
in the womb and your decision to give me to another. 

Was my birth a final cleansing of your body of all
that was sad, disappointing and degrading?  Was I
purged and then removed from the last connection to
you as the umbilical cord was cut? 

Was there ever a connection after that, or did I go
from being a part of you into a world void of
attachment.  Did you reach for me as I was covered in
your blood and fluids, or did you look to the side and
sigh with relief that I was finally out of your life.

I was not chosen. You choose ripe fruit, fresh fish,
and a good car. Chosen is an excuse for abandoned.

I had many foster parents. However, none adopted me to
save me from a life without parents, but they in most
cases did all they could do.

They tried to love me, nurture me and did the best
they could with a damaged soul. You can restore
some of the harm done to the soul of a child, but you
can never replace it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the foster parents could have
put into my spirit the excitement, desire,
anticipation and deep love for my life ahead. They
were too late. By one day, by one week, by nine
months, they missed the opportunity to influence a
virgin spirit.

The holes in my spirit must have been many, and one
set of foster parents filled many of them, but you cut
me too deeply in parts.

The surface healed, but the deep wounds fester every
once in a while. Those are the times, like now, that I
wonder who I am, what I might have been, who you are,
and if you know what you gave up.

Now I am an adult. The turmoil of my youth is behind
me though forever ingrained in my memory. Today I can
make my own decisions.

Should I look for you? What would I find?

You are forever a young beautiful woman in my mind. I
never picture you pregnant, and wonder what that means
if anything. You are always thin, without child.

I think of who my mother is often, but not my father.
I do not know why I am not drawn in the same way to
know who my father was. I knew you!

I don’t know what I knew, but I knew you enough to
want to know more. I don’t want to find an old mother
who has gone through life.

I want the mother that was young and optimistic and
whose future I could have shared. Perhaps that is the
fantasy, to go back and find the person and relive
life.

I missed you, I needed you, and I have now begun to
look for you.

I search, hunt, inquire, but have hit so many
roadblocks along the way.

There is a deep need in me, a need to be wanted and
loved. You failed at meeting this need early on, and
for me to look for you is painful.

If I find you, the wounds will remain but just maybe
you will be able to answer  the ever-festering
question of why you didn’t want to know what you gave
up.

I have known loss. My foster Mom and Dad died in
recent years and it has deeply saddened me.

That loss is deep, and reserved only
for those who we have truly known and loved. To feel
that too often would be overwhelming.

That is the problem with my pain for you. I feel it
over and over again. You are at the core of my very
being.

I will only lose my foster Mom and Dad once. I lose
you every time I search for you and fail.

I don’t know if finding you would make any difference,
but I do know that not finding you continues a cycle
of hope and pain that is demoralizing and weakens the
fragile self that I am. You surely gave up a lot.

I thought more about the need to think of you as a
young person in the prime of your life. It is because
when I think of you, I see myself as a child, not the
man that I am right now.

If you were young again you could take me back. Then I
would grow up with the smells of your hair and body,
the energy and radiance your body gives off and the
pattern in your eyes that is unique only to you.

To see you as an older person means to admit that you
have stuck with your decision and I am finding you
after the rejection. To find a youthful mother means
there is a possibility of reversing the tides,
and erasing bad memories.

Will I ever be able to see you as an older person who
is in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s? I don’t know.

I thought as I grew older I would see you age
as well. This hasn’t happened yet, and I guess it
probably never will. I can’t imagine what other life
event could change your picture in my minds eye other
than seeing you in person.

My birth father has yet to make a big dent in this
stream on consciousness. Did he stay with you? Did you
have other children? Did he see you as a mistake
and leave, making the same assumptions about me?

My only way of knowing my father would have been
through your interactions with him. Was he loving and
kind, or distant and insecure? When he touched you
with me in your womb, if he did, was there a fusion of
love that I may have felt, or was there a charge of
anxiety and sorrow? You both gave up a lot.

I was in you, and lived as you did for nine months.
How much of whom I am today is determined by those
nine months I will never know, but I do know it has
something to do with who I am.

I remained in a nursery for almost a year after you
left. I of course have no memory of it, but the nurses
were my surrogate mother. Out of necessity I bonded
with them. Felt their arms around me, focused on their
eyes and began to attach.

But this was not to be my final security blanket. I
was taken from a second love, and placed with one
family after another.

We know from experience that it is best to leave baby
animals with their mother until they can be weaned and
are more stable. I guess this logic doesn’t apply to
children who are moved from family to family at an
indefensible age where ego and vulnerability are
wide-open wounds.

I lost my first love, and then my second love all
within the first year of my life. What does the body
do to avoid pain? It had autonomic reactions and
functions that perform unconsciously.

Starve a body of food or water and it goes into
crisis mode and begins to preserve what it has in
storage. Starve a body of love and a maternal
connection, and what does the body have to fall back
on in storage at birth. I guess nothing.

Perhaps the womb experiences, but those are weak at
best. My gut tells me that foster kids are in an
unconscious state of self-survival where their
very existence and identity must be at risk from the
very day they lose their mother.

Years of searching have come to an end. I have found
you, met you and have gotten to know a bit about you.
I have not felt the elation I dreamed so often I would
feel.

I did not find the young, beautiful woman I hoped you
would still be. I found a older very embittered woman.
I found a woman whose mind, heart and soul remained in
1950 while her body moved forward with the passage of
time.

While, tough not easily, my life marched forward you
remained stationary in life. You were filled with
hatred towards your father, my father and even me. You
allowed this hate to swallow you up in self-pity and
control every step you took since that day long ago.

We never developed the relationship I had searched
for. I didn’t search for a mother as those years of
need had long passed us by. I hoped for a friend in
whom I could share my inner most thoughts and
feelings…a friend of whom I could ask those many
questions that still yearned for answers from my
childhood.

For twelve years I struggled and fought for a
relationship with you beyond one that I would deem an
acquaintance though connected far beyond. You fought
me every step of the way, making sure there was a
certain distance between us.

You never asked questions about my life. Anything
shared was at my initiative. A few times you seemed
interested while most times you stared in a distance.
 
To most of my questions of you; you either changed the
subject or gave as little as possible.

At one point I took your statement of, “I wish you had
never been born, my life could have been different,”
as how you truly felt from the depths of your heart.
You blamed what turned out to be a life of misery for
you on everyone but yourself. We were all the reason
for your failures…even when we were not present when
you fell.

Despite all this I continued, in every conceivable way
I could muster, to strive to get beyond the day we
first met and build a relationship with you.

The fatal blow came on that Christmas night too
painful still to reflect upon.  Though you bore me
within your womb for nine months you could not bear
knowing the son you gave birth to as he is. You wished
me dead because you gave birth to son that happened to
be gay.

The abandonment of childhood you had no control over,
this time you did. You were in complete control and
knew exactly what you were saying and doing.
All the wounds of childhood were again opened wide as
if freshly inflicted. Nothing I said or did caused you
to change your bitter heart.

That bitterness and hate filled heart went with you to
the grave a few short years later.

Now you will never truly know the son you gave birth
to nor will I know that mother you could have been.

Do I sound angry or wounded?  Do you sense that I
hurt?  Do you really care?  Who you are?

I am.  I think.  I breathe.  I have become.  What have
I become?  A whole person made up of many parts.

I became without you. I must now continue to become
without you. We both have lost!

My web site: http://www.larrya.us

29 Responses

  1. […] not in direct reply to the questions I posed yesterday, a blogger has answered everything I asked, and more, regarding the hard questions adoptees can throw at birth parents. His post goes hand-in-hand with […]

  2. I have no words.
    Just streams and streams of tears.
    You have said every word I have ever felt within.
    Thank you for writing it here.
    Possum. xx
    (Aussie adoptee)
    – I’m linking to this – hope that is OK? –

  3. Here through Poss.

    I have a lot of questions for my bmom too. Unfortunately, mine is a lot like yours. We’ve only been in reunion a little over a year, and I keep wondering what exactly I can do to make it different. Outright confront her? Give her a list of “demands”? Write her off entirely and never look back? Is pushing for a good relationship with her worth the effort?

    Thank you for writing about this. It’s given me A LOT to think about.

  4. OMG. Been there, done that. I feel for you, as only someone else who has been through the EXACT SAME THING can. This is the truth, people. This is what it is like for those of us who lose our mothers at birth or shortly thereafter. And then meet them again, a lifetime later, to see that they are eaten alive by their own self-hatred.

  5. Wow just wow.

  6. Thank you for posting such personal thoughts and questions. Your words are hard to read because I know that losing my son to adoption has hurt him in ways that he will never recover from, nor will I. I know I failed him, broke his trust, broke our hearts.

    But your post will help me understand what my son may be thinking and feeling one day. He’s 23 now and doesn’t ask any questions and I’m struggling to know how he feels. I just want to hold him my arms and listen to everything in his heart and answer his questions. I want to erase the lost years and start over again.

  7. Tears are streaming down my face; as I reply to this.

    But I thought I would answer dome question for you from my stand; I am a natural mom:

    No, at the time I didn’t realize what I was doing. I felt alone in a nightmare that I couldn’t wake from.

    It was not easy to lay there; not knowing where to turn for help. I laid awake; because I just wanted to be with you; just me and you. When we were alone; I’d talk to you and tell you Momma is here.” And I always wanted to be there; I never wanted this.

    Regret? That second.

    I wanted to scream in the car; the whole way home. My screams wouldn’t come out; they were trapped;as the way I felt I was trapped. I hear those scream in my hearts, of hearts as I write this now.

    The final hour; I was with people I do not trust today. Yes; I regretted this decision since it happened.

    It feels like a death; to lose part of oneself; to a future unknowing. Tears of sorrow; and they have never lessened; I still have those tears of sorrow; and you will be 15 on August 14.

    I; only heard you cry; when you came into this world. And; I remember that cry as it was a second ago. That is locked in my heart; of hearts. No; you didn’t understand the decision made on your behalf; how could you? You were just my sweet innoncent baby.

    For me; it was a lot worse then the loss of my 1st love.

    No; I wouldn’t do this all over again. I would run, run, and hide; so they couldn’t have my precious baby boy.

    Yes; you were very wanted in the womb.

    Yes; look for me; you would find a momma who regrets not knowing you; baby boy.

    No; your father didn’t stay. I don’t know if he even knows what happened to us:( Yes; I have another child. Briitany; your sister; is 10 years old. Yes; she knows all about you; and wishes you were with us; as I do.

  8. Thank you to thosw whom have read this blog entry…I appreciate your comments.

    I especially thank Kelly for her comments…a natural mom as she said.

    Kelly you brought tears to my eyes, though you answered but a few of the many questions I had for my own birth mother…you answered questions she never answered to me during the 12 years we were reunited.

    Though you are not my mother…I accept your answers as though you were.

    Peace,
    Larry~
    http://www.larrya.us

  9. Larry,

    Thank you. Can I make one suggestion? The term you are using to refer to mothers; is considered offensive. It is much more appreciated if you use first, or natural mother. I am sorry; I just don’t want you to be under attack, and not know why.

    I am sorry; your mother never answered those questions in the 12 years you were reunited. My guess; is she didn’t know what to say. Most of us are ashamed; we couldn’t save our own precious baby.

    Thank you; for accepting my answers; as I was your mother. That in itself; is a honor. Especially; if my baby boy will refuse to have a relationship with me. And; that is his right.

    Also; I need to Thank You; you made me realize my own son might want some of these same questions answered.

    Kell

  10. […] Questions for My Birth Mother This was written from the time I began searching for my birth mother until her death…a period of over 20 […] […]

  11. Kelly~

    To you and anyone who may be offended by my using the term “Birth Mother”…was not nor is not my intent to offend.

    Back when I began searching (1982) this was the term used when one was doing search/reunion and a term I became very comfortable with during the years of my search.

    I know terms have changed over the years and today some use “first” “natural” as well as “birth.”

    My using birth is just what I am comfortable and is not intended to offend, demean or hurt anyone…I hope people will accept my use of the term and see from my writings that I mean no harm to anyone.

    Peace,
    Larry~

  12. Larry….that hit, the core of my heart. The CORE!! I cannot stop crying, that was so true, so raw, so important.
    Did you used to go to Adoption Aftermaths? did you used to be a search angel? You are so familiar to me.
    Kali aka kealoha

  13. Kali~

    No I did not go to Adoption Aftermaths. Iwas a member for years of Adoptees Liberation Movement Assoc. (ALMA) and use to be quite active on a number of messageboards as well as having written a number of articles for Adoption.Com.

    Due to my current job I have had to leave most of the messageboards I was active on as well as limit my writing time…thus My Blog…were I can put many of my past writings as well as new ones when I am able.

    Peace,
    Larry~

  14. Thank you for what you wrote.

  15. I came here from Jenna. I am so sorry for your pain and loss. My heart is broken for my own sons too. It is unbearable that such a sweet baby should have to struggle to survive this loss. But you did it.

  16. However I remember you, i’m glad i’ve found you again. Keep up the excellent writing, its needed!

  17. Larry,

    Yes; I can tell very much from your writing; you have no intent to harm. Sorry; it took me a few days to reply back. This was very emotional on me; and every time I read it; I cry.

    Hugs from Atlanta,
    Kell

  18. Larry

    I am curious about something and I would like to know your thoughts.

    Do you think your experience of being abandoned by your mother as a baby, had any effect on your sexual preference?

    I personally, am of the belief that a person is born gay, but as I have two brothers who are both gay, I am curious if you think there is any link or of that is just coincidence?

    alex

  19. Alex~

    This is in reply to your question…I firmly believe my mother giving me up for adoption at birth had absolutely nothing to do with my be gay. I also do not believe my being raped at age 10 while waiting in a juvenile detention center while I was waiting for an 11th foster home to be found for me had anything to do with it.

    I am of the very firm belief, though many will disagree with me, that I was born gay. The feelings were there at a young age despite a long time struggle with the issue as well as therapy, an attempted suicide, dating girls, etc nothing could change how I was born.

    I’ll share about this in more detail in a later blog entry.

    Peace,
    Larry~

  20. Thank you for the quick response, Larry.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, this has always been my belief – that a person is born gay.

    I have also been raped, on two occasions, and it has not affected my sexual preference either. I was just curious, if there was any connection in your mind, on a deeper level.

    thanks for your honesty
    alex

  21. I’ve read your list. It is also the list I would expect from my relinquished cild…
    When it first happened I never wanted to speak of it; as time passed and I met more people I realized it had such influence in my life as it contiued that I needed to ëxplain’ my self to others. Invariably I met acceptance and understanding. Not from family but from strangers, friends, lovers.
    If I had it to do over, and also had the knowledge of today, things would be different… I could never make my family of origin love, respect, nurture or protect me… not even with the ultimate sacrifice of my only child.
    I relinquished my child to protect them from the abuse and terror I lived with until I escaped at age twenty-eight. I expect, now, that I will never know where they went or even if they lived; at age thirty-seven they may not even know of me, may believe they are the bio-child of those who raised them.
    I have always been open to reunion. I now no longer have hope of this, just the dream.
    From that dream I leave this information: June 7 1970/LDS Hospital/Salt Lake City/contact me: owl0609@hotmail.com

  22. Wow. This sounds so angry and hurtful. And certainly not to offend or cause any disruptions to anyone’s feelings because I know each one of our experiences are unique, but I’d feel so ashamed presenting some of these questions to my natural mother. I wouldn’t want her to feel upset or ashamed, or even guilty. I have and have had a wonderful life, and that’s all in thanks to the decision she made.

  23. KLLH~
    I know you have not negated my feelings and my reply is not to negate yours. As you said each of our experiences is unique. I id not have the wonderful childhood you did though my life though with some ups and downs and have wonderful since I became an adult. I feel no shame in wiring the questions I would like to have been able to ask my birth mother nor do I worry if she had been upset, ashamed or guilty by being asked them. They are my questions…I am the one she gave up.
    After reading what I wrote once again, yes there is anger and hurt but their is also a great deal of feeling towards her.
    I thank you for reading it and also thank you for your point of view. I hope you may have read a few of the other entries as well since you would read a variety of feelings expressed.

    Peace,
    Larry~

  24. When there is anger and hurt…it SHOULD be expressed not hidden away so as not to upset others. That’s why there are so many incidents like the VA Tech shooting. People take and take and take until the BLOW. Maybe these “explosions” of violence could be avoided if people would learn how to effectively COMMUNICATE what they are feeling.

    Larry…I pray my boys do not have to go through the horrors of the system that you had to endure. THIS is why I fight for them. THIS is why I can’t just let go because they aren’t LEGALLY mine. I want them to know beyond a shaddow of a doubt that I love them AS my sons…not like my sons. They ARE mine…a piece of paper means nothing to me.

    Why do people do this to children? 😦

  25. I read your list…. I never ever allowed myself to ponder any of those questions…Is that strange?? I felt alone, abandoned (and I was literally) and angry when I learned ‘the truth’ behind the cold steel DSS cars I came to loathe – with every visit – my life was torn apart again…
    I’m currently searching for my Birth Mother — and for those of you who are offended by those words – they are THE TRUTH…. MY TRUTH.
    There is nothing natural about abandoning your child…
    And yes, at 46, I am angry still…
    Funny thing is – tomorrow I’m making along trip in search of answers… Guess I do have questions unasked… Like WHO are you? and WHERE did I come from….

  26. I am very sorry you feel so negitivly about your situation… I was adopted and never really cared. becuase i didnt ever feel abandoned… some people can do things some cant… somtimes mental patients get pregnant and have their kids taken from them because they are seriously messed up from drugs or other thing… my daughter is also adopted and thats the case with her birth mom… she wanted her but cant even care for herself… so i guess for her there is no abandonment…

    Your post is very tragic and my heart goes out to you and those who do feel this pain…

  27. I was reading through the comments and saw the comment about the use of the term birth mother… and personally i find it offensive to say natural or first mother… from my experiences i hated when people would say stuff like that… she was my birth mother in the since her body concieved me, carried me and pushed me out… but she was not my first mother or natural mother it implies that my mother now is not my mother and honestly she is the first one who mothered me and she was more a natural mother than flesh becase she raised me…

    for our adoption they said multiple times such terms can make kids feel negitively and that they shouldnt be used and gave explanations about it and i honestly get that its the one thing about being adopted that made me very mad… and i always told people i didnt like it and made sure they got it… even when i was young!

    So maybe the birth mothers don’t like it but they chose or weren’t able to be a mother… i never said it in a diminutive way… really when i say it i just mean “life giver” basically mothering has nothing to do with it its just what people say… but I think if your adopted you should be able to call it what you want and fee comfortable with. If bio-moms get pissed well then its kind of to bad you cant give your cake away and eat it too…
    I feel love for my birth mother and appreciate her not aborting me… or for that matter not keeping me she will always be the one who gave me life and I am grateful for that and for my own child’s birth mother!

  28. Here I am again- posting to this blog- I’ve read all the replies…
    I agree with the children… you call me whatever you are comfortable with… in defense of those who use ANY particular term; we are handed those terms at the time we are pregnant… time may change the term in use but we still think of ourself in the original one.
    Because I am still not in reunion I will take the space to update my info: owl0609@gmail.com
    I am the womb provider of a child born June 7 1970 at LDS hospital in Salt Lake Utah

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