Some Time Alone?

Published July 13, 2016 by iwishiwasadopted

happy_2

 

This evening, I’m almost alone in my house. It’s rare, and I’ve missed it. I used to be alone all day,while the kids were in school, and hubby and Ramona out at work.

Now, I work all day, Ramona is retired, the youngest is home from college,not working.  The middle sister is working part time, waiting to hear from grad school, and sleeping her days away.  The eldest girl is attending trade school, and working part time.That’s 6 of us,here at home. A crowd.

I long for time alone, with hubby.

But I’m here now.  Romona is in her apartment, but she comes out once in awhile.  Last time i was upstairs, thankfully. I was lying on  my bed, thinking and relaxing. i heard her apartment door open, instant tension.I hear her shuffle around.  After all,she’s 86.

I feel terrible about the way that I feel about Ramona. I’m supposed to love her, but no one else really does. She adopted me,but i never, ever felt that she was my mother. It was always an uneasy relationship, on both sides.  Last summer my mother was dying. She went into the emergency room in late June, and never left a medical facility.  She died Sept Sept 1, so the memories of last summer and hitting me pretty hard.

Ramona has not mentioned this. I have no idea if it’s even crossed her mind.   Ramona is very concerned with her health problems.  She shares a lot, and my daughters take her to her doctors.  She pays them.  Ramona’s body repulses me.  It always has.  When my mother was in the hospital, she asked to be changed, and middle sister and I helped Mom’s sister roll her over. Sometimes I think Mom planned it.  She was very cagey. All three of us women had our hands on  my mother, the matriarch.  i felt the ancient call of women caring for other family members.  It was a precious and sacred moment, for all of us.Middle sister said, , “Mom,you’ve got her ass!”.  We laughed, in the midst of all the pain.

The youngest said, ‘Mom, it’s almost like you lying there”.  My mother and i shared an uncanny resemblance.  The kind that makes you do a double take, and smile at how clever nature is.  Oh mother, why did you leave me so soon!  I truly barely knew you!

 

And Ramona is still here.  I wish we had never crossed paths.

 

 

One Year Ago

Published July 8, 2016 by iwishiwasadopted

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One year ago I found out that my mother was dying.  I can’t sleep, and I’m filled with anger and thoughts of my family again.  I checked them out on facebook, again.  I found out that my Aunt Susan has retired after 41 years of teaching art in the public schools.  I found out that my half brother is becoming an uncle, again. I see their lives, 5 years after I  found them.  I see my father, wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July, adding that he’s feeling “happy”.

4th

He told me he was ill and miserable, and not up to contacting anyone. This was a few years ago.  I guess he’s recovered,while my healthy mother has died. I smell a rat.

Will I ever be able to accept that I will never be part of their lives?  I don’t see how.  Every thing I see reminds me of my loss, and how much I long for a connection that I am forever denied.

At times like these, nothing seems to help. I hope this passes soon.

Father’s Day

Published June 25, 2016 by iwishiwasadopted

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Many adoptees write about father’s day.  Mother’s day too.  They are hard days for many of us.

I dreamt of my father the other day.  We were on vacation sleeping in an RV, on the beach when a seagull woke us.  He was on the roof,and we could hear his claws scratching. He tried to get in through the skylight!  It was kinda funny,and it woke me out of a sound sleep, in the middle of a dream.

In the dream, I complained that my father never gave me a birthday gift, or any gift at all.  The person I was complaining to said she never got gifts either, and I said, “but it was the same for all your brothers and sisters too. My father gives gifts to his other children,just not to me”.

In the early days of reunion, I sent my father father’s day cards, and had my children sign cards for their only grandfather. I stopped after 2 years, because i realized that my father does not consider me to be his child,and doesn’t consider my 4 children his grandchildren.He’s content with the ones he kept.They were born from the right woman,at the right  time,unlike me.

My father has the legal right to disown me, completely and totally. He signed his rights away,and I’m not his daughter.  Not next of kin, not anything at all, even though I am his first born.  Even though his parents are my grandparents.  Even though every relative he has, I have too.

None of that matters. He didn’t want me, so he’s not my father.  Simple as that.

I hate my father.

Adoption

Published June 8, 2016 by iwishiwasadopted

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This is how I feel about adoption, and loyalty. In my case, it was not necessary. If my parents could manage to parent other kids,they could have parented me too. It might not have been heaven,but neither is being given up for adoption. It’s harsh, people. It’s the ultimate disrespect and rejection. your own mother, for goodness sakes. Maternal abandonment, the stuff of nightmares and madness.

And you’re supposed to like it. No matter how open,and whatever words are sid, you are supposed to love your adoptive parents. It’s practically an order. They took you in, orphan waif that your mother made you, and housed you, and brought you up to be proper, a step above your humble beginnings. A little leg up in the world, for lucky you.

I didn’t like it. It seemed like a raw deal. I’d rather live in squalor,with my own dear mother,then live in a palace with strangers, having to pretend to be their kid. Yuck. No thanks, but i have no choice, do i, because I am an orphan waif, thanks again Mom, and I have to take whatever you’re dishing out in order to stay alive.

I guess that seems harsh but I just don’t see how people can adopt. once they do that,they seem bad and kinda evil to me. how can you take the child of a living woman, and make it call you mother? What gives you the right?

So,my adoptive mother is evil. My natural mother is bad too,she gives away her babies.

It’s very splitting.

Who is My Mother?

Published June 5, 2016 by iwishiwasadopted

Mothers_and_children_II

 

I’ve been following a post on this website:

http://www.littlethings.com/jen-adoption-story/?utm_source=LTcom&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=shock

It’s about a woman who finds her family.  So many people have critical comments about it, saying that the woman should honor her adoptive parents more, and that she is somehow disrespecting or belittling them by loving her mother and family.

This kind of thinking seems so wrong to me.  Why aren’t we allowed to love our mothers, like the rest of humankind?  Why are we held apart from this right?

They say it’s because our mothers gave us away, so we should not love them anymore, and also not be mad at them for the wonderful thing they did to us, all wile thanking our adoptive parents for rescuing us from the gutter, or death, or worse!

An awful lot for an orphan to handle, don’t you think?  And the criticism for searching and loving is harsh and punishing.  No wonder we rarely speak out.

What does this behavior say about open adoption, the wonderful change that made adoption great for everyone?  If you are maligned for searching for your family, what are you if you love your mother in an open adoption with another family?  We are supposed to hide our love for our mothers, out of loyalty to the ones who bought us,and paid for our childhoods.

My dear husband, not adopted explained it this way.  What if you had a mother, and you loved her and suddenly someone came and told you you had to live with another family, and another woman would be your mother now.  They tell you you will forget all about the other mother, and you won’t see or think about her anymore.  How would you feel?

Well, that’s just how I feel about my mother.  Just exactly that way.  By this I mean my real mother, the one who gave me life, and who I never stopped loving.

Another County Heard From

Published May 22, 2016 by iwishiwasadopted

 

Since my reunion, 5 years ago, I’ve heard from several family members, both adoptive and biological.  Usually it’s not good.  This is from my adoptive cousin, on my father’s side.

My adoptive parents farmed me out to various relatives when I was a kid.  This cousin was very kind to me,and her house was my favorite place to stay.  Of course, I would have preferred to remain in my own home, but that was out of the question.

M    I don’t understand why you would be in a group called “Adoptees against Adoption”. Can you explain it to me?

10/22/2014 10:59PM

I don’t believe in infant adoption. I don’t agree with secrets and sealed records. I think that too often infant adoption is about couples who want a child, not about a child who truly needs a home. I believe in family preservation, wherever possible.

 

09/28/2015 7:38AM

M what is your adoption story? Did you find out why your birth mother made an adoption plan for you? Have your feelings against adoption affected your relationship with the mother who adopted you? I’m very curious, because some of your FB posts seem so bitter. My goodness, Mitch and Ramona adored you. You were everything to them. I used to be so jealous of you, because you got the best of everything, being their only child. (Although I did benefit from some of your “cast-offs”, like an itchy camelhair coat one year.) Anyway, I have fond memories of you as a child. I hope you do, too.

09/28/2015 5:31PM

I wouldn’t say my dear mother made an adoption plan for me. It was more that she had her back up against the wall and could not think of any other options.

It’s a long sad story, if you really want to know, I’ll be happy to tell you, but be sure you’re sitting down, in a nice calm place when you read it.

I also can’t imagine you getting any hand me downs from me, since I am 4 years younger, and a lot smaller than you!

09/28/2015 8:37PM

Infant adoption is a very complicated thing. It’s not as simple as a woman not wanting her baby, and another woman wanting it. Before a child is adopted, it is relinquished. I lost my entire family when I was 5 days old. Ramona and Mitch may have adored me, but they could never really be my parents. Infant adoption involves a lot of secrets and pretending. Not usually healthy things in a person’s life.

My mother was born on Sept 14, 1943. Her mother was 16 or 17. Her father was a light skinned black man. Mixed race marriage was a forbidden thing back then, and my grandmother was called many nasty names because of her relationship with my grandfather. My grandmother was probably abused as a child, by her father. She was promiscuous and a heavy drinker. She liked spending time in bars and slept with a lot of men. My mother was responsible for the care of her younger sister from a very young age. My grandparents separated, and my grandfather ended up in Michigan. My grandmother used to leave my mother and her younger sister, Louise with her mother while she went out drinking. My grandmother’s name was Patty. Patty’s mother died, and she started to leave her daughters with her father while she went out drinking, but came home one evening to find her father molesting my mother. My mother was 3. Patty decided to send the girls to live with their father, in Michigan. Patty dumped the girls in Michigan and took off. My grandfather, Jimmy  tried his best to care for the girls, but he had to work. Louise was my mother’s half-sister, the result of Patty’s affair with another man, but Jimmy treated her as his own child. Jimmy found a couple to take the girls in as foster children. He would visit and send money for their care. The foster father was a pedophile, who regularly molested the girls. The foster mother would beat them severely as well. My mother said they were basically tortured, while from the outside everything seemed normal. My mother lived there from age 5-11. During this time, I believe my mother developed multiple personalities. When Mom was 11, Patty brought her back home to New York. Patty had had several more children, and needed someone to take care of them while she went out. Mom describes her foster father crying and saying how much he loved her, and kissing her romantically, goodbye. She was 11.

Things back in New York were horrific. Patty was a negligent mother and housekeeper. The babies ran around in filth. Rats and roaches filled their tiny bungalow. Mom was responsible for trying to keep order and feed the younger children. She told me she could not go to school because her mother would stay out for days at a time, and she could not leave the babies alone. Her mother was the town bar fly. Patty had 7 children with 7 different men, and at least one illegal abortion as well. Her boyfriends would beat her regularly. None of them took responsibility for the children they fathered, and the family lived in squalor. My father’s family lived in the same town in New York. They were the rich family who lived up on the hill. My father’s name is Robert Mc. His family owed Mc’s picnic grounds. It was famous in the town. My grandparents were prominent in the town. They were masons and active in the community. My father’s family owned acres of land and a large farmhouse. They grew vegetables and had animals. My father is one of 5 children.

My parents started dating when she was 14 and he was 17. She got pregnant at a young age, and Patty arranged for her to have an abortion from the same abortionist that she herself used. My father worked all summer to pay for the abortion. A few years later, my mother got pregnant again. This time my parents got married. They were planning to raise me in an apartment attached to the Mc farmhouse. Then, something happened. I really don’t know exactly what. My mother said that she went into a church for advice, and they told her about adoption. She went home and told my father, and he loved the idea. They moved to another part of New York, to hide the pregnancy. When I was born, they didn’t tell anyone. My mother took care of me in the hospital for 5 days, then my father came and picked us up. He drove us to the Spence Chapin adoption agency in Manhattan, where they left me. They took turns holding me while they filled out the papers necessary for my abandonment. My mother was described as weeping during the entire time. She told me that my father worked on her, the bigger she got the more he told her that I would have a terrible life if they kept me, worse than the life she had. She was broken down and had no self-esteem. She thought she wasn’t good enough to be my mother, but she was. All she needed was support. My parents went home and told their families that I was stillborn. No one questioned their story. or even asked what happened, or had a memorial for me.

I think that my father’s parents knew that I was alive. I think they did not want to help raise me because my mother was black. There was plenty of room for another kid in the Mc house. My spoiled, rich father took advantage of a poor mentally sick woman. He used her for sex, but did not want the responsibility that came with it. My father was 22 and my mother was 19 when I was born. 6 months later, my parents’ marriage was annulled. My mother got no alimony, or any support from my father.

She attempted suicide after I was gone, and she truly lost her mind. 4 years later she had a son with another man. His family helped her raise her son, my half-brother James

My life with my adoptive parents may have seemed enviable to you, but it was not as great as it seemed. We lived in a 1-bedroom apartment. I shared the room with Ramona, and Mitch slept on the couch. They had a loveless marriage.

My mother tried to have her own child for 10 years. That was what they really wanted, but it was not to be. Adoption was a last resort. My parents struggled to live on Mitch’s small salary for 6 years, when Ramona went back to work. Work was what she really loved best. At first she worked part time, while I was in school, but in the summer she had the opportunity to work full time. That was when she started boarding me out. I stayed with Ramona’s sister, Isabel for 2 summers. Isabel had 4 children. all older than me. I had never been away from home before and was frightened and alone. This was the summer after first grade, when I was 6. My cousins were Ethan, who was 14, Jane 12 and Mary who was 6 months older than me. They had an older sister, Kitty, but she was out of the house a lot of the time.

Ethan was left in charge of us girls a lot, while Auntie Isabel went to her social activities. There was incest in the family, and he would have us touch him. I was scared of him. He exposed himself to me. I was trapped and alone. I didn’t even know how to use the telephone. I wondered why Ramona left me there. I wondered why she adopted me, if she was just going to board me out. I didn’t understand why I was so unlovable. I decided I had to make my heart hard, like a stone, so I wouldn’t care about being left anymore. I tried really hard, and it worked. I began to hate Ramona.

I told Ramona that I didn’t want to go back to Auntie Isabel’s for a third summer, but I didn’t tell about the incest. That’s when I came to your house. It was much better there. I liked the lake, and you were all much nicer than Auntie Isabel’s kids, plus, no sex abuse. I was happy with your family, but still felt abandoned by Ramona

Ramona went to work full time when I was 9, and then I had to go to a friend’s house every day after school. I didn’t like that. I wanted to go to my own home after school. Ramona would work all day, come home, make dinner, then go out to play bingo in the evenings. I stayed home with Mitch. I was an only child and very lonely. Ramona also had a boyfriend during this time. She would go out with him on Thursday nights, and say she was shopping in the city. I was still sharing a room with my mother, my parents said we could not afford a bigger apartment.

We never spoke of my adoption. I had no idea who I was, or where I came from. I was living in a world of strangers. I remember asking about my “other mother” and having Ramona scream, “you don’t have another mother, I’m your only mother”. After I stayed at your house, I started going to summer camp. My parents sent me to an all Jewish camp. It was Kosher, and we had Friday night services. I was not very athletic, and hated camp very much. Finally, I was old enough to stay home alone! I scoured my apartment, and found my adoption papers. I finally learned my name, Marylee Mc. I told no one, but I repeated the name over and over in my head.

I started smoking pot at 14 and drinking at 16. It helped with the pain. I couldn’t wait to get out of my parents’ house and left home at 19 and moved in with Don. We’ve been together ever since. The pain of my adoption never left, but I was afraid to find them. As I neared age 50 I feared I would not find them alive, so I hired someone to find them. We reunited, but it has not gone well.

I believe that most women do not want to give their children away. There are extreme cases where a mother is a true danger to her child, but that is rare. more often it is poverty and fear that cause women to relinquish.

I wanted my mother. Ramona and Mitch were fine people, but not my people. I have a big family. They want nothing to do with me. My birth certificate has been altered, and the real one sealed. I am not legally related to my parents. My children are not legally related to their ancestors. My descendants cannot accurately track their roots, because my birth record is false. That makes me very angry.

Only an adopted person can understand how it feels to be given away by your own parents. We are not supposed to speak about our feelings, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have them.

I feel the pain from my adoption every single day. My mother died on Sept 1, and my brother James kicked me out of hospice so he could be alone with his mother. I did not go to her memorial service, I am her first born, but I am nobody and nothing to her legally. My father married a woman younger than me and I have a sister who is 27 and a brother who is 19. So, that’s part of my story.

09/29/2015 10:57AM

Oh, M, I had no idea you had such pain in your life. There was NO indication from your visits that you were so lonely and unhappy. I’m glad you found Don. How many children do you have?

09/30/2015 7:31AM

I have 4.

09/30/2015 8:54AM

This one was not so bad! She did not judge or condemn me.  She is a fundamentalist christian, so I imagine she is from the “adoption not abortion” camp.

There was no indication that I was lonely or unhappy because I did not trust anyone.  There was no one to confide in, at that age.  They would tell my adoptive mother.  I kept it all inside, and it seems like I did a pretty good job.

 

My Adoptive Mother

Published May 14, 2016 by iwishiwasadopted

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I don’t know what to think about my adoptive mother. Sometimes she comes out with things that really upset me. They really make me think about our relationship,as mother and daughter.

It’s a relationship that has always had problems, as many relationships do.

My husband is from a family of 5 children. He is the youngest.  I’ve known his family for many years, and have been included in many family gatherings.  Ramona, my adoptive mother was sometimes included too.  I honestly don’t remember how many times, or to which gatherings.

As time has gone on,  we all get together less.  Our children are grown. The siblings that have grandchildren do most things with their kids and their extended families.  We don’t do Christmas together any more.  We do go to big things, like weddings and such, but the rest has changed over the years.  Don was never close to his family. We all live in the same area, and are friends. The relationship is fine, and we are happy with it.

Don’s Nephew Sam is getting married to a lovely girl in June.   I attended the bridal shower last week, with my daughters, who are the grooms first cousins.  Ramona,my adoptive mother was not invited.She was not invited to the wedding. Don’s sister usually does not include Ramona in her family gatherings, and has not for years.  I don’t know why she stopped, I think our kids just grew up and Don’s sister had more people to include,so for the sake of expenses,she only invites close relatives and friends.

One of Don’s siblings invites Ramona to his kids weddings and events.  His wife feels closer to Ramona, and likes to include her, even though my sister in law is one of 11 children!  Some people just think differently than others.  Ramona is not a very nice woman, and maybe some of Don’s siblings don’t care for her.  I really don’t know,but Ramona thinks she does. She told me this the other day.

“Don’s sister does not invite me to things since she found out that you are adopted”.

I was shocked.”Ma”, I said, “Don’s sister has always known that I was adopted.I never kept that a secret from anyone. Everyone knows.”.  Did she really think that I didn’t ell people that I was adopted?  Close relatives of my husband,and children?  They deserve to know that my kids have another family,and that Ramona is not blood kin to me, or my kids. I also never wanted anyone to think that Ramona was my mother, because in my mind, she is not.

Then Ramona changed her tune, “well,then since you found your mother,they stopped inviting me”.  My husband’s siblings know that I found my family,but they have never met any of them, and probably don’t think about it a whole lot.  And I’m fairly sure that is not the reason she is not invited to their family events.  I do not think that me finding my family has any bearing on how they treat Ramona.  I had no idea that she was harboring these ideas.

It just goes to show how my adoptive mother feels about me finding my family. I broke the rules,and she gets punished for it.  Fantastical thinking, but it hurts me.  I feel blamed for finding them, for the crime of wanting what Ramona,and most other people take for granted.  For wanting my mother.

I was also approached by my adoptive cousin a few months ago.  My adoptive cousin Marty was the first baby i was allowed to hold.  I was 11 when he was born,and baby crazy!  I loved him to pieces and liked to stay with my adoptive cousin, Deidra when baby Marty was around.

Deidra is Ramona’s late sister’s daughter, and they are pretty close.  Deidra and Ramona speak on the phone several times a day,and Deidra and Marty go to Atlantic City with Ramona every few months. Deidra can never get here to visit Ramona, or help me take care of her, but somehow Deidre and Marty always make it here when it’s time to take Ramona to Atlantic City, where Ramona gets comp rooms and food, because she gambles so much.

Marty approached me, after having a few cocktails,and asked me how I could not consider Ramona to be my mother.  He said “She’s like a grandmother to me,and you are so mean to her,she raised you,she is your mother”.  He said that once I found my family everything changed. I changed my feelings toward Ramona.  He added that Ramona could go live with him anytime.

Ramona lives with me,and my family.She has a full apartment that is part of our house.  I treat her with kindness and respect.  I actually, do not feel that she is my mother, and things did change once I found my family.  It was as if the blinders had fallen from my eyes,and I could finally see, far too clearly what had been done to me.

Marty has no right to tell me how to feel.  I have never told him how to feel,and never will.  His words came out of nowhere and really hurt me.  It also shows how he really feels about me,an adoptee.  I’m out of line, for wanting to know.  I’m wrong for waking up and seeing my truth.  I’m wrong for not following the script.

Ramona has spoken to Marty about how bad I treat her, about how I’ve changed.  Marty is addicted to painkillers and visits Ramona every few months when he has a doctors appointment in our area.  He takes Ramona to lunch.

Ramona has no desire to go live with Marty. He lives in a rural area a few hours away with his girlfriend and her two young children.  Marty has children from another relationship who live with their mother.  Ramona has it pretty good here with me. I cook dinner and clean up.She has my daughters to take her anywhere she wants to go, since Ramona does not drive.   Ramona worked until she was 80 and has few outside interests, apart from gambling.

Ramona is 86 now,and will be 87 in October.  She  has lived  with my family for 19 years, since my youngest was born.  She says she moved in to save us from financial ruin, since we had 4 kids and only 1 income.  She helped us make our house bigger,and we added the apartment at the same time.  She sold her Co op apartment and invested the money in my house.So I did take from her.  She says I asked her to come live with us, she didn’t want to.

I really don’t remember.  I remember my husband urging me to do it, to “keep my eye on the prize”,the bigger house.  I did it for my kids, so they could live in a nice, big house,even if it meant selling my soul and happiness to do it.

So,here she is, in good health.My daughters take her to the doctor, and the market.  She is rarely alone.

I can’t stand her.  Never could.  I left home at 19, with Don and never went back.  My concern for my children brought her back to live with me,and now she’s here until the end.  And I have to hear how terrible I am for finding my own family.  For not being what the agency promised. For wanting to know who i was.  I can never forget her screaming at me, “I am your only mother” when I was 4 years old. I thought to myself, “she is lying to me, I don’t like or trust her anymore”.  I hated her from that day on,though I had to depend on her.

We are there for her everyday,as she gets more and more feeble. I have to watch and take care of her as she ages, and my own mother is dead.  I think when she finally goes,the strongest feeling will be relief, freedom from this lifetime of servitude,  where I am never quite as good as blood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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