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Tuesday, August 15, 2006



Great post. This was *brilliant*:

"The happy birthmother fantasy is like an anesthetic. Adoption's epidural. When it wears off, everyone has accepted your happy ending and moved on."

I also like the comparison with having a second child (I'd still like to edit/write/co-write that book, remember? - but like Jo said in the previous post *you* should write a book about your experience, or participate in a collection of essays by first moms).


Ummm, wordpress did not trackback you but you are trackbacked!


Got here from Dawn at This Woman's Work. I do think what you've written is brilliant -- but just want to add: The adoptive parent may indeed know if the birth mama starts to grieve. We have an open arrangement going on almost 3 years now -- though our adoption is just about to be finalized. And we have born the brunt of some really passive-aggressive behavior on the part of the first mama because of her conflicted feelings. But we have been working through it with her because we are committed to a life-long open relationship for our DD's sake.

I just wanted to add our experience into the mix because sometimes, the adoptive parents do indeed have to deal with the birth mom's emotional fall-out first hand.


Zing! You hit it again.


Wow--this all got very big, didn't it?

I have been reading everything--here and at Dawn's--and no idea what to say, so keeping quiet. But I wanted you to know that I'm reading.


You are wrong about me needing my son's natural mom to not feel bad because it would cause me guilt. Completely wrong about that. I don't want her to feel the loss or to hurt because I don't want her to feel pain. It has nothing to do with guilt. I don't want anyone that I love to feel pain. Her feeling pain isn't a reflection of me, it would be a result of the adoption and her loss. That is seperate from me and I won't feel guilt for something I can't control. I have done nothing wrong and I will never do anything wrong to my son's natural parents. If I were to do something wrong to her, than I would feel guilt and that would legitimate guilt.

You make some very valid points. I've learned a lot today.


So many important topics flying around ... this, among them.

I thought it was interesting, over on Not Mother, that she'd read about grief setting in 5 to 7 years later ... because I (and some moms I've dialogued with over the years) have noted that many of the children also start to really get in touch with their grief at around 7.

I really think the high number of adoptions I've seen closed or marked by impossible parameters around this time corresponds with this dynamic.

I have known one mother who did not move into intense grief at that time, and I think it was largely due to the extreme openness and mutual respect that framed their adoption -- very much like extended family, not just in word but in deed and Spirit.

As for keeping grief under wraps, that was me. Over time, I knew the openness of the adoption hinged on neither me nor my bdaughter letting either our pain or our connection show in the presence of her parents.

I was better at hiding it than my bdaughter was ... at least back then.


I pretended to be happy about the adoption so that the adoptive parents wouldn't be scared of me. I was scared they wouldn't give me any news of her.


i don't really feel like i have anything to say. i agree with so much being said.

conversations like these only make me go back to our situation. and it makes me wonder where pea and purl are emotionally right now. i want to send excerpts of things to them... i don't want to overstep... i want to know... they don't owe me anything. i don't think there is a way for me to communicate all of this to them in letters i don't know if they even receive.

anyhow - conversations like these just make me think. thanks for that.


Ibex wrote: "sometimes, the adoptive parents do indeed have to deal with the birth mom's emotional fall-out first hand."
I think the phrase "have to deal with" is awfully strong wording and something that I as a birthmother certainly have tried to prevent. But things are also very different pre- and post-finalization and Ibex's adoption is not yet final. I don't want to be someone M [my son's adoptive mother] "has to deal with". I want to be someone she wants to know, someone whose feelings she gets to experience if she cares enough to do so. So far post-finalization, that hasn't happened.

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