In our blood

So I've just finished sending my bio mom a long email describing my Christmas. I had sent her a very short Merry Christmas email on Christmas Eve as I had no time at all to do anything more. Things were VERY busy for me up to boxing day and for the last 2 days my husband and I have been couch/bed potatoes, eating leftovers and taking naps. No desire to write or read emails, do facebook, or really very much computer related activity.

I know I'll get an email back that outlines what she and her family did over Christmas and I look forward to reading it. In my mail I relayed every single thing we ate for dinner and hope that she shares the same info. To me it's interesting to hear about the cultural differences between my family and hers, yes, white Canadian people have cultural traditions too. There are family traditions that I still observe, certain foods and rituals I grew up with that I consider mine, even though I am adopted, not REALLY part of my family. I don't think that tradition or culture is as much in our blood but rather in the familiarity of routine, of doing things that hold memories and/or meaning, actions that remind us of people and times past.

My "reunion" is so unlike anything I read about online. The things people advise to say or to never say are completely wrong in my circumstance. I truly believe if I said how much I love my bio mom or how much I wish she'd never given me up, she'd go screaming for the hills. Maybe these are the kinds of things that are "in our blood". Things like pragmatism and acceptance of things as they are. If I had said those things, I'd have been lying.

One thing I do want to bring up eventually is her telling her kids about me. I want to tell her that if it were me, I would want to know. I would want to know if I had a half sister or brother out there. That I wouldn't be threatened by them, that I'd feel secure in my place in my parent's heart. No "new kid" could diminish me and what I am.

My wanting to tell her this is not because I have a burning desire to meet my half siblings. I would meet them, I get how it might be interesting and how the possibility exists that we could have things in common, that we could end up good friends, but it's more about them, and their right to know. It's about how I would feel if I found out my mom had kept such a secret from me.

But then, who knows these people, these half siblings, better than their mother? It will be her choice to make, I will never force the issue. It's her family, not mine, and I'd be right pissed off if she butted in on my family against my wishes.

But like me, she likely would never. It's not in our blood.


  1. I don't tell my mom I wish she had never given me up either. For her, I think that would make her feel like crap. She did the best she could with the information that she had at the time. I do wish the counselling she had received was more ethical, however.

    I hope she tells your half-siblings about you.

  2. I would never have told my mother I wish she hadn't given me up because it would have been a lie.I didn't and I don't, ever.She did her best and what she had to do.Adoption was crap but it was better than either of my parents could have done.Rock and a hard place!
    I hope you get to meet your half-siblings, somehow.I have 2 who don't want to know, two who did, now don't and one who was late coming to the party and it's going well.So important not to have too many expectations.Good luck!

  3. Those are interesting responses, Amanda and Von. Thanks for sharing them. Must confess to being a bit stumped but I see what a delicate situation this is with one's n-mom.

  4. K, have to ask. What's got you a bit stumped O Solo Mama?

  5. For those reading here from Lia's blog, pragmatism and acceptance (rational) do not mean lack of care or feeling. If I were desperate to hold my son and be with him and being that way helped me to achieve my goal, it's just what I'd try to do.

    Care and feeling combined with realism is what I believe helped my bio mom decide to communicate with me and aids in our ongoing communication.

    If I didn't care for her feelings as much as I do, we wouldn't be speaking right now.

  6. Just chiming in to wish you the very best with navigating this...whatever 'the best' means for everyone involved.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  7. Thanks Diane, that's very kind of you.

    All the best and Happy New Year to you and yours also!

  8. Here are my random, sometimes seemingly paradoxical, thoughts on why I don't tell my First Mom I wish she hadn't given me up.....

    I do think of one life vs. the other in order to realize what parts of me are defined by adoption and what parts aren't (e.g. I was a great athelete from Jersey instead of likely being a great hunter and fisher from a northern state, because of the location adoption placed me in etc.).

    But I don't think of one life vs. the other to determine what's better, what absoutely would-have-been, and then pick between the two.

    I don't regret being raised with my parents.

    But I do dislike the unethical counselling and adoption practices of the era of my surrender. Whether or not I would have ended up with my parents, the counselling and practices should have been ethical, simply because it would have been the right thing to do.

    I love my life the way it is now. I am sure I also would have loved it being raised by her. I can't change things. I don't tell her I wish she had kept me. I don't thank her for not raising me either (I think that would also hurt her feelings). I thank her for being my mom and loving me. I can't stress myself out, or her out, pondering all of the what ifs. It just is what it is.

    I do think that families should be given a chance to stay together and mothers support to keep their babies when they desire to parent; not because I did not have a good life with my parents, but because I think it's the right thing to do.

    Regret is not something I want my First Mom to feel because I love her and I wouldn't ever want her to feel badly about anything. It is a big challenge to express my emotions both to my Adoptive Parents and my First Mom / Family in a way that addresses adoption issues, without them feeling blamed or like they didn't do a good job. I like my life and I don't have regrets about the people in it. I do have serious critiques about adoption--the institution. I don't dislike my life or how it turned out because of how adoption shaped it....but I don't necessarily like being adopted either.

    I don't know if that makes sense or not.

  9. Don't know if it makes sense to others but it totally makes sense to me Amanda. Thank you : )

  10. "who knows these people, these half siblings, better than their mother?" She's your mom just as much as she is theirs. Don't believe what people say about how it takes 18 years of wiping butts and kissing boo-boos to earn the title of Mother, after all a woman calls herself Mom starting on the very day the adoption is final before she does any of that stuff they claim makes a person a parent just like a woman calls herself mom for having given birth.

    You were raised separately, does not mean they are not your family and you are not theirs. You are their sibling as much as you are her daughter which is why your right they would absolutely want to know about you. Her hesitation has nothing to do with what they think of you. She is afraid of what they will think of her for keeping a whole sister a secret.
    You should have her all to yourself for a while anyway. I hope that she will relax in the next few months so she realizes how hurtful it is to keep a flesh and blood person as a secret-certainly now that she knows where you are...there is no point anymore. You will be alive as siblings longer than she will be alive as your Mom. Us individuals last a lifetime but family is eternal its so stupid when people think something is so scandalous as to not tell kids about their siblings. Happened to my mom she was almost 70 when she found out about her sister. stupid waste of years.

  11. Hahaha Marilyn...seriously, do you really think this? "She's your mom just as much as she is theirs." That is just not true. And it's not been 18 years, it's been 47!!

    I know your intent is to be supportive of me but this kind of what should and shouldn't be just sets people up for disappointment.

  12. Yes I believe what I wrote, one member of the family does not control what the other family members can or can't know about each other. Half of the people on the reunion registries are people looking for their sisters or brothers whether the parent likes it or not.

    My friend from high school had been trying to find a(nother) brother she heard was given up for adoption. She found one brother on her own then asked me to find the other one. So I did. She did not have her mom's blessing to hunt down her brothers, but screw her. Its not her world. My friend said "he's my brother as much as he's her kid" (that is where I got that from)
    So one brother hangs out with her all the time camping etc and the other is just a facebook friend.

    I'm just saying her feelings are not more or less important than the feelings of her kids - you included. That is not setting you up for disappointment. So they may not like you (whats not to like though) but that does not mean they should not know about you.

  13. Thanks for clarifying Marilynn.

    Saying "She's your mom just as much as she is theirs." is something very different and is what I was referring to as setting people up for disappointment.

    I've finally caught the program The Locator and though of you. In the couple of episodes I watched the guy who does the reuniting comes across as very considerate with and cautious of the individual feelings of all involved.

    I think that's very important.

  14. I have not seen the Locator. My friend who is pitching the pilot agreed to no televised "first encounters" people will be reunited and then asked if they want to share the story with viewers after they've gotten to know each other for a bit.

    My friend and his wife were staying at my place, he said he remembered being taken from his mom at 4 years old and he said he had a sister the same age as him so maybe a twin. Luckily his real name was written inside a book he grabbed as CPS took him away because he was renamed. His wife ultimately found his family. His sister was really his neice. His grandmother was pregnant same time as his mother. She fought for custody of him but the people who adopted him were super rich and belted it out in court and ultimately won. His grandmother and (when she came of age) his neice were all over the internet searching for him. His mom and dad did not give their blessing from what I heard neither could give a damn about him. But their feelings did not dictate the actions of the rest of the family. Both parents went on to have other neglected children all met him and they all consider him their brother, though he did not become tight with all of them.

    If your sibling had contacted you instead of your mother, and your sibling said, "Mom sucks we are nothing like her" Can you see yourself saying "we can't be siblings without her blessing"? Psha... As if

  15. Oh, for sure, if I had been looked for by anyone, ever, I'd have had contact with them and gone from there. No question. Even if mom was not into it.

    In my particular circumstance though, mom is the only one who knows about me and doesn't suck in the slightest. I quite like her so far.

    Every situation is different and needs to be treated accordingly... in my opinion.

  16. I think my son is a lot like you, Campbell, and does not go for extravagant shows or words of affection. My other sons I raised are like that as well, we are not demonstrative touchie feelie people altogether. Nor were my parents or husband.

    I think my son has reached a place where he likes me. Why else would he share his training schedule for a marathon, many pictures of where he goes, medical information that goes both ways, complaints about work... all pretty much normal stuff. He is much more of a writer than my other kids so I really hear more from him than them.

    He knows I love him, no need to say it. Why else buy him warm socks, take an interest in everything in his life, and commiserate about bad stuff? The latest is his youngest kitty is sick, so now I get to worry about him:-) We both love and have cats and share a lot of cat stuff back and forth, one of mine has a chronic blood condition, and he always asks after him

    He shows no interest in meeting siblings or they meeting him, but I keep both sides informed. I hope your mother tells your siblings, yes, it is only fair, but up to her. And one thing I have finally learned is as you say, every reunion is different and unique and there are no rules everyone must follow, just common courtesy and sense.

  17. I think your son and I do view our being adopted much the same maryanne.

    On being demonstrative, for me, it depends. I was raised in a very huggy family and can be huggy myself, if I'm truly "feeling it". Certainly am regularly with my son and husband.

    My mom (not my bio mom) is odd when it comes to hugs, it's hard to explain. Most times, not all, it feels like a chore, an expectation, to give her a hug. After a glass of wine and a rare (these days) conversation where we connect emotionally I can truly feel like hugging her or if there is something I feel badly for her about, I can be genuinely physically affectionate. Then there are times I give her hugs or say I love you to give her something she needs.

    With my bio mom, I know I did touch her hand when we met and still recall what she felt like. I can't remember now if we hugged when parting, weird eh?

    My "reunion" is very new and although email contact is regular, we've only met once. As Doris Day said so eloquently (lol) "the future's not ours to see". I mention this song because I was thinking about it just this morning while trying to conjure up good memories of my mom and I. She used to sing it to me when I was a kid.

    My comment is getting long, so I'll stop blathering on, for now at least..ahem, and just say it never hurts to say out loud you love someone, if you do, every now and then. Even if they should know it : )

    Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I always appreciate it.

  18. It was hypothetical "sucking" for the hypothetical senario. No "yo momma" jokes out of me.


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